Thursday, October 16, 2014

(decorating blocks)

For sure, the most surprising thing about living in our new house has been how lost I am with how to make it feel ours.

I am so accustomed to a fixer upper mindset where anything I do improves the property.  Here, I'm kind of hesitant because I don't want to wreck anything.

Walls?  Should I hang a  map?  A clock?  I vacillate and hesitate. Before, I thumbtacked up art and clocks and even driftwood and painted with reckless abandon.  I projected verses, quotes, maps onto the walls, penciling the outlines and then carefully filling them in.  I painted my chalkboard wall before it was cool and I painted yucky oak cupboards bright white.  I painted old ceiling fans and used a hammered metal spray paint to redo light fixtures. Once I even painted an ugly linoleum floor a red and tan checkerboard design and coated it generously with wax.  It looked FANTASTIC.  Painting is my go to. And I know I'm biased, but all that stuff really did look nice.  Amazing, even. 

Here, the colors are already chosen and I happen to love them, so there's no reason to paint, but the expansive walls are kind of getting to me and most of my art and pictures are still stored on the floor of the linen closet.  And who has time to stand and squint and stare at their walls to figure out where to hang pictures?

Suddenly I am becoming a decor-challenged person and I have never in my life had that problem. As a tiny child I even rearranged my bedroom furniture one night when I was being babysat.  I was probably five, and I remember pushing the bed across the floor with all of my might.  How I expected this to escape the babysitter's notice, I'm not sure, but when Mom and Dad got home I crept down to the landing to listen to the report.  (I have also never required a lot of sleep.  Who needs sleep?)  "She was really good- except I don't think she went to bed and she made a lot of noise in her room moving things around." I froze.  Busted. 

I have not finished Myquillyn Smith's new book The Nesting Place, but I have bought it twice and and given it away, so maybe the third time I will buy it and keep it to myself.  However, I have browsed it very carefully so as not to crease the pages of my gift and did some speed reading stints.  Also I have given it, and then shamelessly taken it back and pored over the pages.  It is exquisite.  I love it and it is exactly  my philosophy of making a home beautiful.  Well, anyway, maybe I exactly like Myquillyn's philosophy, but anyway. 

Be creative with cheap finds, better yet freeee finds
Use what YOU love
Bring personality to your home
Be brave
Be a little bit reckless
Stop procrastinating
You can always change it
Simplicity is beautiful and life is beautiful and mess is part of both: embrace it

Somehow I feel I've lost this philosophy in the crisp clean spaces of our new house.  I joke that we run a hotel, and we really do, but I don't want it to look like one-- at all.  I want people to feel welcome and at home and have their eyes wander to interesting art and read quotes that point them to Christ and find intriguing books in easy reach.  I want our house to look like our kids live here, too, and like their friends are welcome, because they are.  I want our home to be an extension of who we are, but not what we are and there is a difference!

Tonight after a long day of teaching, house showing, and packing for the weekend, I threw caution to the wind and Cambria and I had fun with our kitchen wall.  IT WAS A BLAST.

Long live electrical tape, chalkboard paint and Myquillyn Smith.

1 comment:

  1. Okay. So I think what you did to your wall is so cute.

    But I had to comment, because I so know what you mean. Ever since we bought our house, painted the whole thing, top to bottom, in two weeks flat and moved in, I have felt STUCK like I don't know how to decorate my home.

    I get it. Totally.

    So. One more reason I need to read that book...on my list for awhile and the one we even talked about this very morning at ladies group.