Dining room with fireplace in the background
November 1, 2017

Making Your Mobile Home Feel Like Home

A Peek at the Style of My Mobile Home

“Achieving that well-put-together and home-y feel is all in the details.” – Rachel Johnson

I’m a pretty practical and simple kind of gal.

After buying our mobile home back in 2013 as broke newlyweds, with only the barest of necessities, decorating wasn’t high on our priority list. In fact, we spent our first few months sleeping with our mattress on the floor, using red and blue lawn chairs in the dining room and ignoring the broken bottom drawer of our dresser.

The reality is, after buying a home, mobile or not, it’s likely any “extra” money went to unexpected moving expenses and restocking the fridge and pantry. It’s easy to feel the pressure of instantly creating a showroom-ready house, but this idea can be truly overwhelming and can steal the joy of your new home. Realistically, it will take a few months, even a year, of living in your home – truly understanding how you function in it – to be able to achieve that feeling of home.

A used table, thrift store paintings, and gifted vases make a tidy and purposeful entry.

Some things to observe as you are considering design plans might include:

Where Does Everyone Gather?

It seems obvious the answer to this is the living room. I thought so, too. But, because I seem to constantly be cooking, doing laundry, or putting things away, the living room is where the least of our living is done. So, I put more energy into our bedroom and dining areas.

Where Does Everyone Move?

It will take some close observation, but eventually, you will notice the path your family takes as they walk through your home. This will give you an idea of where not to have high-maintenance furniture or rugs that will be quickly worn and dirtied by sticky fingers and muddy shoes.

Where Does Everyone Fit?

I was so excited to have a “dining room” in our house. I mean a room just for dining? I quickly found out, however, we simply didn’t fit in the dining room when it came to holidays and parties. I had to make the practical decision of creating a space in the huge living area rather than trying to force one in the “correct” room. The dining room later became my office and is now my toddler’s play area.

Dining Room with home made table
My husband built our huge 8×5 dining room table. The chairs were a Craigslist find.

So, how exactly do you afford everything that will make your design dreams a reality?

Well, it can either be really expensive. Or, you can take my advice and save yourself a lot of money!

Put the Word Out!

My first suggestion for furnishing your home without forking out thousands of dollars upfront or adding another monthly payment to your bills (boy those months go by quickly, don’t they?) is to put out the word to friends, friends of friends, family, extended family – everybody that you would be happy to take unwanted furniture or décor off their hands.

This will mean that sometimes you get really great stuff and other times you’ll kindly say“thank you” and it will never see the light of day in your home. Take the good with the bad, be thankful, and make it work for you!

To bring new life into previously-loved furniture, I’ve re-upholstered benches, painted frames, scrubbed and oiled old wood, and pressure-washed rugs. A little elbow grease can really go a long way!

Get Thrifty!

Achieving that well-put-together and home-y feel is all in the details. It’s likely if you’re buying a new mobile home, your finishes are already updated, so you won’t have to worry about fresh paint or deep cleaning. (Our home was a lovely shade of mellow yellow and as you can imagine, it was the first change we made.)

Get crafty and get thrifty to add those necessary details! 
Thrift stores and yard sales are chock full of wall art, picture frames, mirrors, vases, decorative plates, little tables – the list goes on. Where you might spend between $50 and $100 on just two decorative pieces at a big store, that money will bring home a whole truckload of goodies from the thrift store.

The total cost of this mantle was less than $6.00. Most of which went to printing our family pictures.

Build it Yourself!

Some of my favorite pieces in our mobile home are the ones my husband and I built together. A few months after moving in, we drove past a pile of free wood. We threw it in the back of the truck and put together an end table for the living room. It took about two hours of our time and 20 screws.

My sweet little DIY shabby-chic end table.

Our dining table was a little bit more of an undertaking, but we saved hundreds of dollars and built a table big enough for 12 people! We’ve hosted Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays, and numerous dinner parties. It has a simple design but has never failed to be the star of our gatherings.

Dining room with table
“There will be fingerprints on the windows and possibly chocolate milk on the floor, but that’s life. And this is home.” – Rachel Johnson

Everyone is different, and maybe some of these ideas don’t work for your lifestyle or how you envision your home. But for me, I crave comfort, simplicity, and ease.

I want to have a home that feels cozy and lived in. I’m not seeking anything magazine worthy. I’m all for a relaxed, welcoming environment. A place where people can kick their feet up, enjoy some good food or take a nap if they want to.

There will be fingerprints on the windows and possibly chocolate milk on the floor, but that’s life.

And this is home.

Grazing Cattle viewed from a car window.

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