the itch that can’t be scratched

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you guys, i think i’m going through a style mid-life crisis.  i need help.  maybe professional.

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ok, so maybe that sounds a bit dramatic, but there is a touch of seriousness.  after closing my shop several months ago, i have been struggling to “find myself” in my newfound creative freedom.  i walked away from my sewing machine, only to go back to stitch a tear or patch a hole.  thats pretty much it.  and i have built up some odd immunity to crafts and all things crafty.  i still love handmade, but not in the same way i used to.  i am yearning for a different kind of handmade, almost where you can’t tell that its handmade, but just cleverly designed.  leaning a bit more toward modern.  but then i feel like i’m denying my vintage/thrifted roots!  oh, how i still love all things old and chipped and slightly damaged.

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in my home, i have been stripping myself of my usual patterns of adding every little tchotchke that would fit on the shelf (and look adorable) to a more simple look, even taking away some things that are adorable, just to set out less.  less is hard, you guys!  while i love color, i am feeling myself pull away from color in a big way.  i’m yearning for quiet in my decorating life.  i want less color, more layers & texture.

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i am not willing just yet to sell off every non-necessary tchotchke or bright colored accessory (although i’ve seriously thought about it), but i’m also not ready to dish out hundreds of dollars for items that i think will satisfy my i’m-not-quite-sure-what-to-name-it hole i’m trying to fill.  so instead i’m doing what i do best:  shopping my house to create just the right feeling in each of our spaces.  the only thing is, i’m redo-ing everything i can get my hands on… and i’m not happy!

kids room

i have rearranged silas & lily’s shared room and totally hate it.  while i was trying for something different, i got it.  but what i also got are 2 beds that are difficult to be made (against a wall) and corner’s of beds that we all catch our ankles on – ouch!%*@!  i bought a $100 rug on a whim (aka bad idea) and it landed in here after trying 2 other rooms where it apparently wasn’t welcome (aka it looked way too busy, like i was trying too hard).

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i haven’t touched gracie’s room but i want to.  what i really want to do is put the girls back in this room together, but sean said moving the kids to different rooms just to serve my need for change wasn’t a good enough reason.  i guess i can’t be too irritated by his practical rationality.  so i’m working on some better reasons.  no really, i am.  i’ve got 2 pretty good ones worked up and  will solidify the “need” with a 3rd reason as soon as i think it up ;)

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i am also still loving the fresh changes i made to the kitchen.  i want my whole house to feel like the kitchen, but with knit throws and textured pillows ;)

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our living room is probably the trickiest, and most annoying to me.  it is the biggest space with the least amount of options for functionality.  design is one thing, but functionality has to come first.  perfect example:  silas and lily’s room.  i think i can get the design back to something i like, but its not functioning well for our family.  but the living room’s functionality issues aren’t really ones i can change – our couches are big, our entry way is small/nonexistent, the entry to the school room is straight through the living room, and i have very little wall space.  after 8 years i feel like i have tried every option for rearranging the furniture in there (without buying new furniture) and am at a loss.

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(not my home.  i wish.  no really, i want this house.)

so the only solution is to sell the house and build a new one!  if only it were that simple.  in all reality, sean and i have been talking about bigger dreams and taking on a building project again.  we both love our home and our neighborhood (its really hard to beat), but we are also both feeling a strong push for change.  while i’m trying to work out my need for change within my home, the pull for looking elsewhere is getting stronger.  we aren’t at a point where we are seriously pursuing anything, and definitely not at the point of selling our home, but its fun to dream.  even the kids have been catching on to our talk of our “dream house” and have enjoyed putting in their 2 cents.  while we are assuring them that this is only dreaming for fun, there’s a big part of us that is hoping it can be true.

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but for now, i will continue to work out my issues on my home and try to hone in on what i really want via pinterest.  i hear its cheaper than a counselor.

(p.s. if you want to see the direction i’m heading, you can follow me here.)

Comments

  1. 1

    I have been enjoying all your recent dream home pins. They are fun to look at.

  2. 3

    I SO get it! All of it. Sometimes I pick up handmade and sometimes I need to close up shop and walk away. Then I find myself needing another creative outlet– one where I can design, but not manufacture. Does that make sense? An outlet for pulling together colors and styles and textures, but not something that I need to sell en masse per se.

