Is a decorator’s house EVER done?

I remember THIS day.

Β Me – “Wow, I love this! This is great!!”

Voice a day later – “Huh…”

Me – “What..”

Voice – “Well, THAT.”

Me – “I just finished it. It’s fine. Just FINE. I love it. I’m moving on. NEXT. Ya know?”

Voice – “Ok, well, whatever.”

Me – “what. NOW?!?”

Voice – “I’m bored with it already. It’s… eh.”

This is where I groan, smack myself in the head, and glare at the clock, full knowing we’re now ordering out to eat, NOT buying badly needed groceries and I’m getting to bed VERY late… and I pull it all apart. And tinker. Again.

Perhaps it’s just the iffy decor projects that I know deep down inside I don’t adore that I rehash this way. But I admit, some of the things I’ve really fallen in love with I’ve changed.

For example… I really loved THIS. The clouds parted and the angels sang when I came up with it. Eclectic chair mayhem. Metal clad siding in the back of the armoire even! And it even had curtain type girly touches this time. I thought I nailed it.

And then my favorite chair broke, which in turn broke the spell.

So then I had to mess with it. I wanted a bigger table. Ok, duly noted. My needs changed. I needed space for two computers and we were squished with the round table. And I admit, white this new way was productive, new other things bothered me about it. So, more change. And on it goes.

I’d kind of like to be done with the house at some point. Or at least, some projects, so I can finish others. But it feels as if I keep redoing the rooms I live in all the time because I quite simply see them the most.

But I will admit, the more I create, the more things I learn. So perhaps this is my own personal drawing board for where I currently am in life. I’m still experimenting and figuring out stuff so I learn what does work vs. what doesn’t.

Β And why does it matter again? I can’t even answer that! I just know, there’s something there I can’t walk away from. I have to get it, feel it, and love it, and know without a doubt, it’s there to stay because it’s JUST. RIGHT.

I envy those that can walk away from a room as is. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. After they clean, they physically walk out of the house and do yard work or go shopping or (gasp) spend pure quality time with their family. They don’t fuss and move and tinker and have the need to (double gasp) do a photo shoot and blog about it. πŸ™‚

I am one of those that always has a project on the go. At any given moment, if someone walks through my door, some area is always in chaos. You get one corner looking great but then I’ve torn another one apart and get interrupted and it has to sit. My neighbor recently said with a knowing smile, “It’s so NOT unusual to see a palette laying on your sofa.” And she is dead right. πŸ™‚

Β And I never fret about it until someone DOES walk in my door. Only then do I see the pattern of destruction I’ve left in my quake. But when in the middle of my revamping, I only have one goal. The end result. And never see what I’ve done outside the box until THAT THING is done.

Don’t you find it kind of humorous that in order to make one corner of your room sing, you have to destroy the entire rest of the house in order to get there?!? Well, I do anyway.

But there’s just something special about loving your surroundings and filling it with your own creativity. It’s a passion that is hard to explain. We just do it because it fills us with our love for all things… what? What is it? Who are we and what has someone done with our free time?!?

Oh. Another thing. I can think a room is complete, but if I find that ‘new thing’, it can wreak absolute havoc. I’ll redo an entire room because of one inspiring object. Luckily, I’m content with just moving stuff around rather than ripping down walls, eh? πŸ™‚

So… is the above done? Today I think yes. Tomorrow, I have NO idea. πŸ˜›

I miss camping. That was one thing that took me away from it all. I may have to reconsider going after all even for a short burst. But then… I’d just decorate my campsite anyway.

So… what’s your take on all this? Are you a re-doer or can you let sleeping dogs lie and (triple gasp!) just walk away from the re tinkering?

Facebook Pinterest Twitter Instagram RSS

Subscribe to projects!

Categories: Uncategorized

63 thoughts on “Is a decorator’s house EVER done?

  1. I’m with you. I can’t let sleeping dogs lie. I tinker and move stuff around and change my mind and style wants on a daily basis. Your space is awesome. I think I’ll paint my windsor chair black now. And, what is the crank object fastened to the table?

  2. I’ve only been in my house for six months, and I’m already wanting new paint schemes (and only a few rooms are even painted!). But I think that’s a fundamental difference in personality types; just like people can be Type A or Type B, I think that people are either Type Stay or Type GO. I consider myself a Go – I welcome change, every surprising second of it!

    I really like what you’ve done with your organizational area, with the white shelving. I miss your hanger curtains, though. So adorable.

