Friday, April 10, 2009

IFS

What if you could have the
HOUSE OF YOUR DREAMS
in the home you're living in right now.
How would it look?

Most of us have a list of things we'd like to do to improve our home. I don't think I know anyone who lives in their ideal home.
But, do you find yourself saying "If only..."
If only I had hardwood floors, then I would be happy with my home.
If only my appliances were beautiful stainless steel, then I'd have my dream kitchen.
If only the furniture came from a high end furniture store instead of a thrift store and hand-me-downs, then I'd love to entertain.
If only my walls weren't decorated with children's hand prints and the floor with toys, then I could decorate my home with beautiful things.
If only my house was bigger, then. . .
If only we had enough money to make home improvements, then. . .
The problem with the "If only's" is that you choose to delay your happiness and miss out on JOY you could be having right now.
If you learn nothing else from my blog, I hope you learn that every day you should do a little something to find the JOYS of home. That's my goal. Let me illustrate with photos of my own home.
Our main bathroom looks picture perfect. It's not! The tile floor has cracks, the top drawer falls out if you pull it too far. The cabinets are low end wood laminate and the sinks have rust stains that cannot be removed.
I could have chosen to live with the "If only's." Instead, I
painted the cabinets, replaced the hardware, and stocked the linen closet with fluffy white towels.
The flooring in our home was not pretty, at all. If I lived in "If only" land I would not have torn out the ugly carpet and tile, painted the subflooring and personalized our stairs. Would I love to have beautiful hardwood? Of course! But look at the creative opportunities that I would have missed. The kitchen has the same cheap cabinetry as the bathroom and the appliances are white. It had the ubiquitous U-shape of the 1970's until we decided to tear it apart and make improvements on a budget of a thousand dollars. The "If only" attitude would have robbed us of wonderful memories of working together and of preparing our turkey on top of the washing machine because hubby was installing the sink on Thanksgiving morning.The beautiful fireplace I told you about yesterday is still not finished. It's missing the surround on the firebox. No one notices because I painted the whole thing black and loaded it with pretty candles. Would I love to have a finished gas burning fireplace? YES, but I can enjoy it this way until our finances allow us to finish it. Our master bedroom has painted subflooring and a master bath that needs major work. The furniture is from the thrift store, the draperies are drop cloths, the walls are painted with mistints. But it can still be beautiful and on a budget.

With an "If only" attitude I would never have discovered the depth of my creativity. I would not have had the opportunity to help others design their homes, and I certainly would never have started a blog.
Don't let the thief "If only" rob you from the JOYS of home that are at your finger tips.
Please stop living with the "If only's" and do what you can, with what you have, to find the JOYS in your home. This weekend would be a great time to start!

66 comments:

Cindy said...

YES!! I'm doing it right!! LOL!! Do with what you have, love it, recreate it again, then if you get a windfall do the "IF", but by then the "IF" might be different and you're glad you didn't do the 1st "IF"! LOL! Great post, definitely a needed boost!

Sunshine said...

Joy,
Thank you for that inspirational message. I throughly enjoyed the whole bit! I would however like to see some of these "imperfections" you are talking about! With the beautiful pictures displayed it is hard to imagine.

AKA Rosa said...

I just had to comment on this. I LOVE this post. I too have always had to design on a dime. I am at the age where I care less and less what funiture I have and have found unique was to decorate on a no decorating budget. Right now my husband and are cleverly redoing our master bath and bedroom on almost nothing. It was frustrating at times but now I am going to LOVE the uniqueness of our creating. I just know an new bedroom set will never be on my list of things to buy. This is just not a priority to me. Thanks for the post as I was just cleaning my CREATEING room and wishing this room, that never has the luxjury of being really clean, was fancier. I was looking at all of the LITTLE THINGS that are wrong. Thanks for pointing out that no one else really notices. I just get compliments on my home and I need to just say thanks and not point out my tile that is cracked or my cheep cabinets. Great Post...... love your blog. Thanks for the time you put into it. Love~ a design on a dime friend

Dawn said...

Thank you so much for posting this, Joy! For the longest time I focused on the "if onlys," now I do as you described. Make due with what you have and be creative to make your home what you want it to be!

Hugs from Eventually Cottage!

Frippery said...

What a beautiful, thoughtful post. We do put off enjoyment by seeking perfection. You have a lovely, stylish and welcoming home. It is all the better because it reflects your talent for design on a budget. Better than any McMansion! Have a beautiful Easter, Pam

Joanna said...

Wonderful post! I used to live in "If" land here in my home. We tried to put our home up for sale and move out of state where housing prices were so much cheaper. We would have had my dream home, but our house didn't sale.

So here we are now, and everytime I walk into our kitchen, I still think, "wow, this is mine!". We are almost done with the interior of our home, just another room or two and we're finished with our home that has become the dream home.