    Keep seeking. You will find a new style rhythm that will speak to your soul again– and then one day you will find yourself ready to change it again. Embrace the tension.

    With joy, ~Kirsten

    • 4

      i TOTALLY get what you’re saying! to be able to just design and not manufacture would be awesome! and sometimes it just feels good to walk away. thanks so much for your encouragement!

  3. 5

    One thing I really love about your kitchen is the openness and the light. What if you put the rug in the living room into Silas and Lily’s room, and put the black and white rug in their room. The rug is pretty busy, but if you painted the coffee table white (keeping the top au natural) it would brighten the space a good deal, but it would leave rustic warmth. You could ground the space by using water-esque colors like those in your globes in the kitchen. You could re-cover the cushion in the wrought iron chair in that color.

    Sometimes when I am feeling claustrophobic in my space I find a change of color palette as effective as moving furniture.

    • 6

      thanks for your suggestions! i initially bought the b&w rug for the living room, but it jumped out at me as too busy right away. but i also only let it sit for a day. maybe if i tried living with it a bit longer it would feel better to me. thanks for your encouragement!

  4. 7

    You are more than welcome to come to my home and rearrange! I just leave things in the same place for years. It drives my mother crazy.

    • 8

      ha! that would drive me crazy, too! i’d love to redo your space – i have no problem being opinionated about other people’s spaces – i don’t have to live in them! not that i’m some fancy artist or something, but its like how some artists can’t live with their paintings because they always see something they can tweak or do better.

  5. 9

    I agree with Leann. Maybe try the black and white rug in the living room. It’s a little modern a little bohemian. I’ve found that when all else fails, when I stick with wood, white, grey plus greenery, it feels fresh.
    Also, I thought the kids room the original way was perfect! We have shared kids rooms and I know how frustrating it can be. It never ends up like i imagine! I just have to remind myself that my kids don’t care which way their bed is facing!
    Just know, that as much as I enjoy your blog posts, it’s your commitment to faith and family that has kept me as a subscriber! I like your practical outfits and your thrifty home decor, but I love that you homeschool and prioritize your husband and babies!! God bless you :)

    • 10

      thanks for all of your sweet words, carmen! i think i might try the rug in the living room again. and i am definitely changing the kids’ room back to the original configuration!

  6. 11

    i love your home….i’m envious of your home. i wish i could live where you live. i live in a cramped 1 br apt because i have stage 4 cancer and lost my house and almost everything else with it. you should not complain when you have everything that others want….

    • 12

      cassie – i am so sorry to hear about your situation. its devastating. i am also so sorry that my words came off as complaining about what i have. that was not my intention. i was just trying to express my current state of decorating woes, not knowing the direction i want to take. this was not meant to be about “stuff” but about design, art, creativity. i’m so sorry i didn’t make it as clear as i had hoped.

  7. 13

    I’ve been there. It took me a couple of years trying to figure out how to change my house and what I wanted to do with it. I had no direction other than I wanted something else. However, I did finally get it by adding a few things here and there. Eventually, it all started coming together. Now, I love it. As creative as you are, I know you will figure it out and I can’t wait to see it!!

    • 14

      thanks crystal! i know i’ll get there, it just feel foreign to not BE there! i do love the design process – thanks for letting me hash it out here in this space!

  8. 15

    Yikes!!!
    We got busted by Cassie!!!
    She has a good argument for being satisfied with such things as we he have, does she not?
    I am following Kara Tippet’s blog and I get the sense that she is not overly concerned with decorating right now.
    That being said…ERWIN MCMANUS, author of THE ARTISAN SOUL, says that God created us to create. He is all about creating beautiful.
    So is Cassie, but she doesn’t feel good right now.
    In the 1980’s, my family went through months of unemployment and scraping the barrel. I remember feeling a huge resentment for some family members who were showing off their latest gold jewelry at an Easter gathering. Ugh.
    God redeemed that season of my life to grow me into a more compassionate person. Right now, there is an email in my box from a pastor in Kenya showing a widow’s house that is in desperate need of replacement or repair for the safety of her children. I think if l went inside, l could almost touch each side if l stretched out my arms. She needs beautiful in her life. I am trying to think where l can borrow Peter to pay Paul to send some money for her to have some beautiful. I WANT it for her!
    And l want it for you, Lindsey. You are a butterfly in a cocoon. Much struggle ahead until those wings are able to stretch out and take in the sun and lift you off.
    Will you take a step back and focus that considerable creative energy you have into being still with God. He has something to teach you, not to keep from you.
    As Ann V says, “All is Grace.” xoxo from Georgia