  3. To answer the question: No! Not this decorator’s house anyway! But I have learned not to fight it. I crave change and if my house is stagnant for too long I start getting antsy! Will teases me about it actually, but he’s grown to accept it. πŸ™‚ He’ll leave on a week long trip and, inevitably, something will be different when he gets back. Whether big or small, something will have changed! It’s what I do and who I am. I am a creative person and I express it through my home!

    Oh, and in regards to an area of your home always looking like chaos because you have a project going on in another area…I always say, to Will and to my clients, “It has to get ugly before it can become beautiful!” πŸ™‚ Carpentry, painting, rearranging and reorganizing…it all looks messy while it’s in progress, but it’s all so worth it in the end!

    I loved this post, Donna!

    ~Karla @ It’s The Little Things…

  4. You really should visit my blog today to see that I am having the same problem but with my blog. I also do it with the house but I’ve moved 30 times so I get restless and bored with things staying the same. To me, when I clean, I decorate. Actually, decorate more often than clean..
    I love your room.

  5. I am so with you. My husband is always commenting on how when I decorate or even clean I end up with other rooms with piles of stuff everywhere.
    I find that I’m worse since I discovered blogging as I’ve always been confident about my taste even though in Wales, I hardly know anyone who likes junk or crafting as much as I do (or at all actually – I only know one other person who likes to craft – how sad is that?!). It’s lovely to know that there are others around the world who get excited about a discarded piece of wood and what they could turn it into…
    The trouble know is, that since I’ve discovered so many like minded people I know find myself flitting from wanting a wooden sign on my wall to a gallery of family photos to a blackboard …… the stress is killing me!!
    At least I’m not alone!
    I love how your room looks at the moment – it looks like it would be a great place to work with so much light. Hope it lasts!

  6. I used to change things a lot more than I do now. I don’t know, age, health, money…really don’t know why….but I seem to like things the way they are…I do make little changes, vignettes…but I do love your updates to your computer space, although, I miss the cute window treatments…that was very unique!

  7. I have no vision or talent, so seeing WHAT you can do with things and HOW you transform spaces AMAZES me!! I wish I had an ounce of the gumption you do, to tear things apart, throw things together and see what the outcome is. If you don’t like it? You change it. I need that lack of fear and know-how!! That’s why I come to visit you everyday!!

  8. My house is NEVER finished. I have a friend who decorates when she moves in and then it’s done. She does it well and thoroughly. Me, I think I’m paralyzed by indecision and by knowing that it will always change. So I’m never done but I’m always doing.

  9. My husband constantly cringes when I start a sentence with, “I was thinking…” He knows that I’m about to start moving and redecorating again. It use to drive him crazy to come home from work and find everything in a new place but now that we’ve bought an early 1900’s home, it’s gone beyond rearranging. LOL! Now it’s painting and building and removing that has him wanting to slap his forehead! We’ve lived in our house for 7 years now and I told him the other day that if we didn’t start repainting some rooms I was going to have to start looking for a new house to play with. So with a few grumbles he decided that we should start thinking about painting some rooms. Once he was on board with that, I added some built ins and new windows and doors to the mix! LOL! Poor guy. But in the end, if I don’t have one project going (and most of the time 2 or 3), I just can’t sit still and enjoy my home. I need to be constantly changing it up.

  10. So true, Donna! I’m always moving stuff around, changing it up a little. Right now I want to paint most of my dark wood furniture that I have left in the house (I’m procastinating, though ~ lol). It’s always fun to see your changes!
    Have a great day!
    ~ Jo πŸ™‚

  11. I had to smile as I read your blog b/c I am so similar. I’m constantly moving our furniture from room to room and hanging new treasures. It drives my hubby nuts – esp when I don’t warn him before he gets home and he trips over a relocated table in the dark!

  12. No my house is never done either. I think it is, but then I find another idea or treasure and whoops, all changed again. lol I wish I had a huge area away from the house where I could transform things also but that isn’t happening for awhile so I just make do. My hubby comes home on a daily basis and looks around and says to me “what have you done today?” lol I love the transformation. It turned out great!! πŸ™‚

  13. I remodel, redecorate, re-do EVERYTHING! My family just sighs and puts up with it. Although I do let my Husband have most of the outside…

    That’s why I like blogging so much, because I can change my blog whenever I want! And no one tells me I can’t!! πŸ™‚

  14. I used to be like that. Too much like that in fact. However, I’ve found in the past couple of years that when I get a room the way I like it, I can leave it for years and not touch it again until absoultuely necessary.

