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Home Decorating:
The Beauty of Taking Your Time

by | Jan 15, 2009 | Authentic Living, Decorating Inspiration, Details

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Home Decorating: <br> The Beauty of Taking Your Time

I tend to be somewhat impatient by nature about completing projects, especially around my home. I love things to be finished. In my 22 years of home ownership, I’ve tackled many houses and many projects.

As you know, my current desire in life isn’t to keep myself overly busy with home remodeling or decorating my own home. I am not in a race to finish this house or to impress anyone with my skill in whipping this place together in record time. I have other goals right now.

Home Decorating: <br> The Beauty of Taking Your Time

Going slowly with your decorating projects can be frustrating at times, especially if you wish everything was done YESTERDAY. I know how that goes! I’ve just recently come to this new place in life where I can be content with undone. I can wait. I can patiently work on my rooms as I have time and money.

That is not to say that I don’t sometimes wish I could go faster (i.e. like having a staff of people around to do things for me or a big fat bank account to spend as I please!).

I can be happy with going slow because I see evidence of other beautiful things in my life. I am seeing a bigger picture of my life and not just the lack of curtains, for instance! And by going slowly, I can see the finer details in the big picture that I would miss if I was rushing.

Being patient means I not only keep my life more balanced, but I also can come up with ideas that I will truly be happy with! Taking time to plan and dream is fun. So often when you move into a new house you rush through the process of decorating before you really know your home. And the end result isn’t always what you hoped for. I’ve made that mistake before.

By going slowly, and being able to say “this is good, for now” I can learn contentment in a way I never will if I have too big of decorating goals, too soon. I learn to love where I am, right in the moment!

Home Decorating: <br> The Beauty of Taking Your Time

For now, I am enjoying watching how the light comes through my new windows, where I see dark corners that could use the warmth of a lamp, finding beauty I want to reflect in a mirror and figuring out where I am drawn to sit in the quiet early mornings. All pieces of the puzzle I can enjoy putting together one slow step at a time.

Images in order:
House Beautiful
Coastal Living
Country Living


  1. teresa

    I tend to be a get it started today got to finish it tomorrow kind of a gal- and I have been disappointed at times with the out come-
    But lately I too have been trying to find a happy middle- {see how that goes this year :}
    Great advise- thanks
    Have a wonderful day.

  2. Amanda

    WOW! Great reminder to those of us who are always in a “rush” to have it all decorated. I am constantly finding myself trying to do EVERY room at once-it leaves me frustrated and doing a 1/2 way job. I too am learning to love where Im at and be Thankful for where I’ve come. Enjoy your dreaming and decorating of your new home!

  3. Arleen

    Hi Melissa. Wow, I was struck by your phrase “content with undone.” Especially in the midst of settling into a new home, what a great quality to have! I don’t know if I would be as patient as you, but I’m glad you’re enjoying the process! I love the photos you chose to accompany your sentiments; white is so soothing! ~Arleen

    Arleens inspiring blog post..Interior Decorating at The White House

  4. Tiffany

    Thank you for writing this. I do exactly the same thing! Our current place is where we have lived the longest (4 years) in our entire marriage. I’m just now figuring out where my favorite places are and how I like the curtains hung. It does indeed take time to get to know a home.

    Tiffanys inspiring blog post..Snow Bird (Elvis)

  5. Beverly

    Melissa, just reading of this wonderful peace you have found makes me smile. It is so important to savor each aspect of life.

    Beverlys inspiring blog post..Do You Like Jigsaw Puzzles?

  6. anne

    I have lived here 3 and bit years. Have managed to do one and bit rooms, so getting impatient now. It is liveable, but I would like to see a big improvement in the next 12 months…wish my hubby thought the same way..Oh he won;t be a here all the time, starts travelling again in about 8 weeks.

    annes inspiring blog post..More from Colletta di Castelbianco, Liguria…

  7. Jennifer

    Great advise…but I still want my kitchen done YESTERDAY! I too have no window treatments in the entire as I look and plan.

    Jennifers inspiring blog post..All Boy…Most Days

  8. Karen

    These pictures are absolutely beautiful!! Love, love, love your taste. Keep these awesome photos coming as I always look so forward to your postings :)

    Karens inspiring blog post..Sweet Valentine Gift Idea for Children

  9. Misti

    Oh so true. So many of us (including myself) rush to get it done, without truly doing the room justice. We all need to take our time and appreciate the rooms qualities first, then decide how it needs to be beautified.

