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Pretty Perfect

Decor8 is one of my favorite blogs not only for the pretty pictures but because Holly is such a genuinely kind and thoughtful person who always has some words of wisdom to share that really resonate with me. Such was the case with her post Homes with Heart from Monday. After sharing the beautiful home of one of her readers, Holly wrote about how important it is to decorate our homes with heart, not simply recreate the pages of our favorite catalog. This very sentiment has been simmering in the back of my mind ever since we moved a month ago, and I keep noticing little reminders of it…kind of like how once you start thinking about something, it begins to pop up everywhere.

I suffer from the “I want it nice now” syndrome, which is at constant odds with my desire to have a home that is, as Holly put it, “curated and collected” with pieces that are special to me. I think it’s so easy to get caught up in all of the perfect homes we see on tv and in magazines and on blogs and want our homes to be just as perfect…and right now. But, honestly, that’s not realistic for most of us. Have you checked the price of furniture these days? It’s ridiculous…most lamps cost more than my monthly car payment. Even many IKEA pieces, which we generally regard as affordable, even disposable, require special thought before purchasing. I feel strongly that it’s much better to wait and buy furniture that will last than something cheaply made that fits the budget now, which is not to say IKEA is bad, because I love IKEA.

But, I don’t buy things from there that I don’t love just to fill an empty spot. Just like with my clothing, my favorite furniture and accessories are the ones that were thoughtfully purchased when they were really needed, not the impulse buys when I was being emotional. Even still, l want to have a pretty home, and it is really hard for me me to post photos of a room or have people over knowing that I don’t consider it to be a finished product. This feeling is compounded by the fact that I’m studying to be an interior designer, and I feel like my home particularly needs to reflect my design sensibility. But, while a house may be designed within an inch of its life and considered “done,” I don’t think a home is every really finished. It evolves with the family or individual who lives in it. It grows and changes with them, acquires patina for good and for bad. That’s what gives a home heart and a space soul.

Fortunately, I have a very clear vision, and that vision calls for lots of vintage and antique, things with a history that are a little worn, so I do know they only way they’ll find their way into our home is over time. I want to accumulate artwork that I love from artists I find in local shops or on Etsy, like the little blue pot on our mantel that was made by a student at Iowa State. I want to support our local economy with our purchases and to minimize waste through shipping and packing as much as possible. On the other hand, I would give just about anything for a new couch and comfy chair right this minute.

Whenever I start to get itchy that our house isn’t perfectly designed, I think about how grateful I am even to have this house and live in this neighborhood. As I’m writing this, evening has just set in, and it’s all warm and cozy in here with the table lamps glowing, the delicious smell of dinner wafting in from the kitchen, doggies laying at my feet, tired from our daily walk. And I think, it is pretty damn perfect right this moment after all.

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Wednesday 13th of April 2011

I so wish Colorado had Trader Joe's! However, I brought back a bunch of daffodils from the TJ's in Lincoln when I was there last, so I could I could continue to import flowers, too. Tip: The spider daisies from Whole Foods last for a good two weeks, and one bunch is a mere $4. I buy them every month, a bunch for my desk at work and a bunch for my bedroom. love.Thank you so writing this post! I too suffer from "want it nice now" syndrome. oh, and indecision. I wish I even had a vision! ha! but yes, I buy what I only LOVE and try not to be wooed by Pottery Barn catalogues or what's in the McMansions near my happy little home. I would so love to go to DM sometime to check out your antique and vintage shops. :) some of my best stuff was found at garage sales and thrift stores.


Wednesday 13th of April 2011

Melanie, if you like orchids, I would definitely get them from Trader Joe's the next time you are in Lincoln. They're only around $8-9.Do you use Pinterest? I don't buy a lot of print magazines anymore since there are so many great ones online (Lonny, Rue, Trad Home, Matchbook, High Gloss, Adore) that are free. So, I use Pinterest to save and share all of my inspiration images. It's so nice because you can organize them by room, style, whatever. If you are driving to NEPA in the summer, you are more than welcome to stop here on your way. Otherwise, you're welcome any time! It would be fun.


Wednesday 13th of April 2011

Jill-Great post. My orchids are in full bloom as well! I have to say, it is a little scary- I have every one of those books (all the titles I can see) in the same editions! Like, that copy of Immortal Poems... I want to leave work to find mine! I am so glad you are happy in your new home! This was such an inspirational post. Thanks!


Wednesday 13th of April 2011

Thanks, Hillary! It's good to hear from you! I'll never be able to give up those books...that whole shelf is filled with vintage children's books. Also, it's scary books we had when we were little now qualify as "vintage." I want a whole mantel full of orchids...I got those at Trader Joe's, and they're so affordable.

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