Monday, May 2, 2011

To Please Or Not To Please

I started to paint my dining room wall more than a month ago and it still isn't finished! It has a few more coats of paint from techniques that I've tried and hated, but that is the only progress that I can report. It has been a source of frustration for weeks. The more frustrated I got with the wall the more I began to question, "Who am I trying to please?"Blogs are wonderful whether you write them, read them, or both. They can provide inspiration and motivation. Blogs can become one of the greatest sources for trying new ideas in our homes. However I've discovered that, for me, it's important to ask myself if my motivation for making change is because I really love and desire the change or is it because it's the popular thing to do? In other words who am I trying to please? On occasional I have fallen into the trap of creating things simply for a blog post, or because I think my readers will love it, or because I've seen the idea on several blogs so I feel the need to have it in my home. Interestingly enough I don't always recognize my motivation for creating but I do recognize that the item quickly becomes something that I don't truly love in my home. It doesn't reflect my taste because I did it to please someone else and I wasn't being true to myself.
Blogs aren't the only trap we can find ourselves caught in when trying to be true to ourselves in decorating our home. Recently I had a design appointment with a new client. As she took me through her home she would point out in nearly every room an item that someone gave her. I could tell in her voice that these were not items that she loved. The items were placed there simply because she felt a sense of obligation to the giver. She kept the item in her home because she wanted to please the giver. Yet the giver of the gift rarely, if ever, visited her home. I asked her the question, "If someone gave you a blouse that was a color you disliked, a pattern or cut that simply wasn't you, or that didn't fit, would you feel that you needed to wear it all of the time?" When her response was no, I asked, "Then why do you do that with things in your home?" I understand that there are some things given to us by those we love and/or live with that we feel obligated to keep. I know that we often have to make compromises in our home because of our loved ones, but that should not be the entire design of our home. Just as it's okay to keep the ugly blouse in the back of the closet, we can put the less desired, making a compromise, pleasing our loved one objects in a less prominent area of our home.
Our home is just that, OURS. Homes should be the one place where we find true comfort. They should be the one place that truly reflects who we are. Our home should be a haven where we please ourselves, where we are authentic to ourselves and our family.Today look around your home. Does it reflect who you are and please you? Or does it contain far too many things that please someone else? If so, I give you permission, just as I did for my client, to put away or give away those items that please someone else. Then go ahead and replace them with items you love because that is how you discover the real joys of home!

5 comments:

Katie said...

GREAT post -- I fall under the trap of keeping things out of a sense of obligation. Slowly we've been "letting go" and doing things the way we want, and it feels soo good!

Syndi said...

Very well said. And BTW you have been missed. I hope all is well with you and your loved ones. Our party planning is coming along nicely with red/blue bandanas, some yellow accents including the large daisies and quart jars. Will begin scanning pictures soon and just bought software that will allow me to stitch individual photos together to make a panoramic print to be placed in the jars. Just a little over a month away. Thanks for your great advice.

Erin said...

Thanks Joy! I love your perspective.

CAS said...

Wow, you hit the nail on the head. I think I've fallen into the "blog trap," but had already started to recognize it just before this post. Don't get me wrong, I truly love blogging and get so many wonderful ideas. But I'm starting to see a "herd" mentality, & this is what I mean. There are some super-talented bloggers out there & they have a huge following, so anything they do seems to spread like a wildfire. I've been noticing that tons of people are lightening things up (they say it's because it's spring/summer), but they are painting almost every piece of furniture in their homes some really light color or white & then doing the distress-thing. I have had a white cabinets kitchen, honey-oak floor, dark corian counters, & stainless appliances for the last 6 years. I truly love it. The thing is, we are moving to a new home soon that has honey oak cabinets, light creamy tile floors & countertops. We definitely want to make some gradual changes, & we are thinking about going really dark on the cabinets (we will be painting them ourselves). I'm pretty darn sure that's what I want to do, but I find I'm being torn by everything I'm seeing on blogs. Sorry, I didn't mean to write a book, but I truly appreciate what you posted. I have to be my own trend-setter!

Joy said...

CAS-
I wholeheartedly agree! We all need to be our own trendsetter.

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