    Misti @ Studio M Designss inspiring blog post..Not your average Coffee Table

  10. Darlene

    I am a bit impatient with getting projects around the house finished, but hubby doesn’t share that quality so we always seem to take the slow road to finish projects especially the ones that involve hubby which is most of them!

    Darlenes inspiring blog post..Get some EXTRA entries in our GIVEAWAY!!!

  11. Violet Skiles

    Beautiful photos and thoughts. I too, am taking my time as I see what each room might need… Good advice!

  12. coco

    Ditto…what everyone else has said! I did take my time with our house and now after 5 years I am happy with it and have only changed things as our lifestyle has changed (kids going to college). I think I am finally at the place where I could live with it as is, for many years even if bigger and better things come along. Great pictures!

  13. frenchgardenhouse

    I couldn’t agree more! The only room I would love to finally have D O N E is the kitchen, but all other rooms take on so much more personality when you decorate them with things you love, and over time.
    xo Lidy

    frenchgardenhouses inspiring blog revoir, dear friend

  14. Lorrie

    What a great reminder to be content, and to go slow. I’m a “get it done today” kind of person myself, but I’m learning to let things come slowly. I’ve been looking for a new couch for over a year and I’m determined to wait until I find something I really love since I know I’ll be living with it for a long time.

    I hope your settling in is going well.


  15. Myrnie

    Your photos are always so inspiring, particularly to this “home-decorating-impaired” lady :) Thanks for reminding us that it’s _OK_ to not be finished with everything- I needed that :)

    Myrnies inspiring blog post..From the Workshop: Earring Re-Build

  16. Julianne

    Because my husband is in dental school and I am a stay-at-home mom, we live on loans completely. Sometimes it is tempting to buy just cheap stuff and get the project/room “done” — but, as everyone experiences, the cheap stuff fails and breaks and looks cheap in a short amount of time, and then you’re out that money and you still don’t have money! So, instead of wanting to be done with everything, we save whatever we can so that we can buy quality pieces of furniture. If that means having only one old but comfortable couch, a cardboard table and chairs for our dining room table, and a hand-me-down TV stand for awhile, we’ll do it! We’re still able to make the place look and feel like “home”.

  17. Penny

    I don’t think I will ever be “done” with my house….But you are so right! I did hurry to get this home decorated when we purchased it. I made some big mistakes in the furniture I bought. I don’t like the fabric…the size does not work in the space. So, I will wait and when the time is right I will fix those things.

  18. Debbie

    It is good to take your time when decorating, and applying things like make up and deodorant!!! Hahaha, when I rush I usually go back and undo it because I don’t like the rushed product anyhow! Things that are wonderful and beautiful take time, I love that first picture!
    Have a great day Melissa!

    Debbies inspiring blog post..More organizing ideas

  19. Judy in KY

    For me, decorating my home is an ongoing project that is never finished. It’s more like an “evolution” than a “project”.

    Judy in KYs inspiring blog post..An "Avant-Garde" Performance

  20. Kathy

    I hope the move is going smoothly, everything put away yet? lol! Just kidding. I just got my Christmas decorations put away and I needed help with that! You are right , of course, decorating right takes time but, oh how we long for instant gratification!

    Kathys inspiring blog post..Pink Roses

  21. Rachael

    Beautiful, beautiful rooms. I am all for a work in progress, works for me! Rachaelxo

  22. a-m

    Truly inspiring thoughts that could not have come at a better time for me. You put it so beautifully. The problem with building is that time is of the essence and you are so used to having to make quick decisions that you forget that you can slow down at the end and just savour time and decide slowly! I will do all the major build stuff and then just sit on beanbags for a while, look for the light!, find out where I am drawn to. I’ve even lined up those paper curtains for when we move in so I can ponder for a while. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. A-M xx

    a-ms inspiring blog post..Crash Course

  23. LuLu

    I feel much more relaxed this year, not sure why just do. your post was such a great reminder to continue on with ideas I having floating around in my head but at a nice slow pace to let them sink in and look within my home to see if things are hidden behind my closets that I have forgotten.
    P.S. can’t resist to comment on the wonderful shelving in one picture …Love it!

    LuLus inspiring blog post..Winter Day With A Mug

  24. Miss Sandy

    Your thoughts on taking your time echo my thoughts on finding the right fit for things to cozy up my home. There are projects that can be whipped through but others that need to be well thought out. I am looking forward to tomorrows post to link up for sharing a beautiful life.

    Miss Sandys inspiring blog post..Lovely Links to Explore…..

  25. Sheryl

    Thank you, Melissa! I’ve always sorted been hard on myself because I’ve never jumped into decorating any of our homes. It’s always taken me quite a few years before I felt I really “knew” my home. This home, for whatever reason, has taken twice as long. It’s taken me 6 years!


