Archive of ‘Design Tips’ category

Decorating: When Good Enough is Enough

Let it be known that when it comes to decorating, sometimes, good enough is enough!!

I was reminded of this concept as I sat in the ever-darkening evening light on Saturday frantically trying to compare various shades of white so that I could pick just the perfect white for my baseboards and door casings that will soon be installed.  This was of course after I had dragged the family around for an hour from paint store to paint store so that I could pick up swatches from each major brand of paint because of course, each one had a different set of whites from which to choose!  Kelly Moore’s Swiss Coffee? Or maybe Benjamin Moore’s Swiss Coffee? What about Simply White or White Dove?  Decorator’s White looks nice, too and the name sounds promising, doesn’t it?!



Each white has a different undertone and would give a different look and feel depending on what I chose so I had to make the right choice!  As I sat in the dying light holding up one paint swatch after another, it hit me….this wasn’t fun.  And worse yet, the stress I felt was of my own creation.  Up until that day, I had always been happy with Kelly Moore’s Swiss Coffee and the way it looked in my home.  So if I was happy, what compelled me to think I needed to look at ALL the whites and make sure it was just the perfect one for me?  I liked Swiss Coffee and sometimes, isn’t good enough good enough?!?!

When I was little, my dad brought home a training video his work had provided about the differences between men and women in business.  I don’t remember the story exactly but the premise goes something like this:

Kill the Little Black Dress

A husband and wife go shopping for a black dress the wife needs to wear to an event.  At the first store, they immediately find a black dress that fits perfectly and looks nice on her.  The husband {foolishly} thinks their shopping trip is over!  They came, they saw, they conquered, right?  Wrong!  The wife likes the black dress but wonders if it’s the perfect dress.  Might there be another dress out there that is better than the one she found?  So she continues searching for hours at various stores trying on dress after dress to find just the perfect choice.  For the husband, his mission was to Kill the Little Black Dress.  For the wife, she needed to see all the choices available and compare each one before making a final decision.

And this was exactly what I was doing Saturday night…  I was comparing all the shades of white when really, I should have just Killed the White Trim!  I love decorating but even I have my limits.  Yes, often times my limit is dictated by budget, sometimes space, but one limit that is often overlooked is just the basic idea that sometimes, good enough is enough!!  When it comes to your home, it doesn’t have to be perfect, it doesn’t have to be trendy, it doesn’t have to look like a magazine, it just has to feel like you.


With the internet and sites like Pinterest, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and perhaps a bit envious.  Never before have we been able to so easily see what others have! And because I feel a bit hypocritical since I always show you pretty pictures of my home, let me be honest.  I have kids, a dog, a cat, and birds.  My house is NEVER clean except for when I’m photographing.  And even then, only the room I’m photographing is clean!  I don’t live in a magazine.  I live in a home with my family and our home is our sanctuary, sometimes clean and pretty, but often messy and disorganized in the chaos of daily life with kids who have busy schedules.  And I wouldn’t change it for anything.  This is my reality…after all, why should a guest room sit pretty and empty when according to my daughter and her friends, it makes the perfect fort!



Just remember that decorating should be fun.  Be yourself, decorate with things YOU love and accept the fact that sometimes, good enough is enough.


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Flooring Spotlight: Options for the Look of Hardwood

Hardwood floors have a very timeless and elegant look to them and often, add value to a home.  While style and color trends tend to change for hardwood, the use of it still carries a lot of cache.  If you’re looking to install wood floors in your home, you might find that there are so many options available that it can be overwhelming!  And it used to be that if you wanted hardwood floors you had to buy, well….hardwood floors, of course!  Not true these days!  There are several different types of flooring that can give you the look of hardwood without actually using wood, so we’ll take a look at each one below.




Solid Hardwood

{via GoHaus}

{via GoHaus}

Solid hardwood is pretty much exactly what it sounds like.  The boards are made from a single, solid piece of lumber typically ranging from 3/4″ to 7/16″.  Solid hardwood is available as both pre-finished or raw.  Additionally, given its thickness, it can be refinished after years of wear and tear, giving it a very long life. Since it is a natural wood product, it expands and contracts with humidity and as such, room for movement needs to be accounted for when installing.  Additionally, it is generally not recommended for areas that attract moisture, such as bathrooms, basements, or even concrete subfloors.


