Is it okay to say that? 😀 Because I do. There are times when I walk through my house and think to myself, “I can’t believe that I have a house that is so reflective of me!” I didn’t design and decorate this house for everyone, and not everyone loves it. That’s perfectly fine with me. I designed and decorated it for me. (Well, I did design it with Matt’s needs in mind, but I didn’t decorate it with him in mind because he truly couldn’t care less about the décor. 😀 ) But everything in this house — the colors, the artwork, everything — is so perfectly reflective of my love of color and my personality.
During the month of June, I was in a book club that met weekly. Our last meeting was last week, and we met at my house. There were eight of us in the group. One of them is a dear friend who has been to my house countless times, but the other six had never been to my house before.
The previous week, one of them mentioned that she was excited to meet at my house because she had seen my blog and looked forward to seeing the house in person. A couple of others were curious and wanted to see the blog as well, so I told them how to find me online, and they immediately commented on all of the color in my house.
So last week, we met at 7:00pm, and while our normal schedule was to meet from 7:00 to 8:30pm, last week we spent about an hour touring the house before even getting to our book discussion. I’ll have to admit that it was so much fun for me. I always love showing new people my house and seeing their reactions to the various projects I’ve completed. And every time I get to do that, it gives me a renewed love and appreciation for my home. It also makes me so thankful that I’ve had the the time and opportunity to create a home that truly reflects me and my personality, while accommodating Matt and his needs.
Getting to this point where I have a home in which I love to host people has been a long journey, and for many years, I thought I’d never get here. For so many years, the main “public” areas of the house were under construction, or were in various stages of completion (or more accurately, non-completion) that I would cringe every time someone came to the front door. I would hope it was just a salesperson or a delivery person, and that I wouldn’t feel obligated to invite anyone inside.
I think back to those early days in this house when I just tried to make do with what we had…
And when what we had didn’t quite work, I tried filling in with some thrift store items.
But regardless of the stage the house was in, I’ve been thankful for this house every day for the last ten years — thankful for the fact that we had a roof over our heads, and thankful that we had a mortgage payment that was low and didn’t make us house-poor. But there’s something so different about being thankful for a roof over our heads while also cringing when someone knocks on the front door, and finally having this house where all of the “public” spaces (and even the more private areas, like our bedroom, home gym, and master bathroom) are all finished, usable, and tour-worthy when new people come over.
There’s something very different about having the “just make it work” living room that we started off with in the photos above, and having the “this truly feels like me” living room that we have now.
It’s just such an amazing feeling to hear a knock at the door or have people come over and not feel that panic or dread because they’re going to see this…
But instead, to feel excitement that they’re going to see this…
And having a house that is finally presentable, and a home that I truly love, has also helped me learn more about myself. I’ve never thought of myself as hospitable. I’ve always been convinced that other people have that gift of hospitality, but I just don’t, and I probably never will.
But it turns out that I love having people in my home! I love to see people using and enjoying our home. I never knew that I had a love for hospitality before, but as it turns out, I was just being held back by the fact that I’ve never lived in a home that I felt comfortable bringing people into before.
So what’s my point? I don’t know. 😀 I just had that experience last week, and wanted to share. But really, I want it to be an encouragement. I know that there are many of you who visit me regularly who are also doing long-term renovations and remodels. Some of you have mentioned living in your “in progress” homes in the midst of construction and renovations for years, and for some of you it’s been ten years or longer. I just want to encourage you to keep going. I’ve been working on this house for almost ten years now, and it’s just been within the last couple of years that I’ve finally felt like I love my home, and I love having people in my home.
So keep chipping away at those projects, no matter how long you’ve been at it. Keep working towards having that home that you love and that truly reflects you — a home that makes you feel excited to swing that front door wide open when you hear an unexpected knock, or a home that makes you excited to volunteer when your book club needs a place to meet. It felt like it took me forever to get here. There were so many times that I wanted to give up, and so many seasons when it felt like I’d never reach the finish line. But now, being on this side of things, and ending up with a home that I truly love, I can see that it was all worth it. And it will be for you, too! So keep going!
Addicted 2 Decorating is where I share my DIY and decorating journey as I remodel and decorate the 1948 fixer upper that my husband, Matt, and I bought in 2013. Matt has M.S. and is unable to do physical work, so I do the majority of the work on the house by myself. You can learn more about me here.