Amelia said...

We just need to be thankful for what we have...the tools we have to work with...and the inspirations we have to create something out of practically nothing. All of these are truly gifts from God...to whom we owe it all.

Happy Easter - amelia

Hallie said...

Joy, I have read & enjoyed your blog for some time but never commented. But I had to this time. Your post really touched me. I have found myself living by "ifs" many times and you are right. Many times I have wished for things to be "magazine perfect" and it has taken a while for me to realize that I will never achieve that! Thank you so much for putting this into words. I hope we can all learn to be happy with the things we have. Happy Easter.

AnNicole @ OurSuburbanCottage said...

I love this post. It's such a great reminder...and stress reliever. Most of our friends are much older and established than I am and they have incredible homes with HUGE televisions and swimming pools...and televisions BY the swimming pools so you can watch while you swim.

I don't tend to have people over as much as I'd like because I feel like our sweet little cottage doesn't measure up. Do you think I'm missing out on the JOYS of hosting friends at our house? YES!

Thanks so much, and have a blessed Easter. XOXO ~ AnNicole

Kaye at Kaye's Kreative Korner said...

I love your blog! You are such an inspiration and this post has motivated me and made me look around my own home and realize I DO have what it takes! Thank You!

Bonnie the Boss said...

Great post Joy, I really enjoyed it. and it is so true. Really the joy that comes from creating something out of nothing is amazing. Now "If" I only owned my home so I could do what I want with the walls and floor. lol

Loretta Valenta said...

Your blog is SO inspiring! I love your attitude to make beautiful that which you have! Thank you for sharing your ideas, your style and your heart!

Gayle said...

Joy - Your thoughts on 'IF only' can also be applied to other aspects of life besides decorating our homes. You are indeed a deep thinker!

Sue said...

So enjoyed your post! My kitchen in our last house had floors that we had created from the subflooring. Everyone would stop in awe and not believe that it was painted subfloor. Same for the steps, pulled up the carpet and painted the stairs which always got oohs and aahs. Now I am in a house with lovely hardwoods and carpet and you know I miss those original creations in the old house that made it our home (and saved us lots of money!)

Kendra said...

Great post! Thanks for being honest about your home's imperfections. It think it is so easy to think that no one else faces the same obstacles that we do. You've done fantastic things with little budget! I just need to find, or rather make the time to do all of those things I've been wanting to do!

Jennifer said...

What great words to remind ourselves of... you need to post this every couple months so we don't slip into those darn "IFS".

KayC. said...

"If only"...it make one think that we might not be a thankful people for the blessings that we have. Remember to first count your blessings and then see where you can use your talents & be creative, to improve. I try to do this as I make my home a place that is welcoming and comfortable for my family and to all that enters it. Thank you for a wonderful message. Have a happy Easter.

Dawn said...

Excellent, excellent post!

Easter blessings!

Mary said...

Oh I love this post! - I tend to sometimes be an "if" girl so this is so good for me to hear - thank you!

Shilo said...

What a lovely, empowering post!

Charlene said...

I look forward to reading your blog everyday. You are truly inspiring. Thanks for the post today, it is so true.

Kelli said...

Thank you, thank you for inspiring me to focus on the positives instead of the negatives. Let's always seek joy!!

Xazmin said...

What a wonderful post. I have a really hard time with my pink carpet and cabinets that are painted blue (ugh! who did that?),

But I know that I have a home that is mine, and keeps my family safe and warm. That's a lot more than many people can say right now.

I'm glad I found your blog, and look forward to visiting often for more inspiration on finding JOY!

Xazmin

Emily said...

Great thoughts, so inspiring! Thanks.

terramisu said...

Wow! You are so creative and inspirational!!! and absolutely right!

MeganSloan said...

I love everything about your house that you've shown us. I love how you have taken a house and made it a home. Sure, we all have our IF's, but that makes us human. My if's would be IF I had money, IF I had more time, IF .... and so on. Oh, I have a big list for my house but I've only owned it for almost two years, so some day my list will be my own. And I like hodge podge homes of thrift store finds (done correctly - like you've done), and collections through the years. Even if we had everything we wanted, there'd probably be something on the IF list.

DanainDFW said...

Amen! I'm about to pull up my last room of nasty old carpeting and paint the plywood floors until I can afford to put down the hardwood I really want in there. It's not exactly what I had in mind, but from the doorway, most people won't notice that dark brown painted flooring isn't the dark hardwoods that match the rest of the house.

Do the best with what you have. - One of my mom's favorite sayings.

Deck The HALLS of HOME with JOY! said...

You're awesome! I love your post! It is so true, I have always said we are way more creative when we are dealing with less! Thanks for your reminder, it is all wonderful! We share a lot of the same "joys" in life!

