I am 35 years old. I am a grown adult. I’ve owned a house since 2002. We paid off our last house before we sold it (for sale by owner even). We moved into this new-to-us-house last year. We paid that off just months after moving in.
SOOO….please explain to me why I felt that I needed permission to decorate it? Or to remodel anything? Why did I feel that I didn’t have the right or the expertise to make this house my own? Why?
It wasn’t my husband. It certainly wasn’t my 2 boys (particularly because neither of them know their colors yet). Pinterest is full of people DIYing things and explaining what they did, so it couldn’t have been lack of resources.
But I did. I felt unable to make decisions about my own home. I felt paralyzed. Maybe because there were too many choices? Maybe because I don’t really know my style? Maybe because I’m kind of a people pleaser and just know/knew that some people wouldn’t like the decisions that I make?
But I read a book that gave me permission. It did. My sister had recommended her book and it finally came up on my hold list at the public library. (Literally like 2 days after I had drafted a post asking for recommendations on hiring an interior decorator because I just couldn’t handle my own indecision.)
I read it in 1 night. 1 night!!
It’s Myquillyn Smith’s The Nesting Place: It Doesn’t Have To Be Perfect To Be Beautiful.
What’s kind of funny about this is that I don’t really see myself going for a “beautiful” home, so the title doesn’t really meet me. Sure, some things about houses on the Street of Dreams appeal to me, but not all of it. And I think Beautiful Homes & Gardens magazines has some great stuff, but it also has stuff that isn’t really my style. And I live in a very modest 3-bedroom tri-level in the middle of America.
I just want MY HOME. For my family. A comfortable place. But that’s what this book was about. Some key take-a-aways for me:
- Don’t be afraid to start down the decorating road. You may not end up where you think you’ll end up, but so what?
- I don’t need to know what life will look like in 15 years before I start decorating or remodeling. If I serve the needs and interests of 15-years-from-now Jayme, then I won’t really be serving the interests of all-those-years-in-between Jayme.
- To get your husband on board, tell him what he needs or wants to know. My husband just wants to know the big picture (aka: what’s it gonna cost?). He isn’t into the details. He doesn’t want to talk about satin vs. semi-gloss paint. Or if we should go with these coat hooks from Lowes vs. these other ones from Amazon. Some husbands need the details, especially if they’re involved in doing the work.
- Figure out what your barriers are and what it takes to work around them. Lacking a skill? Either develop it, hire it out or find a friend you can borrow from to get ‘er done. Example: maybe you don’t like to paint, but your friend does. She might be more than happy to paint your bedroom for you if you babysit her kids for a few hours. For me, it was too many choices and feeling like I was going to disappoint other people. People that don’t live here. People that might even only exist on the internet.
- At the same time, don’t settle for what you don’t really want in hopes that it’ll make you forget what you do want. You can spend years and lots of money filling up a room with things to compensate for the fact that you hate your flooring. In the long run, it might be cheaper to change the flooring! (This doesn’t mean that money is no object, but don’t solve the problems that don’t need solving).
I’ve read the book. I’ve taken it to heart. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve “installed” a new entryway coat hook feature. I’ve swapped the boys’ room in preparation for the new little one. I’ve re-painted and decorated Finn’s room. I made a decision on curtains for our living room. (I wrestled with that for months!) And I finally feel free to start thinking about other things that I want. They won’t happen all at once. Money and time aren’t unlimited, but I NO LONGER FEEL PARALYZED IN MY OWN HOME!
Can I get an Amen!?