Catch Ursula Carmona at the Minneapolis Home + Garden Show Saturday, February 28 at 6 pm, and Sunday, March 1 at 11 am, 12 pm, and 3 pm, all on the Lifestyle Stage.
The home decorating and organization blogger Ursula Carmona invites you into her life of doing more with less beautifully. The DIY behind the blog Home, Made by Carmona knows it doesn’t have to be expensive to be beautiful. Heck, it can be downright cheap.
Your aesthetic and your approach center on simplifying while beautifying. Have you always been a “beautifully organized” woman?
Ha, ha! It has been a process getting there, and that is what my blog is all about, sharing that journey one project at a time and empowering others who seek to do the same.
I love how you couch your posts in coded words (“modest budget”) and the tell-it-to-us-straight words (“miniscule to none”). Has it always been important to you to have everywoman accessibility? Is your enterprising nature about “making do with what you have”?
You have hit the nail on the head. I think we all struggle with the natural affinity to want more. However, I am learning that having things doesn't make for happiness. It has been a struggle for me, someone who loves beautiful things, to sacrifice buying what I want. But look at the return!
You’ve said that decorating is closely married to organization. That feels right, especially when I’m cleaning my house and think, “I know what would look good here…” Do you get decorating ideas as you are organizing?
Absolutely! I've always felt that a space should be just as useful as it is beautiful and vice versa. Of course, I have a weakness for pretty things, so a gorgeous space always motivates me to keep it tidy and orderly.
So much of your DIY projects give me that “You can do that at home?!” feeling, until I see your process breakdowns and how easy they are. Where do you get your creative inspiration?
We can all tap into an internal spring of creative inspiration. You spot a gorgeous throw pillow at the store and envision in your home, until you spot the price tag and run the other way. Instead I think, "How can I achieve that look without the hefty price tag?” You'd be surprised at the hacks you can invent when strong desire or necessity comes into play.
You’re also a great photographer. Tips for helping us photograph our projects and our homes?
I sought encouragement and motivation by sharing before and after photos of my projects and spaces with friends and family on Facebook long before starting a blog. They kept me encouraged, and they gave me a safe place as a creative outlet. If you are looking for motivation, think about sharing with those you love most.
You’re a mom homeschooling your three girls (ages 7, 9, and 10). How do you keep the place clean? Seriously!
As any mom learns, sometimes you have to trade cleanliness for something better—quality time, games, teaching opportunities. My house is getting organized but I can't for a moment claim that it is clean. My girls all pitch in and play their part, but that does mean that things aren't as tidy as they would be if I did it myself. And that's how it should be. The lovely thing about organizing and simplifying is spending less time stressing about an untidy house.
Top three tips for getting rid of clutter, especially kid clutter?
1. When something new comes in, something goes out. Less is always more, so the kids give back by donating. 2. Baskets and bins. I have no problem with giving my kids a few bins to toss their stuff into. It hides the clutter in a quasi-organized fashion. 3. Teaching cause and effect. The kids quickly learn that simplifying their rooms mean less time cleaning, which becomes important to them when they can't participate in their favorite pastime until their room is cleaned.
What does it mean to you to “make” a home?
Some people think skin deep, assuming that making a home is in the decorating. I'd like us to think deeper than that. "Making home" is about cultivating a space that benefits our lifestyle in some way; whether that means giving us more quality time with each other, encouraging positive habits, giving us space to relax, or promoting creativity and a positive work environment. The home should be where we can develop our best selves.
Do you just love your name or what? You have the best name!
I often joke with my husband that I married him for his last name. My blog name is Home, Made by Carmona because this home is cultivated by each and every darling member. So when you read my blog, it's not just me, it is my whole family welcoming you into the Carmona home.