Revisiting Likes and Loves.

(last Christmas at my house)

Almost a year ago I posted about how I narrow down my decorating choices when perusing magazines, books and blogs.  I was reading over at Anne's blog Get Your Martha On about how she had taken a step back from blogging and reading blogs, and how it helped refocus her own personal decorating style.

I think this is a great idea, and I do it too...though not often enough.  We all know the lure of the blogs....and how easily we can feel overwhelmed, depressed, and even less-than when we see spectacular room remakes or fantabulous crafts or incredible photography, etc.

We compare ourselves and more often than not, feel like we come up short.  Well, at least I do.  I gotta confess that even though my glitterfied mantel seems to have gone over well this year, I still see other mantels or vignettes that make me feel like mine is way overdone and I need to go remove half of it.  I'm still a wee bit insecure in my decor choices.  What's worse is when you *do* come up with a unique idea and it gets spread all over the blogsphere....then you feel the pressure to live up to the expectations.

Anyway, I left Anne a comment about that post I wrote last year, and she was kind enough to blog about it.  I am reposting the link here as well, because I think it deserves another read-thru as we all oogle and oooo and ahhh over everyone's Christmas decor.  It's fine to enjoy looking at beautiful things, but make sure you LOVE it before incorporating it into your own life.  Get in touch with what really sings to your spirit.

That said, let me mention here that one of the reasons I love Christmas is because I can fiddle around trying different decorating styles. I can 'try it on'.  I can 'wear' it for a month of festivities, then check out how I feel when it's time to take it down.  Am I tired of it and ready to see it go or am I wishing I could glitterfy my entire home for the whole year?

I've got 4 different holiday decorating mojos going on in my house this year.....the sparkly aqua and glittered mantel, the modern red and white back porch, the traditional crimson and forest green rustic front porch, and the vintage-y flea markety dining room.  I truly love all these styles, but none of them 'fit' me perfectly the other 11 months of the year.  My style is a mix of all those things.....my nest reflects those things from each style that I love to see each day.

I have this conglomeration of blogs I read each day, and they range from the all white vintage, to the pale grey frenchy, to the pink and sparkly, to the spare and modern, to the beachy relaxed, to the traditional formal, to the earthy rustic....all that stuff.  I can take away something from each of them, like that Mama Robin does when she's building her nest.

The task is to tease those things out....really ask myself what is speaking to me about each space.  And you know what?  It's taken a year, but I'm finally recognizing pretty easily what works for me.  And at Christmas I fart around a bit and try on some of the trends to see how they fit.  Does my fireplace look fat in this burlap?

So, if you have some time, I offer you this past blog to hopefully help you define what you 'like' and what you 'love'.  I also hope it helps you feel more secure in the choices you *do* make whether their trendy or not.
Let me know how it goes.....


Margitta said...

I love this post. You express eloquently what has been on my mind lately... I'm drawn to a mixture of styles aswell. Last summer I really went beachy, but now in winter I'm suddently in love again with french/white vintage look...
I sometimes have a hard time to remember that getting inspired by each other is great, but if I start to compare myself to others I get unhappy...

NanaDiana said...

Oh Cindy- You have said a mouthful (make that blogful) here. I think we all agonize over what we DON'T do instead of really loving what we DO. In the past I lived with primitives, "country", traditional, all white, you name it...I have probably lived with it. Of course, re-doing 13 houses and moving at least 13 times helped me to have all those styles. Sometimes I took the style with me-sometimes I left it behind with the house. Right now, I am more traditional than I used to be. I have some lovely pieces that I enjoy and this year I am doing a deep red and green again. It works for me-it works for a house that kids are constantly visiting and it reminds me of other Christmases shared with those that are no longer here.

I also have a quirky "lighthouse" area in our downstairs-a nod to living on the Bay and to living next to a lighthouse at our last home.