    For me, the one thing that’s still a bit hard is walking away from the urge to not move accessories around on my mantle and shelves when I walk past them. But, I tell myself to leave.them.alone. And if thats not good enough, the hubby tells me to just leave.them.alone.

    If I let myself, I could putz around in my house tinkering with things all day long, every day.

    The urge to make things just a little prettier, a little better, a little more functional is reason enough for any of us to keep changing things up. But me, I think I’m over the urge.
    Unless of course, I can do it in somebody’s else’s house so I don’t have to clean up ater the mess in mine. πŸ™‚ And I type this as I’m waiting on primer to dry so I can paint, staring at the piles of craft supplies laying in my hallway that need to make their way upstairs, and making out my list for Home Depot so I can finish the umpteen repairs I have currently going on. See? I’m over it…………right? Oh God, I need an intervention.

    I do love seeing all of your changes though. I never tire of them because they’re always so fabulous.

  15. I LOVE IT! I liked the old way very much, but this is cleaner, brighter and just better. Great job! I agree with what you say, and really, I’m the same way, but in all honesty, I don’t ever want to be finished. I love re-doing. I love your blog.

  16. Yes I am in your club of redoing. And it usually begins because I find a new thing that inspires a necessary change. For some strange reason it is happening a lot this year, not sure why. I painted my dining room yellow top salmon pink bottom half because of a magazine cover, Country French. I found a thrift shop chair, Ethan Allen no less, in pinks and yellows that I have at the head of the table. I like mismatching chairs. I also have a garden wire bench for one side of the table. So it was really looking great! Then I found a rug for livingroom that had bright pinks yellows and my new fav color aqua. So as soon as I scooped that rug up and put it in the room all of a sudden there were too many I painted the mantel blue, tossed out the coffee table, picked up an ottoman, made new drapes in a yellow check. Still not right. yes the wave of destruction…until I get it right. Then I decided I had to have these French blue chairs for the dining room table that I found at the new Nh shop Rustique..eek! Now I have to paint over the salmon pink..but I want beadboard down there. Hmm, I ordered beadboard wallpaper–so excited it just came today. Now I need to wallpaper and turn dining room into yellow and white walls with pale blue chairs.Ahh. And I will slipcover the Ethan Allen chair that used to be perfect in an aqua toile or a white fabric. I know it will look marvelous. But the new bightly colored rug next door in living room is still throwing me! I think I have to slipcover the sofa now in white…yes I am a victim to this obsessive need to live in a space that feels just right ~to me!! Look for all these transformations on a post in the near future. As soon as I get all the work done!

  17. Too funny! Glad to see for the most part I’m not alone in this.

    To address a few inquiries…

    The light fixture in the ‘finished’ is temporary. I have another one going up. When I get the nerve to tinker with all things electronic that is. (not a comfort zone of mine)

    The thing with the handle is a meat grinder. Wait till you see the honkin’ huge one I found at a thrift! It weights 500 lbs. Or close.

    I too miss the hanger curtains AND the mattress spring kitchen organizer thing. But I’ll have to show you what I’ve done with them now. When I’ve finished my idea that is. Soon. πŸ™‚

    Funny and true story. I lived in a brand new house once upon a time. I went from the pink and blue/with carpet phase to the forest green/white/hardwood floor phase. From top to bottom. I redid it all. Only when the home was done in the last up to date phase did I feel ready to leave it. And then we moved into a house that probably would never have been done. I was in heaven again. πŸ™‚

    Guess that tells us what we need to know, yes? We have to keep creating, OR we start doing it for others to get the lead out.

    Good for those of you that can leave well enough alone! Whatever do you do with all that free time? πŸ™‚


  18. I’m a re-do-er. Constantly. I love the change out my accessories for different colors, or make a new pillow, etc. etc. Today, I decided to recover my son’s chair. Even though we’re leaving for vacation on Thursday and I should be doing something “productive.”

  19. I’d have to agree to a degree. I am almost done with my oldest daughter’s room. Just waiting to get the curtains tomorrow(after waiting for a year to find the other piece of fabric). Living room, done, just want to find some different lamps. Office, done. Completely. As for the rest of the house, um, some kind of done, others not even started. I change things up until I find the right fit, and like you said, it takes one item to have to redo it all around. It is what it is πŸ™‚

  20. Yes, the wake of destruction intermingles with the joy of creation.

    Just remember,

    “In both decorating and in human life, conception is messy….”

