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Monday, August 15, 2011

“Fall” in Love, With a House You Hate

I actually lost sleep over my house this past week. I guess the counting sheep were on strike.

It seemed like I hated strongly disliked everything in my home. This was probably spurred on by a blog post or magazine article that I had read which probably featured the house of my dreams and well, reality fell short … perhaps you have had a similar moment?

Then of course I felt ashamed because compared to many, I live in a palace.

Here is what set me off: the family room drapes. I’ll be perfectly honest, I have hated strongly disliked these drapes from the moment they were hung. They are custom, which means I paid a pretty penny. Truthfully, when they were first hung up I thought we would live in our house maybe one or two additional years so I thought “Well, I can stand them for that long.” Fast forward seven years and we are still living here and I hate dislike the drapes even more.

my house 010

I had an“Apocalypse Now” (The Horror, the horror) moment where I felt like “If I have to look at those drapes just ONE MORE DAY!!!!!”

I couldn’t take the drapes down at that moment because it is August in Arizona which means a 115 degree sun would beam spitefully into the room. So I attacked the rest of the space. I pushed furniture around (yes, with the dog still sitting on the couch) and steam cleaned the carpets.

shabby 024

I dusted every crevice, surface, nook and cranny and then some.

shabby 021

Now generally this expenditure of house cleaning energy wears me out enough that my evil house hating thoughts subside for awhile. Nope, not this time. It was the chairs turn. I have hated strongly disliked this chair from the get go. I custom ordered it while living in Georgia at the height of the Tuscan look eight years ago. The furniture company took so long (5 months +) to make the darn thing that it was literally delivered from one moving truck to another. I am not exaggerating. We shut the doors on our Arizona bound moving truck minutes later. Talk about stress! So I couldn’t inspect the chair until 2 months later when we finally found a home and moved in. The back of our custom chair was ripped and sewn incorrectly and of course the time to put in a replacement claim had passed. Just merely looking at the chair made me angry. 

shabby 020

So between the drapes, the chair and the endless row of antique family members that have been on the wall for seven years I couldn’t shake my hate dislike for the room. My frenzy even worried the dog.

shabby 025

But again, I told myself to quit whining. There are people out there HOMELESS for heavens sake.  So I thought I would change my opinion of my home SOMEHOW for very little money.

Now let me just say that there are not a lot of reasonably priced, fashionable treatment options for a sliding glass door. No, this is NOT an option:

Shutters would be nice in my French Country décor but I really don’t want to invest $1,500 in a permanent window fixture for a house that is already upside down due to a collapsed real estate market.

I could probably do something similar to this French door treatment, but we use our sliding glass door daily. Indeed the grimy handed 9 year old boy is in and out constantly. So, you can see where this is going.

I need to fall in love with my house all over again.

I have begun by going around and making a list of everything that needs to be done. Are you sitting down?

Replant the front flower pots.

Plant an herb garden as part of a front porch vignette.

Make a new wreath for the front door.

Replace the dated brass entry way light.

Paint all the brass door handles oil rubbed bronze (orb).

Replace the formal dining room chandelier. (It is missing several pieces and is way to modern for our taste.)

Sew six slipcovers for the dining room chairs.

Find a new (old) couch to reupholster for the front room.

Find a new (old) chair to reupholster for the front room. 

Update artwork in office.

Create more storage options in office.

Create slipcovers for two of Rudi’s stepstools. (Dachshunds need assistance due to bad back issues.)

Paint the dated oak kitchen cabinets or at least the island.

Find and install hardware for the cabinets. 

Replace the kitchen dinette ceiling fan with a chandelier.

Paint 4 kitchen chairs

Paint two large baskets that hide our reading material.

Find a new decorative wall treatment for the longggg hallway.

Paint or stain the built in cupboards at the end of the hallway.

Paint or stain the cupboards in the master bathroom.

Install bead board in the windowless, soulless guest bathroom.

Find an outdoor chandelier to replace the one that broke several months ago.

