Fighting the Desire to Decorate to Perfection


When things started looking like we were actually going to get this house, I vowed that I would not obsess over decorating it. I vowed that we would tend to the essentials (like beefing up attic insulation and adding deadbolts to the exterior doors) before I would get bogged down in things like mixing and matching and searching out new furniture.

Oh, the good intentions.

Before we had even wrapped up our due diligence period, I was already getting distracted in my Bible reading with thoughts of coordinating paint chips and arranging furniture.

I realized it and I hated it, because that’s not what makes a house. So many people spend so much time decorating and fixing up without really enjoying it, without really sharing the space—which is what really makes a house a home.

I want to ease into this little homestead of ours, take some time to get to know it before I start ripping up carpet and staining the cabinets. I want to get to find my place in it before I jump head over heels into the stuff decorating blogs are made of.

I want to take my time building up this home, bit by bit, rather than feeling the burden of filling it up, nook and cranny, right now. I want to savor the process of that rather than zip straight through to the very end.

I want to practice patience with what we’ve got going on here. Because we plan on staying here for awhile. We plan on putting down roots and raising a little family here. There ought to be no rush.

But that is easier said than done, it seems. Especially now, when I find that as much as I try to fight those reveries, all too often they win out and I realize another hour has passed as I’ve been rearranging imaginary tables and chairs and mixing made-up paint colors in my head.

For now, I take a deep breath and remind myself that I have all the time in the world to nest and make pretty our new perch. I remind myself that it’s okay if a corner sits bare for a few months—even longer—while we figure out what goes there. I remind myself to be comfortable in the tension of the imperfect and the rough-around-the-edges.

Because that is real life.

Welcome, home.

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Experiments in Decorating
The Process of Turning a House into a Home

10 comments:

  1. wow, i feel just like you right now. me and my husband just got our own first apartment together and it takes everything in me not to stress over how spotless and nicely decorated it is!

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  2. Good reminder. We moved into a rental house on Monday, and even though I don't know what goes in all my kitchen cabinets yet, I'm thinking about what should go on that bare kitchen wall. Moving always seems to bring about spending, but I need to make sure the money we spend this month is NECESSARY, especially since we still have double rent payments for January!

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  3. I know how you feel, Carmen, I have felt the same. I have felt so much that way that trading 2,400 sq. ft. for 400 caused some big anxieties for me at first. For the first time since I've been out of my parent's house, I'm limited in the home décor department.

    I think, as women, we can be such "Marthas" sometimes. I'm trying to me more of a "Mary"; whenever I get anxious I just open my Bible and try to calmly and quietly site and listen to what God has to say.

    You do have time to nest and make your home your own. It is hard to want to do everything NOW in stead of being patient. I struggle with that too.

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  4. Empty spaces are a blessing, they get filled up so quickly when kids start coming!

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  5. Thanks for your comments and encouragements, ladies!

    I think it definitely is part of that whole "Martha" complex, feeling like there's so much to done that we forget the essential.

    Love the reminder, Anonymous!

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  6. This was a much needed reminder! I just moved into a new place cross country this week, which means that I sold most of my furniture and decorations. I've felt this ever lengthening shopping list in my head because of the emptiness and bare walls, but the truth is it doesn't matter. There's something precious about a bare slate. I'm going to try and leave it for awhile :)

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  7. can totally relat to this. great blog!

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  8. I'm right there with you as I imagine the life of my fiance and me together after we're married! (Mantra: I don't care about stuff, I don't care about stuff...)

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  9. I was the same way when we bought our house a year ago. Somehow I managed to stay patient. We've been slowly redoing things here and there, and just now (after fresh paint) I'm considering what we'll actually hang on the walls. Hope you truly enjoy your new home and the wonderful friends and family who will fill it.

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  10. Thank you for speaking to my soul! I just discovered your blog and I feel like we have so much in common! I am a senior about to graduate college and all I can think about sometimes is the place I will live after this! (I'm currently a Resident Assistant- so still in the dorms!)I am SO glad to hear that I'm not the only one who gets distracted in my Bible reading by thoughts of furniture and crown moldings! :) I can tell this will be a place of encouragement for me! :)

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