live where you live

2011 is my year to let loose. Have a little more fun. Be daring and crazy.

You probably won’t find me sky diving or shaving my head, but I do hope to take life a little less seriously.

Take, for example, decorating my home.

I really love decorating, rearranging furniture, creating displays on our kitchen shelves, changing out pillows – it is a favorite hobby of mine for sure.  As far as I can tell, it seems to be a favorite hobby of yours as well.

So maybe you can relate with me on this one.

I get an idea {however unconventional it is} for my walls or cabinets or lighting, but I’m afraid to actually follow through with it out of fear that it will somehow ruin our home.  We love where we live, but we don’t feel like it is our ‘forever’ home. So in the back of my mind, the term ‘resale value’ is always lingering when these crazy ideas pop up.  And if it isn’t ‘resale value’ it’s the thought that I should just wait until we are in a house that is our dream home and then I can really make it ours.


But here’s the deal.  I need to embrace where we are now, fully live in the house we get to call home and enjoy it despite what a future homeowner might think.

{I’m not advising destroying your home or being unwise with what you have : I’m just talking about living in the present and allowing your home to reflect your family – even if you don’t plan on being in it forever}

We learned a bit of this lesson when we remodeled our perfectly fine kitchen to make it look more like ‘us’.


It didn’t cost much and we did most of the work ourselves, but it totally reflects our style and has become a room that I really enjoy being in.  Was it necessary? No. When it comes time to sell our house will every prospective buyer love the open shelves? Probably not. Do we love it? Yes. Plus we can now fit lots of little bodies around the table which makes hosting parties that much easier {which we also love}. And that makes it worth it.

So if you are anything like me – stifled in your decorating by the what-ifs of the future sale of your home or waiting for something better to come along – I say let loose.  Have fun. Take some risks.  Really  L I V E  where you live.

If that means putting a hole in your wall to hang some artwork – go for it.  You can always fill a hole.

It it means using a sharpie to draw the most amazing wallpaper in your bathroom – by all means, go right ahead.

And if it means painting the wood floors in your kitchen with a distressed checkerboard pattern like you’ve been wanting to do for years {honey, are you reading?} – then do it!

Here’s to 2011.

Can’t wait to see what it holds.

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74 Responses to live where you live

  1. Kirsty January 10, 2011 at 5:43 pm #

    My floor refinisher thought I was crazy ( and so did most everyone else) when I said to leave the kitchen floor unfinished so I could paint it. My checker pattern turned out awesome, I love it, get lot of compliments, and the more it wears the better it gets. Go for it! ( plus doing it at an angle makes my galley esque kitchen seem wider)

  2. Rachael January 10, 2011 at 7:23 pm #

    I needed to hear this! I’m in an apartment for a short time and it’s so tempting to leave all the pictures stacked in a corner, rather than taking them down and filling holes in a few months. No more hesitation, though…it’s time this placed looked like home!

  3. Britt @ Gus + Lula January 10, 2011 at 7:40 pm #

    Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and leaving such a sweet comment. I am so glad you did, because I have spent waaaay too many hours of the last two days looking through your archives! Your home is absolutely gorgeous, you have so many GREAT projects, and your family is just too cute.
    I am so jealous that you have the option of going to Mars Hill! We do love our church, but I have enjoyed listening to Driscoll’s sermons lately. I would go there in a heartbeat if I could!
    I can’t wait to see if you do your own version of the Farrow & Ball paper. After seeing your office “wallpaper” I’m sure yours would be SO much neater than mine (still has pencil marks months later).
    I’m adding you to my blogroll and will definitely be back! :)

  4. Tys January 10, 2011 at 8:47 pm #

    What a great post, glad I read it!! We moved into our home almost 2 years ago and for too long I’ve let the kids, budgets, and mostly the fear of getting transferred again ruin my decorating enjoyment. I’m tired of it. Here’s to the new year! ;)

  5. Katy January 10, 2011 at 9:11 pm #

    Do it!!! I’ve seen that before and LOVE it!! I’ve never commented before, but I loved this post so much, so I thought I’d chime in! This is exactly how I think of my house, I just need to do what I love to make my house the dream home I want it to be right NOW. Thanks, Emily! I love your blog, your style, and your sweet little family!

