Create a Home You Love: A Pep Talk

I‘ve long been fascinated by the process of finding one’s style in a home. We all might set up our home a little differently, and certainly every home and situation is unique. I’ve often said there isn’t a one-sized fits all formula to creating a home and I still believe that is true. Creating a truly authentic home is a unique learning process! But I think most of us can relate to the emotions and general twists and turns found in every home-creating journey.

Decorating challenges? Stuck? In a rut?

Do you ever feel stalled or like you’ve lost your way when it comes to bringing your style to your home? I have! Because I’ve lived in quite a few homes, I’ve begun to see patterns in how I approach the design of our home. Knowing that ups, downs and stalls and puzzles to solve are a predictable and productive part of the end result gives me the confidence and patience to persevere.

Each room and home brings it’s own twist to the experience, so we don’t always know exactly how things will come together even if we start out on the right track. Sometimes unexpected turns can be part of the fun, of course, but feeling stuck can be frustrating.

My husband was at a work meeting the other day where everyone in attendance had to make a list of their strengths and weaknesses. But rather than call them “weaknesses” they called them “growth opportunities.” We laughed about it when he got home, but isn’t a positive outlook a more productive way to look at any challenge or turn of events?

I remember times in the past where I saw a change of direction or even a small course correction as a sign of a discouraging design failure on my part. Now I try to see change or experimentation that leads to a more desirable or authentic result as a victory! Resigning yourself to indefinitely live with a look you don’t love, feeling stuck with something you bought that doesn’t reflect or serve your family, or giving up on any type of creative alternatives? That would be a fail.

Experimentation, changing your mind about what you want and taking on new design challenges along the way are a part of creative expression. Each new layer you add or any alteration you make in your surroundings can help shape the home you live in into an authentic reflection of who you are today.

And for creative homebodies, don’t we feel most at home when we sense that personal connection to our space? If that describes you, it makes sense that you’d be a little restless sometimes. We all feel the need to rearrange the furniture now and then to reflect our current state of mind. I get you. :) You can always put the furniture back tomorrow, but you might as well enjoy trying something new today.

I know sometimes we find ourselves in seasons that truly stink and there’s not much we can do in our homes but just get through it. Give yourself grace in that circumstance, friend! If you want to do a little something (and sometimes we need to just make ourselves do a little something if we can)…a quick tidy of a nightstand, a dusting of a tabletop, or even a few handpicked flowers in a vase can bring a small but much needed morale boost. <3

But if you are just in a regular ol’ design slump, feeling stuck, aren’t sure where to begin, or are at a standstill with your home, pick yourself up and try to get back in the game! Even if you don’t feel it right away, a small change or step can eventually make all the difference. Before you know it, you’ll be loving where you live (or rekindling those old feelings!).

What are your current “growth challenges” when it comes to your home? Let’s chat. :)

You can find lots of my simple and affordable tips in my two newest books Simple Decorating and Make Room for What You Love. I hope they will encourage and inspire you to create a home you love! You can find all of my books here and through the arrows below.

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Comments

  1. I’m always changing things around in our home. I wonder if I’m just not happy living here.
    My husband is always looking at single family homes, when we go see them he loves some and I get excited to move again and then he says “Why do we look, our condo is perfect”
    So I guess I would love to live in a single family home again.
    We live in a 55+ community – everyone is wonderful, but I miss having my own space.
    This is a true growth challenge.
    Rose recently posted..Ten Minute FixMy Profile

  2. Anita Baxter says:

    I love my house, it is truly my home sweet home. But when I saw the house being built (It was a spec home) I thought it was going to be too small as I had my eye on a larger model. I did go and look at the larger model that the realtor brought us to, it was 6 months old that someone had recently moved out of and I for some reason did not like the vibes. Although I could picture my furniture being in that house, the whole space made me feel that this was not the place to call home. Turns out that the Spec home has plenty of room. Now I have been in my home for 10 years and I find that I am never done tweaking rooms, I move decorative items around, subtract or add different elements until it feels right. I recently created what you called “destinations in a home” which is a coffee station in my kitchen. I had so much fun. Thanks to you Melissa, I am furthering the destinations within different parts of my home.

  3. Shirley Orfanella says:

    Melissa, your timing is perfect with this post! My husband & I are preparing for a move from our home of 30 yrs. to a small rental house as we begin retirement. I love my home as it has evolved over the years, but I’m also ready for this new adventure. Our rental is small, inexpensive construction and very basic design, but at least it’s clean. I look forward to taking on your challenges of ‘loving what you have” and “creating a home you love to return home to”. Even though this little rental will only be our home base as we travel and spend time with family in other parts of the country, I want to make it a place we will look forward to returning to a few months of the year. Let the design challenge begin!