Have a Happy and JOYful Easter weekend!

Mom of the three B's said...

Thank-you! It so needed to hear this post. I was having myself a pitty party just last night! I have so many wishes on my list. I just need embrace what I have and make it beautiful. I love your blog. It makes me happy. Thanks for giving my a reality check.

Vanessa {Bloom Right Here!} said...

Thank you so much for this post. I think it is a good reminder to all of us. You are such an inspiration and a JOY!

Reborn said...

AMEN!!! I am in the exact same situation... I do little things I can, slowly, and next to nothing. I painted the subflooring on our stairwell too, because the carpet was gross and we can't afford to replace it or put hardwood down! Thanks for the reminder to be thankful for what I have to work with and not get bogged down with what I can't have or do.

queenbee said...

I really needed to hear that. I have been wanting a King size mattress for our bedroom instead of the teeny tiny full and have lived with old ugly bedding because of it. Today I pulled out a hand me down white comforter from my mom and some thrift store pillows it looks ten times better. Thanks for the encouragement.

Small House said...

Glass half full - LOVE IT!
Sandra

misty said...

What a wonderful, heartfelt post! I felt as if you were speaking directly to me. My family, me, husband and three kiddos, have lived in our little home for almost 14 years. I have done nothing to our home because of "IF's". I constantly compared what I could afford to do to my sister-in-law, friends, etc. who had more money to spend. I became paralyzed by the thought that if I couldn't do it perfectly I just wouldn't do it.

Thanks to wonderful women like you who post their beautiful homes on blogs I have lost that fear and am in the process of making our house cozy and comforting. I have become the world's biggest thrift store shopper and I love what I'm doing with my finds. I honestly can say that even if I had all the money in the world I wouldn't change the way I'm doing things. I love the shabby, mismatched, this is our home look.

Thanks for being so honest and encouraging. I love your blog!

Christine said...

What you did with all your "IF's "are amazing. Thank you for sharing and being so down home.

John & Jennifer Savage said...

Thank you for this post!! I love to hear that other people are putting their beautiful homes together piecemeal like me! Thanks for the inspiration!

marilynl said...

I need to take a page out of your book! Sometimes I am motivated to make the kind of changes you are talking about and other times I just want what I want! The longer I live, the more I realize how lucky I am to have a house and home.

Sweet Caroline said...

You have to realize how much I needed to here this today. I am holding back tears...I realize I am a "perfectionist gone wrong.." It is an awful, awful way to live.

You are so right. I think I am going to print this post out so I can read it daily.

BTW: I have stainless steel appliances and I was thinking of putting an ad on Craigslist to see if anyone wants to exchange--they bring me more sorrow than anything! Dumb fingerprints!

Happiness really is a perception, isn't it?

Thank you for this...if you have taught me anything---it is to get up and go pick up the family friends who want to come over right now--and I keep putting it off--to read blogs!!! :)

Happy Easter...

Nora said...

Your house is beautiful! Thank you for reminding us to forget the if's in life and take charge of what we do have.
I love this serenity prayer:
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change
Courage to change the things I can
And wisdom to know the difference :)
Have a blessed day!
Nora

Karyn said...

I love this message Joy!! I can honestly tell you that I would still be living in "If only . . ." land if I had never stumbled upon your blog. But now I'm slowly turning an odd rental into spaces that I LOVE. In fact, I just finished painting my kitchen table and putting up some window mistreatments today. And I can proudly say I don't hate coming into my kitchen anymore! Such a revelation. Thank you!

Simply Susan said...

I totally agree with what you had to say in your post. Even *if* we had everything we thought we wanted or needed, we would still see something else that we didn't like and would want to change . I think that it is just human nature.

Sherrie said...

Can I ask why you didn't like your painted floors on your stairs. I really like it and I have been wanting to do that to mine.I like this blog title it is so true and especially around my neighborhood. People should do what they can and not live up to anybody elses expectations!!!
well put!!!
Sherrie

FOR THE SAKE OF TIME said...

Amen. Amen. At this time in our world and in all our lives, you message is most meaningful. You have the true spirit of life and living. Have a blessed Easter. Thank you for sharing.

Twice as Nice said...

I am so guilty of this and I know I am fortunate to have a home. I tell myself to live and enjoy the moment and a lot of times I do. Then I get in the rut of noticing all that is wrong when it's very little in the large scheme of things. Thanks for the wake up.

Have a wonderful weekend and a blessed Easter.

Joy said...

I'm so glad that we are all realizing how truly blessed we are!
I know that when I count my blessings, I count all of you blog friends. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts!
Have a wonderful Easter!

PS
Sherrie, I love my painted floors! I just wouldn't have chosen painted floors if we had a ton of money to spend on our house.
I have always told my children that not having all the money you want is a blessing. It forces you to be more creative. But with a lot of money or a little money we still have to make the choice every day to find JOY.