  21. I am a redo-er, always wishing that I wasn’t (and so does the person I live with). Except I am by far not as productive as you are, so it takes me forever. And yes the rest of the house is trashed, and then I stage a little corner, macro in and photograph a little vignette, all the while shooing the dust flecks and bread crumbs away….
    I guess I am as hopeless as you!

  22. I had to laugh when I saw the title of your post. Once several years ago my hubby asked, “When will you be done?” I think I laughed. He now knows better than to ask such a silly question. I can’t help it. We sit & watch TV in the evening and my eyes are drifting around the room rearranging. Sometimes I’ll just stand in a room. And stand. And stand. Redoing things in my head. Hubby will walk by and say, “uh oh” …he knows what is coming.

    My good friend just bought a home that she described as “move in ready.” To me I don’t think a house would ever be “move in ready.” What fun would that be? Sometime though I do envy her ability to decorate & be done with it. I definitely have trouble finishing projects before starting others.

  23. I’m the re-doer that never gets done. πŸ™ So I drown myself in blogs like yours to inspire me to get something accomplished. Thank you God for people like Donna who motivate us into getting it done!

  24. I’m like you too. I always have a project going, more than a few at one time. Sometimes it drives me crazy but then I keep telling myself I will get my house done one day knowing as soon as I do I’ll redo something that’s already done.

  25. Hay ,you must have written this post for me!
    My home is always evolving, and it annoys my family no end!
    At the moment it is the kitchen, new fridge, so new position, a snowballing effect!
    I love the last photo, but our opinion really doesnt count does it, you have to be comfortable with it, I totally understand,lol!

  26. Ha! You are singing my song. Nothing stays the same long in my most lived in spaces. Sometimes, I will drift to the guest room for some light play, but the office and master are never safe. ~Mindy

  27. With kids the needs change constantly, so I redo constantly. I sometimes wonder if I will still do it as much when the kids are gone. Maybe I can just travel to their houses and redo their rooms. Lisa~

  28. Girl, you are speaking my language! I am never, never, never, never done. I “finish” up with one thing and start something else. The first time I ever looked around my house and thought it was done… we wound up moving out a week later. So, I feel ya! That’s what makes us who we are, I guess. πŸ™‚

  29. Oh my gosh! I thought I was the only one!!!

    That’s hilarious! Totally my pattern…the eating out, the late night, the laundry not getting done, “drill droppings” on my floor, exhausted the next day at work, all so that project can get done and re-done!

    Been there, done that. On every. single. project.

    My new mantra…learn to get comfortable with imperfection. It’s a tough one!

  30. I have never had a finished room. I had rooms that look finished but they seem to be ever-evolving. I would love to have my whole house completely finished all at once…but then what fun would that be?

  31. i tend to tinker for days over everything i do…i figure i can do that cuz it’s my dam house. i change things all the time…i live with men, they never notice….lol

  32. I’m right there with you, Donna! My problem these days is too many projects in my head with not enough time, money and/or energy to get them done! But they’re still there…in my head…floating around…being tweeked mentally…and eventually they will come to fruition! One project at a time!
    Thanks for the great post!

  33. A friend of mine sent me this. While sometimes its funny, but this has taken over my life and become a nuisance for everyone. Most times it ends in tears! I truly love decorating and creating, but this redoing and never feeling just. right. is beginning to take its tole on me! My husband jokes around saying “You’ll never be satisfied” but its true!! And that scares me! Am I ever going to feel content!? When does it end? Or does it….

  34. I love your transformations, each and every one of them, Donna!

    Me? I can leave a room alone until I see a photo of it and realize how much change needs to happen.

    What I constantly tinker with is my garden. Every one of my poor plants has been transplanted at least once. I guess I’m more of a garden decorator than a house decorator (at least during the growing season)

  35. seems as though this is the “norm”, for me it is. My husband never understood that in order to redo anything, EVERYTHING had to be disturbed. lol I have just actually finished my entire home, it took me six and a half months but I did it and I love it! I started with taking all of my cherry wood furniture, a ton of KILZ and gallons of white paint. Then sanded it all down and made it look “shabby chic”, I then ordered a down filled sofa, arm chair and ottoman. That was the start. Drop by my blog and take a look at the befores and afters.
    Decorate on, sister!