    • 16

      i am so sorry that my post came of as being unsatisfied with what i have been blessed with. it was definitely not intended to be understood that way. my intentions were to share a simple struggle with the design process. not “i wish i had more stuff”, but “how can i creatively use the talents God has given me, the desire to create beautiful things that He has put in my heart?” i know i blog a bit about my faith, some about my family, and various other random things. but i post mostly on style, both personal and home. this post was not about a true personal struggle, but about a silly design struggle. i hope you can understand that someone can be a believer and struggle with a design process, and its not a bad thing. it doesn’t mean that i am envious over what someone else has. its finding a creative outlet for me, to do something fun in my home. i also don’t feel like i’m overly concerned with decorating. it takes up only a small portion of my time. my priority is on my kids and my husband.

      • 17

        Lindsey…
        I have to say that l admire the way you handled the way the blog got derailed. Your response showed a level of maturity that is appealing. Your response to Cassie was kind and l so appreciate that.
        I have to agree with you that your blog has not ever pretended to be a statement on the brokenness of the world. I fell in love with all those globes that top your kitchen cabinets!
        I responded to Cassie’s situation in the same way l would a person who is standing beside me, viewing something in front of us. My hearts desire was to embrace her in her struggle. (Cassie, God bless you and keep you, my friend.)
        I am reminded that we, as humans, view the words of others through the lens of what we are going through.
        The first pictures l saw of your blog (months ago) showed a perfectly clean and styled house…but you also posted at the end, pictures of the same space all lived in by a normal family. I loved that. It was real.
        I hope l didn’t come across as angry at you. If I seemed to chide, it is the grandmother in me!!
        I really, really hope that we all take advantage and use the creativity that we have inside us. We CAN create beautiful. We have so much potential to make the most of what we have…thrift store or Expensive Home Decorating Store.
        Best regards and more love from Georgia.

  9. 19

    I really like your current modern vintage style and your modern farmhouse Pinterest style. I think the main difference is color vs. lack of color. Modern vintage tends to use cool colors with accents of brighter colors. Modern farmhouse is about white walls and accents in gray, black, and reclaimed wood. If you have a place to store your vintage items you could try modern farmhouse by painting your walls white and I think you would have the look.

    • 20

      i think you nailed it exactly! i think just pulling some of the more colorful pieces will help! and i have been wanting to paint our bedroom walls white for awhile and i just may get to it soon! thanks for your suggestions!

  10. 21

    I can relate to your style crisis. I like so many different things (vintage, classic, modern…) that I tend to dart from one style to another. I’m currently trying to fix up our house to sell and it seems to make sense to “stage” it in a pretty traditional way. The dream house in my mind, however, is completely different–Modern, wood, white, clean lines, texture, lots of plants, and pops of bold yellow. It’s hard to stay focused! Enjoy your daydreaming and good luck!

    • 22

      that would be hard to stay focused – decorating for prospective buyers, but wanting to design for your next space! i think its smart of you to decorate in a more traditional way to speak to a wider audience. good luck with the sale of your home!

  11. 23

    Get a sectional. No, really. It will solve your 2 couch living room conundrum. I bet if you sold the couches, you would have a good amount of money to put toward a new sectional. If you put one end up against the windows and the other end of the L lining the foyer, then you could create more of a dedicated foyer space and open up the living room to the dining room. Food for thought!

    • 24

      you are speaking my language! i have been wanting a sectional for… forever! i grew up with one, my favorite spot being “the sweet spot”, right in the corner! my only fear about getting a sectional is this: i like to rearrange my furniture (i think thats what got me started on this problem in the first place!), and i’m afraid a sectional will limit my options. do you have a sectional? do you feel this way?

