Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Decorating (and Living) with Guts

I love changing things around in my house. Always have. Even as a kid, I loved to decorate. I still remember most of my bedrooms (and there were a lot).

Remember when this house was amazing.

My 80s bedroom had a matching country blue comforter set complete with a ruffled pillowcase and ruffled curtains that framed our white vinyl mini blinds. I even remember buying it. My sister got the pink one, and I wanted the blue. They had other colors, but I liked the blue. My mom even questioned it, "Are you sure you want blue?" The wallpaper was a subtle stripe adorned with peach and country blue roses. I loved my room. It was inspiring... so much that I colored on everything (wallpaper included). 

Similar to my country blue curtain.

Later I wanted something more grown up, which meant bright, matching New Kids On The Block (or NKOTB to their biggest fans) sheets, comforter and curtains. 

This is actually it! I remember tracing their signatures and staring into those black and white faces!

I shared a room with my sister while we lived at my mamaw's house. It had a matching white eyelet comforter set with small satin ribbon bows in the trim -- so fancy! The room had white wicker furniture that actually matched and mirrored closet doors. 

In the 90s I still liked the country, antique style. I had another comforter set with mauve roses and vines. I remember lots of baskets and pictures of flowers and cute baby animals...

Later, I decided to paint my room sage. It was really more of a mint though, and after a year of it, the color completely grossed me out. To this day, if any color hints at that awful sage mint I have to change it. Right then. Finally, I painted my room a soft cream. It was pretty. I opted not to do curtains over my mini blinds. Instead, I accentuated the half-window with a scarf and old-world sconces. I loved the old world look... way too much. 

In college it was zebra print pillows and a khaki duvet cover with purple sheets (Go LSU!). Great choices until I saw the peachy-beige color of my dorm room walls. It clashed in the worst way. 

It's funny to think about all of those rooms. I spent so many hours there! It gets me thinking... what will I think of when I look back on my current style? 

So much of what I do is limited by my budget, but I also limit myself by playing it safe. When I chose that blue comforter set, I didn't doubt it. I knew what I wanted. I liked blue. Gosh I wish I could be that decisive now. I wish I didn't care so much what was in style, expected or in everyone else's homes. 

And come to think of it, I want to live my life more like that too. I want to go for the unexpected. Not worry about others' opinions. Just go with what I love. 

How about you? Do you remember all of your childhood bedrooms? Do you wish you could decorate and live life with more conviction?

I have a board on Pinterest called "Design with Guts." I hope one day, some of my rooms will look more like them. My life too. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

My Spending Fast

It's been 17 days since I last went shopping. Holy Moly! 17 days! And can I tell you, it's been hard!

A while back I read this post about The Small Notebook's "No Spend Month." I was shocked, impressed, inspired, but I did nothing.

Until a few weeks ago. When a dear friend pointed out that I'm always buying stuff. Who me? (in my most innocent voice) I don't shop that much. But it got me thinking. Hard.

It is unfortunately true. Even when I don't buy, I shop. A lot. I love shopping online, in person, you name it. I never met a store I didn't want to explore.

This, combined with a heart-to-heart about our financial goals and bloated credit card bill, gave me the push I needed to set a goal: No buying for 1 month.

For many people this isn't too hard. But for me, it's been quite a challenge.

For the first two weeks, I didn't buy, but I did shop. I quickly realized that shopping and not buying isn't very fun. Plus, think of the time I was wasting looking at stuff I had no intention of buying. And I do not like to waste time!

So, for the last two weeks of my spending "fast," I'm not going to shop either. Well, much. (some things are unavoidable)

I did buy groceries, but with a much smaller budget than usual. I'm also sitting in a coffee shop typing this. And, yes, I did buy a snack. But it's a far cry from my regular habits.

There are moments it's easy, but most of the time, the money is burning a hole in my pocket! I keep a mental (sometimes written!) list of all the wonderful things I'm going to buy when I can spend money again. But it has opened my eyes to just how much stuff I spend money on that isn't really necessary.

I even talked with my husband about it last night, and we're planning our own No Spend Month next year.

So how about you? Would you try a spending fast? Have you done it?

Thanks for stopping by Doing More Than Laundry!

I also write a blog about design and my furniture business:
The Little House. Check it out!