Breaking My Rule

I try to avoid decorating magazines and catalogs, because I know we can’t afford the stuff in them, so why be discontent? But, this has developed in me a sort of ignorance. After all these married years of living with hand-me-down furniture, I have to admit that I don’t know what I like, if I had my choice in houses, furniture, and decorating styles. So I’m going back on my rule for now: if anybody has any old magazines that they are getting rid of that would help me on my road to decorating enlightenment, I would appreciate it.
While we are on the subject, Shannon linked to a site yesterday called ‘Cottage of the Month’. She was saying how she liked the looks of the homes, but that her husband would find them too feminine. What is the deal with decorating lacking any masculinity? You walk in most churches these days, and it is a wonder that men even feel comfortable in the midst of all the lace and flowers. One thing I do want for our home is it not to look like I decorated it for ME only. I want it to look like everybody had a part. Please share any and all thoughts, even ones off the subject. Let’s overload my comment box.

6 Replies to “Breaking My Rule”

  1. I have several decorating magazines I have been wanting to pass along to someone. I just can’t throw them away! Joel always had a say in our decorating, but he mostly trusts me. I think he really likes the colors we chose to paint and he takes pride in our home. I know a lot of men could care less. I really like the Pottery Barn style. I tear out pages from the Pottery Barn for kids catalog and save them in case I can copy it cheaply. I have been tossing them lately because we can’t even afford to decorate cheaply, right now! 🙂 I will pass along the next one to you though!

  2. Val,

    Great post. I don’t know that I have a decorating style either, but I know what I don’t like. Being a man I greatly appreciate that you don’t want to feminize your house and I totally agree that too many churches are decorated in a way that a man feels totally out of place.

    It’s funny that you mentioned that. At a church where I use to serve I had this older lady (who coincidently decorated the church, often with lots of flowery pink and yellow wallpaper) complain that her husband wouldn’t come to church.

    I don’t believe that the wallpaper was the reason he wasn’t coming to church, but I’m sure it didn’t help.

  3. You can checkout the slide shows on better homes and gardens website (, I think)or order catalogs from places that have furniture you like. Pottery barn usually has nice pictures and you could just substitute cheaper or second hand pieces to duplicate the look you like.

  4. I agree–it’s a fine line between educating your eye and discontentedness.

    I do enjoy the catalogs I get. They give me a “reality check” that’s a good contrast to yard sale shopping.

  5. Sorry, you’re talking to the woman who took five years to get curtains up! I am horrible at attentiveness to the details on things like that.

    BUT, when it is determined we need a decoration to make our home feel “homey”, my hubby usually comes up with the idea, we take into consideration our house’s style (old farm), & I go on a hunt for something to fit the bill. In building your own home, once you two decide what style home you’re going to go for, that will narrow down things a bit. For example, you don’t really want to go down too much of a modern deco look if you decide on a cottage looking house obviously. Kids’ rooms are my fun spots! With those, you can really jazz it up with a little cheap paint. And not feel too bad about changing things in five years because between them inevitably trashing it a bit & your needs in rearranging the bed situation with gender & more kids, etc. it will most likely have to change anyway within five years.

    The main part of the house always scares me because I always feel like it’s such a huge decision – I want it to be permanent – I don’t want to spend time & money changing with the winds of deco fad every few years. Keith has been really great at helping there.

    As far as the masculine thing goes, pick some color schemes you like, or a theme art piece or whatever, show it to him & maybe pick a handful of ideas & let him choose which he likes best. Chances are one will stand out to him. That’s what we did with our bedroom. Same issue. I sure didn’t want some flowered bedroom that looked like it was all mine!

    We ended up doing a lot of “history deco” because Keith likes history, it’s gender neutral, easy enough to accessorize (flags, wrought iron, etc.) & it goes with our 1870 home – has history.:) Throw in a few barns, farm animals, etc. & you’ve got our house. But something will pop out for you guys over the next year or so. FUN!!! I love to dream like that. Can’t wait to see how it all looks. You’re so much more art-sy than me!! I’m sure it will be beautiful.

    Did I fill your comment box enough? Just doing my job.

  6. I am in the midst of re-decorating myself. Blech. It’s so much work! After 5 years, I’m saying good-bye to my flamingo pink office. sniff sniff….see ya!

    Personally, I’ve become a huge fan of HGTV. I’ve learned SO much from that channel. I’ve learned a lot of tricks, where to cut corners, where not to…how to make the cheaper products look/feel more expensive, etc. etc. I also love that when I see something I like, I can run over to the computer, go to and print it off…FREE! Whoo-hoo.
    One of my favorite shows is called “Get Color.” They don’t decorate a persons house as much as they just change the color of everything. They do this by making a personal color wheel for each family.
    There was one show where they were trying to re-do the living room, and the husband hated everything. So they made a color wheel using his favorite past-time for inspiration…motorcycle riding! I remember he ended up picking “motor-oil brown” for the wall color….of course I’d call it chocolate. In the end, because he was involved in the process and it made sense to him, he ended up loving the room. Hmmm….
    I’ve seen them make a color wheel out of so many different things: food, technology (iPod white anyone?), golf, camping, and of course locations (caribbean, London, New England…)

    In the end though, you just have to realize that it’s a process. I don’t think things are ever “finished.” They just get to the point where you can live with it until you get inspired again. It’s a constant evolution!

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