  26. Eileen

    I clipped out that same picture of the old sink with the black and white tiole skirt, the chippy painted record cabinet next to it. It’s one of my favorites.

    I loved your post. You’re right, its not about FINISHING, its about the fun you have getting it right along the way.

    Blessings ~ Eileen

  27. duchess

    Oh, I so needed to hear this today. I’ve been feeling a little blue lately. We’ve been in our home about 5 mths now & there are so many things that I want done right away. I’ve also just started homeschooling our two children in Jan. & that kind of cuts into my painting/shopping time if you know what I mean. Thanks for rekindling my spirit & patience.

    duchesss inspiring blog post..Delayed

  28. Becca

    Well, I am the queen of taking my time! But I love that when I do finally get around to doing something it is EXACTLY the way I want it! And that always feels so great!

    Beccas inspiring blog post..Shopping Finds

  29. Susie Harris

    I think you have just shed some light on one of my big faults. Im always in such a rush to hurry and get things done and I fall into that trap. I settle. I settle for things because I cant wait to save more and buy better. Hmmmm. There is a good lesson here. Its ok to wait…..Im trying ,smile. Im going to hold off on new drapes for my den. One :I am not sure what I want and two….well lets just say Im saving my pennies~

    Susie Harriss inspiring blog post..We gather together….

  30. Lindsay

    As always, a perfectly wonderful and inspired post. Thanks for encouraging me to slow down. :)

    Lindsays inspiring blog post..Thanks, Martha!

  31. Maven

    I am so on the same page with you.
    In the past I was always in a rush to get things done and lived on these crazy self imposed deadlines.
    I’m so happy for you in your new home and can’t wait to see what you gradually do to it.
    And I loved the first picture – I wanted to crawl right in :-)

    Mavens inspiring blog post..Validation

  32. CC

    We are at the same point, Melissa. We too just moved into a new house and I am learning a lot about myself. One of those things is exactly what you write about….slowing down and taking my time and being okay with empty spaces and “not yet” projects!

    You inspire me! Thank you~

  33. Emily-Sarah Lineback

    Melissa, do you know that you provide such a ministry with your work? I like these sentences especially: “I can be happy with going slow because I see evidence of other beautiful things in my life. I am seeing a bigger picture of my life and not just the lack of curtains, for instance! And by going slowly, I can see the finer details in the big picture that I would miss if I was rushing.”
    Thanks, Melissa, for sharing beautiful reminders with words; thanks for providing gorgeous examples of decorating in pictures; and thank you for *being* a wonderful example of this in motion.

  34. Rosie's Whimsy

    I always am drawn more to rooms that have evolved over time. I feel that urge to go out a copy one to the letter but am never satisfied. However, the rooms that have been added to bit by bit of things that have really caught my eye are always a success.

    Thanks for the inspiration and the reformation :-)

    Rosie’s Whimsys inspiring blog post..Just sharing….

  35. Deb


    I really enjoy your blog and look forward to each post. At this time in my life, I too have really worked on being in the moment, breathing and just being grateful for where I am in life and for what I have.

    In my current home, I have decorated one room at a time and that has worked well. That is what I tell people who need my help with decorating or projects in their home, one room at a time.

    BUT, now that we are building a new home, I am trying to picture each room and how I want it to be. It’s overwhelming. It’s exciting, but overwhelming.


    Debs inspiring blog post..How are your shoes organized?

  36. Courtney from Mommie Blogs

    oh I so need this perspective. I am just always wanting order and feel when things are unfinished that equals out-of-control. meanwhile our homes is over 110 yrs old, so there is always a project.

    I am new to your site. I really like.

    Courtney from Mommie Blogss inspiring blog post..simply nesting saturday

  37. Robin Rane' ~ All Things Home

    I’m working on Living my Legacy with intention this year…and my “space” is a huge part of that.
    I need organization, inspiration, passion and serinity, all of which can be reflected in the 4 walls of my little home.
    I love your blog, it inspires me…thank you~

    Robin Rane’ ~ All Things Homes inspiring blog post..~Pause~

  38. muralimanohar

    I like taking it slow, finding just the perfect item to add to the room, growing into it. My problem is, I keep moving every year or two….just as things are finding their groove, we uproot it again. Argh!

    muralimanohars inspiring blog post..A boys day out..

  39. Brittany aka Pretty Handy Girl

    What a great reminder to slow down and design each room one day at a time (even if that takes over 4 months for one room ;-D. Which is probably how long my kitchen will take if not longer.) I’m enjoying your Style Tips.


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