Updated: Apr 25



Today, I want to talk about one of my favorite Farmhouse decorating tips - CARTS. Using a cart to greet guests with a treat is a great way to make them feel at home and a fantastic way to keep your own family feeling your love. They add warmth and comfort while helping the out of place friend find the things they need while visiting.


One of my pet peeves is walking into a beautiful home that has no soul. No comfort. No personality. Perhaps we are too busy working or shuffling kids around to think about decorating. That's okay. There are so many effortless ways to exude a feeling of welcome in your home that this list I put together will help even the busiest person check this off their list.


Carts come in all sizes, prices and materials. You can find one ready-made online or even build you own from scraps laying around the house. If you're really creative, you can repurpose an old object and turn it into a cart. They look great in every room and can really make your guests feel special when during their visit. I have put together just a few ways to use them in every room. The photo below shows how I am currently using one in my apartment. It needs much improvement, but was a last minute attempt to cozy things up for Thanksgiving in my new apartment. The cart was found at Vintage Market Days in Lindale last month. The metal was a silver worn finish that was painted in a hammered nickel. Wood was stained in dark walnut and added to each shelf. A simple change that really added personality.


We have all visited family and friends for the holidays. We've stayed at hotels while traveling. What are some of those things that they did to make you feel more comfortable? Or think about a time when you visited some place and they prepared a nice layout of supplies just for you and displayed them in such a pretty way you hated to disturb their work by actually using them. I cannot tell you how many times our guests thanked me for setting out an arrangement with assorted goods for their stay. Sometimes it would be in a basket. Other times, a corner of the counter. Either way, they knew I did it just for them. {In the title collage above are two (2) photos from an industrial rolling cart that was refinished when I had my shop in Farmersville.}


Entryway, Party Space, Outdoor, Wherever:

An entryway is a great place to really make a statement with guests when they arrive. It's the first glimpse of your home and will often set the tone for their visit. Why not use a cart in this area to roll in a welcome mat? You could set up drinks and a light snack such as crackers, cookies, or fruit & veggies. You might even want to put out water bottles and a carafe of coffee. What about a Keurig? You could use this as a serving bar. If you are hosting a party, you might even want to use this space to arrange a spread of drinks for the night. You don't need a crowd to make a special place for your special night. If you are being sensitive to health concerns and just staying home with your family, you could use this to create a filling station for the night where the kids can serve themselves. Christmas & New Year's are coming up!

Taking inspiration for the adorable galvanized cart in photo #2 above, I shopped around for something to give the same feel and use priced at $150 or less. You can see that sometimes Pottery Barn is the better bargain.


Laundry Room:

This Laundry Room Cart from Pottery Barn literally stopped my scroll!


Laundry rooms can get messy. And let's face it, we don't want to spend any more time in there no matter how nicely it is decorated. Having tools to keep your messes neat and tidy can make a mundane task more pleasant. Pottery Barn is currently selling this cart for $249, but I found similar carts that give you the same look for less at Bed Bath & Beyond and Walmart for $67 and $55 respectively. They don't have the shelf, but they do offer the same storage. The less practical but CUTE vintage cart is for sale at Countrydoor.com for $94. They offer monthly installments so that you can buy that item you want now and pay it out over (4) months.



Bathroom:

How about creating a spa like arrangement in the bath by using a rolling cart to display bathing products at their fingertips? This will help them to feel special and they won't have to look for products or ask if you have anything they can use. Plus, this will give you a use for all those unused shampoo and conditioner bottles you saved from your hotel visits!


You might consider the usual, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste... But what about disposable razors, shaving gel, mouthwash, hairspray and tampons? If you don't have cabinet or shelf space to arrange these items for guests, a small cart will work well in most any space.


Office & Craft Room:


Using a cart to create a rolling workstation is a great way to save space and control the clutter. It also helps you to keep everyday items right at your fingertips in one central location. Why not use a rolling cart for file boxes, paper, pens & pencils, and office supplies? If you are working from home, this allows you to easily move your supplies if you need to change up your work area for the day.


Kitchen:

Oh the ways a cart can be used in the kitchen! Sure you can use it like your grandmother did to store the microwave and cookbooks. But why? It can serve as both movable island and workspace. You can serve your family and guests from it while using it to store supplies that you might wish to display. It's a great way to prepare a meal in the kitchen and roll it into any other room of the house. Plus, it can really cut down on trips back and forth to the kitchen.



