Living Simply

The Truth About Decorating

When my husband and I bought our first house a little over 5 years ago, I thought I would have it decorated in one year. I thought so many people do it, it can’t be that hard.

Boy, was I wrong!

My expectations were way off! We spent the first year just uncovering all the mysteries of the house that hadn’t yet been discovered—like digging up buried sprinkler heads. Or fixing the dishwasher that overflowed into a bubbly mess onto the floor when we tried to wash our first set of dishes. Sinks that backed up ugly sewage, toilets that kept running, torn screens, electrical system problems, and a broken furnace. As if that wasn’t enough, we discovered we had termites. Coincidentally, they were coming from a mound that I had pointed out to our inspector.

It seemed like every weekend was a trip to Home Depot as we uncovered something else that was broken. I dreaded that store.

But at least the house didn’t have ugly wallpaper!

In addition to all the time we spent fixing things and the emotional energy drain that accompanies that, I had no clue what my decorating style was. Before we bought a house, I didn’t look at decorating magazines, but I began finding pictures online and in magazines and it opened up a whole new world for me. Certain rooms could evoke a feeling within me. I had never completely understood why people would spend money to go to art galleries to stare at walls of art, but I understood it now. I would stare in amazement of some of the rooms in the magazine. How did they do that? I tried figuring out what I liked in certain rooms. I began to notice patterns in what I liked, but it took time.

When it was time to take action on decorating, it wasn’t long before I became overwhelmed. I was overwhelmed with how much was out there, and overwhelmed with how to make the house feel like home, and overwhelmed with trying to fit it all in my schedule. The days kept turning and I was becoming impatient. I began to wonder, “How does everyone do it all?” I began to search for answers.

It doesn’t seem like people really talk about it much, though. We’re sold houses that have been all fixed up, we need the salary (and the job) to afford it, and then after we move in, it’s often not what we imagined simply because we don’t have time or energy to make it happen.

Instead of this:

It looks more like this:

And instead of feeling like this:

We feel more like this:

I quickly learned that decorating looks a lot easier than it is.

I can be persistent though. Hiring a decorator can be expensive, so learning what works became imperative. Envisioning a project, working to complete it, and seeing the completed project became a rewarding challenge for me.

This blog is especially for those of us who are not naturals at decorating, but who value beauty and creating an environment that feels like home. I’ll share some of our projects, along with tips I’ve learned along the way so that you can create a home and a life that is beautiful and meaningful. I invite you to join the conversation.

Has it been difficult to make your house feel like home? What obstacles have you faced?

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7 thoughts on “The Truth About Decorating

  1. Congratulations, Joanna, on your new blog. It is very informative, easy to relate to, and humorous. I look forward to your future helps and insights you and we, your readers, have to offer as we follow along.

  2. Congratulations, Joanna 👏 I look forward to reading your tips and ideas. Loved your first article as it is obvious you are excited and passionate about style with purpose. Magnifique 💛

  3. Congrats Joanna! I enjoyed reading your blog. My husband and I will be closing on our new house in less than a month! Look forward to seeing what you have to share in the future.

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