More Ruminating. Take Two.

Well, I don't know about you, but since typing all that out the other day and looking again thru that pile 'o books, I'm kinda on a mission. I'm determined to go thru my stuff and get rid of lots of the likes I've horded and make room for my loves.

And yes, I've been ruminating on a few more things....

I want to re-emphasize that it's like totally normal to fall in and out of love with looks, styles, and trends.  It's also really normal to attempt to recreate those things in our homes...especially as we're learning what we can live with and what we can't.  Don't be afraid to try them out.  Sometimes we just won't know until we've lived with orange throw pillows on our actual couches to really 'get' that orange just isn't a color that makes us feel all glittery inside, even if Domino Magazine/Current Famous Blogger/Designer/Oprah/Pottery Barn Catalogue says it's da bomb.  It's OK.  Stop kicking yourself, the orange didn't do it for me either....but it did for my daughter in our last house.  See how happy she was in her ORANGE & FUSHIA room?


And because it worked for her, I made it work for me.  The rest of the house was muted blues and greens, whites and pale browns.  Her room literally glowed.  But so does my daughter.  Her current room is bright aqua with zebra accents.....yeah, not feeling the glitter with that either, but that's what doors are for. I want my family to enjoy being home, so if orange or neon turquoise get me to that end, I just need to get over myself.  

I also wanted to mention that just because we can't cram all our likes AND loves into our homes, doesn't mean we can't appreciate them, linger over them, drool over them in other places.  I mean, I can appreciate a picture like this:

(wait for it)

But this is what really lights my fire:


Moving on......no seriously, move on girls.

Something else I do....move stuff around.  Even if I'm pretty sure it won't work.  The Nester just did a post recently on this.  Brilliant.  This week hubs and I braved the wilds of my cra(p)ft room in order to begin to brainstorm how to take it back in hand (somewhat).  I mentioned to him something about the older entertainment center currently in use as a dumpster stylish storage piece in our master bedroom.  It was promptly moved into the cra(p)ft room closet where it fits perfectly and will help get my cra(p)fts organized.  Yay me. And no, this picture doesn't show it organized yet....

'Nother example: I received a lovely set of dishes from my mama when she finally decided to pass them down to me. I have pretty much loved them from the beginning of time, even picking up pieces from Marshall's or TJMaxx from time to time to compliment the set once I got them.  I painted my dining room to match them.  Collected lots of shabby chic stuff too.  Recreated vignettes I'd seen in magazines, on blogs, and at my mom's.  The room looked Very Put Together because I obeyed all the decorating rules.

You guessed it. No shimmery feeling inside.  None whatsoever.  Got busy recreating the dining room sans beautiful heirloom dishes.

Decided to try those dishes in my blue kitchen.  Deep crimson and blue always look delicious together in magazine pictures, right? Cottage-y and cute. I spent New Years Eve putting those rose dishes in my kitchen hutch and on the long shelf above my nook.  It matched.  It looked, ummmm...ok, I hated it.  I even slept on it, and hoped for a new perspective in the morning.  Aaaaa, nope.  I need my browns and blacks and robin's egg blue mishmash to get my glimmer on.  So the heirloom dishes will be used for special occasions only.


So.  Do I consider these examples as a Fail?  No way Jose'.....they are helping me define what I truly love.

It's kinda like dating.....you see someone that looks good.  Talks nice.  Buys dinner.  You know, the Baseline Loves. The Must Haves. Try him on for a while and realize he's not a good fit because, well, I hate to say it, but he likes Austin Powers.  Meet someone #2 who looks good, talks nice, buys dinner, hates Austin Powers AND likes Fred Astaire musicals.  Score!  Try him on for a while and realize he's not a good fit either because he likes Fred Astaire musicals a little too much. Oy.

Eventually you find Mr Right, or at least Mr. Potential-to-be-Mr.-Right and you settle down to the business of molding each other into a picture of True Love.

Our affairs with our homes and styles work the same way.  We need to come back to the base line Loves, try on a few Likes, turn this way and that in front of the mirror and feel for that glittery shimmer inside.  Upload and save, or delete and surf some more.  But you have to define those Baseline Loves first....those are your anchors, your starting points (and what that other monster post was about). 

In the meantime, though, be flexible.  Your home needs to be able to breathe, be itself, and shouldn't be hammered into something it was never intended to be. Respect its individuality and uniqueness.  Like we do with our hubbies or our kids. Like I did with the orange and fushia. Let your house influence *you* by helping narrow your choices a bit.  Find stuff to compliment and enhance.  Don't be mean to her. You know how sometimes plastic surgery begins to look just, um, ridiculous? And sometimes 40-year-old mothers should not shop at Forever 21?  Likewise, my 80's suburban ranch should not be forced to look like a 1880's farmhouse.  That would be disrespectful.  It would look stupid.  Trust me.

My typical Dream House

My current house, bless her little heart.  She tries so hard....

Although I'm not really into the rustic country look, I added a few of those elements as a nod to when the home was built, while updating the colors, paring down the landscaping, and furnishing the porch with a classic bench and rocker. So it's updated, but still holds its original character.

I should mention that we moved to the 'burbs to get our kids into better schools.  I'm really not happy out here, but it's the right decision for our family for this season.  Sometime I hope to move back into the city, where I can walk to the library or the grocery, in a turn-of-the-century bungalow or four-square or ?????