Living Room:

Carts in the living room can be so much fun. They do everything from store your books (and movies for those still going at it old school), to displaying your favorite family photos. When friends and family visit, it can be used to create a space for entertaining. And who doesn't want more space to display stuff at the holidays? Add a few presents and BAM! Instant centerpiece.



Nearly anyone can make their own cart marrying these ideas with an unused piece of furniture or shelving. Some have used crates to make one on the cheap, only needing to purchase casters. I would love to see how you use carts to bring Farmhouse Style into your home.


Consider adding one of these ideas to your home today or better yet, make your own. You guests will feel extra special when you roll out the welcome for them one your cart!

Updated: Dec 8, 2020

One of the reasons we all love Farmhouse Style Decorating is because of the ease of repurposing pieces. I love to move my furniture around to unexpected places. Oftentimes, a dresser in a living room is just what you need to both store items AND create a nice vignette.


When I moved into my tiny apartment back in October, I needed to maximize my storage space which meant using furniture in unexpected ways. Storage for kitchen items and clothing were both my biggest challenges. To help me get a handle on my clothes while still looking attractive, I chose to keep one of my dressers and use it in the living room behind the sofa. It now serves as a dresser, sofa table, lamp table, buffet, you get the picture... It was used as a buffet for my Thanksgiving Dinner. (Please ignore the shelving. In PROGRESS).





I recently completed a small chest-of-drawers with just that in mind, using it in unexpected places. This nice little cast-off piece is large enough to hold a ton of items while being small enough to squeeze into even the smallest of spaces. It could serve well in a Farmhouse/Cottage themed living room or office or more appropriately, serve as a dresser in a nursery or little girl's bedroom.



Refinishing furniture can be a very creative process. There are so many techniques you can use to make something look old - from layering paint to using different finishing products. You will see that I created a chippy paint look on a dresser with an otherwise smooth finish. Since it was a small chest-of-drawers, I decided to go with a French - Cottagey look that would serve well in a bedroom, nursery or even a living area. I used stencils on the top and lightly distressed the pattern to blend in with the chippy edges. This dresser is just the right size to put anywhere. And let's face it, the Farmhouse style lets us use dressers in areas where they traditionally did not belong; one of the many reasons I love it so much! Make sure to scroll through the close ups to check out the texture I was able to give this dresser, giving it a worn-over-time feel.


No more gabbing, here are a few more photos of my dresser transformation.





In today's world, there are innumerable resources to help you become wiser and happier... but with all these resources, they seem to have failed to produce a wiser, happier society. I mean, who doesn't want to live their best life now, right? What gives?


Before we spend any amount of time dissecting how to live, I believe we need to discuss how we think. What is wisdom? What does it really mean to be wise? Who is the proper authority on this subject?



Webster's Dictionary tells us this definition of wisdom:


1: a: ability to discern inner qualities and relationships : insight

b : good sense : judgment

c : generally accepted belief

  • challenges what has become accepted wisdom among many historians

  • —Robert Darnton

d : accumulated philosophical or scientific learning : knowledge


2 : a wise attitude, belief, or course of action


3 : the teachings of the ancient wise men



Great! I think we can all agree on these things. But measuring success in any of these areas is very subjective because the above definition fails to provide insight into what might be deemed "good sense" or "wise course of action". Who decides what are the standards anyway? How can I know that I am being wise?


The world would offer a litany of books and resources to gauge your aptitude and engage your senses. While many of them may seem helpful, most lack the most important basic understanding by which all areas should be compared - truth.


I know, I know... What does truth have to do with this? Aren't we talking about wisdom today? Yes! Wisdom starts with discerning what is true. One cannot be wise if he/she is following untrue advice.


At this point, many of you may be asking yourself how I can know real truth? I mean, she is NOT an author of a best selling book and she certainly isn't an acclaimed self-help guru. You would be correct. I will not waste your time offering my advice to you today. I want to share the teachings of someone infinitely more understanding than myself. In fact, He set the very standard by which all things are to be judged...God.


His word helps instructs us in what is true wisdom. In fact, it tells us that what the world deems wise is actually foolishness! The scriptures tell us in 2 Timothy 3:16 - 17 that, (16) All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness, (17) that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.


Okay folks, a recap. The bible just told us that scripture is useful for everything and was given that we might be equipped for all things. Light bulb moment...


