Fighting the Desire to Decorate to Perfection

Originally published Monday, 23 January 2012.

When things started looking like we were actually going to get our house, I vowed that I would not obsess over decorating it. I vowed that we would tend to the essentials (like beefing up attic insulation and adding deadbolts to the exterior doors) before I would get bogged down in things like mixing and matching and searching out new furniture.

Oh, the good intentions.

Before we had even wrapped up our due diligence period, I was already getting distracted in my Bible reading with thoughts of coordinating paint chips and arranging furniture. I realized it and I hated it, because that’s not what makes a house.

So many people spend so much time decorating and fixing up without really enjoying it, without really sharing the space—which is what really makes a house a home.

I want to ease into this little homestead of ours, take some time to get to know it before I start ripping up carpet and staining the cabinets. I want to get to find my place in it before I jump head over heels into the stuff decorating blogs are made of. I want to take my time building up this home, bit by bit, rather than feeling the burden of filling it up, nook and cranny, right now.

I want to savor the process of that rather than zip straight through to the very end. I want to practice patience with what we’ve got going on here. Because we plan on staying here for awhile. We plan on putting down roots and raising a little family here.

There ought to be no rush. But that is easier said than done, it seems.

Especially now, when I find that as much as I try to fight those reveries, all too often they win out and I realize another hour has passed as I’ve been rearranging imaginary tables and chairs and mixing made-up paint colors in my head.

For now, I take a deep breath and remind myself that I have all the time in the world to nest and make pretty our new perch. I remind myself that it’s okay if a corner sits bare for a few months—even longer—while we figure out what goes there. I remind myself to be comfortable in the tension of the imperfect and the rough-around-the-edges. Because that is real life.

Welcome, home.

Carmen writes the blog, Life Blessons, which provides an intimate look into her life as a twentysomething woman as she details her experiences learning how to live out her faith, enjoy the simple things in life and be the woman God created to her to be. Along the way, she shares the blessings and lessons that are a part of this journey, the things she likes to call her "blessons."

Feel free to read more at her blog, Life Blessons.

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Experiments in Decorating

The Process of Turning a House into a Home

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