Find new patio chair cushions for the worn, mildewed and dirty cushions we presently have.

List evil chair on Craigslist.

List green couch on Craigslist.

Clear out tons of clutter and list items of value on Ebay.

Have a garage sale for the remaining items.

Now this list doesn’t even include the cute and crafty project to do list of things I would like to create. But trust me when I say it is almost as long. :)

On September 1st I will begin my personal “Fall In Love With My Home” project list. The traveling days of summer will soon end, as will the Wayfaring Wednesday linky party. I plan to replace it with:


But all of these tasks create a dilemma. In order to accomplish my huge project list, take care of my family, run my interior design business, and write a blog, et cetera, something has to give. 

Beginning on September 1st, I will temporarily be turning off my comments and also curbing my bloggy bliss time. On average I spend between 2-3 hours a DAY blogging. Truthfully, sometimes more. :(

That is precious time I could be creating projects that might inspire you.

If there are projects that you too have been putting off, perhaps you will be inspired and willing to share your accomplishments on “Fall In Love With Your Home” Wednesdays.

The holidays will be here before we know it and wouldn’t it feel good knowing your house is ready? The first of this weekly linky party will be held on September 7th.


Who’s ready to “Fall In Love”?



April said...

My, if you total up the time all those projects will take, then add to it the BLOG time it will need for "proper" documentation, you will be SLEEPLESS more! :)
I say that wryly, jokingly, happily, and hopefully encouragingly as your projects are gorgeous, always, and I so admire your spirit of seeking out the best--contentment in this case.
I went to bed last night with a list rattling around in my head. Need to get it in print asap!
Happy busyness!(and here's looking ahead to a break in the heat--SOON!)That's bound to help, don't you think? ~april

KaseyQ said...

I LOVE IT! I am there, sister. This will be the perfect time to start because the kiddos are heading back to school! Thanks for inspiring me to get going. :-)

The Tablescaper said...

That's a long list, but I guess if I took the time to write it all down, mine would be as long. fall is a great time to get our homes back in order and to fall in love with them again. Thanks for the inspiration.

- The Tablescaper

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

If evil chair is chocolate brown.. let me know before it hits Craig's list... I have been wanting to replace my evil TAN chair as dear sweet innocent Brookie LOVED green markers when she was 2... just sayin'!!! lol! And I have been looking to replace my chair with something that matches my new couches... let me know :):):):):)

I am excited to see your progression with this... I know what an amazing talent you are and can't wait to see everything you do! :):):):):):):):):):):):)

Kathy said...

I have been thinking of making a list just like this and curbing the blogging time...seriously you are me but actually doing something...I'm in, this whole thing sounds like just what the Doctor ordered

Glenda said...

I think you have a bug up your butt right ? LOL

Anyway you can't feel to bad for those that choose to be homeless. You've done better and there's no shame in that feeling,

Don't lay awake to much over this. The house will still be there tomorrow.


Auntie Em said...

Tackle things one day at a time. We have been in renovation mode for over 7 years...more than that if you count replacing the siding and windows. But I have found that it's not the furniture or decorations that make it beautiful, it's the family and company that come to visit and laugh and share and love us. They don't care if they are sitting on our old ratty chairs or if the curtains are faded. They come to see us! Isn't that wonderful??!? :)

Hope you have a great week! :)

Vicki said...

First: I loved yesterday's post!
I too strongly dislike my house, but as it's a rental there's not much I can do. I'm collecting ideas of what I DO want for when we can buy a house again. Can't wait to see the results of your handiwork.

Kristina said...

Oh, I love this idea! Husband and I are moving into a quirky older home in two weeks...and even though we're renting, we've been given the "go" to make some of our own improvements...which it needs.

Craftymoose Crafts said...

Oh my! That is quite some list you have there! Are you sure you don't have the "back to school don't know what to do now blues?"

Stitchfork said...

