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Don't Sweat the Small Stuff... It's Your Style Anyway

Finding your style amidst the waves of designer buzz.

Beautiful seafood green waters on a beach speckled with colorful umbrellas.

Oh, the weight of Pinterest.

I confess I spend many evenings scrolling through design ideas on Pinterest. I figure, between late night TV and Pinterest, it seems the better option. I mean, stimulating your creative side is always a good idea... right?

Unfortunately, I become immediately aware of what my home is not. And worse of all, I find myself under the tyranny of designers and bloggers "fear tactics."

"7 DEADLY Mistakes Your Making in Your Home," or "Don't EVER Paint Your Bathroom this Shade of Blue." Yes, I just sealed the paint can of that exact color yesterday. Seriously? Is someone sneaking into my home to write this stuff?

On and on, my pointer finger swipes up and up and up just so I can feel down, down and more down. So, apparently, I stink - and so do you (sorry I had to be the one to tell you).

After this realization, I put my phone down and look around my den and feel a little less than perfect about my home. As a matter of fact, I'm pretty sure if any one of these designers made their way to my home, they'd feature me on their "What NOT To Do!" blog post.

How did the latest Pinterest post intended to help me make good design decisions actually cut at my creative soul?

Let's face it, my house is a home - not a designer's play house.

Eclectic Scandinavian style rustic home with warm primitive style.

A home.

You know, the place where mom and dad are, where Christmas mornings happen, where you learn to ride a bike or you have the honor to teach a little mini-me how to. And, isn't that what I really want anyway. A home, not a house. So what, you have baseboards that need cleaning ... and quite possibly completely re-painted. Actually, they should have been painted last year. Big deal, you have an out-dated kitchen sink. It does the dishes, right?

"Oh, but a farmhouse sink would make it so much better," you say.

I understand. Because the truth is, I say it, too. We all can relate.

Vintage min-century furniture with modern vase and eucalyptus branches.

Two common problems.

1. Grandma's furniture.

Here's another thing I'm sure you can relate to. We have a saying in our home called, "Grandma's furniture!" It began when the bedroom squeaky door got a good dose of WD-40. Problem solved, no more squeaky door.

Except, it worked a little too good and created a door that now would fly open at warp speed and bang into . . . grandma's furniture (hence the above term which I would yell every time someone let the door fly open). If you're fortunate, you have this same problem - something sentimental and dear to you, however out-dated it may be, HAS to stay in the family. So your stuck finding ways to incorporate these sentimental beasts into your beautiful home.

2. Unending projects.

Please tell me that I am not the only one with the endless arising of problems that need fixing. For every project I start, 10 follow. Opening a can of worms. Pandora's box. Call it what you will - the simplest of changes can lead to repairs and changes you never anticipated.

Maybe it has something to do with the years of my home or simply the laws of nature. I don't know, but somehow I start by adding a picture to a wall gallery and the next thing I know, we're ripping out the bathtub.

The Ah-ha moment.

I'm here to tell you, that after I have shut my phone off and have a moment in the comfort of my living room, I'm really ok with my home. Actually, I'm more than ok. I have a home that I enjoy, my family enjoys and lots of other people enjoy. I am blessed. I have everything I need and more.

I have a home full of what I love, the people and the things I love. Despite these "challenges," I somehow can completely relax beside the soft glow of the fireplace. The cuddling into the vintage wool blanket on the leather sofa is just so natural, no matter what design rules I've broken to get it there.

Soft worn leather sofa with coffee cup and soft throw. Perfect spot to curl up and read a book.

Our next step - together.

I'd encourage you to stop thinking that design is about completing a project or getting that exact "look." Design isn't that. Design is about building on what you already have and making it better, one step at a time. No giant leap necessary, just growth.

I'll leave you with this piece of advice. Whenever I pack up to leave somewhere we've been visiting, I teach my child to leave the place better than it was when we arrived. I expect that when you look around you "not-so-perfect" home that it is better than it was. And if not, and if it is indeed time for a little TLC, just trust yourself, be daring and be forgiving. Design is really just trial and error.

Join me, as together we figure out this thing they call design. But, more importantly, we'll figure out how to do life together and with those we love in a way that leaves our world a little better place.


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