With that foundation in mind, let's now move to the teachings of a very wise man, King Solomon. King Solomon is arguably considered the most wise man to ever live on Earth. The Book of Proverbs starts with a summary of his wisdom. It states,


"(1) The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel. (2) To know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight, (3) to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity; (4) to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth - (5) Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance, (6) to understand a proverb and saying, the words of the wise and their riddles. (7) The fear of the LORD IS the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.


Wow! Solomon tells us that to be wise, we must first fear the LORD! But what does it even mean to fear the Lord? Before I delve into that topic, I encourage you to finish reading what king Solomon had to say about wisdom in the rest of Proverbs, Chapter 1.


When the scriptures speak of fearing the Lord, it can mean a literal, trembling kind of fear. But I believe that the context often leads us to understand it as a reverent kind of fear. The kind that you had when you were three and your daddy or momma told you to do something. You understood that they were boss, there would be consequences if you did not follow their directions and they were much larger than you. You probably also understood that they loved you and were seeking your best interest. You trusted them. It is the same with God. He has our best interests and the interests of all His creation in mind. He loves us and can be trusted implicitly.


Somehow, as we grow older and become teens, we begin to question our parents. It is a natural part of the necessary separation that takes place. After all, our parents are fallible, human beings who make mistakes and we are not meant to dwell with the forever. But it is not so with God. He never changes; is all knowing and always correct in all His ways. He created everything and set the standard by which we are to live. In fact, we are not designed to grow-up and separate from Him. He are called to do just the opposite as we mature. We are to be more like Him, draw closer to Him and trust Him all the more. So, while our parental relationship is a foreshadowing of our relationship with God, it is imperfect in that we move apart from our parents leadership as we move toward following God directly. Our parents are there for a time while we learn in the flesh to understand the things of the Spirit. We need a physical mommy and daddy to be there to guide us until we are able to follow our eternal Father.


Right now you may be thinking, "Alright. I get we are to grow closer to God, but it is so hard to know how to live; to know the right answers and make the correct decisions."


The good news is scripture does not leave us without clear instruction. When we seek to follow God, we are able to do so even though we may not have all the answers to every bit of minutia. While the bible speaks of everything we are not to do, it gives us a great litany of things we ARE to do. One doing a quick search of the scriptures on the will of God will find many verses and need not study as for an exam to understand these simple principles. Here is a great example:


"But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you."

Matthew 6:33



There it is folks! It is God's will that we start by seeking his kingdom and righteousness and everything else will be taken care of. This is where true wisdom starts. Fearing God - Seeking His Righteousness and not our own.


For those of you who are reading this and are not Christians, this will sound like foolishness. In fact, the scriptures tell us that is exactly what the world thinks. True wisdom comes from fearing God and believing in Him as savior. It starts with our salvation.


(18) the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (19) For it is written:


“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;

the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”

(20) Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? (21) For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. (22) Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, (23) but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, (24) but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. (25) For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.


According to the scriptures, if you haven't received God's salvation, you are not truly wise and you are incapable of wisdom beyond that of the world. The good news is it does not have to remain this way. Choose this day whom you will serve. Follow Christ and make Him Lord of your life.


IF you are saved, you are already following the path of true wisdom. Take it deeper. Seek God and His righteousness DAILY. Surrender to His will. If you are doing these things, you will be able to discern what is the will of God. The scriptures tell us that the we were sent the Holy Spirit to be our Counselor. Yearn to learn of God and his Spirit will direct you in all your paths. You won't need a self-help book or direction from a renown guru peddling worldly advice. You have the ultimate life coach dwelling within you. His plan is written in your heart and in His word. Seek and you will find the truth and those treasures will become an ornament around your neck.


In parting, I am not suggesting you avoid seeking counsel from among other Christians. Quite the contrary. What I am suggesting is you discern what is correct by filtering everything through the scriptures. When we do this, we can be sure God will answer our prayers for wisdom.


James 1:5-8 gives us this promise with a disclaimer:

"(5) If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously without reproach, and it will be given him. (6) But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. (7) For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; (8) He is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways."


I once heard a pastor say, "If you cannot say Amen, say Ouch!". Right? God promises to give us wisdom when we ask, but he also tells us we are to do it in faith. That is a whole other discussion I hope to have in another blog. For now, carry this caution with you when you seek the wisdom of the Lord and have faith that God will answer what you ask according to His will.


Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Archive
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Pinterest Social Icon
  • Instagram Social Icon