  12. 25

    I am dealing with the same thing right now! All I am wearing is neutral, all I want around me is neutral but i LOVE color. It’s such a strange season. Good luck to you!

    • 26

      yes, so strange! i used to have to force myself to add more color to my wardrobe, but i finally realized that i just feel better in neutrals (most of the time). color has naturally felt right in my home for years, but now it just seems to not fit as well. so glad we can relate!

  13. 27

    I follow/love your blog, but gotta be honest, this post struck a nerve with me. You have a BEAUTIFUL home. Not many people have that. The cure for your “style mid-life crisis” is perspective – get off Pinterest and go serve at your local food bank. Be thankful. You have SO much.

    • 28

      oh my! i am so sorry to have struck a nerve! please know my intentions were not to complain about what i have. because i tend to think of this as a design or style blog, i thought it would be appropriate to explain where i’m at, design-wise, with my home. i am not dissatisfied with my home, just my current abilities to change the style of it. i think its ok to want to change my design style and talk about it. i am VERY thankful for what i have. i also am thankful for a place like pinterest to help guide my changing style and give me inspiration. looking at pinterest does not cause me to want more (as i know it can be a stumbling block for seem), but is helping me to hone in on what i’d like the feeling of my home to be. i feel like the suggestion to serve at a food bank was a bit of a dig. i can’t imagine that other bloggers who blog about their home design and process full time get suggestions like that. my post was about design/style/creativity, and not about where my heart is at with the world. i hope that you’ll re-read the post with that in mind, and see what my true intentions were.

  14. 29

    I think it was honest and vulnerable of you to share your struggles with something that can be so trivial. I also can relate to the feelings of discontentment, the pull to just look at Pinterest again to find that missing link, so that I can make the adjustments and feel some sort of fulfillment. And then the Lord keeps bringing me back. To eternity. To what matters more. To what the deepest longings of my heart are for. With all that I hear you expressing, as a sister in Christ, I encourage you to turn away from it all for now. As you’ve experienced, it all will leave you unsatisfied in the end. You could dream big, buy a newer, bigger, better designed, more modern house and it would all be very exciting. But it won’t leave you satisfied. Look at what King Solomon- who had everything, said. I hope that the Lord really encourages you, that you don’t feel judged or condemned, but that you find more than you were even searching for! Peace in Christ.

    • 30

      i’ve got to be honest with you vicki, i think you read my post all wrong. i am not discontent with my home. at all. this was a post about something trivial, yes, but about the creativity that God has put in me. He has created things of beauty and has left that stamp on some of our hearts to do the same. i believe my desire to create beautiful things and spaces is WHOLLY given by God. it is a part of me that is made in His image as the Creator. to deny that calling would be wrong. i am not looking for fulfillment in the beauty of my home, but i do get joy out of the process of creating it. all i was sharing was a design struggle. something simple that i thought others could relate to. i love hearing about other people’s design process and i thought it would be interesting to share my own. please don’t read the process of struggling with a design as a struggle within my heart for something that will never satisfy. i do not lay awake at night, worrying about the layout of my furniture. my heart is set on bigger things. but i also considered this a safe place to share the little things as well.

  15. 31

    I was feeling vaguely dissatisfied with my home decor, recently. Even though I didn’t really want to, I brought out my Fallish items, but instead of putting some “cutesy” things out, I warmed things up a bit with baskets and some old family sentimental items. It did the trick.

    I struggle with a balance because I don’t like a lot of clutter, but when I make it “stark” enough to make my clutterfree OCD part happy, then the other part who likes it to be cozy and comfy starts complaining.

    I would put the black and white rug in the living room because black and white will anchor anything. Try bringing out some sentimental things that you haven’t seen for awhile, that really mean something to you, and put the others away for awhile that don’t. But it sounds like you really have a handle on what you want and so it sounds like you just have to work the process. Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

    • 32

      thanks so much! yes, i think i do just need to work through this process. i love your suggestions! i do also get afraid that removing the color and little items will feel a bit to stark, but maybe clearing off and starting over, adding in just a bit at a time will do the trick? so thankful for a husband that let’s me slowly work through this stuff until it clicks!

