In my young adult and newlywed years, hand-me-down furniture and thrift store finds filled up my home. Back then, I was often content if the thrift store pink rocking chair didn’t clash with the hand me down floral couch. We moved eight times in eight years when I was first married, so nothing stayed around very long. The budget was nearly nonexistent, and the short-term rentals we lived didn’t exactly inspire us to do much. Pinned calendar pictures worked quite well for a long time.
I would get caught up in dreaming. Home design seemed to be everywhere in blogs, video, Pinterest, Houzz, HGTV and more. Before I moved into my new home, I love perusing photographs of lovely homes, saving ideas and pictures I dreamed of copying. Then I bought a house. Finally, I had a home I wasn’t just going to move out of in less than a year, and a bit of money to fill it with things I liked.
The amount of information became overwhelming. My house wasn’t even close to approaching what I saw. I had to take a break from all the inspiration and ideas on home design. It wasn’t inspiring. I had to abandon much of what I dreamed about. I might want to live in a treehouse by the beach, but I live in the home we bought. There were limitations of what I could do in my budget, time, creativity and values.
Instead of copying someone else and looking for ideas, I started with my own home and family and the limitations I had. I let go of comparison. I designed my home from my own internal desires. I did what worked for my family in my existing home. I wanted a home that my kids could litter with toys, and be the place for wrestling matches and the energetic energy and growth of three young boys. I wanted a place where I could work on my goals, and be comfortable in. I wanted a place that could be welcoming to visitors of family and friends.
I created someplace that probably would never be featured in a magazine, and I wasn’t trying to do something spectacular. But it worked for my children and family. I filled it with things my family and I enjoyed and didn’t worry too much if it met any standard of design. My home was a reflection of my family, my faith and the lifestyle I desire.
It was important to create a place I like to be, and that included making it look good. But it was better to cultivate my own interests than try to follow any design style. I used green and blue, occasional rainbows, and plants. My choices were sporadic and not necessarily united. I bought things from Ikea and thrift stores and used handy me downs from family members. I have no formal spaces. I’ve also rejected much of the normal: tans or grays and uninspired traditional wall art in favor of found or self-created items and color. I’m not trying to copy anyone else, but do what feels right to me.
I love my home now and I didn’t create it by copying ideas on the Internet. I am creating my home by responding to my own desires and ideas, and by often being content with less than perfect. There’s always a strange collection of crumbs, hot wheels and Lego everywhere and I’ve gotten used to that. There is also things around me that make me happy to look at, and a space I feel comfortable spending a long time in.
Sometimes I still find a blog or post that makes me want to re-do another room or abandon my simple decor and strange floor plan. I have to take a step back. I stop comparing my home to another and instead ask, “Am I comfortable here? Does my house function well for our family? Is it a place I love to be?” This is my home, and the only people who need to love it is my family and me. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just somewhere I can love and enjoy.
I’m slowly learning more acceptance and gratitude even if it isn’t ideal. I’m finding it is much easier to enjoy what I have instead of trying to make what others enjoy. Home is a place where my family and I can live and be happy. I created a home by filling it with beauty and love within my limitations, not by copying or striving for perfection.