Go Laura! Funny how we get used to our house and stop seeing some things. My list is as long!
xo Cathy
ps...hope the 'evil' chair sells fast, just don't list it as evil tho, maybe switch up the letters and describe it as a chair you can 'live' in, but you'll still have the satisfaction knowing you had a version of the word 'evil' there

Sheila said...

Looks like my to-do list is as long as yours, lol. I thought I was the only one who "hated" my house. I know just how you feel. I have made some decorating decisions on paint colors or furniture pieces that afterwards I have just completely hated and have had to live with them for what seems like forever. Though most of them are easy fixes, I just either don't have the time or money to fix them. I have days when I dread even going home from work because I know that if I have to look at that wall color for another moment I might just throw up. Don't get me wrong, I love the house just not the decor, and yes, I also have moments where I feel ashamed for feeling that way about my house as I know there are many who have not been as blessed as I have. Okay, I'll stop rambling now. Thanks for this post, I really made me feel better and I love the new party idea. I hope to be able to join in, and don't you worry about having to take a bloggy break to get everything accomplished, we understand completely.

Ceekay- Thinkin of Home said...

Got my normal breakfast Decor to Adore...need to go back to bed, now I am all wore out! Whew, you are going to be busy!
Drapes, curtains, window...I think are always issues!
Have fun - I HOPE!

Chris said...

Oh are definitely in the type 'A' column with me. There is always a list. I tackle quick things spray painting those baskets. Makes you feel you've accomplished something right at the beginning. I also have learned not to try to pull everything together at once. If the 'new' doesn't go with the 'old' the look will change as you progress.
So looking forward to your changes!

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

That's quite the list, Laura, but I give you credit for making it! I'll bet if more people did and tried to fix or readjust rooms and things they don't like, they would wind up liking them! Your drapes with the valance, you could even just add a border along the bottoms or sides to change them up a bit. I know about the custom guilt ~ I had some custom window treatments {still got 'em but packed up}, that I took down and went with store bought to update my look a few years ago. Serves me right for going with something that screams 90's!

Dumbwit Tellher said...

Hi Laura ~ I think your concept of trying to fall back in love with your home again is stupendous. Too often we all grow weary of our homes and the urge to want more can be overwhelming. It's amazing how just a few well thought out changes can transform a room into something we will love again. Wishing you great fun through this process. It will be very fun to have you walk us thru your transformation. Great food (& inspiration) of thought for us all!!
Enjoy your last days of summer and sending my best to you,

xo Deb

dreams on 34th street said...

Laura, you are brilliant! That's exactly what we are doing here at 34th street. We have raised two children...put them through college and now it's time for our home! Our carpet is 30 years old! I will be there on Wednesdays "with bells on"! I fit right in! "Let's get this linky party started!

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Good for you. As you've read, I don't like my home either. It is just toooooooo small. I have been trying and trying to make it better. I have a ton of things on my list too. So I can't wait to join in and to see what all you are doing. Hugs, Marty

Karena said...

Laura, I love your concept, not sure I love how long your list is, have you done it by priority?

I will send you an image of my living room in my condo and the sofa that was upholstered horribly (he would never come back) Infuriated me because I had an upholsterer in San Diego I used time and time again.

Anyway, I have taken to changing out pillows for the seasons and adding small accessories to pull it together.

You have way too much on your plate, Just sayin!


Art by Karena

Pat said...

Sweet Laura,
Thanks for being so honest.Upon the urging of a young coworker of my husband, I started a blog last August with high hopes of posting every day.What a joke! Actually, I haven't posted in a few months. As I have read over and over of other bloggers being "owned" by their blogs I decided that I will not become one of those! I have spent the summer cooking for my two kids who are home from college, probably for the last time since both will graduate this year and hopefully become gainfully employed!!! My project list is still waiting and my 24 year old home has many rooms that desperately need to be updated. I have decided that projects and blogging can wait but I cannot stop the clock from ticking away the few precious moments that I have left with my children! I am a blessed woman and so are you! I will look forward to your updates!

mpainter said...