  36. I am so surprised that my husband hasn’t kicked me and my STUFF out of the house by now. For years there has not been a time when there wasn’t a pile or mess laying around some where! All the edges of each room in the house has a mess! It’s neat, of course, but a pile. When he eats his breakfast at the island, he just shoves the stuff away to make a space big enough for his cereal bowl! Poor guy!
    AND the cans of paint…………..I am sooo good at stacking cans of paint! Those are EVERYWHERE!!!! God forbid we have a fire!
    Right now I am in the middle of re-doing the bathroom, and the stuff is all over in there, too.
    So, yes, I AM a re-doer.

  37. “Honey, what do you think about….”… that is the scariest thing for my sweetie to hear! But nothing is worse than the mess I make when I have a new idea. Your comment about that just cracked me up!

    Thanks for sharing, you inspire us all!

  38. I love the NEW final outcome! I loved the armoire that was in its place but I think I love this more at the moment in time. Good luck on all of your projects!

  39. I am such a re-doer!!! Once the project is done…a few days later I think of other things I could have done with the space and I want to “change” it. Which ends up being a complete overhaul! Ha!
    I loved seeing the process you go through with your rooms. Fabulous!

  40. I am definitely a re-doer
    I am in the middle of a room makeover right now and have changed the finish on a cabinet 3 times already!! Ugh! I THINK I’m happy with it now!….I think!
    Love the new office look!

  41. I’m with you, I get tired of things too quickly. I keep fueling the ol’ idea factory and I think that might be the real problem, too many ideas to fulfill!!!

  42. Wow, I love every “step” you’ve done. At each picture I thought, “Yes, that’s it!” Then I’m surprised with how much I like the next. I think a home should be dynamic, but I like to “finish” then go do something else and when I think everything is finished then I can make changes. The catch is I never think anything is finished. LOL.

  43. I am never happy with anything for over a week. I just painted all my doors black and I thought I was in love. Then I realized that dirty black doors look just as bad as white ones. Now I am not so much in love. Oh well, I rejoice in the fact that maybe just maybe one of these ideas will turn out as fantastic as yours. I keep hoping!

  44. Oh I can relate! My house will never be done. I live with things I LOVE for a while then I grow tired of it and change it. I’ve done this for years and my home is always evolving. Thats the fun part!

  45. Look great! As a fellow designer, I totally understand about the never-ending process. Seems some days, I can spend a whole day tinkering. The changes are not always noticable to others, but we have to get it “just right”… for today. πŸ™‚

  46. The ONLY time my house it all put together is when I know company is coming. The rest of the time it’s here a heap, there a heap, everywhere a heap of something waiting to be renovated, regrouped or reused. And, oh my gosh, when company is here I’d be mortified if they would open a closet or cupboard!

  47. Coleen #56, if it makes you feel any better, my cupboards and closets are spring loaded with crap. You whisper wrong and my bedroom closet doors just… open. By themselves. With heaps tumbling behind them pushing them open of course. They sure don’t make closet doors like they use to…

    Some of you may remember that Christmas open house I blogged about with the entire town welcome to tour my home. Upstairs? Every square inch visible was perfect. On a whole entire floor. What they didn’t see? The climbing wall I created in the basement. I could have charged a fee to climb that thing.

    #45 Patti, I didn’t realize shoving stuff aside for a cereal bowl was regarded as ‘odd.’ Aren’t table tops there TO hold our stuff and laps to hold plates and such? Silly eating traditions anyway.



  48. You are funny Donna. You know, I never really had this problem until I started reading blogs last year. Then I realized how ugly my house was and needed some desperate attention and new life. But umm, now, it gets TOO much attention and I constantly obsess all day long about changing things. I don’t think I’ll ever be satisfied with my dining room. *sigh* But maybe the madness would all end if we stop reading blogs? haha, yea right.

  49. I know the feeling and I’m not even a decorator. My problem is time. If I had more of it I’d be moving and changing things all the time — or maybe getting them right the first time πŸ™‚

    But I have to say, I love your office. I would love that desk. I tried something similar, but it’s got wimpy legs. Keep it coming.

  50. Well, the part about tearing the entire house apart, just so you can re-do one room, is exactly what I do!

    And, I also have to love the outcome, or I will work it and re-work it until it fits. There are several spots in this little farmhouse that I’ve never gotten quite right.

    Reading your post was good inspiration (and confirmation) to keep working until I love it!

    Afterall, I have to live here!

  51. I am, by nature, a re-doer and constant decorator, however, I am married to a man who goes into apoplectic shock if I so much as rearrange a bookshelf. Cannot. Handle. Change. At. All. It is extremely frustrating. Luckily, I have my own little room that I can mess with to my heart’s content and he can’t say a thing about it. πŸ™‚

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *