Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Second-Guessing

In the past ten years, because we moved so often, I got to the point of being able to decorate my house and be done with it within a few months of moving in.  We’re coming up on two years in this house, and much of it is still basically untouched from the day we moved in.

Maybe it’s because we plan to be here for the foreseeable future, and so I’m more afraid of making a mistake, but I haven’t been able to pinpoint what I want to do decor-wise around here.  More specifically, my ideas have changed several times.

Several months ago I became enamored with Holly’s all-white style at Life in the Fun Lane.

funlane

I was even working towards that end, but have since come to realize that it just ain’t gonna happen.  I have carpet, not dark wood floors, I don’t have soaring ceilings and wide open spaces; it just wouldn’t look the same in my house.

I also got all excited about this bedroom from Sarah Richardson.  I do still really like the basic look, but my furniture is different, and my budget is certainly different.  So again, I’m not sure that I’d be able to pull it off.

sarahs-master-bedroom_b

I totally fell in love with this stairway, and the horizontal planks specifically.  Now I’m seeing planked walls everywhere; seriously, next time you pick up a decorating magazine or catalog you’ll see what I mean.  I still love it, but I don’t know where I would put it in my house, or if it would look totally weird to have this in a new suburban house.

stairs source

Where am I going with this?  I’m not sure, except to say that I’m stumped.  There is so much great inspiration out there, both professional and through blogs.  I see a lot of things that I like, but right now I’m having trouble putting it together in a way that will work for my house.  Maybe I’m trying too hard.

How have you found a cohesive look for your home that you love?  Or have you?  Is your decor just sort of accidental?  What works for you?

30 comments:

Sarah said...

Wierd, reading through....Sarah and I have the same name Sarah Richardson. Common I know....but still wierd!

Mel said...

Holly,
I've experienced the same thing. My biggest obstacle is having the vision to see something that I love in my own space.
When I moved in 8 years ago, I went crazy decorating because the house was in rough shape. Then I lost interest. For some reason, I started redecorating last year and I haven't stopped since. But, it's evolving into what it will be, not a vision that I had planned. That's going to have to be good enough :)

southerninspiration said...

Yes, I so understand what you mean....I live in two worlds...what I think looks really cool and great, and then reality (what my husband likes, what's affordable, and what I can actually do/get done!)....it's a REAL balancing act to be content with reality! But dreams are ok, too......I can enjoy pics of those kinds of spaces knowing that it won't be my reality (except in a vacuum, and then would I really enjoy it???)...so I feel your opposing sentiments. As long as my family and guests feel loved, the rest is just icing.....I am however stimulated by being surrounded by beauty, and that is subjective. So I would say don't stress, just find a style you can live with and be the best you can be in......make sense?

Suzanne

The DIY Show Off said...

We're trying for a farmhouse style. Well, I am. My husband likes touches of industrial and he also likes traditional. So, it's always a challenge. We don't have one set style and during renovation, I'm just doing what I love, what we can afford and what we can DIY one room at a time. By the time I finally get our home completed, I have a feeling my style will change and I'll have to start over. lol It's not easy but all that matters really is that we're happy and comfortable. My husband reminds me constantly that our home isn't a design magazine and I'm not Martha Stewart. ;)

Roeshel

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Well, you could just copy and paste Suzanne's comment for me. ;) What I think is fabulous and what my husband thinks are two different things these days. He is NOT a guy who is open to change. ;) My biggest problem these days is knowing the general direction I'd love to take, but having zero funds to get there. :(

The blogging world can be a bit of a downer b/c I see so many fabulous projects that I'd love to try, but I don't have the extra money to give them a shot. Maybe someday. :)

Beverly @ The Buzz said...

I think I was doing all right until I started blogging. Then I saw all the fabulous projects and makeovers of others and I wanted everything I saw! I was out buying birds and birdcages, tearing up old books, etc. And I was miserable. It finally dawned on me that I don't even like birds--and mutilating books hurts my stomach. ;-) I had to stop and take several deep breaths, then refocus on what I like and want in my home. Even if it doesn't suit others. Since I've calmed down, I (and my husband) are a lot happier.

Missy K said...

Well, I think you're normal! :-) What I mean is, unless you want that "out of the box" look, decor is always an evolving process. For me, it has been a process of separating what I admire and appreciate from what I really want to live with day after day. I admire those clean, neutral spaces, but my soul craves warm, rick color and texture.

I have big folders of tear sheets, and I tear things out of magazines that I respond to, without analyzing them too much. Then I flip through the pages and look for colors, elements, styles that start recurring. Or I'll visit a blog I'm attracted to again and again to pinpoint what I'm responding to. That is how I ended up painting my kitchen cabinets black.

I think you'll know when you start moving in a direction that feels right for your family. And my philosophy is that a home for a family should to some extent be an authentic reflection of the people who live there, so that includes husband and sons. The space I would design to perfection on my own would not be complete without elements of them in it.

