How to Decorate

There’s No Such Thing As a Perfect Home – Encouragement for Dealing with Decorating Challenges

There’s really no such thing as perfect home. Every home has its own unique decorating challenges. The key is to look at them as a way to get creative rather than discouraged! 


I recently re-read part of Myquillyn’s book, The Nesting Place. Specifically the part where she talks about buts. (Not butts, buts. Although come to think of it I guess she does mention butts too.)

Basically we all have them (butts and buts). 😉

What I’m actually talking about though are the objection sort of buts:

  • “I’d love to decorate my home like yours, BUT I have little kids who mess everything up.”
  • “Your house is so lovely, BUT mine could never look that way because I’m not a designer.”
  • “I wish my bedroom was actually decorated, BUT I don’t have the money.”
  • “I’d love to change things up, BUT I live in a rental apartment.”

white sectional lots of pillows

Of course each one of those buts is perceived as a genuine obstacle to the person saying them. But what each one actually is is just a challenge – because there’s no such thing as a perfect home.

Whether you live in a rental apartment and can’t paint the walls, a small house with not enough closet space or any house without a large budget to redecorate everything all at once, each and every house/apartment/condo/etc. has it’s challenges when it comes to decorating. (I promise you, yours isn’t the only one!)

The key is to look at these challenges – the buts – as a means to get creative instead of a means to be discouraged.

sectional couch neutral living room

If you have little kids, then yes, you will need to do things a little differently than an empty nester. Place the glassware out of reach in a closed cabinet instead of on the fancy bar cart. Affix the gallery wall a little tighter with velcro tabs on each corner instead of just a single screw or nail. You can still have a pretty home with little kids in the house.

If you aren’t a designer, look at what designer’s do. Read blogs, look at magazines, study photos of rooms you like to see the details. You can still have a pretty home even if you don’t have designer genes.

If you don’t have lots of money for decorating, DIY your way through some projects. Trade or barter services with friends that have the skills you are looking for. You can still have a pretty home without spending a lot of money.

If you live in a rental, look at what you can change. Add a lovely area rug to cover the ugly wall to wall carpeting or vinyl tile. Use easily removable hooks (like 3M Command hooks) to hang that fabulous artwork. You can still have a pretty home in a rental.

No such thing as a perfect home

You see, if you look at your buts as challenges instead of obstacles, you can find creative solutions – and get to creating the cozy and beautiful home you desire.

What decorating challenges do you face in your home? Up until now, have you thought of them as something to get creative with or something to be discouraged about?


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shannon sign off

home made lovely book on table with get it now text button

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14 Comments

  1. Thanks for this encouragement today! I started painting my main floor – and by main floor I mean the entire main floor because the front hall/entry flows into the living room which flows into the kitchen/dining and two hallways! And the front hall also flows upstairs into a sitting area and hallway to the bedrooms. It’s a little daunting – a challenge even! But (and that’s a GOOD “but”) I’m tackling each smaller area at a time – just so that I don’t throw the WHOLE living space into painting chaos! We’ve been here two years – I finally got sick of all the “buts” I was dishing. How do you eat an elephant? – one bite at a time….

    1. Who wants to eat an elephant?! 😉 But you’re so right. One little bit at a time. I’m so happy to hear you got started, Faye! Good for you!

    2. We live in a similar style home and it is a bit overwhelming! However, we are also starting to get serious about decorating after living here 2.5 years! Must be something about that two year mark!

  2. Well, you know my struggles with my gallery wall, and I really love this challenge to think outside the box! What a great solution with the velcro tabs! I look forward to repairing the wall my kids destroyed ;). I don’t know why I didn’t think of using something more substantial than a single nail for hanging stuff in a kid’s room, but maybe it’s because I think there’s a ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ way to decorate, so I didn’t let my creative problem solving kick in, though I’m a great problem solver in other areas of my life. I think I need to be told or reminded regularly that there is not one right way to decorate my house, and most rules are really suggestions. You’re growing my confidence, Shannon, and I thank you!

    1. Yes, Trina. The idea for the gallery wall came from pondering your dilemma. We all have times where we see what we think “should be” and it clouds our creative problem solving skills. There is no one right way to decorate. Even what I suggest is just that – a suggestion. It’s YOUR house and while I can provide ideas, ultimately it’s you who has the final say. Just as it should be!

  3. My biggest struggle is my hand me down furniture pieces. They definitely don’t match, but not in a cool way. Some of these pieces of furniture are important and some are simply serving a purpose. I am looking for ways to “pull it together” when none of it goes together.

    1. Yes. Those pieces that we need or want to keep that don’t “go” with everything else are tough sometimes. Often you can tie them together with just a coat or two of paint. Or by finding a rug or pillows that have multiple colors in them that can serve as a uniting piece. One thing to note is not to let others views of decorating override how you decorate. Do you love a piece? Then it’s perfectly suited to your home!

  4. I work on one room at a time as I have the budget. For me I struggle to find the right inspiration, but once I can nail down what I like I will do my best to copy it with flea market and discount finds. I may not get it exactly, but it’s close! I always love those shows where they show you the high end stuff and then something similar that’s a lot cheaper. I’m a budget girl!

  5. Thank you for the post Shannon. I really enjoy your helpful ideas and down to earth philosophy. Do you ever run into a dry spell? A place in time when you’re not sure which way to go or your tastes change? I am in one of those places now. I love to create and when I see a new color go on the walls I swear I’m in heaven! But I’ve tried a lot of different style ideas and think I’m ready to ponder a little more where to go from here in my rooms and then there is the budget, if one even exists. Please keep your helpful ideas and suggestions coming. I really appreciate it!

    1. YES! Absolutely. I think everyone runs into a dry spell. It took me a few years to iron out where I wanted to go with our decor. Wanna know another secret? I don’t decorate or make decor or DIY decisions when I have PMS. Call me crazy but I found that every time I made a color decision or something with PMS I hated it afterwards. You just have to figure out what works for you and when you’re in a good place to make those decisions.