Staying Content With Your Home

A life of interior design means a world of gorgeous homes, beautiful features on multiple online and print publications, friends constantly talking about their next project, helping clients redo their homes, and guess what else?? Sometimes that world can come with a bit of jealousy, an I-need-everything-attitude, and the struggle with how to balance creating a lovely home for yourself  and your family while feeling content with the things you have.  That's what we're talking about today. And it's true, I totally go through stages of struggling with this feeling. I'm surrounded by so much wonderful inspiration, awesome DIY projects and home tours, that often I'm left feeling like "wow, I need to update my house" or "my home will never be as beautiful as ________". 

Clearly these feelings of jealousy and my-house-isn't-good-enough aren't good feelings, and they're certainly not aiding your design process.  I just had a great conversation with one of my good friends and e-design clients, Nicole, about this very feeling.  She asked me how I deal with design, style and creating new spaces while staying content with my own spaces.  I just love friends who challenge me unexpectedly like this.  It made me think of how I truly do deal with this, and address the fact that yes, sometimes I do get in the comparison game and jealousy trap.  When I struggle with something {or anticipate a near struggle} I like to make a list of things I know to be true to combat the lies I will be fed while going through the said trial. So, in an effort to do something like that, I made a little list for myself and for others.

-Dig deep and ask yourself why you're comparing your home or feeling less-than-great about your space.
- Your home should be a collection of things you genuinely love. This is HUGE and I know I say it a lot, but it's just because it's true!  Don't latch onto trends because they're "hot". Chances are they will be out next month, season or year, and you'll be left feeling empty, because now you want to incorporate the next trend into your house {but this time you're out of money}.
- Invest your money in the big, statement, foundation pieces of a room. The couch, a chair, a nice table,  rug,  and media center are all good places to put your money.  Make sure these key pieces are neutral enough to stay classic as time goes on. Infuse personality into your space through the wall color, more inexpensive accessories, curtains, pillows, and more.  As trends are changing, the accessories can change with them, but the classic pieces will remain the same and save you heartbreak and bank-break in the end ;)
- Your home should reflect YOU, so when you are designing and styling it, don't compare your room to someone else's, simply because they are not you.  It's not about what everyone else thinks and sees and feels is "in", it's about what you love. What you're comfortable with. And what you genuinely enjoy looking at and living in.  
- Define your style on paper and write out the things you adore about design, your home, your room, and your collection of "stuff".
- Don't feel like you have to get the decorating done quickly. I struggle with this, as I'm definitely a go-getter and want to get everything done like a speed demon. I don't like to live in a mess or an undecorated space...anyone with me??  However, don't be afraid to take your time to decorate your home.  If you do this, you will end up with a well thought-out house that better reflects you, and after all, that's the ultimate goal!  You want your house to feel collected and like its belongings have come from all over, not just from one big shopping spree at a single super store.
- For me personally, I need to be constantly reminded of my goals in creating my home:
1. To serve others and to serve God in my house.
2. Feel comfortable and happy in my living space.

I dream about my future home a lot. In fact, more than I care to admit :) I can't wait to decorate it, but I want to try to avoid these feelings of constant comparing. I hope to be happy with what I create and remember that it's not my house in the first place, its the Lord's, and I ultimately want to serve Him and love His people in my house.  I also want to stay creative and inspired by looking at house tours, projects and tutorials but putting my own spin on each project I do.  

What about you? How do you stay content with your house or space amongst all the design inspiration at our fingertips?? How do you plan on creating a home you love and avoid the feelings of jealousy and comparison?

Some food for thought on this Thursday..have a wonderful day!



  1. 'should be a collection of things you love.'

    such a good reminder! i sometimes get caught up in what's 'trendy' on the ol' blogosphere and want to weep because i dont have all vintage white washed furniture. but in actuality, i love our dark, modern furniture, for it's functionality and clean lines. it's very me (and my husband!)

  2. Such wisdom my friend! I agree that we should make our homes a reflection of us and what we love and not to compare because no two people or no two homes are ever the same.

  3. I've seen a quote on Pinterest that applies to everything you just shared today... "Comparison is the thief of joy". It's so true, and like you said, your home should reflect YOU and not someone else. I think these same tips apply to not only a home's design but to just about anything from clothes to weddings.