Country Dreaming said...

I have had the same feelings that Amanda and Beverly have in regards to blogging and I have had to change MY way of thinking.
I started blogging for fun and in order to keep it that way I have to look at some of this stuff as suggestions and move on.
We are comfortable in our home and for the most part I'm happy with the decor. Of course, there
are things to chsnge and that does take a little moola so those are put on hold for now.
Relax, take it slow and think about what make YOUR family comfortable at home.
Unfortunately we aren't all Martha and can't change our worlds on a whim.
Good Luck!

Melinda

lagirl said...

I always start with color - my favorites and it seems everything falls into place after that.

Angie @ The Country Chic Cottage said...

I am a little of it all. I usually tackle a room at a time, or a surface at a time (say a shelf). Not to be so overwhelmed. And I would say we are just "country" people so yes our house flows with that style. Until you get to the kid's rooms that is..sigh...

Nank said...

You are talking to a woman to can find a really cute set of coasters at a thrift store, (yes, coasters,the things you put under a sweaty glass in the summertime here in Phx.) and need to redecorate the whole house to match them. Well, maybe I'm not that bad but almost. I think Beverly hit it on the head. I have always had a decorative flair but when I found all these creative blogs I started shopping with a fervor previously stifled by common sense. I must duplicate everything I see here. It's a sickness, really. I don't know how some people do it without flea markets, swap meets, yard sales, thrift stores, etc. To live a true eclectic lifestyle they are invaluable. That's right I would say that my home and I are eclectic. Interpret that any way you wish.

mom2three said...

I love the stair case, do you think that would look weird if I put it in a 1 story house?

For years I have loved the all natural and white look but because I have kids I tend to stick to the taupe's and dark colors...someday!

Amber @ Two Nuts in a Shell said...

Me and my husband are just finally starting to discover our style. He's always liked (what I call) "comfy country:" think well loved furniture, comfortable sofas, a home where you can just come home and flop. I've always liked a more polished style, almost leaning towards modern (without getting into all the shiny surfaces). And we've both always loved touches of our heritage, Irish and Scottish.

So, we took all those things and found a way to make them work together. We call our style "Irish Farmhouse Modern." Pallets of greens, blues, and some yellows. Slipcovered sofas, turned wooden legs, distressed furniture, and touches of metal (think mercury glass, zinc, brushed nickle).

It's kind of like French Country without being too shabby chic; Farmhouse without being too kitchy.

Mandi @ Finding Home said...

Ya know, this is actually the second post I've read in the past few minutes where someone has been in their home around two years and is having design dilemas. I'm right there too - right down to the two years. When we moved in, I thought I wanted Tuscan - rod iron accents - the whole nine yards. Dark. But as I've gotten to know myself more, looked at more blogs, more house photos, I've come to find my style drastically changed. Light and bright - give me nuetrals any day. Black, white, cream, browns, taupes. Which is opposite of me in life - bright, bubbly (or so I've been told) love to wear color. But the more I put together the things that make my heart beat faster - rustic worn wood, chunky frames, white accents, black furniture - the more I see myself come together. I've been tricked, I think, by reading so many blogs - thinking that every project I see would work for me in my home just because I liked it. By trial and error, I've realized, I'll never like scrapbook paper in my home (though I have mounds of it!), I doubt I'll ever hang the windows that I love so much on my walls, and I don't think I'll ever have a red couch (though I think I'd love it - I bet I'd get sick of it fast). I'm leaning more towards Farmhouse minus so much of the chippy paint, Pottery Barn minus the price tag and a lot bit of Country Living mixed in. I wish I had some advice for you - but as you can see, I'm sort of there along with you. I've found that collecting photos of things I loved helped me develop a pattern in finding what really spoke to me. (White kitchens, groupings of black and white photos, neutral walls...) You may see a pattern and that may help you. Good luck!! Sorry for the novel. :)

Erin said...

Oh, I know what you mean! I know that this house we're in is not a forever house, so I feel more freedom in decorating however I want. I have a vision in my head of what specific style I want, and it's a little funky. But since it's not permanent, it doesn't scare me. Maybe I need to have the same attitude when we have a forever house! By the way, I just blogged about sweater pillows I made, inspired by you. Thanks!

Miss Obara said...

I am in EXACTLY the same boat as you. Going on 2 years in the house...and it still doensn't inspire me!

Ruth said...

I can completely relate. There is so much inspiration but it is hard to take what you like and make it your own in your own space. That will take time and some trial and error.

Good luck with your decorating tries.

Ruth

Pine Tree Home said...

I just pick little things that I can do in small amount of time. I have run into same depressing feeling from time to time though. Like when I really wanted to add board and batten to my small bath. After really studying it, the placement of the boards just are not going to work around vents, fixtures, windows, etc. So, I move on. If only we could have MANY houses to decorate.