  16. 33

    I love the dresser around the window

    • 34

      thanks amy! thats a piece that has found its home all over the living room! its been a life saver for storing art supplies and toys over the years.

  17. 35

    Oh how I’d love to come re-do your house.

    I agree with all above. The need to be thankful for what we have, yet the desire to please our inner creativity without being too materialistic… etc etc

    It’s ok to want change. It’s ok to want a new house. Pinterest & this lifestyle of today really aggravates the “I want …” attitude, where it becomes something that consumes us rather than a side muse.
    In this area, I know of people you can hire to come redo your hous,e using what you already have. You are creative enough where that might not be needed at all, but you COULD aska friend to come redo one room. And keep it “her” way for a week. See how you like it?

    I agree – try the black & white rug in the living room. That with the old wood table on top, white couches, the copper plant on the table. The fake fur blanket back to living room.
    Move the yellow dresser to the dining area. Move neutral stuff to the living room. You will find a good thing that works. Look at your old pictures from last year’s holiday decor. There’s an answer somewhere without building new.

    • 36

      thanks for your input annelie! i agree that its ok to want change and to be creative, and those things don’t have to equal being materialistic. i also want to make sure that it is clear that i’m not consumed by this process. in fact, i have very little time to even deal with the process, between school and kids and volunteering and church and friends. but it is still something i enjoy and love to work through, this time its just a little harder than usual.

      • 37

        Thanks for all your responses — I just want to add that I didn’t mean to say you are consumed by this – I just mean that since we now have so many options to even resell, second hand, buy things cheap etc, it’s something that CAN consume our thoughts etc.
        Your house is awesome, and it’s one of the main reasons I follow your blog. To see all your decor ideas.
        I like how it changes. Whether you post about your mantle & shelves or about the thrift store displays (I LOVE THESE), I dig your style.

        I can’t wait to see what you do next. And yes – paint the dresser! It’s GORGEOUS, but it would be gorgeous in another color too, so why not?
        White, distressed? You could even just sand the heck out of it and add a wax like Annie Sloan and it would be so much subtler.

  18. 39

    I too feel like the black and white rug would be really cute in the living room. I will say that I got a black and light grey patterned rug and when I first put it out I didn’t like it. It felt like too much. The rug I had before though was very neutral so I thought maybe it was just the change. I sat on it for a week and let it “simmer” and by a couple of days I loved the patterned rug. Now every time I walk into my house I love seeing that rug there! :) Maybe that would happen? Maybe if you move the yellow dresser out…but I love that piece. Who knows.

    • 40

      i am definitely going to try the rug in there again, but this time let it “simmer” longer ;) and don;t freak out, but i’m thinking of repainting that dresser!

  19. 41

    DO NOT VISIT A SCANDINAVIAN COUNTRY!! I went to Copenhagen for two weeks this summer and now want to chuck everything I own and acquire their sleek and modern sensibility. Their non dust-collecting chic minimalism!

    Your home is lovely but don’t feel bound to roots! Go explore this part of you that needs exploring. Why not?? Its only stuff.

  20. 43

    i love looking at all the dream pics. but i want dibs on your house! lol

  21. 44

    I’m so sorry you’re being misunderstood. I definitely can feel your pain! I think color seems to be such a part of who you are. Maybe try to neutralize your living spaces, and bedroom- but keep color in the kids’ room and school room? I feel like it’s enough of an internal struggle, we don’t need help trying to rationalize the irrational thoughts we know we are having! But for creative souls, our houses need to feel at rest. It’s hard to be at peace when things just don’t feel right. Please continue to show how The Lord leads you through this!! I would love the encouragement and to see where these struggles take you!

    • 45

      thanks, jess! i think you are right – less color in the loving spaces, more in the kids’ spaces. i am already feeling a change in the tides and moving in the right direction. i’m hoping to share more this week!

  22. 46

    LOVE all your globes!!! I would love to start a collection for our house. Are those thrifted or purchased or both? Not even sure where to start. ;) I am inspired by your beautiful design style!

    • 47

      thanks jenny! the globes are all thrifted and garage sale’d, collected over a long time by me and mostly my mom. it helps to have another set of eyes looking out for you!

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