Tuesday, July 9, 2013

There's No Place Like Home

For a long time now I've been wanting to simplify my life, but I wasn't sure exactly what that meant.  Did it mean that I needed to quit working, quit writing, quit shopping, quit doing anything I didn't want to do?  The answer seemed kind of elusive in a way, because quitting anything for me usually means filling that void with something else.

As time has worn on, and as I have simplified a number of things in my life...mainly that I'm no longer writing for the most part, I hardly shop, and I don't do things I really dislike doing, I have realized that simplicity means different things to different people.

I've decided that maybe simplicity really isn't the word I was looking for, even though I love that it can mean lack of pretense or guile and uncomplicated.   Maybe the words I needed to add to my vocabulary were calm, wellness, authenticity, and peace...these somehow seem more descriptive and more direct than the generality of simplicity.

I have never been one to pretend to be something I am not, and I have not tried to keep up with the Joneses...because let me tell you folks, I know some pretty amazing Joneses!  But I have grown weary of looking at beautiful homes online, and feeling somewhat let down by aspects of my own home.  Which is silly really because I too live in a beautiful home, filled with beautiful things, and that's not bragging, that's just realizing how truly lucky you are!

I realized recently that as I was waiting for my new sunroom, my new backsplash, my new master bathroom, my new amazing gardens, I was doing just that...I was "waiting" to live!  Of course I have been living, but I haven't been living fully, nope, I've been in a sort of holding pattern.

Now, please don't think that I don't appreciate amazing homes, I've been privileged to visit and write about many over the last 15 years, but the fact is that I'm tired of waiting.  During all those years I never once thought, "hey I wish I lived here," when I left those homes, I appreciated them, but never envied them...if that makes sense.  I was content and happy to drive home to my little piece of paradise, no matter where I was living at the time.  But then came blogs, and pinterest, and tumblr, and every other online entity that can make you wish for things you don't need, or sometimes even want.

So, I have pledged that from now on...

...I will no longer wait to have friends over until my house is perfect...I, nor my house will ever be perfect, but having friends over is always perfect!

...I will no longer put anything in my house that isn't truly me, no matter what the trends, or who says I should, and though I have rarely put things in my house I don't love, I have on occasion been taken over by the trend demons!  Henceforth,  I will promise to be true to me, because this is MY house.  (though I promise to defer to Mr. Tide because technically this is his house too...just don't tell him please!)

...I will share my home with others (see pledge #1), because what is the point in having a wonderful home if you don't share it?!...then it is just a prison, or maybe a lovely museum.

...I will no longer feel the need to apologize for or focus on the negatives of this home.  We all have negatives in our homes, but that should always take a backseat to the fact that we HAVE a home!

...I will use my home as a safe haven, a place where I get to cook, read, sleep, and wander around in my pjs however the heck I want...this is my castle and by golly I'm gonna call the shots.

Each day I stop and tell myself how grateful I am for so many things, and yet somehow over the past few years I have slowly let myself get swept up into a world where nothing is real, and everything is done for people who are peering in from the outside.  I am thankful that I have only stepped a few feet into this world, but there are days when I've felt as though something was wrong with me if I didn't like a certain type of decor, or wanted to DIY the hell out of everything in my house...it resulted in a little bit of design multiple personality disorder, something I've never known and never want to take hold.

So, in closing, because I'm not even sure what to say from here, because let's face it, I AM part of the machine that makes us all so crazy and want to rip out perfectly good kitchens to replace them with perfectly "better" kitchens.. I am throwing back the curtain and revealing that wizards aren't all they claim to be.  I'm offering you a hand to get off the Merry Mixer, to get your wits about you, and to stop beating yourselves up because you and your home aren't everything "they" say it should be.

Wanna know how to get back to YOUR home?  Just click your heels 3 times and say "there's no place like home, there's no place like MY home."  You see, you've known it all along and if you ever doubt it, just remember what Dorothy learned about home...

“If I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn't there, I never really lost it to begin with.”


  1. Yes, just love it! If our house doesn't criticise us, why criticise it?

    1. Beautifully put, and you and several other bloggers are my inspiration for living life beautifully...with an emphasis on fully! :)

  2. I am with you Kat. I am increasingly disinterested in blogs because all they show these days (not all) is what they bought. Of course, a lot is all neatly camouflaged in "vintage" "antique" or "thrifted" but it is hopping even if it is second hand. Money....money money.....out the door on meaningless trivial crap. And all the design books I buy seem to feature homes I have seen on blogs...I love design books but I want new and fresh.It's all about consumerism. I prefer the blogs that talk about peoples lives, what they do, even if it is the ordinary every day stuff. I hate shopping....hate it. Even in my line of work (decorating) I avoid clients that like disposable things.

    1. Maybe it's an age thing Chania? I now delete emails for mass merchants and throw catalogs into the recycle bin without ever opening them. I know we can't all own one of a kind antiques, but I don't want to be one of the masses either...I think I'm ready to just "be." :)

  3. Oh, Kat, I think we have been on the same wave length. In January I decided to simplify my home, it was the only way to get it organized and as they say, an organized home is an organized mind! I, too, had been so swayed by some of the homes I see on the internet. Maybe I couldn't afford a cherry wood dining room set or makeover a grand armoir, but by golly, if that person had a pillow from Target, I'd get it even if I didn't need one. It's just the power of the media and human nature I guess. And I remember an old friend once saying, "There will always be people that have more and less than you." And I knew I had to streamline my superficial behavior and gain control of the wanting and waiting and spending. I've turned my focus to things we need...a new set of sheets or bath towels, something to replace the old flatware, a new toaster. I still get that satisfaction that I'm bettering my life, just not with frivolous things.

    I thought long and hard about doing the home tour and then the tour of our lake property, it felt a little like show and tell. And then I realized my home is my creation and it's not like anyone else. I'm happy to share my individuality. And there is another saying..."Waiting for heaven is what hell is all about." So, simplify, streamline, or just broaden your beliefs in what you have, what makes you happy and how to live the life you love in your own backyard.


  4. What a wonderful post, Kat! Inspiration for all of us!

  5. Well said. I certainly agree with everything you said. I do struggle though with finding the things I actually need and want. It used to be I could not afford things when we were younger. Now, I probably could but find it harder to find the things I want.

  6. You are absolutely right... so much coming at us from every direction, can somehow, sometimes make a person feel inadequate even though there should be no reason to feel so. Be who you are , be true to yourself, and do what you do for you. If you share it let it be real. This is what I tell myself... Enjoy the rest of your week!

  7. Kat-You and I have been on the same journey. My own started a couple of years ago. I no longer dance to anyone's expectations but my own. It is freeing-really freeing. Good for you!!! xo Diana

  8. I think we need to form a mob and tie up Martha Stewart. By golly...she's the one who started the whole "everything must be perfect" way of thinking accelerant!
    The internet was just the match.

  9. Love your new pledge. Love that gorgeous echinacea photo! :)


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