You’ve heard of the slow food movement no doubt, but today I would like to apply some of the same principles to decorating. Wha? That’s right, I said slow decorating. I think sometimes after consuming hours of one-day room makeover TV shows, dramatic before-and-afters on blogs and in shelter magazines, we can get the wrong impression about how a home is really built…and it’s not in a day. Or even a month, or even a year…or more! Are you feeling this? If so, I hope you will stick with me for a slightly longer than usual post to explore this topic a bit more, and then I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section.
Let’s get real. Most of us do not have the kind of money that would allow us to go out and buy everything we want for our homes all at once. Only the superrich can do this, and even then, honestly, it’s probably not a great idea. I find it is far more satisfying to settle into a space and learn its quirks, allowing ideas to build and percolate over time. That is how to build a personal, meaningful home that you love. I get swept up in the tides of decorating mania just like everyone else, and it is a constant struggle to keep the wants at bay, and remind myself it is far more important to live within my means than cave in and buy stuff I want. And sometimes it is really, really, really hard not to.
Case in point: Last week at Target when I was buying this lamp for Bixby’s room (which we really needed because it was way dark in there) I spied a pair of coral x-benches that were the most adorable things I have ever seen. You can see them above on the Pencil Shavings Studio blog because Rachel saw their awesomeness and bought a pair. They were only $60 each, for crying out loud! With contrast piping! It was all I could do to pass them up, and yes, I still have pangs and know I will sort of regret it in the future when I want to buy x-benches and the only ones I can find cost hundred of dollars each. But my reality in this moment is that I shouldn’t buy those x-benches. I am choosing to spend my money on other things that take priority this month, and I have peace with that. I am sharing this with you because sometimes I think it’s easy to assume that others are more flush than you, or have it easy, or never feel these sort of internal conflicts over stuff, but that’s a bunch of crap. We all feel it.
The silver lining in all of this is something I want to share with you now: I truly believe that we can all create a home we love, no matter your income. And not just in a roof-over-your-head way, I mean a stylish haven that you absolutely adore way. Have you heard the saying that people often overestimate what they can do in a day, but underestimate what they can accomplish in a year? Well, I think that applies perfectly to decorating. We get so wrapped up in what we can or cannot afford to do with our home this month or this season, that we shortchange ourselves by not creating a long-term vision to flesh out over several years time.
Think about it: How many decorating mistakes have you made? How many purchases have you made because they were on sale or cheap, that later fell apart or simply did not work with your style and your life? Imagine if every single thing you spent money on for your home from here on out was something you plan to keep forever. How awesome would your home be in a year? Three years? Five years?
I hope if you made it through to the end of this (wordy, rambling, possibly oversharing) post, I have at least given you some food for thought. These are issues I have personally been grappling with a lot lately, and over the next weeks I hope to assemble and then share with you my own slow decorating plans for each room in my own house.
And so, what do you think – about slow decorating, cravings for stuff, planning, etc? I’d love to hear from you. xoxo Laura