I think we can all get so caught up in BlogWorld that it is easy to get lost and lose who we really are. I have been thinking about taking a step back, too...just so I can enjoy that which in front of me-that which is real and true and meaningful. The problem, I think, is that some of us become so "connected". We are soul sisters traveling different roads of life and through blogging we seem to ferret out sister spirits that we connect with. For instance, I have loved getting to know you- Your okay bye cracks me up everytime I read it and always leaves me smiling with a picture of your face in my head;>)

Well, probably said too much AGAIN..but there you have it..my feelings on your post...And I LOVE all those beautiful blogs you have celebrated here today...almost as much as I love yours! Hugs- Diana

Brenda Pruitt said...

Cindy, I read through your post from last year. Pretty sure I'd read it, but I'm getting to the age when I forget. I always use the "cozy ruler determination." If I add something new and it makes me smile from the inside out, then I know it's passed muster. Of course our styles evolve and mutate. Trying on a style at Xmas is a smart idea. Because we only have to live with it a short time. I tend not to worry about my decorating and whether it fits the current trend or not. But I definitely know what "you're sayin'"!

Donna said...

What a great post! And I thought that I was the only one left feeling a bit insecure that every square inch of my home is not magazine worthy at Christmas! You have said it so well, what I have been feeling all along! I love being inspired by other bloggers, so much amazing creativity out there! But sometimes it's easy to feel that we just don't measure up. Silly, I know, as we shouldn't feel as if we are in competition, should we? Can't wait to check out all of your links, and thanks again for voicing this great topic!!

Annie Joy said...

Wow, I definitely needed that very wise post! Thank you so very much -- Annie

Unknown said...

Love this post and your blog! SO true! I'm an eclectic. I like and appreciate all decor styles, and sometimes it is really hard to filter and figure out what is me and what isn't. Not to mention making what is "me" work with what is "the hubs"; you know because he has an opinion about everything too! And I guess I should let his voice be heard since he lives here and all :)

On another note, I finished my fireplace! Thanks for your thoughts and opinion! It really helped me to figure it all out :)

Katy said...

This post really sums up how I'm feeling these days! I read so many amazing blogs and more often than not feel inadequate about my home's decor. I am a single girl in my twenties living in a 650 square foot condo on a limited budget and with hand me down pieces. I dream of living in a space like the ones I see on blogs. Your post helped me put things in perspective and take a deep breath. I especially enjoyed the following line: "I have this conglomeration of blogs I read each day, and they range from the all white vintage, to the pale grey frenchy, to the pink and sparkly, to the spare and modern, to the beachy relaxed, to the traditional formal, to the earthy rustic....all that stuff."
I truly feel like my desired decorating style---I say desired because I am still working on the time, money, and experience to put it all together---is a conglomeration of all of those things. Thanks so much for this post, and I'm going to check out the past post to which you referred as well!

Suzanne@Meridian Road said...

I remember this post well. Some great advice there. I do start to feel less than, especially at Christmas.

I'm constantly having to pull myself back, and remember that what I want is "simple". It's what I love, and I really don't get why it's so hard for me to stick to that. I think it's true that my head gets turned by nearly everything I see.

Thanks! It's a great post.

Claudia said...

I remember that post well, Cindy. You are so right - it is very easy to feel 'less than' when looking at other bloggers' decorating styles. And yes, there are things I'd like to change here at MHC. But I did have a little moment not long ago when I looked around my living room, with the sun streaming in, and realized that I need color, I like color and I think I do a darn good job of decorating this teeny space.

Here's the thing: Our home reflects our taste. It looks like us. I think that is the ruler that all decorator/bloggers should use. Find what works for you and decorate for you.


Debra Howard said...

Doing what is trendy has never been a motivator for me. I have always tended to be a bit ahead of the trends and in some areas behind them. Kind of a weird mix I guess but I do what I love and what makes me happy. I recommend it for everyone. That is the best fun I think when we express ourselves in our own unique quirky ways and I love to see what others come up with and how they put their touch on things.

Debra Howard said...

Yours is very gorgeous!

hilary@oldhousetruelove said...

I NEED to go back and read that post... when I get home from lugging the 3 kids to a soccer game!! ;) I often feel the same way you described... you took the words right out of my mouth Cindy! ;)

Kristin @ Daydream Designs said...

