I think that no matter where we live or what we live in, there is always a desire inside to truly LOVE where we are…to love where we live, yet many of us struggle to ever truly feel that way. We want to be surrounded by people we love and by things that make us feel happy and give us a sense of “home”. Some of us love to have lots of decorations and sit around items, and some of us like a very minimalist home, with few decorations and zero clutter. We are all very different, and the truth is, no matter what the latest trends and styles are, there is absolutely NO one size fits all for home decorating. This has been on my mind a lot lately as I have been decorating houses that all have had very different design styles, so I thought I would write a post about how to truly begin loving your home, along with some sure fire ways to STOP loving your home.
Listen. “Comparison is the thief of joy.” I say this alllllll the time, because it is SO dang true- especially when it comes to loving your home. There is nothing worse for your self esteem or your sense of accomplishment than to start comparing yourself to others. House comparison is one of the very worst, and as much as I loooove it, I blame Pinterest. Hear me out, I do love Pinterest. It is my biggest referrer for traffic to my blog, and it is a constant source of inspiration for many people all day everyday. The problem I have with it, and with any search engine, is that so many people get way too caught up on the images they see on there and instantly begin to have feelings of inadequacies for their own homes. It can happen in the blink of an eye. You get online to start searching for something totally innocent, such as “DIY farmhouse decor” or something…and the next thing you know, you think you need to sell everything with any color in your home because you decided you want a full blown farmhouse, fully neutral home- and yours is definitely not cutting it. Do you hear me? Have you been there? It is so easy to do, if you are not careful. I get it, I really do. There are some gorgeous homes out there…and guess what, they are gorgeously staged to perfection and many are designer homes made specifically for show. There are also many bloggers’ homes, such as mine (which is certainly far from magazine worthy!), in which we have spent lots of time staging to get that perfect Pinterest picture so that we could pin it for inspiration for others. This is meant to INSPIRE, but certainly not to cause any feelings of inadequacy. I would say this…if you are falling in the trap of constantly comparing your home to those on the internet, take a step back from looking online for a while. Focus on what you do have, without looking at anyone else’s home…and find satisfaction in that before getting back online. It will do wonders for your outlook. I promise.
Trends. This is one thing that I have never struggled too much with, personally, but I see it constantly, so I know it is definitely something that many people do. Look in 1 or 2 home magazines and you will instantly be inundated with “What is going out of style in 2017” and “What is the new style for 2017″. It is never ending. Seriously…NEVER…ENDING… As soon as you get your home to a point that you feel happy and content, you look in a magazine and see that your new cabinet color is on the way out the door this year. WHAT?? You thought it was still in style? You just spend lots of time and money getting those bad boys painted and now they are already out of style? How can you ever keep up? Well, the truth is, you can’t keep up…and you don’t need to. Simon Zingerman said this…”Don’t try to follow trends, create them.” I agree 100% with this quote. Do what YOU love. I tell all of my clients the same thing when they ask for my advice on certain things. I tell them to do what they love, whether it is “trendy” or in “style”. Of course I am not going to decorate their home in a way that will not be beautiful, but I always want THEM to love it, whether I do or not. I am not the one living there, and they are. I want them to feel happy and content and in love with their space the second they walk through the door. I want it to be home to them. I say the same thing to you right now- Do what you love. If YOU walk into your home and feel happy and content…and it feels like home to you, then you are doing what is right. Sure, it may not be trendy or even the current style of all the magazines, but in the end, it is your home, and all that matters is that YOU love it.
How to start loving your home: Decorate with Items you Truly LOVE
For me, some of my favorite home items are those that I have found at thrift stores or antique malls. I love mixing old and new, and the style of my home is definitely not one that I could ever search on Pinterest and find exact inspiration. I just know what I like, and whether it truly “matches” or not, I make it work. I have seen some people get very caught up in deciding they want to completely furnish their home immediately, but that takes the fun out of it.
