The Mental Benefits of Seasonal Decorating

Tips for Seasonal Decorating on a Budget.

How does the topic of seasonal decorating belong in the health and wellness space? The answer is actually, perfectly. That’s because there are many mental benefits associated with decorating with the seasons, and it can easily be done for very little money. To fill us in on what those benefits are and how you can do it on a budget is DIY home decorating expert and Instagram Influencer Jodie Kammerer. She’s half of the Jodie and Julie team over at the The Design Twins, where she and her sister share their best tips for DIY home decorating.

Photos of faux greenery in a cup near a burning candle and a wall display as examples of seasonal decorating

Jodie’s Story

When it comes to the mental benefits of seasonal decorating and decorating on a budget in general, Jodie speaks from a place of experience. She loved to travel the world and didn’t even have a home of her own until she was nearly 40. That simply wasn’t part of her dream. 

Photo of Jodie Kammerer
Jodie Kammerer

When she did decide that she wanted a family, she gave up traveling and focused on her children. But, as she fully admits, it took a long time to find happiness in her home. “I was really unhappy and depressed. My husband had lost his job, and he spent years trying to create a new business, so our finances were completely deteriorated.” Meantime, Jodie was trying to make ends meet as a stay-at-home mom. “I didn’t have a new dream besides what was just connected to my family, my boys, and I was just really depressed because I was within the walls of my house without a budget and without any ideas.” 

Turning it around

It all turned around when she figured out that she could apply creativity to her own home and have projects that made her feel like she was accomplishing something even on a “tiny, nonexistent budget.” In fact, one of her first very inexpensive projects was no-sew drop cloth curtains. She still considers it to be one of her “best projects ever.” Jodie says that she never would have stretched herself creatively in that way if she’d had a sewing machine, known how to sew, or could have afforded fabric or pretty pre-made curtains. “The idea that I could buy drop cloths and transform my house with no skills just blew my mind!”

Transformation through chalk paint

Another transformational decorating discovery for Jodie was chalk paint. She says that every piece of furniture in her house was hand-me-down and mostly things that she didn’t like. “Chalk paint to me was another ‘aha moment,’ where you could take old furniture, not attractive furniture and make it into something that you love. Love is a strong word, but when you take something, ugly, and you transform it with your own two hands with literally probably $20 worth of paint, it becomes love.” 

Jodie says that piece changed the room and was part of what changed her life. “I don’t know if it really looks as good as I think it looks, but that sense of empowerment, that sense of happiness that you’ve been able to do something, you’ve been able to impact your space with just your own two hands.” From there, Jodie’s home decorating and Instagram business took off because, as it turns out, many of us want at least a bit of that sense of empowerment that Jodie was able to tap into. 

I like to have things that make every season feel special.

Jodie Kammerer

Mental Benefits of Seasonal Decorating

I will fully admit that before I found Jodie and Julie, I thought of seasonal decorating as a luxury. Something that I could look forward to doing when my far-off in the future grandkids come to visit but not something worth my time, energy or money right now. Thanks to the pandemic and being confined to my home and the same surroundings around the clock, I have changed my tune. This is the sort of mental shift that Jodie already made and that many of us are just now catching up to. 

Jodie says that seasonal decorating, and even decorating in general, lets us feel like we’re not stuck. “It’s so much more than just being stuck in that physical environment. It’s being stuck without options. We want to be empowered to change our mood, our outlook and our situation.” Seasonal decorating helps us do that on a manageable scale. 

Whether we’re in the middle of a pandemic or just stuck in a rut, very few of us do well with monotony. It’s draining and can suck the energy out of us. Jodie believes that change, even in a small amount, is invigorating. That’s where seasonal decorating comes in. It allows us to play, be creative and let our personalities come through. Jodie calls this being “whimsical,” but she also calls it a worthwhile investment. “This is spending time, money and energy on creating happiness. Happiness and making family memories that are within the home.” 

Joy and anticipation

Jodie remembers that she used to look forward with great joy and anticipation to traveling outside of her house. Now, she gets that same type of excitement about decorating for the seasons. “I don’t feel that I’m missing out because I have brought that anticipation and excitement to my home and to my family. I focus on the joy that I can create within my home.” She does this by making sure that there’s something to look forward to and to celebrate for every season. 

Photo of pot of pink flower and empty wooden picture frames as an example of seasonal decorating

Tips for seasonal decorating on a budget

When it comes to tips for seasonal decorating on a budget, Jodie has plenty. 

  1. Decorate with faux flowers, plants or greenery. These are inexpensive and can be re-used in different ways from season to season. 
  2. Use pillows to easily switch up your décor. Jodie suggests buying a few pillows with covers that can slip on and off. She says that switching out two different pillowcases for a season can completely change your color scheme – especially if you keep everything else fairly neutral.
  3. Buy fresh, seasonal flowers. They’ll usually last at least a week and will do wonders for boosting your mood. 
  4. Create a vignette or a small grouping of objects that tell a story or have something in common. This can be done on a tray, a tabletop or any other smaller space and is a way to make disconnected or unrelated items look like they go together. For example, you might have small items that are all a “spring” color that aren’t otherwise related. You can also tie items together with some of your faux florals or greenery.
  5. Don’t forget wall décor. Jodie loves to change out wreaths on her walls for the seasons as well as to put faux flowers or greenery around frames or signs. She also swaps out items in a gallery wall as another way to change up a space with the season. 
  6. Change out your curtains. This is an easy way to alter a room’s look so that it reflects the season outside. Once you make the initial time and/or money investment in the curtains, it’s just a matter of storing them and possibly steaming them when you’re ready to switch them out. 
Photo of large and small light green jugs and other light-colored jugs as an example of seasonal decorating

Resources

Jodie recommends the following resources for seasonal decorating. 

  • Pillows and pillow covers – Ikea (great inserts and very affordable), Etsy (can usually buy pillow covers with or without inserts), HomeGoods, TJ Maxx or of course, you can always shop local.
  • Faux flowers, plants or greenery and wall décor – Craft stores such as Hobby Lobby, JoAnn, and Michaels. Jodie recommends shopping at these stores ahead of the season because they often have 40-50% off sales at that point. If you wait until the season starts, the sales go away. If you wait until after the season, items are picked over. 
  • Items for a vignette or collection – Dollar or hardware stores and craft stores such as the ones previously mentioned. 
  • Fresh, seasonal flowers – You can get these at the grocery store or at your local farmers’ market for under $10. 
Photo of pink and white flowers next to a white chair

Lean on your community

As we’ve seen here, seasonal decorating has many mental benefits and is something that can be done inexpensively and on a small scale. If decorating with the seasons is something that you already do, what are your favorite ways to do it? Let us know in the comments below so that we can all get ideas. 

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