For now, I'm working with what I have, not trying to make it into something it will never be.

I guess what I'm getting at here is three-fold:

Firstly, allow for the people who share your spaces. I feel distinctly like an idiot typing that out, but I need reminded of it. Let them have opinions and make some decisions.  Figure out ways to compromise and make their ideas work.  Happy people are more important than beautiful homes. 

Secondly, don't be afraid to play a bit, fail a lot,  re-try often. Move stuff around instead of moping around whining about how you hate your house. Try to use what you have instead of buying new.  A novel thought in our culture of consumption.

Thirdly, don't be so rigid that you force your will onto your living spaces and turn them into the quintessential bad nose job.  Talk to your house.  If you don't, this might happen:

source: boingboing.net 
I'm thinking the wee stone bungalow wasn't asked its opinion here.  I think I hear it weeping.

One other thing:
In our society, the number of choices available to us is sheer lunacy, literally sucking away our time and energy as we wring our hands and/or fear making the wrong decision.  But narrowing the choices can seem like limitations....BOOOOO!!!!!  We don't like limits.

But we need them, folks.  We need to know where our lines are.
Let's call them Boundaries instead, shall we?

I love that the street sign behind says 'Rush' street.  Appropriate.

Boundaries help us feel quasi-in control.  It gives us back our time (and money).  It quiets the 'not good enough' demon and helps give us confidence in our decisions.  My hope with these exercises is 

to narrow my choices to those that will work with my Loves AND my house/budget/family.

I desparately want to leave behind that overwhelming 'dead-in-the-water' feeling I get when I'm surrounded by too many choices. And I want to enjoy seeing others homes without second-guessing myself, being jealous, or feeling like a failure.

In other words, ix-nay the 'grass is always greener on the other side of the computer screen' syndrome.

I might have one more post in my grey matter regarding all this interior design stuff, so if I can knock it about in my brain for a few more days I think it'll be ready mid-week.

I hope my ramblings on this stuff helps you some too.  It's a journey of discovery for sure and for certain.  Thanks for tagging along on my path for awhile.  It's nice to have companions who understand.

And anyway, it beats banging my head against the keyboard.


PS....Hope you all can Make it for Monday.  MckLinky fires up tomorrow evening 'round 6PM in these Eastern Standard parts.


Kate said...


I love these posts. We all need to be free to change our minds,to love and love no more!!! How freeing!!! Thanks again for your moxie

Enjoy your weekend

Amy@TheLemonCottage said...

Are you kidding me? Seriously??? You are making me crazy. In a GREAT way! HA!
Okay- you know how much I love the first ruminating post--- I followed it. I've been eating and breathing it for a couple of days. I've made some decisions, come to some conclusions, and figured out the most important factors for me and my decorating style.

I am so happy. I am feeling refreshed and renewed and so ready to 'take my house back'.

And now that my head is clear, I am 'with you' on everything you said in this post.
So, thanks again for the first post (kick in the butt I needed) and this one.
I've really enjoyed them.


Treasia Stepp said...

Loved this post. I often forget to take into consideration what my family wants and enjoys when it comes to decorating our home. That's the key word there "our" home. Thanks for the lovely reminder.

Patricia said...

love it! thanks for the reminder and inspiration!

Funky Junk Interiors said...

Awesome. Your writing style makes this all seem so managable.. and fun. :)

I have more to ponder over now. But in a good way. It's a relief that I can't ever make my house what I'd truly desire, so the pressure is officially off!

Thanks for the pep talk, Cindy. And, for, you know, the picture. :D


DustyLu said...

Great Post. You keep me reading. Funny and inspiring. Thanks lulu

Anonymous said...

You are, by far, my most fave random chick!!! This post SPOKE to me as well, lol! Funny thing is, my daughter's room is currently deep hot pink and jungle orange...going lavendar and deep plum purple this month! And your house looks alot like mine! I am right there with you on all of it! =D

Claudia said...

Love your post, Cindy! And everything you say makes so much sense! By the way, I collect those same dishes (my grandmother had them)- Unfortunately, my sister has the set - so I continue to pick them up when I can! Oooh, that rose chintz!


Anonymous said...


Beautifully stated. Our homes should reflect who we are and how we live.


Traci@ Beneath My Heart said...

I just love you, girl! I love this post and agree with it all. I like your attitude and philosophy in decorating. And we've got the same dream house!

Tammy@InStitches said...

Yes, thanks for the picture ! ;)

Lori said...

Love this Cindy ~ something to think about for sure....

Tammy said...

Cindy - you truly know how to get a point across in the best way. I loved the first installment of "Cindy's Crash Course in Decorating". And well the second was amazing also. And wow dang girl the pictures got a lot mmmm better :)
I can't wait for installment #3. I might just have to print them out- oh or you could offer them in an ebook - there's an idea.
keep 'em coming- installments and dang good pics.

Rue said...

I feel like you read my mind. I've been sidetracked with redoing the breakfast room instead of working on the attic (don't ask!) and started looking at the adjoining dining room. It's red. Red is not in vogue. I love red. My husband loves red. He lets me do whatever I want but asked me to leave it alone for now. It is staying red, but I keep looking at it like a sore thumb. what to do what to do.... is it me or is it the images on my computer making me want to change it? Me thinks sleeping on it is a great idea ;)



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