Melissa said...

Ours is a blend of accident, frugality, and laziness. Our walls are bare except for a few family photos and our framed wedding invitation.

I have something for you at my blog:
http://www.frugalcreativity.com/2010/02/kreativ-blogger-meet-some-new-blogging.html

Carrie said...

Since we're in mid-swing of a whole-house renovation, I'm still in the dreaming phase. I promised myself that with this house, I'll resist the tempation to pick up random decor here and there. Instead, I've resolved to stick to the dreaming phase until the remodeling is complete. For now, my inspiration rooms are simply ripped from the pages of catalogs and taped at the doorways of the "real" room in progress. To me, it's like painting a 3' by 3' paint swatch. I have to look at it for a while before I "marry" it!

Anna said...

I love that blog too. I just painted my living room a light gray color inspired by another blog "Dreamy Whites". Of course I still have dark furniture and while I don't have much money to spend re-decorating every time I see something new I like, paint is something that can change the mood of the room and you can work with what you have, well, that's what I try to do!

Laurie - Little Blue Chairs said...

To answer your question I think my decorating is a happy accident. I look at my decorating style as a journey. It is never really finished, and is always evolving. My budget is never large, and I take inspiration from where ever I find it.

I love all your thoughts, and I understand the dilemma. I love the all white rooms, but really don't know if I can actually live in one.

Paige said...

Beverly at The Buzz hit the nail on the head for me. I find that the more time I spend away from blogs the more content I am with my house.

Tales From My Empty Nest said...

Having had a wedding, one daughter in college/graduate school and now another daughter in college, there is no decorating budget to speak of at my house. There is so much that needs to be done here, but the funds are just not there. Slowly, but surely it will get done, but I am just not worrying about it now. My home is not the most up to date, but it is very warm and inviting and that is OK with me. I want to enjoy life along the way and not get caught up in having my house perfect. Love & blessings from NC!

Frugal Home Design said...

It can be very paralyizing. My biggest downfall is artwork. I have empty frames going up my stairs--they have been empty for proably 6 months, I have a huge wall above my couch that is completely blank. I don't know what my problem is, is like I can't make a decision for fear it will be wrong. I also change my mind on what I like so much that if I like it today, there is a good chance I won't tomorrow.

The Poppy Home said...

I too have felt like so many of you with second guessing myself. I help other people with these kinds of decisions for a living and when it comes to our home, I second guess! (we are coming up on 2 years in our new home too... funny)
But at the beginning of the year I took a step back and started to use my own advise to others. Trust what you like..... buy what you love. It always comes together.
Looking at what others have done in blog world has actually helped me refocus to trust my gut and eye. Everyone is so talented and inspiring. While I love all the light, white, crisp and clean, it is impossible with kids, dog & husband. So my advise to you is to step back, take a breath and trust in your sense of personal style and eye. Incorperate what you can from inspiration and admire what doesn't work in your own space.
There is no place like home... Jen

::cottage instincts:: said...

I'm in this quandry constantly. I wrote a couple posts about how I sort thru inspiration, might help a bit.... if you search 'ruminating' on my blog, you'll find 'em.

And I think your house is beautiful Holly!

nouveaustitch said...

I think lately I've been experiencing creativity overload. When you're a creative person that doesn't fear digging right in, you see something you like and it's as good as done. I've fought the urge to change my home from the colors I selected during new construction five years ago to linen white, gray and cream. I contemplated burlap and chippy white furniture salvaged from some magnificent thrift shop I have yet to visit. Who can redo their home as often as design styles change? I mean, really, are those sloppy slipcovers all that easy to keep looking nice? And what becomes of the "old" pieces? In my case, my attic is bursting at the seams and I only have two kids to dump stuff on. Fortunately for me DIL has no time to decorate so she'll gladly take my cast-offs....for now. I think I'll stick with the basics I have, add a nice new piece of something fantastic now and then and be content. I just don't have the energy it takes to change this up all the time!

Ellen

Xazmin said...

I really have NOT been successful. There's so much I want to change about my house, but I keep changing my mind on how exactly I want to change it!

I also see things I just fall in love with, then realize that I'm not so sure they'll work in my space!

I feel your pain!

Kate @ TheAnniversaryHome.com said...

I feel like singing Michael Jackson....You are not alone, WE are here with you...

Sometimes I feel paralyzed at the thought of all the decorating that needs to happen in our house. And I say needs - because it's got neon green walls. Couple that with the fact I'm not an intensely creative or visual person, and it can be overwhelming.

Lots of people have suggested breaking it up room by room and I couldn't agree more. We're starting with the guest room, but I still see pictures of stairways and gardens and bedrooms and bathrooms. They distract me! Try starting with one room and go with it.