Engineered Wood

{via GoHaus}

{via GoHaus}

Engineered wood is also considered real hardwood because the top layer of the floor IS real wood.  It is made up of three of more layers of either high-density fiberboard {HDF} or medium-density fiberboard {MDF} with a veneer of real wood bonded to the top.  Each manufacturer of engineered floors has their own method for creating the individual planks that they feel gives their boards maximum strength and durability.  Additionally, manufacturers have different thicknesses of the veneer, some of which can tolerate one refinishing and others that cannot be refinished at all for risk of sanding down to the MDF core.  Since the top layer is a veneer, engineered floors are only available pre-finished, but because of the way in which they are manufactured, they are more heat and moisture resistant than solid hardwood,, and thus can be installed in a wider variety of rooms.  Additionally, they are less expensive than solid hardwood.


Laminate Wood Floor

{via Pergo}

{via Pergo}

Laminate flooring is a synthetic material designed to look like real wood with a non-resilient {or hard} top surface.  What’s interesting is that one of the layers is actually a picture layer designed to look like whatever species of wood it is replicating!  Underneath the photograph layer is the inner core, constructed of HDF.  Laminate {Pergo is a well-known example} can often have a hollow sound when you walked on it though, but whereas laminate used to look very fake, but modern laminate has become quite sophisticated and stylish.  Given its synthetic composition, it is more durable than real wood {both solid and engineered} and a fraction of the price, although it still isn’t suitable for wet areas and doesn’t quite carry the same cache as real wood.


Luxury Vinyl

Luxury vinyl is basically an upgraded, thicker version of vinyl flooring that comes in “planks” to help mimic real wood.  It is very cost-effective and is also waterproof and therefore, suitable for damp areas, unlike wood or laminate flooring.  Vinyl is a resilient surface, meaning that it has some give when you walk on it but the downside is that as such, it can be dinged and is not able to be repaired or filled like wood can be.



{Wood tile via Mannington}

{Wood tile via Mannington}

You can now get the look of wood in a highly durable ceramic or porcelain tile suitable for all areas of the home.  It is the most durable of the wood floor options, but can be cold on the feet given that its composition.  It is also more time-consuming to install and so installation costs can often be more expensive than they are for laminate or vinyl.


Modern technology has given us lots of great options for every price range and every room.  So, if you want the look of wood in your home, consider all the options before making your decision and choose the one that best meets your aesthetic, location, durability, & price needs!


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Spring Living Room Tour

Last Friday was my Spring Home Tour and if you didn’t get a chance to take a look, you can see it {HERE}.  I had so many photos, though, that I didn’t end up including all of them!  Today, I’m sharing a few more pictures of my living room that didn’t make it into last week’s post.

I moved some of my side tables around to create more space near the window for plants, like an orchid and a ZeeZee plant that I’ve put in an ironstone soup tureen.



I really love orchids and my local grocery store has a great selection, although inevitably, I kill them. :(



I never realized just how many old books I have until I was moving everything in preparation for the new floors.  There are just so many uses for books in decorating, though!  {THIS POST} has a whole list of ideas about how to use books.



I found these blue and white pillows at HomeGoods and bought them for the living room, but then moved them to the guest bedroom, and then back to the living room… I like that they brighten the space a bit and with some of the other changes that are coming up, I think I’ll be using more pops of white around the house.



I changed my coffee table style from The 4 Corner approach to Long and Linear.  If you want to read more about ways to style a coffee table, read {THIS POST}.  I used a basket tray to hold some magazines and an ironstone pot of roses, as well as my favorite cloche.



I love swapping out what I put in my cloche, but for Spring, I’m using some old flower frogs, moss, and feathers!


My home renovations started Monday morning and while the living room isn’t a part of the remodel, I’ll be changing up at few things to help brighten it a bit.  Also on my To Do list is to take a nice picture of the kids to frame above the fireplace, but somehow, the idea of getting them to stand next to one another nicely and smile seems overwhelming and difficult!! #siblings




I’ll be sharing some candid photos of the remodel in my Facebook page so pop over to see the updates and progress!


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