Sandy Toes said...

There will always be "ifs"...they can't stop us!
sandy toe

kimmcl said...

Awesome,awesome,awesome post Joy! Couldn't have said it any better. And you are absolutely right. The IF's are what keep me going. IF I try it this way, I might like it better.......IF I decide I hate it, I didn't spend alot, so I can just change it - on a dime!.........IF it turns out I love it - even better, because we did it ourselves and saved a ton of money!! And last but not least.....IF I had it all NOW, what would I have to look forward to???

Virginia said...

What a wonderful post.Well said !!!!

Easter blessings!

Robin said...

I love this post. Thanks

Chanelle said...

What a great post, and so timely for me! As I sit here, I have been dreaming the last few days about having stainless steel appliances. It's as if you are reading my mind! But you're absolutely right, there's so many opportunities for creativity when working with limited funds. I personally love the look of a home that didn't come from a store, but rather years of collecting odd things here and there. Because there's a story behind everything!


I've started doing a "Thrifty Thursday" spot on my blog. I know you're a collector of cloches, and I think you'd appreciate my latest post that involves using a 2 liter bottle to make your own cloche:) There's beauty in everything.....

Barbara said...

I just happened on your blog and I can say that the Lord must have led me to this....I NEEDED to read this today! I have been really living the IF's way around here...noticing everything that is wrong with this house and making my husband very frustrated. You are 100% right! Enjoy what you have now and having no money to decorate with does enable creativity. I cannot thank you enough for this post!

Barbara
PS-Love your name....my 3 year old daughter's name is Joy!

tidymom said...

What a GREAT post Joy and you inspire me to not live in the "what ifs"

~TidyMom

the mrs. said...

What a wonderful post. Thank you for reminding me to live and enjoy NOW, not in "if only" land!

Mrs. Jones said...

Thank you for saying that. I couldn't agree more.

Was painting the stairs hard? I have been dying to rip out my builder-grade white stair carpet.

Happy Easter,

~Heather

Those Dandy Dillards said...

How did you paint your bathroom cabinets black... what sort of paint did you use? Did you use your infamous Black Satin spray paint. I have been wanting to redo my bathroom but not spend a lot of money. And I think some black paint would go a long way in there. I'd appreciate any cabinet painting tips you have!

bj said...

I love every single thing that you do and I am sending you an email....
xo bj

Lisa said...

What an awesome attitude! Great reminder of the right way to go through life. Thank you for that!

Love your blog. Thanks for sharing!

Becky and Jaron Brunson Family said...

I read your blog all the time but never comment. You're great!!! Thanks for the great perspective reminder. Life is only as great as we think it is!!

Gena said...

So inspirational. So honest. So wonderful. So creative.

Thank you SO much.

Laura of Harvest Lane said...

I think that this is the best post I've read that you've written. Thank you for encouraging us girls with yard sale, hand me down, and thrift store decor.

Blessings!
Laura

The Burners said...

What a sweet thought, Joy. I feel as a newly (read: 2 years)married woman we live in "If only" a lot. Thank you for the sweet reminder to be grateful for the present blessings we have!

Crazymamaof6 said...

this was inspiring!
thank you!

love your blog. love the treasures you find and re fab. and by re fab, i mean REALLY FABULOUS!

Ashley said...

I love this perspective. More often I need to focus on the JOY rather than the IFs of our old - but loved - home.

Ali said...

Loved this post. We bought a newer home a year ago and I'm stuck. Love the house, just stuck on lack of creativity. So your posts are great.

BTW - You've probably tried everything on those rust stains, but I'm gonna throw it out there anyway. Have you tried Barkeepers Friend? It's sort of like Comet, but it gets rust out and shines up your chrome like nothing else (we live in AZ, hard water, need I say more?)

Heather said...

Thank you so much for this post, Joy. I have been reading your blog for about a year now and have never commented, but I have to tell you that you have inspired me so many times. I am so glad to hear that other people have MANY unfinished projects and a less than perfect house. I always know that in my head, but it helped to hear it. I wish that you lived just around the corner from me so I could bounce ideas around with you!
\
You have inspired me to enjoy my home as it is and continue to work on it little by little. Thank you.

me me me said...

I was just wondering if you had anymore pictures of the floor you painted? I am trying to convince my Husband that we should paint our subfloor instead of live with our UGLY pink stained carpet until we can afford hardwood. (All for a house we probably wont still be living in in 5 years.) We just cant seem to find a lot of pictures of painted subfloors online- and I know that I LOVE EVERYTHING you post here, and find SO much inspiration here- I really think this is the solution we have been looking for for about 3 years! Also do you have any tips/ suggestions that could help us out?

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