  4. Valerie says:

    We just moved into a 780 sq. ft. 1 bedroom apartment. I adore the high ceilings, the view, the fireplace and also figuring out storage is O___O
    I do want to downsize so we’re not squeezing into the space, but I also want to be mindful of how we’re using the space and what we do/don’t need. My husband is ready to just donate 40% of our belongings. The challenge of living with our space and seeing how we live our lives within it while also just not wanting to be surrounded by boxes is definitely tricky.
    I’m worried I’m going to have to get rid of so much of my decorative items just because there’s so few flat spaces to decorate in the first place…

    • That is a challenge for sure! It’s hard to find just the right balance of showcasing items you love with the serenity and lack of stuff you’ll want in a small space. Sounds like you’ll need to use your walls for decor, or maybe there’s a place to have a tall bookcase for a few of your special accessories? Have fun with the design puzzle.
      Melissa recently posted..Create a Home You Love: A Pep TalkMy Profile

  5. Love your books, blog, Instagram and your style. You have a very calming, relaxing way with your words (and how you decorate your home) and I look forward to each new book and post. Thank you for sharing!

  6. I’m always moving things around in our home to give a new look, or just to get a better flow, or make the space function better.
    I can’t always go out and by something but it doesn’t cost a thing to try a chair in a different spot!
    Deanna Rabe recently posted..Cottage Style DishesMy Profile

  7. Our brains are on the same wavelength today, Melissa!! Just earlier I posted on my IG account @bellaposto that I’ve been wanting to freshen up my home for some time now. As I was sitting in my den this morning, the sun was shining through one of my windows and I just had to snap a picture and post it. What I took away from that moment was that even the smallest of things, such as sunshine streaming in, can freshen up your home. Sometimes what we need to give our homes and our souls a boost is right in front of us! Loved your post!!

  8. Cindy in Oklahoma says:

    I think I love my home too much. I’d rather be here than anywhere. Oh, sure, there are things I’d like to add or change or move or even tear out… but I love it. Although it’s a little large for just the two of us on a day to day basis it’s so nice to have for when our children or other family or friends visit. The dilemma? My husband wants to move to a different community to a home on the lake. He doesn’t know which lake or which community or which home, he just wants to be close to the water. I’m game for it but I don’t think it will make him as happy as he thinks it will. The closest community is 45 minutes away.. the more logical destination about 2 hours away. My dad and his mom live in the community where we are now and are both in their 80s…. being so far away right now is of concern to me…sigh… sometimes I think we’re in an eternal search for utopia.. a utopia that doesn’t exist….

    • I think many of us have that same desire to create the most comfortable nest possible. Thus we enjoy fluffing our nest to make it even better! And once we have it all fluffed to our liking, it’s hard to want to let go. But sometimes in our quest for ultimate comfort we start to visualize what life would feel like in a new nest on the water, ha! I’ve lived on the water and it was wonderful :)
      Melissa recently posted..Create a Home You Love: A Pep TalkMy Profile

  9. Ah this is so me! With me starting a new business, my husband looking for a new job and our house needing a proper must-move-out renovation, I don’t know how to make small changes which won’t be pointless in a year’s time eg painting. I’m trying to keep things tidy but the mess that comes with our current busy-ness is relentless. And I’m tired. Gosh this sounds like a big moan! I know it’s just a season but being a “creative homebody ” it is hard at times.

  10. Barbara says:

    I’ve grown to love my home although it is far from perfect. In fact, I hated it at first but we liked the property and school district. My kitchen has dated oak cabinets, old white appliances and mismatched counters. There’s no money in the budget to even paint. But, it is where my son called me mama for the first time, where we do homework every night and where I look at beautiful woods while I do my dishes. A good clean and some flowers usually gets me unstuck.

  11. For me, space makes a big difference I still love my parent’s house as my childhood memories are associated with that. And now I am moving to my new house; I think if I’ll use even few simple things like sofa, carpet, indoor plants that give me the same feeling of as that of my parent’s house. Then it’s going to be little bit satisfactory. For me, home is where the family lives.

  12. Ginny Ng says:

    Thank you for this, Melissa. You are so wise. I have been feeling a little restless lately. Not exactly stuck but maybe a little…you see, I have been working on my home for a couple of years and making progress in decluttering, simplifying, making things lovely…and I’m not really sure what to do next! I guess I’m supposed to maintain and maybe wait for inspiration and fresh ideas to come. I love the way things are, love having projects, don’t want to slip into discontentment, don’t want to stagnate…eek! Have you ever felt this way? Any advice? 😅

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