It can be so easy to browse Pinterest and think that little to no effort is needed to make a home look beautifully charming. There are bloggers, Instagram-ers, and Youtube stars that make it look all too easy. Popular television shows renovate entire properties in three weeks, with a behind the scenes crew of thirty or more construction crew members… whom you will never see. (And budgets out of this world). It’s hard especially when you are just starting out, to feel overwhelmed, inefficient, and under-talented. The truth is behind the smoke and mirrors real messes happen. It’s not so effortless.
Home renovation is not easy and it is something that takes a lot of time. It takes a lot of blood, sweat, and tears quite literally. I remember one evening when my husband was ripping out some old tile, countertops the blood part became very real. He still bares a scar.
Interior design comes with practice. It is something I am learning overtime. Honestly, I was born with a need to create. I remember drawing detailed designs as a little girl. In fact, I wanted to be a fashion designer for most of my adolescence. Growing up, my creative side was semi encouraged, but I always had the voices saying I needed to get a “real degree.” So off I went to college to get a degree in International Business Administration.
My love for interior design was an evolution of sorts. It began when I moved out on my own. I went to college and bought all my dorm room decor with adulthood in mind. I remember friends would comment on how my room always looked homey, calm, and inviting. When I turned 21, I began an internship in Europe. That’s where I fell in love with historical (like, really historical) architecture. I started to really explore art, photography, and history that summer.
However, I still needed to learn… I had always been good at pairing things together, but talents develop the more they are used. After college I worked briefly as the head manager of an Estee Lauder. Additionally, I started taking peoples photos for some extra income. During that time, I started studying color. I starting learning what compliments what. And I learned that mistakes often lead to muddled, confusing messes. Mistakes are also the best teachers.
Interior design isn’t for everyone. Some people have very “left sided minds” and think less creatively. That does not mean they can’t. It means then just need a little more help. That’s why jobs like “interior designer” and “interior decorator,” exists. If you are less creative, find someone local to advise you on your choices.
Home renovation is hard work. Especially, when you need to stretch a dollar. That’s why my blog exists. The goal of this is to inspire you, teach you, and help you with resources on how to do things. We are DIY-ers out of necessity and we have grown to love what we do.
Renovations are messy and chaotic. I cannot tell you how much dust I sweep and vacuum up daily while we are renovating this home. It’s not pretty and definitely doesn’t fit my “try to always have a nice, tidy home” personality. Always take that into consideration before a big project. Make sure it’s the right time for you and your family and that you have a realistic end date in mind.
The first project we ever tackled in our first home. We had a lot of mudding, sanding, and painting to do. A couple years later we refinished the floor, the hearth, and I whitewashed the fireplace.
Sometimes mistakes happen, learn from them. When we bought our first home, we were trying to make the bathroom a little more livable while we saved up for an entire gut job. One weekend when Thomas was gone, I removed a floating shelf, repaired all the cracks and nail holes, and painted every inch. We chose a color that on the card looked bright and refreshing. It was indeed bright and it was the first thing to go a few months later. What did I learn? I will never buy a paint color without some very serious testing and that electric blue just isn’t my thing.
Photo: My mini-makeover was a mistake I learned with a simple paint color. But, I learned I will never do electric teal again. Thankfully, it did not make a come back when we overhauled a few months later due to a necessary pumping repair.
Taking care of your home is hard work and so worth it. The reality of home ownership is that maintenance is always necessary. I recommend when purchasing a home you budget for renovations and repairs even if the house seems perfect. We live by the rule that we always want to make a place we live in better, not worse. We care about our community and whomever may live in our home after us. And a small, wise investment now can pay off in the end. And yes, how you treat your home affects your neighborhood.
Lot’s of hard work goes into every project we do.
Owning a home comes with a ton of responsibility. Design is not easy or natural for everyone. With some practice, research, and heart anyone can have a home they love to live in. Some of the word’s most renown designers didn’t even start learning about design until they were adults… (Joanna Gaines, anyone?). If you are frustrated and looking for a change without knowing where to start ask a friend who has great taste or hire a professional.
I hope you enjoyed this post about fixer uppers. There is so much we have learned and so much we are still learning. Keep checking back for more advice, DIYs, tutorials, and more. Follow Midwest Southern on Pinterest and Instagram for daily updates.