21 August 2010

Considering the d-i-y alternative to home decorating

Someone once told me that just because you know how to read doesn't mean you can teach a person to read. There is a profession of individuals that specialize in education. It is a skill and a vocation.

Just because I read design blogs and am interested in making my home beautiful on a restricted budget doesn't mean that it will look like the wonderfully spectacular rooms I see in these blogs on a daily basis.

I scanned through one of these blogs today and the blogger featured photos sent in by her readers. For the most part, I could see what the d-i-yers were trying to accomplish, but I also saw the distinct difference between their finished product and the professionally designed homes with the beautifully appointed rooms and cost-is-no-object furnishings.

So then I started wondering about my own efforts. I have never hired a decorator and have always opted to take the d-i-y route with room design. Truth is, cost is a big factor in every single selection. Do the fruits of my labor seem as humble as the reader photographs I viewed earlier?

Maybe the more pivotal question is, does it even matter?

There are plenty of photographs of outlandishly expensive homes that are just not my cup of tea, so to speak. So maybe all that matters is that I brew the tea that I love and serve it joyfully.

My tea of choice involves the combination of pretty patterns, something I don't see very often on designer blogs.

Sweetened with a few homemade touches

a secret ingredient or two, passed down through the generations

All stirred together with a collection of things I love

Because after all, I live in a home, not a magazine.


  1. "Because after all, I live in a home, not a magazine."


    Everything I've ever seen showing the interior of your home (on your other blog) has impressed me so much. You have a totally natural gift for design, Diane. And what's really lovely about your taste in home decor, is that always looks clean, cozy, and inviting.

    I too enjoy reading design blogs and looking through design books for ideas. But, then I like to take those ideas and add my own twists.

    Hope you're enjoying a beautiful weekend!


  2. Love your decor! Is that a windchime made from wrist watches and trinkets? How ingenius!!!!!!

  3. Thank you Suzi, it is wristwatches and trinkets, but they are just hung on string over a big mirror. It's hard to tell because I don't have the entire shot that gives it context within the room. I have developed a habit of giving mirrors a bit of ornamentation. And we're trying to adopt a little bit of a clock theme in the room. It's a work in progress to be sure. I just suspended them on plain cotton string from the top of the mirror. :)

  4. Thank you Ron, I appreciate your kind and generous remarks. We're lucky to have such a spacious house with as many windows as we have and that really helps to create the feeling that you described. We did have a good weekend, but goodness it was hot-hot-hot. :)

  5. I noticed & admired your sense of design with your wedding flowers, chalkboard, etc. Your patterns are beautiful! Your house must be so calming.

  6. Thank you Susie, the house does feel calm most days, unless there is a bunch of animal drama happening (as they get older, this is more and more frequent). For some reason, I am really drawn to block prints and batik and John Robshaw is about one of my favorite textile designers around. In fact, they are having a sale (as in markdowns) on some of their merchandise right now! I'm seriously contemplating another pillow cover or two.

  7. Sale?! Go for it. And post the photos of the beautiful print you select!

  8. Gosh I haven't been on here for ages. Every so often, I find your original email, click in, it tells me my viewing has expired. Now & then I tell it I don't care and miraculaously it lets me in!
    Anyway, once again I am back reading ~ I always love your home finishing touches. To me they always look elegant, nothing home made about them. I wish I had that gene that would make me turn places to look like a well finshed home :)