Style vs. Practicality

I would love to have a nicely appointed home, and I have definite opinions about what I like and don’t like, but when it comes to my own house, decorating doesn’t come naturally to me. It takes me a lot of time and effort to achieve the look that I want — and I don’t have a lot of either these days.

In my last house, I actually got really into the whole decorating thing. I painted every room in that house at least twice in the 6 years we lived there. I made all my own curtains, and at one point I hired a decorator to help me accessorize since I seem to have checked the creativity gene at the door when I was born. We went with a traditional, Victorian style because I lived in a 100-year-old Dutch Colonial that was full of charming details like 12-inch deep window sills, thick moldings and wood floors.

But this house has been sorely neglected when it comes to the decor. We did only the basics when we moved in — the basics being paint. I had just had our 3rd child, and I didn’t have any time or inclination to dedicate to running around town finding just the right pillows and accessories. I was more preoccupied with getting a full night of sleep at that point in my life.

Because this house was newer and more modern, I switched to a more transitional decorating style, and I opted to keep things simple and uncluttered.

Life has only gotten crazier as the kids have gotten older, their activities are more time consuming, and I’ve become absorbed in my writing and various work projects. I find that I just don’t have a lot of interest in home decor, although I did enjoy our Living Room remodeling project last winter.

Yet even with that, I didn’t have a lot of time and energy to devote to it. I have learned to balance style and practicality by keeping my decorating simple and clean.

While I used to get excited about every little detail and enjoy putting displays together, nowadays I am satisfied when everything is neat and tidy. I’ve traded all my little trinkets and trifles for uncluttered surfaces. I find that having uncluttered spaces makes me feel at peace. Plus it’s a heckuvalot easier to dust.

We had a lot of older wood floors in our last home, but in this house we have mostly wall-to-wall carpet. At first I missed the “character” of our old home, but I have learned to embrace the easy maintenance and simple style of this one. Stain proof carpet, like Resista, can help achieve that balance.

How do YOU balance your practical needs with your style wants in your home?