I cringe when I look back at pictures of my home from when I first started blogging. It was dark and cluttered and mismatched, and not in a good way. It’s been quite the Home Before and After Evolution.
Before blogging, all of my decorating influences had been either magazines, the shows on HGTV (which I now refer to as “the real estate channel”.), or the Pottery Barn catalog. Not really trusting in what I wanted, it ended up being a mish-mosh as I waffled between what I thought,- I wanted, what was popular and what I thought other people would think. This is pre-the whole DIY, Home, Lifestyle, Instagram thing. You had magazines and a few home shows, that was it.
And even though my home was decorated in the reds, golds and greens of the early 2000’s, which are perfect for some people; I kept ripping out pictures of these light, airy rooms. Yet, somehow when I made a change such as painting a wall or getting new drapes, I might change it a shade or two an think it was a huge, bright change, but to be perfectly honest, if somebody walked in, they would never even notice it was a different shade. Even though I wanted.. no craved….change, I was truly afraid of changing, so it was almost easier to do almost nothing.
At one point I listened to a friend who helped me pick out a bunch of things for my home. Even though I wasn’t really feeling what was picked out, I went with the flow because I loved her home and I thought that I should do what she said, and what I liked I hadn’t really seen anywhere else. The fact of the matter is, I waffled. I knew I didn’t like anything she picked out, but I was too afraid to listen to my own voice, and I needed up spending a lot of money on things I didn’t like at a time when there was really no disposable income. It was money I basically threw away. I had spent too many years listening to someone else about how things should be in my home. My home looks really different now.
I think what was the turning point for me was when we were forced to do our kitchen the October before last. I wasn’t really prepared, but I knew this was probably the only chance we would be doing our kitchen for along time and with our budget; this was it. There were no second chances, so I better make sure I loved it. After lots of looking and ripping out magazine pages, and book marking blogs, I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted and instead of falling back into the same old, “what are they going to think?” mode and worrying about what other people though, I finally trusted my own gut instinct and went for it. My hand was forced, I was cornered and I decided to rise to the challenge and trust my decorating voice.
I have never regretted trusting that voice. I was so happy with how it had turned out that I finally realized that it was okay to believe in what I liked. It doesn’t matter if no one else has it in their house, or I hadn’t seen it anywhere else. I realized my home should be a reflection of us. What I and my family loved, and what we needed to do in the space we have. The bookcase we just built... I would never have dreamed of trusting myself to actually go with it two years go. Now I am so happy I took that chance, the space is already proving be be so useful… I am wondering how it would be to do one on the other side and make it more of a room.
I’ve had some people criticize that I change my house around all of the time, and they joke that it’s never the same place twice, but sometimes I don’t think it’s in a nice way. Maybe almost critical. While part of that, I admit, is a love of decorating for me, another part of that is that our lives and needs as a family are constantly changing, so of course our home will change! And how do you find out what you really like if you don’t ever try to find out? And it doesn’t cost a lot to make some of those changes, sometimes adversity in the money department can bring out the best creativity.
While homes are just places to keep our “stuff” , they are important to our lives, and when you have a home that works for you, no matter what’s it’s size, it makes life much easier to live.
*I think we all have that voice and need to learn to trust it.
*We need to believe what we see. If a room is blue, but we keep ripping out pages of red walls, even if it’s not popular, we need to trust what we want where we put our heads down at night.
* Our homes are reflections of us.. and you know what, it’s all okay.
*We need to let it be okay to change things to how we like it, even if it’s not what popular in magazines or on blogs.
*We need to not listen to people who say shouldn’t or can’t. Why can’t we, it’s our homes.
*Our homes should have function for how we live. Form follows function. And this lady it right, it does not have to be perfect to be beautiful.
*There shouldn’t be decorating “rules” or “what’s in and out”, just guidelines. I read once that a group of designers made a list and toilet rugs were out. I admit they are gross. You know what’s grosser? Kids who pee on your floor when they miss the toilet and now the grout is permanently stained… instead of a $12 toilet rug. That’s gross.
* And freedom. We should have the freedom to not measure our selves or our homes up to anyone else; “because as many people there are in the world, is as many ways there are to live.”
I didn’t say that, but I wish I did.
I hope when we have our refreshing our room’s link party February 6th, you are ready to take some risks, trust yourself, and make your home a place you truly love.
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