this is your best blog ever. Honest, funny and totally relatable! I enjoyed it so much. I feel the same way about my house but have a HUGE (abnormal) arcadia door. I installed ceiling to floor, wall to wall custom insulated drapes from penneys about 8 years ago and they still look great. They better be because they cost more than all the other window coverings in the 3 bedroom 1300 square feet house combined! But I need all my rooms repainted, updated and it makes me tired in this heat just thinking about it. Good luck and congrats on the list! mary

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Just had to add, don't forget Furniture Liquidators and J K's when you are ready to look for new pieces. Furn. Liq. also has some fabulous drapes. Just a thought. I would love to go with you, two of my favorite places. Hugs, Marty

Karen said...

OMG! GIRL! I think are brains are fused!!
I am SO experiencing the same thing. There are just not enough hours in the day...hence my blog has suffered. Plus I discovered Pinterest and when I do feel like sitting down at the computer, that is where I go to find just the style or color I am searching for.
I too, do not want to put big chunks of money in the house. Just the painting a few months ago was enough.
So - GOOD FOR YOU! Every once in a while - this is just what we need to do. And we'll come back to blogging with a renewed spirit.
(I am so sorry I missed the luncheon last week!) But like I said - there are not enough hours in the day...)
Big hugs! I'll be thinking of you! Karen

Fay said...

Hi Laura thats QUITE a list !! please dont overload or you will grow to REALLY hate it
should be interleaved with special
pampering treats- just little things ! doesnt have to be too big
Enjoy laura and see you in a while i hope
Love Fay xx

Carol E. in AZ said...

I so totally HATE my house! It's small, outdated and just plain uninspiring. Too bad for me though...husband says he's not leaving the house unless it's feet first on a gurney!

Please post your ideas when you can. I need all the help in spiffing up the place that I can get!

Best wishes for you :)

Trissta said...

Good luck! I know it can get frustrating! I always say I'm going to do something to change the way things are in my house, but somehow it always gets changed around... Sigh. Sounds like you've got a good plan to instate and keep you busy!

Much Love,
Living on the Chic

michelle ellis said...

Oh my gosh, I could have written this myself. I go through phases like this too. Good luck, you can do it!

GARAGE SALE GAL ~ Deb's Earthly Delights said...

I, "we", have lived in this home for the 7 years and STILL have projects to "DO"'s unsettling, frustrating and can be a downer... I have to remember that I HAVE a home and am very Blessed! That helps!!! There will also be "projects"..I'll be checking on your list! Go easy on yourself and start with the small projects is a quick pick me up!!

CalypsoInTheCountry said...

Good for you on making the list! I have a mental list and I really should write it down so I can get moving on it! It always helps to be able to cross something off! As soon as my kids are back to school, I would love to get going on more projects. I spend so much time reading about projects instead of doing them! Good luck with your goals!

Charm Bracelet Diva said...

Sounds wonderful! I'll be there. My list is as long, or longer, than yours! You are not alone!


Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

This is a common problem among many shelter bloggers I suspect. We all visit gorgeous post about hearth and home for inspiration and creative ideas and beauty. But what it sometimes leads us is down an unhappy path with what we have! I have often beaten a path down that road too.
You are so smart to not lose your way and choose to find beauty and joy in what you have and where you are!
KUDOS to you!
I love your new meme idea and will happily participate!
Great and insightful post, Laura! A very timely reminder!

Debbie said...

You have completely inspired me! It's so nice to see someone else in my predicament. I need to relearn to love my home too.

Right now, I'm not feeling it...

The Pennington Point said...

Wow! Just look how many of the comments say they feel the same way. You're starting a movement!

You left something off of your list, "Bring Lisa out for a weekend to help me play with all of my things and give me a fresh eye on what I have." ;)


Linda said...

I am, I am! I am ready to fall in love with my house again!! I too have so many projects in mind (not on an official list, YET), but somehow most of the items never get done. I'm waiting for cooler weather - we've been enjoying some right now, though 85 today is not exactly as cool as I would like for working around the house. Fall is coming though and yes, yikes - Christmas.
Love and blessings to you always,

French said...

