The Process of Turning a House into a Home

A few months ago, I found myself unsubscribing from a bunch of blogs that I was reading. It wasn't because they were completely irrelevant to my life or because they were wasting my time.

It was because they were beautiful. Too beautiful.

They featured homes that were filled to the brim with shopping trips to Anthropologie and West Elm. They redecorated at the drop of a hat, like it was nothing at all.

I found myself thinking, "Oh, I want one like that!" "Oh, I wish I could do / find / buy that!"

And slowly I realized that too much unrealistic eye-candy isn't always a good thing, when it causes your heart to start wishing and wanting and dwelling on what it doesn't have.

It's been a little dilemma for me, regarding this. It's not that I anticipate that my decorating could compete with those sorts of blogs. But sometimes I wonder, when we post what our homes or closets look like (and only the pretty places, of course, never the laundry piles or unfinished corners!), are we actually hoping that people will wish they had this or that?

Instead, I love the blogs where they show what real people can do with real budgets and real results. I love when they plant realistic ideas in my head and help me find answers to some aesthetic problems that have been clunking up my style.

Because life is not all about decorating or design. But when things work and when the mere sight of something—even as small as a homemade chalkboard—brings a smile to your face, that's what the goal of design ought to be about.

Over the next couple of weeks, I'm going to start sharing some of the photos of our new place. Not because it's beautiful or everything is styled and "just right." No, I'm going to share it because it's real. And I'm going to fight the urge to camouflage all the ugly spots or crop out the places that I don't yet like.

Because I want to share the natural process of turning a house into a home—beauties, blemishes and all.

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  1. I look forward to seeing your real home. I'm a huge fan of making things on a budget, check out my post last night on how I knocked off a 70 dollar anthropologie lampshade. Why pay when you can make it yourself and have something REALLY special?

  2. I love you for this post! I was just thinking yesterday how I wanted to share with you a picture of the chalkboard that you inspired me to make- it's our menu board in the kitchen, and I think of that blog post each time I write on it. I'll get around to taking a picture today.

  3. I get that feeling looking at blogs all the time. I just moved into my own place in March, and figuring out how to make it my own while keeping to my budget is definitely a challenge. And being tempted to covet all those "perfect" spaces is just not helpful! Looking forward to seeing your home. I love your blog. :)

  4. I completely agree! We recently moved to Boston and I want to share photos/video tour of our little 450 square foot home. It's pretty humble and we just make do with whatever furniture/decor we had before getting married. I only registered for the essentials because we want to choose simple living.
    Great post.

  5. @ PJ - I couldn't agree more! And Anthro re-makes are my fave :)

    @ Emma - I'm so glad you made your own chalkboard. And I would LOVE to see photos of it!

    @ Keegan - Thanks so much for the kind words! I hope maybe there's something that I've managed to do that will be a *good* kind of inspiration for you in making your place feel more like "home."

    @ Susanne - I love the idea of simple living, although it can be hard to stick to it sometimes, especially when it comes to registering for gifts! Good for you for fighting that urge!

  6. I've been thinking a lot about this lately, you summed it up so well. I really needed to hear this again and I need to tell it to myself daily!

  7. Hello! I just found you thru Pinterest. I'm a follower of yours now and put your button on my blog :) I so agree about looking at all these "pretty home" blogs that will never happen in my world LOL not even if I win the lotto. Would love to have you stop by my blog and check it out. Great blog I look forward to reading more of your posts.

  8. I look forward to seeing your home - as much as I love "shiny house" blogs, my favorite reads are those that show creativity in creating a home and it's always good to know that you can be stylish and live on a budget!

  9. @ kaitlin - I definitely have to tell this to myself daily. I find it is such a struggle to remain contented!

    @ Gen - Awesome! Thanks so much for following along, and I'll definitely check out your blog!

    @ Gemma - I just posted my first of the "apartment tour," so you can check it out:

  10. Your blog is lovely! New follower.

    I can't say I blame you. But if you have a crafty hand...your could always re-create those ridiculous over priced items! Because I am with you...I would never shop from west elm. I subscribe to all those sites just so I can find ways to make it. I mean..I am not a master at it. It never comes out the exact way but it comes out awesome enough to where I am proud.

  11. @ Melissa - Aw, thanks! I totally appreciate the kind words :) I totally agree with the crafty revamps! The things that keep me from doing it more is that we simply don't have enough room for any extra stuff!


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