We recently moved into a new home, so let’s talk about home design. I’m not great at it.
“To create something exceptional, your mindset must be relentlessly focused on the smallest detail.” –Giorgio Armani
Exceptional. I like that word. It’s a good word. I want my home to feel exceptional. But good gracious, what pressure. Every single smallest detail? Let’s pretend there are no existing laundry mountains, sticky handprints everywhere, dishes overflowing, or dust that is way too comfy on everything. Take all that away, and let’s look at the decor in our home.
I’m a copier. Unashamedly. But if I can’t buy exactly the piece of furniture I see on Pinterest or match a paint color precisely to that picture I saw, I’m lost. I once abandoned an entire idea because I didn’t have the same window as the example I was trying to replicate. I don’t have the inspiration? Or trust in what looks right? Or confidence?
I end up distracted and paralyzed, ultimately adding nothing to our home or space. I’ve lived in blank walls with no adornments or lived far too long with something I hated because I didn’t have the perfect replacement right then. For example, we moved into a house with curtains made of faux leather, brown velvet, denim, and a strip of red floral fabric. No, no, not all over the place. ALL OF THAT WAS ON ONE WINDOW. And it stayed there for almost three years because I couldn’t settle on anything else.
But I want to grow. So to avoid living in a blank box, I’ve shifted my focus. I changed my purpose in cultivating the atmosphere of our home design.
What do I want to make people feel anyway? Impressed? Jealous? Curious about my paint swatches?
No. I want to curate comfort. Hospitality. Calm. Welcome. Love. These quotes (still from designers) are my inspiration now.
“Your home should tell the story of who you are and be a collection of what you love.” –Nate Berkus
“Serious is not a word that should be used in decorating.” –Kathryn M Ireland
My husband is much more aware of the blank spaces in our home and gently nudges me to focus on small areas at a time. For whatever reason, the blank wall above the toilet bothered him (I guess we’ve previously always had shelves or head knocker cabinets). He joked one day he would “put that scene from Jurassic Park up there” because he thought it would be funny. If you’re unfamiliar with the movie, it’s an iconic scene where someone runs into an outhouse to hide from a T-Rex, and well, let’s say it doesn’t work out.
As I had zero conviction about what should go in that space (we have all the storage we need, shelves seemed excessive), I thought, why not? It IS funny. We both love pop culture. We both love a good 90s throwback. Why not have a little fun with it?
So I googled pop art and found a fantastic artist who paints real-life scenes from movies and TV, and he for sure had this scene already done. And now we have a print of a T-Rex in our bathroom. Even as I write that, there’s a slight twinge of embarrassment as that feels like the opposite of design or style or adulting?
But I’m learning to ignore that twinge because WE love it. WE think it’s incredible. And if you know us, you know we love the literary and historical significance of pop culture. And I can say it is a piece that people will remember.
This silly story about a dinosaur painting ISN’T to criticize anyone else’s style. You most certainly don’t have to have a T-Rex on the wall to be “doing it right.” One of my best friends is continually adding the most classic furniture and art pieces to her home, and it is always stunning. You probably could do a whole spread featuring “vintage style” in her house alone because it is gorgeous. But it is also so comfortable. Because it flows from her natural tastes and gifting, it is seamless and only accents the feeling of family, care, and warmth I get walking into the house.
This silly story IS to encourage your uniqueness. Don’t wait to have every single piece perfect and end up with no style at all. Let your home breathe with the creativity of who you and your family are today. Collect what you love to share your story with those you welcome.