identity crisis: home decor edition

(also known as the post with way too many question marks)

My family room looks empty without the Christmas tree, but in a good way.  In a simple, clean way.  There is a part of me that longs for simplicity amidst the pandemonium of my life.  I keep looking at that empty space for inspiration as I decide what things to put back into my life after their temporary holiday storage.  Do I even like those little tea cups?  Does this picture bring me joy?  Does this throw pillow make me happy?  Is it better to leave a wall empty if the wreath you have doesn't speak to your soul?

And that leads me to question my sense of style.  Do I have one? Should I have one by now?  Should I be more passionate about decorating?  Why am I not?   Is it life on a meager income or just life with 4 little boys that keeps me from putting more time into my home?    Or is it one of those things that I just put to the back of my mind for now in order to feel content with what I have?  Am I asking too many questions in this post?  Yes.

But this train of thought got me wondering, then browsing the internet for my ideal family room.  I just wanted to prove to myself that I do indeed have an opinion on the matter, somewhere in this brain of mine.  I didn't find it in the 5 minutes I dedicated to the search.  But at least I didn't fall in love with the first one I saw, so I do have an opinion, right?  I do like these kitchen pictures:

They appeal to me.  But they don't scream simplicity, so I'm not sure how I feel about my thoughts when I started this post.  Do I like simplicity, after all?  Or do I just not like anything I have?  Too many questions in this post...just answer them for me, will you?  I'm tired of thinking about it. 


  1. oh this is right up my alley...but not. I'm a terrible decorator too, as in we just don't decorate or haven't decorated. But in reference to your craving simplicity, actually the two photos you have put up are very simple. Look at the bones of the rooms. Simple trim round that doorway in the first one and clean paint on the walls. Same with the second one. No upper cabinets. Same material for the countertop is used as the backsplash. It's all very clean and streamlined in a way and I love it! Decorating like that means you can have fantastic pieces like that hutch in the first photo that really stand out. It's like putting each piece up on a pedistal in a museum; you won't have a ton of furniture, but every piece you do have, you'll look at every day and smile. So it's not that you don't have style, this style just takes years to ammass. And houses that are built like that here are way out of my price range so you are working with what you've got! For me, that means I have a bunch of pieces that I don't really LOVE but that were the best I could do when I needed them. So I totally "feel" you :)

  2. oh and check out this site I just found! It has me itching to buy some lumber :)

  3. Cat, yes! I feel so validated and suddenly feel like I'm not crazy or confused, I just have great taste=) Thank you for your insights, and that link is awesome!

  4. I totally agree with Cat. I think we are all like that...I have decorating problems all of the time. Most of my apartment is actually decorating by Sean from stuff he had before...he is a twin and his twin sister decorated his place. I have finally put my touches on things...but I am always saying I should do this or that, but it never happens. Cost is a huge factor and time. I don't have four hours to paint something and I don't have money to buy $500 dollars worth of decorative pillows. It's so frustrating!!!

  5. I had a really sad and stunning thought the other day that my house looked like the "as-is" section of DI! It was not long after someone called me a "Craigslist Junkie." I have mixed feelings about this observation about myself. I feel proud of the magnificent deals I find, and I get thrills from the sport of bargain shopping. But I cringe to think the outcome might be screaming shabby second hand look. I occasionally get urges to re-do a room, to make it look better, to upgrade the over all feel. So I spend hours browsing Craigslist again. Then I have a realization: We have no money cuz Josh is still in school. I'm not sure how well "nice" and "kids" mesh. (This is a constant debate between the idealistic self and the realistic self.) Then comes the sinking feeling that I'm doing it again: Shopping on craigslist... to give it less of a craigslist look. I'm lucky when that works. I haven't been in your house, but I have a hunch it isn't as bad as mine, so maybe take comfort in that.

  6. I think there is a time and season for everything. When my sons were young and all home, our house was very simple. I want to say "simply decorated" but it wasn't decorated much at all. The very day after my youngest left on his mission we started tearing out carpet and painting rooms. Not that I'm saying we all need to wait that long, we don't, but it worked for me. When my sons were home it was all about functional and easy. But that's just me.

  7. I loved the photos you posted Natalie...my dream style for sure. Sometimes I feel like I'm in more of a mish-mosh now...my hubby's one of those guys that actually has an opinion when it comes to decorating (urghh), so I try to respect some of his style, while keeping my own. I resounded with what Cat said too and basically answered "yes" to every question in paragraph two. and now, I WANT TO GO SHOPPING!!!!!


what do you think?