Sometimes I look at all these houseblogs and ogle the beautifully staged spaces. In the first place, many of them lack clutter of any kind. I could never be so neat and tidy. It's not in my nature, and I'm sure some of you relate. I take detailed notice of things all over the house, and generally know where somebody set something down while passing through the dining room, or where I watched someone else put the unopened jar of pasta sauce; I'm even particularly OCD about weird things, like how the towels hang in the bathroom, and the way the kitchen is cleaned after cooking with chicken. But if I go on a massive spring cleaning, I'm stumped. And frankly, I've let my life get to the point where I'm not sure I could ever get completely decluttered and remain employed.
And I also often take note of whether someone hired out the work or did it him or herself. I have been known to get a little discouraged when I hear how quickly some project or other got finished-- until I realize that the work was hired out to someone who didn't learn how to do the job off the internet (coughcough like we did coughcough) while we pitifully muddle our way through. I feel a little better about my snail's pace. I'm in the midst of a learning curve!
But today I noticed this: a lot of the After pictures that look so professionally staged? Those houses contain "nicer" stuff than I have at the moment. I'm still slowly weeding out the college furniture and collecting the heirlooms, so I've got a ways to go before my stuff looks polished. Oh hell. It'll never looked polished. I don't have polished taste. Not to mention, by the time I get through replacing the crap stuff, the initially nice things I bought or the antique I inherited will be ready for replacement or refinishing, respectively. And actually, I prefer to live in that kind of mismatched space. The few times in my life where I have made the place immaculate, I spent all my time getting a stomach ulcer over everyone else's inability to clean after themselves.
So while this was an initially depressing thought-- as in an, "I'm not sure I'll ever have the money to have nice things AND fix up the house"-- I've decided it's actually a comforting thought: It's not because I suck at this! It's because I'm still not a grown-up yet. I like lots of quirky things with sentimental value; I still like to sleep in my clothes on occasion, and hang pictures on the walls with pushpins.
Not one for polish, I suppose.
And you know, maybe that leads to a larger theme-- that there's a pretty big difference between renovating or remodeling, and interior design. I like to try and separate the two, at least initially. I know that the design dresses up and theoretically shows off the reno, though really, it ultimately comes down to taste. But it's such a fun part of the project...
So props to those of you with beautiful, polished spaces-- I envy you. I still love to ogle your finished projects and use them as a bar toward which to strive. I'm just content knowing I'll likely never quite get there!