Amen! You read my mind. It is so easy to feel insecure, self consious and frustrated when looking into other people's gorgeous homes and ingenious ideas (especially when said insecurities were present BEFORE browsing said gorgeous homes and ideas). But I am so happy you posted this because it is such a relief to know that there are others who feels this way especially when coming from someone with a BEAUTIFUL home with AWESOME ideas! Thank you so much for sharing this!

Unknown said...

Thank you for re-posting! The photos are beautiful! Glad to know that I'm not the only one feeling that my holiday decor is, well not up to Martha Stewart standards, lol

madge1967 said...

Beautiful as always! You give me so much too look at and it's a nice change to see others with so much talent! I keep watching and I hope some will rub in me too!
Do some more!

Miss Gracie's House said...

Oh, you know I loved it then and I love it now...you are right...it is so darn easy to get pulled away by all of the creativity out there...and I LOVE your mantle , BTW, wouldn't change a thing!

Unknown said...

Well thanks for the photo shout-out :)
Yes, I feel the same way... as soon as I get decisions made, I see a blog and BAM, I'm questioning myself. Guess we just have to remember, decorate with what YOU love.
Becky C

Michelle, All Home and Love said...

I'm cracking up reading this since I had just done that post on loving different styles. I do the same, take something away from all the blogs I read, the magazines I look through, etc. I jump around from style to style and mix them all up which works for me but then I'll see a totally "put together" photo on a blog and think, ugh, I'm doing this all wrong. My house is definitely not photo ready 95% of the time but I'm trying to let that be okay. It's still comfy and it's still home. Do you ever look at some of these blogs and wonder what happens if legos are spilled out or kids' shoes are left by the door? I love looking at the photos but it feels like everyday life would get in the way of the picture of it all. Anyway, that's something I often think about. :)

BTW your mantel is gorgeous and you shouldn't remove a thing, it's perfect!

Erin said...

I'm right there with you, Cindy. Sometimes I would love to be able to settle on just one style and have a cohesive (and clean) house that reflects it. But I like so many elements of the different cottage styles, I'm learning to accept my ecclecticism. Thanks for keepin' it real with your honest posts! :)

FairfieldHouse said...


Wonderful, wise words that everyone should take to heart. The like/love post was always my favorite.

Your Friend,

Momma Button said...

Being relatively new to blogging, (less than a year), I'm glad that you re-posted this. It is exactly how I have felt all week. I finally decided to decorate with the things that I love, and in my own way. Some things I have learned how to do better by blog stalking. And some things I like just the way I have always done them.
Have a very Merry Christmas Cindy!

All That Jazz said...

Great post, really captured my sentiments about this bloggy decor world. I try to just stay true to myself and be eclectic, from chippy to modern to cottage. I find a lot of inspiration from bloggers and while I know I may live in an apartment and not have their gorgeous homes, I can still recreate the style they have for less using a little creativity and imagination! ;-)

COTTAG3 said...

I too like all kinds of decor and my style is a mix. I do love to look at the blogs and like so many things I see but I only use the ideas that I love (which is why my sunroom took so long). Your mantle is not overdone and you do not need to scale it back. Wait until you see mine! Since I don't go overboard with Christmas decor in every nook and cranny of the house, I do the mantle up big time. I'll be finishing it up and showing it in a few days (and yours may look sparse compared to it :)
Great posts!

Kristin @ Yellow Bliss Road said...

Yes, yes, and YES!! Easy to get caught up in all of that. Thanks for bringing me back down to earth. :)

Unknown said...

Hi there! You've got an awesome blog and there are so many fab and crafty bloggers here, too. Will definitely follow you! Have a fine Monday!

Lou Cinda @ Tattered Hydrangeas said...

Amen and AMEN! I have done this so many times. I will be so happy with something I have done and then peruse the blogs and think, oh no! This looks awful! I have gotten better about it and accepted the fact that I am an "over the top more is better" kind of girl and that has helped me alot to deal with those feelings of inadequacy!

Love your blog girl! You are real and a constant source of inspiration to me!

Lou Cinda


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