    I'm super guilty of looking through everyone's beautiful pins and wanting the same style, outfit, home, etc... but it's good to be honest with yourself and ask if that's really you. I do my best to avoid jealousy and comparison by simply learning to be happy with what I have. I'm learning to not 'want' what everyone else has... and doing my best to want what I have now. (:

  4. i am slowly building up the things i love. the only time i get jealous is when someone has something that is already on my want list, but i also know that it takes time. zac makes fun of me all the time since i already have everything picked out for our future home, until he realizes that it's all things that we both love and will keep for a very long time. we just need the house to put them in!

  5. One of my favorite posts of yours, Michaela! You have such a sweet heart and it shines through your writing! Thanks for always helping me to keep things in perspective! xo

  6. One of my biggest struggles is not being a "speed demon" -- Our home is largely empty, with only two rooms even close to being finished, so far (the family room, and Maile's room).

    We are a cash-only family, and I feel like I'm constantly apologizing -- to everyone ... new friends, babysitters, even delivery people! -- for how empty our house is. BUT, I know that we are decorating the "financially fit" way, and are filling our home with things that are true to us, as a family, and true to our style!

    Thanks for this post, Michaela!

  7. I love this post! It really applies to what I have been going through the past couple weeks too!

    My hubby and I are expecting our first baby and living in a little one bedroom European apartment.. its mini.. and I have been dreaming of our new place with a beautiful nursery... and time after time places have fallen through... and for a couple different reasons it looks like we will be staying here for a little while.

    at first I was so mad but then I started realizing being mad doesn't change the situation. But I CAN do my best to make the best of the home we do have..

    I love the tips you put in this post! and most of all I love the two goals you narrowed it down to! Thanks so much! xoxo

  8. This post couldn't have come at a more perfect time. I realized the same feelings when I read one of your posts. You had said "The fact that we don't even deserve life, and yet God's mercies are new every morning, continues to blow me away. His grace; undeserved and freely given. His love; so deep, we will never be able to understand it. Our talents; only given to us by God to bless others." It made me realize that I have been ungrateful pretty much my entire life. And suddenly the things that made me unhappy (ie: living in an undesigned/cluttered home, living AT home instead of alone with Jeremy and myself, not having a lot of money) just didn't matter anymore, I realized that stuff isn't as important as making sure that I raise Jeremy and give him the love and attention he needs as well as just live life and be happy. Because God is good. Actually, I'm going to buy that print that says "This is always the thing, God is always good and we are always loved." and I'm going to give it to my family for Christmas so we can hang it in our home as a reminder that God gave us the greatest gift, and there really is no reason to be unhappy.
    Seriously, this post was timed perfectly. :)
    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts! I love knowing that I'm not the only one who gets those feelings every now and again, but I'm going to start reminding myself to be grateful for everything that I do have, whenever I have a thought like that.

  9. So good Michaela! I especially agree with the part about rushing to get it done... I'm so guilty of that. I find a big key for me in combating all of that is to take a break from Pinterest and similar sites - I love the inspiration but it seriously fries my own creativity because I get so caught up in trying to imitate, rather than invent. Which is ironic for 'inspiration' haha. I love you for sharing on this topic!

  10. I love this so much!! Especially as I start to work on E's nursery and want everything!!

  11. The speed demon thing is me to a T! I've done a little better this time around and am taking my time decorating, but I still could slow down some! I don't know why I feel so much pressure to have it done RIGHT NOW!

  12. Michaela, what a good post! I definitely struggle with those same feelings in design, fashion, and art, but I always feel better when I stop comparing myself to others. Sometimes its so hard that I've started to make myself do 50 jumping jacks every time I realize I'm comparing myself again.

    I love the saying of having items in your home that you only find to be beautiful or useful. How true!

  13. Thanks for this, Michaela. :) I really needed your encouragement and your wisdom on this. I am so, so incredibly thankful for you and BLESSED by you!

  14. One thing I am always trying to remember is that it doesn't have to all be decorated today. This isn't an HGTV show. I would rather have an empty space on my wall than have something I didn't love, and so I'll wait until I can find/afford the best piece. Thanks for this, its so true!!


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