  6. W Design January 10, 2011 at 9:46 pm #

    Amen to this! “Love Where You Live” is the tagline for my blog, and I agree wholeheartedly! Life is too short to be afraid to take risks and simply like where you live. We deserve to love it!

  7. Susie Q January 10, 2011 at 10:18 pm #

    I feel like this is my dilemma with my house. Such freedom to live where you live!

  8. Lynda January 10, 2011 at 11:11 pm #

    Great advice Emily! Also, use all your good china, burn your candles, and wear your great jewelry and clothes. So often we save so many of our things for special occasions or the future.

  9. Lynne January 11, 2011 at 8:33 am #

    You hit it out of the park!!! Young and wise! You can’t live your life waiting for your dream house…make the home you have into the dream! That’s what I love about the women I have met in blogland! Some have big homes and they are beautiful…but it’s the smaller homes, “the little tract abodes, cottages & bungalows” that I view that are transformed into magic that continue to blow me away! I was wallpapering with handmade paper gift wrap 20 years ago… guess what ? We are painting over it now and it looks fine! {Our home and our life is our canvas}…I don’t need to tell you that…Emily…you are already there! Your home is lovely and inspirational…and today’s post I will use to continue to sell my idea of gutting the cabinets to my husband! =0) *L*

  10. Shannon January 11, 2011 at 9:33 am #

    I adore your kitchen. It’s timeless. I just found your blog yesturday…and you are already linked to our list of blogs we heart!

  11. Annette January 11, 2011 at 10:28 am #

    This is exactly how I feel about our house! I keep holding off on doing things because I do not want to do all the good stuff to this house just to leave it. Here is to living like no tomorrow.

  12. Darlene January 11, 2011 at 11:07 am #

    so many of us can relate. the line between taking a risk and playing it safe is always in the balance. If we can take a chance in our homes, we will reap the rewards! great post.

  13. Joanna Kay January 11, 2011 at 12:17 pm #

    Thanks for posting this. My husband and I live in an apartment and we know we’re going to be moving in a year (Lord willing) for a job change. So I keep thinking, naw, I don’t want to do that. I shouldn’t. It’s not worth it. But after I read your post I went out, bought some shelves and put those screw holes into my wall!! It instantly made my apartment look like a home. Thanks for reminding me to live where I live. Psalm 37:3

  14. Katy Lunsford January 11, 2011 at 2:32 pm #

    { LOVE } your home! Thanks for sharing.

  15. Shelley Heck January 11, 2011 at 4:25 pm #

    I think I may have told you before, but your kitchen is the inspiration for our kitchen re-design! I actually just started the project today! It may take me a little while, but I will post pictures for you when it’s done. Once again, your kitchen design is AMAZING!! Thanks for all your design awesomeness!!!

  16. Shelley Heck January 11, 2011 at 4:25 pm #

    P.s. Where did you find the cool black and white rug? Love. It!

  17. Debbie Dabbs January 11, 2011 at 6:06 pm #

    As always your site is my favorite! I can’t wait each day to see what you’ve done. Thanks so much for your inspiration as we all work on our projects. As you say, live now, in the moment! Thanks Emily.

  18. Shannon January 11, 2011 at 7:38 pm #

    I love this idea! My husband and I recently began redoing our bedroom – and probably chucked a bit of that resale value out the window….but I couldn’t be happier with the result!

  19. Kelli January 12, 2011 at 3:15 pm #

    LOVE the projects you post! Thanks for sharing. Was wondering what color that is in your kitchen…beautiful.

  20. Elizabeth@BlueClearSky January 12, 2011 at 4:51 pm #

    First of all, great advice. Secondly, I love your kitchen. Functional, stylish and pretty too.

  21. Kelly January 16, 2011 at 11:38 am #

    All of the glimpses of your home are so beautiful. It’s reassuring to know that even great stylists can also suffer from a little bit of self-doubt before tackling those big make-over projects. :-) Love the kitchen.


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