You’ve probably heard it before, but then you open a glossy shelter magazine. Crisp and creative home décor leaps off the page at you and the feelings of “why can’t my home look like this” creep in. Clutter-free coffee tables and kitchen counters, gleaming appliances, fresh flowers on the mantle, and large-scale museum quality art pieces catch your wistful eye. We all have that feeling sometimes, even when we love our homes. I always challenge myself with this question:
Would I really want to live there? Can I see myself living—really LIVING—in that space?
Maybe I’d like to visit. Even stay overnight. But what about all the things in my home that make it uniquely mine? Truth? I would miss it all. Because home décor is a personal thing. It’s about surrounding yourself and your family with mementos and decorative pieces, photographs and art work that mean something to you.
Not long ago, I mentioned on my blog that my home was suddenly (or so it seemed to me!) filled with Southern Living at HOME/Willow House products. Granted, that’s my business and those products are lovely and high-quality. But what did all of those beautiful pieces mean to me? I took inventory. And I realized that as lovely as they were, many of those pieces had no significance to me and my family, they didn’t really speak to me. Somehow I had fallen prey to the More Is More thought process.
I was baffled. And humbled. I’m not one of excess. I love my home in our upper middle-class suburb and am a DIY’er whenever possible to stay within my budget. And I love to be ever-changing my décor, so I DIY a lot! How did I fall off the wagon, lose my way? How did our home become more of THAT, and less of US? How did I lose the heart in my own home?
“Home is to be the refuge we run to after doing battle in the world. It should be where we are reminded of who we are, to whom we belong, and what really matters in life.” ~Terrie Willets, Creating a SenseSational Home
I packed some away. I gave some away. I sold a few in my inventory clear out. And I took inventory again… this time of myself: who I am, to whom I belong, and what really matters to me.
I got out and polished up my family silver pieces.
And dusted off my favorite paintings…one from a trip to Santa Fe [my first REAL art purchase!]
And a couple done by my great-grandmother, C. K. Owens.
I showcased my favorite antique books that belonged to my grandmother.
And a glass hurricane filled with corks from special occasion celebrations, since my husband and I married five years ago.
You see, even though I always had family photos scattered through-out my house, I wanted more. More that spoke of us, our family, what was important to us.
My home will probably never be featured in a magazine or on a high-traffic blog, but it’s uniquely mine…ours. You’ll find football cleats outside my kitchen door (sometimes even inside the kitchen door) and the dog dish that needs rinsing. You’ll find homework strewn on my dining room table and newspapers on the family room ottoman. You’ll probably even find toothpaste in the kids’ bathroom sink. But when I look around at my décor—my paint colors, the art work and upholstery, the photos and antique books, the mirror that belonged to my grandmother and the dated needlework piano bench cushion done by my other grandmother’s hand—I’m right at home.
Oh, I’ll still cave to the “why can’t my home look like that” feelings and every so often I will buy something for my home simply because I love it or it’s beautiful to me. And that’s okay, because it’s personal.
Challenge for spring: Clear out what is not meaningful, beautiful, or useful in your homes. You’ll breathe easier, too.
And just for you FLT readers… I’m offering 10% off your entire purchase of Willow House products and $5 shipping through April 30th. View my online catalog HERE (http://heidimilton.willowhouse.com) and send an email to me (email@example.com) with your selections, your shipping address and phone number in the email and the code “Fancy10” in the subject line of your email. I will contact you to finalize payment. You’re sure to find something beautiful and useful for making your home your own.
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