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Your decorating style takes time to find

So it seems that I am unintentionally onto a series. I want to continue all week talking about things that are near and dear to my heart with the journey of decorating. Today, I want to talk about why your decorating style takes time to find, and it’s o.k. if you haven’t gotten there yet. it was  a discovery process or me and still is. First things first, a reader asked me to show a picture of my  messy house. Just once, I am going to show you a picture that embarrasses me. I am going to show you a picture of what my front entry looks like when I clean it up and style it, and then I am going to show you a picture of our daily life with the backpacks, and coats, an how the little people leave their stuff everywhere. And the shoes…… Ack. FYI, yes, there are only 5 people living here, but I do have 3 girls. Oh,the shoes. Now, don’t say that I’ve never given you a gift. When I did our front entry few years ago, it was so I could have a more organized front entry and not trip over stuff when we came in. Oh, how those kids know how to thwart my plans. Here you go, I think this is the first time I’ve done a reverse reveal!


White painted walls and a vintage sign

And now real life from my phone. I’m telling you, no one around here knows what a coat hook is. Why hang it up when you can just leave it on the floor? That would be ridiculous. I’ve failed as a mother.

Yes, that is a BUCKET of shoes. An entire bucket of shoes. And then they go outside in the wet grass in their socks. I just don’t understand.

Front entry mess

For years, when I first started out on my journey of style self-discovery, my house looked jumbled together, I wanted it to look good right away when I started blogging, so, in frustration, I stared hacking things without really thinking about it, like these drapes(we are going way back here.).  My “making” wasn’t very well-thought-out, and I tended to slap things together. Some projects ended up being terrible missteps, but sometimes they worked out, and it was a discovery of what worked. I also faced a lot of self-doubt. In fact, one person who was years ahead of me in her exploration of style, told another person in confidence that my house looked like it was a “mess” and I had “no taste”. Well, it managed to get back to me, and I can tell you year later, it still stings.

I mean, technically,she was right. At the time, we were one one salary, in debt, with three kids under the age of 6. I was struggling. In fact, I love my kids with every inch of my being, but being a mother was hard for me sometimes. Mornings have always been a struggle for me, and getting up in the morning with early risers  was torture. When they were babies, I could barely manage to spoon cereal in their mouth with one-eye cracked open and a cup of coffee in my other hand, let alone keep up on the house. The day they could get up and get their own cereal, and I could stay in bed past 5 a.m., was the day the angels opened the heavens and sang to me. I remember just trying to get through the day and trip over their messes, and run them here and there,let alone make everything look pretty, so that comment really stung. Sometimes it still hangs in the back of my mind today, and I have a fairly thick skin. Which reminds me. If you ever hear someone say something bad about me, don’t tell me. I don’t wanna to know.

Living room before staging- Your decorating style takes time

Luckily, I had a good friend very kindly tell me, “It gets better. My house looked like that too. The kids grow, you get a better handle on it. It will come.”  And she was right, but for a long time, I felt very frustrated that we couldn’t afford just to buy things to make it nice, like everyone else seemed to. I thought I could buy a bunch of nice things in a room and call it a day.

I agreed to participate as a house in a home staging class. It was embarrassing, I felt like everything I owned was complete crap, and I could barely keep goldfish crackers off the floor. Putting that aside,I cleaned the main level and let them in. It opened my eyes to that maybe it wasn’t what I had, but how I used it. Not everything I owned was awful.

LIving room after staging

 But the staging opened my eyes to “putting it all together”. It made me realize that I could have a nice house with what I had now.

It’s funny to me now that something I struggled with years ago, I now do for other people and real estate listings. Over time, my style did emerge.

Boho lliving room with White walls in Crystal clear white

I learned to keep what I like,and ruthlessly get rid of what I didn’t. It’s hard to let go of stuff when you are conditioned to not have a lot of money. I’ll go more into that in another post.

The kids have grown, a bit, and I’ve been able to have more time to make things nicer.I have eventually gotten there, on very little cash too. So, if you are feeling like you aren’t there yet, give yourself some grace! Your decorating style takes time, no matter what your age, you will get there!

Tomorrow I want to share with you why budget decorating doesn’t always mean cheap…Because it doesn’t.


  1. This is a very nice encouraging post – Thank you. And I agree with you, if somebody says something bad about me, unless I can and should correct it, I don’t want to know.

  2. I love that you stumbled onto this “series” – it keeps it very real, and is very encouraging. I am convinced that our HGTV world has thwarted our own creativity and individuality, as well as stokes the fire of discontentment. Thanks for going against the grain – very refreshing.

  3. It’s good for blog readers to see that the bloggers they love actually are human, and sometimes have a mess in their house. Thanks for the pics. Someone once told me they got their family to stop leaving stuff everywhere by putting everything that was laying around the house into a big trash bag and putting the bag on the far end of the garage. Then when someone wanted something they had to go in the cold garage and dig through the bag. I never tried it because, by that time, my kids were grown, but I sure would give it a shot now. Nothing to lose and maybe something would be gained. Just maybe, if one of the kids was about to leave their shoes in the living room, they would think twice, knowing they’d have to go out and find them next time they wanted to wear them. Just sayin’

  4. I remember once complaining to my mother about the constant mess in my home when I was a young mother. She said someday when your children are grown you’ll be sitting in a clean lovely decorated room alone and you’ll wish they were there making a mess. How right she was! Embrace the mess! Thankyou for your honesty. Your home looks very loved and lived in!

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