Oh goodness, no wonder you are not getting any sleep...that's quite a list! I think you need an intern! But I can't wait to see what beautiful things will flow from your creative hands, Laura!

Miss Sandy said...


I am rowing in the same boat as you only my problem area is the master bathroom and connecting hall from my bedroom. I have already started the process and you know what? It is working! I love my new bathroom color and a sad little cupboard is now my favorite thing in the room with still more changes to come!

Like you I try and keep a grateful attitude but sometimes those little imperfections do bother me too. I can't wait to see what wonders you come up with!

Blessings on falling in love with your home!

Colleen @ MuralMaker&More said...

Oh, Laura . . . thank you for writing this. I could write an entire blog on my present housing situation (not good - but better than a lot). Suffice it to say, I looked around - all over - for a photo op for something I painted. Nothing. Nowhere. I couldn't find any area of this house that would serve as a nice interior background!

That spoke volumes to me. Yes, I need to FALL in love with my home. I'm in! I'm in!

Designs By Pinky said...

HI Laura! Yvonne sent me over and I am so glad she did!!!!! I actually started on MY list yesterday!!!! We have lived in the darn house for....are yiu ready.....28 years!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have grown to almost love my house but I still HATE< HATE where it is (in the woods). I am a floral designer and can't grow flowers!!!!!!! It is SI frustrating. Sorry, end of rant:):) I LOVE your idea and will happily participate! I will now be your newest follower. I know what you mean about blogging for TOO long each day! XO, Pinky said...


It's all how you look it. I suggest intoxicated! Works for me. :)

Your Friend,

Barbara Bell Photography said...

Fall is the perfect time to start on a new project...or 100s! ;-)

I'm ready for fall!

Cote de Texas said...

boy I can relate to this! i spent the past two years working through my own list and i'm not through. i know what you mean when everything just everything drives you crazy about your house! Mine was all yellow when i decided i didn't like yellow anymore - i wanted chic gray. well - all the fabrics, everything was geared to the yellow walls. I couldn't afford to just redo it all in one day - it's been two years and i'm just finishing the "I've got the yellow blues project."

Good luck with your list - take it slow and you'll get it all done - just don't give up!!!


Liz said...

Hi Laura,
Thanks for visiting me. I will be back tomorrow for the Linky party and look forward to watching your list dwindle!


Yeah, pal, I hate my drapes too, I hate them from all over the house, including bedrooms...we just ordered great window treatment from Hunter Douglas, for living and dining rooms; they're not here yet from the USA, the store brings them with the right measurements for your, I will post when I install them! I have tons of proyects too, but will have to wait for next year, like our bedroom, it's like a never ending job!...a HOME IS!!! Thanks for sharing. Lots of hugs. FABBY

Kelly George said...

I hear you! Need to finalize my list and get many things done. Our house is also in under water status and I think that contributes to a lot of my distaste for it. I believed I've pulled away from it emotionally, if that makes any sense. Which is okay if I were leaving any time soon, but we are not and I NEED to enjoy my living surroundings for my own sake.
It's funny, but window treatments tend to be something I am never quite satisfied with, but I need to prioritize my list before changing window treatments AGAIN.

Andrea at Opulent Cottage said...

Really Laura, could you not have thought of this in January, LOL!! I'm going to need a lot longer than the end of the year to fix my house issues!!! Seriously though, this is brilliant, and motivating. Maybe I will finally show you all my falling-over garage, or my ugly sofa slipcover, or our closet floor that has been gross for the 25-1/2 years we have lived here. I will sure be joining in next week, and thank you for the motivation!
xo, Andrea

Jana Faith said...

I just sat down and typed, "I hate my house" because although our house is quite adorable... I've been feeling so much discontent. I'm already feeling more peaceful knowing someone else in the world has felt this way before. *whew* Thanks for sharing and relieving some of my frustration. I'm going to take a look around your blog once I publish this comment. :o)