Saturday, September 10, 2011

Rethinking Redecorating

When my husband and I bought our house four and a half years ago, we knew we'd live here for at least four years because my husband was in graduate school, but I always thought of this house and Philadelphia as a temporary resting ground before the next big something came along. Idealized visions of the romantic life abroad started tickling my fancy. Though my house is my home and has been for many years, it never felt like the place where I wanted to sink my roots.

But on Thursday a conversation with my husband started changing my thinking. I don't remember quite how it came up, but we were talking about refinishing our kitchen (which should not surprise you if you've seen our kitchen) and I was pulling my usual, "Well, who knows how long we'll be here...", but he surprised me by saying, "At this point, this is where we're going to be, maybe for the rest of our lives. It doesn't seem like we're going to leave anytime soon." And it hit me. He's right. We love our friends here and are settled into a great church, we have jobs that we like and coworkers we enjoy working with, my family lives close by, and we own a house. Whether I like it or not, I've sunk my roots without thinking about it. But his saying it really struck me. I, all the sudden, was not just a passer-through. I was responsible for the life of my home, my neighbors and my neighborhood. The parts that I love and the parts that I hate, I have to own them.

Things I love about my house:
This gorgeous mantel (though the fireplace itself is, sadly, a fake).

The wainscoting and wood floors.

Things I hate about my house:

That there's no room in our kitchen for a fridge(?!)
So it resides in this little shed/shack off the back of our kitchen.
Our dusky pink laminate countertops. Mmm, pretty...

I looked around my house, which is decorated with a haphazard collection of Craigslist finds, things friends were throwing out, or other frugal collections of stuff, and realized that my house is piecemeal, it's not very pretty, and I wonder if it's even very welcoming. I struggle here because I also don't want to become obsessed with the cleanliness or togetherness of my house. I don't want that to become my worth. But I do want to honor my house as a gift and to make it as beautiful as I can on the resources that we have.

So I got on Pinterest, which I know many of you already make good use of, and started making some boards with decorating ideas that I find lovely and inviting. As long as we live here, whether one month or 60 years, I want to sink my roots. I want to be more present. I want to flourish were I am and work towards the flourishing of others, and that includes my little old house.

Over the next few months, be expecting a few decorating posts! I always appreciate the input of those more gifted in decorating than I.

1 comment:

  1. Great paradigm shift--be fully where you are! I love it. And I will say from experience, your house is actually quite welcoming. And it's not just because you guys are welcoming and hospitable yourselves, though that is a vital part. I for one love your living room with your black and white wedding photos contrasting against the colored paint. Can't wait to see the changes to come!!