Fully furnishing a home takes time. You can make it beautiful (I do this all the time with homes I decorate), but to truly furnish and have a completed look- it will take time to find those certain items that make your heart skip an extra beat. It is those special pieces that you find on a vacation that holds a specific memory, or a piece you find at an antique store that reminds you of your grandmother and something she always had, or a very unique piece you found out of the blue that you just instantly fell in love with. No decorator can create this for you. They can decorate your home beautifully, but it is up to YOU to pull those meaningful pieces together for that certain “feel” that only your home can have for you.
How to start loving your home: Go Against the Grain
Although this kind of falls into the same category as trends and comparison, I think it also different…so I separated it. This one is one that I catch myself getting caught up in the most. You see, I love color. I especially love colorful accents, such as vases, furniture, throw pillows, blankets, sit arounds, etc… I have just always loved color. In a time where neutral is more and more popular, it feels as though I am going against the grain at times. Farmhouse style is literally ALL the rage, and the thing is- I love that style. Like I seriously do. I think that is what makes it hard for me. I love so many styles, so I just mix them all and create my own! I can catch myself trying to pull away from color so that I can go more in the farmhouse direction, but in the end, it never feels completely right for me. Although it looks good when I do it, I always feel like something is missing- and that is COLOR, even if just some tints of it.
No matter what the current styles are, I can never get away from my love of color, and I shouldn’t feel like I need to. As I mentioned before, do what you love and never look back. That is what I do. I may not get the most re-pins on Pinterest for my colorful living room like someone with a neutral, totally JoAnna Gaines farmhouse living room- but who cares? Go against the grain and always do what you love. If you are true to yourself, you can never go wrong. I learn this more and more everyday, in all aspects of my life.
How to start loving your home: Size Matters, or Does it?
Back to Pinterest for a minute. SO many of the most pinned pictures we see on Pinterest are of homes that are literally mansions, or very large homes. **Side not- NOT all of them are. Many are homes just like mine that have been staged for beautiful pictures to inspire. Many are also not big homes, but we have to be careful as to which ones we are looking at.** Many of us will never live in a home of that magnitude; therefore, we will never have a kitchen or a closet like most of the ones we see. We will just never have the room to do it. When we pin these images as inspiration for our homes, we need to constantly keep in mind that many (definitely not all) of those homes are so different from what most of us will ever have or be able to do. We can use those pictures as inspiration, but we need to bring them down to size. That can be hard to do. We see those huge closets with beautiful chandeliers and their own sitting area and fancy rugs and we swoon and our hearts skip a beat. Well, let’s get real. Most of us will probably do good to have one we can actually turn around in, BUT we can still make it pretty and more appealing! I noticed that as I was pinning inspiration for my home that we plan to build, I was not being realistic about a few of the areas of my home. It became extra apparent to me when I started looking at the dimensions of the kitchen area. It was plenty big for our family and will be gorgeous, BUT it was NOT big enough to house alllllll of the amazing goodness I had pinned from other bloggers and magazines. I became frustrated because I had my mind set that mine was going to look like those, but that was not realistic. Don’t get caught in that trap. Realize what you can and can’t have and use those amazing pictures and articles as inspiration- not must haves. Make them adapt to your home, and create your own look. Trust me, it will be just as beautiful- if not better 🙂
As I finish writing this, I am just hoping this post makes some sense. I woke up during the night wanting to write it (Yes, I am totally weird), so when I feel a tug to write, I do. I just want us to all love our homes, no matter what stage of life we are in. I mean, as most of you all know (if you follow along much), I am living in a temporary mobile home right now as we plan to build our home one day (soon hopefully). I want to inspire people with pictures and projects, but I don’t ever want to be used as a comparison. I know many bloggers would say the same thing. I want to help you to understand that we are all different and we all like different things and different styles. It would be SO boring if we all decorated the same or liked the same things. Don’t fall into a “trend trap”. If you don’t TRULY love something, then by all means, do NOT change your style. You may want/need to tweak your style, but don’t change yourself to fit into a new box, just because it is the newest thing. Trust me, it will be out the door before you know it too.
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