My Authentic Home

Good first Monday morning in March to you wherever you are. It is an uncharacteristic day here in southeast Texas. It is bitterly cold. Relatively speaking of course. Low clouds, biting wind and a high temperature that will only reach 43 – 30 degrees colder than our average high temperature in March. So, today will be a socks and long sleeves kind of day. I am enjoying it as long as possible because once summer arrives I’ll have to wait until November to bundle up again. Such is life in the south.

Last week I philosophized about authenticity. Where it comes from (from my Christian point of view) and some steps to peel away the the layers of junk we take upon ourselves from the world around us in order that we can truly listen to God. This week I’m leaving soul searching behind and moving on to how I have figured out my authenticity and applied it to daily life. Like everything else in life, this is still a work in progress.

Next to my family my home is the most important thing in the world to me. Having a home that reflects our life, is pretty and functional is vital to me. So imagine the frustration of trying to decorate a house when you have no idea who you really are and your taste is, well, a little bit of everything? Since an unlimited budget is not possible, I end up getting bored with however I was currently expressing myself.

Home decor mistakes are the worst. Imagine having a most disagreeable guest, sitting in the corner, glaring and mocking you, day in and day out. That is how living with poor furniture choices feel to me. You can cover things up, repaint, move the furniture around, and despite all that lipstick…it is still a pig.

Cottage Style. Beach. Farmhouse. Midcentury Modern. Southwest. You name a decorating trend and I have probably tried it. Don’t even mention color choices! I love color and have difficulty picking a favorite. What day is it? Ok, then I love red. but tomorrow that will change. Once I got off the imitation merry-go-round I was able to stand back and figure out what I really like and want to live with. How did I do that? In a word, Pinterest.

I created boards and collected pictures for every style, color combination and decade I found interesting. This was an amazing way to sort through all of the things I “love” to find out what I really want to live with. There is a saying about decorating, “Buy what you love and it will fit somewhere.” I’m sure that is true for some folks, but for me it just led to mistakes, too much stuff, and frustration. Remember I am prone to chasing after anything new, sparkly, shiny, or different. There is nothing beautiful coming out of that mindset.

Once I had my boards done I could step back and look at each one and ask myself this question: “Can I live with this or do I just like looking at it? Will I love ___________ (fill in color, print, style, etc.) for the rest of my life?” It really helped me weed out the things I love to look at as opposed to the things I really want to own.

The other thing I did was go to Instagram and follow lots of designers and stylists. I know. This is one of the things that has been reported to cause envy and self loathing because my house doesn’t look like theirs. But I had a goal in mind.

For every style I loved when it first came on the horizon – farm style – once I began seeing it everywhere, the uniqueness of it wore off. So did the appeal for the look as a complete way of life. I take bits and pieces of the style but I no longer want barn doors for every room in my house. I don’t want to duplicate I want to create. Who remembers this episode of Friends? If you haven’t seen the whole thing it is season 6 episode 11. Find it on You Tube. It is hysterical.

I know how Phoebe felt! I want authenticity in my home. I want pieces that have a story. I love old things and that is what I want in my home. Tomorrow I will share some of the folks that specifically inspired me and share the photos that helped me define my style.

Until then, keep looking up, embrace today and go find some fun!

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