Blogging & Creating A Cozy Home
This morning I read the comments that were written after I signed off last night.
What really makes me happy is when someone writes that they have become more interested in decorating a home in a house they never really liked.
I have lived in some houses or apartments that were just downright ugly. But I was determined not to leave it that way.
Even if I didn’t have much money, I went to garage sales and traded things with others and found a way to decorate.
Usually I ended up with a home that was at least cozy, if not pretty.
Cozy Is More Than Pretty:
Cozy to me is much more important than pretty.
I grow weary of seeing photos of perfect homes. How can you have such a perfect home with young children running around?
If they can snap their fingers like Samantha Stephens on “Bewitched” and make everything perfect after kids have been playing all day, I would surely like to meet them.
In the “old” days of blogging, you didn’t see truly perfect homes. They were tidy and decorated and something most all of us could create.
Somehow I just don’t recall them being completely over the top.
“No matter who you are or where you are, instinct tells you to go home.” – Laura Marney
Today I scroll through some blogs social media and I see photo after photo of homes with the latest gadgets and inventions.
And it just seems boring and bland.
The Old Days Of Blogging:
Over time things changed in the world of home and garden blogs.
Most bloggers now refuse to have a blog roll. Because if a reader clicks on one of those links, they are taken away from the original blog.
I don’t see a problem with that. People like to find new and interesting blogs to read that they didn’t previously know about. I am one of them.
So live and let live.
Another way I deviated from day one from most of the other bloggers was that I refused to put my name on my photos. There was the fear someone would steal the bloggers’ photos.
Well, of course that is possible. But to me that signage they insisted on using ruins the photo.
“How often have I lain beneath rain on a strange roof, thinking of home.” – William Faulkner
I have no problem if one of you like a photo I have here and want to download it for yourself. Go ahead. Enlarge and frame it if you want.
I am not a famous photographer, just someone who photographs images for my blog. You don’t need to ask me if you can copy those photos.
People can be awfully uptight!
Anyway, I started out writing about the comments and I found myself going astray. Something I do quite often!
I so appreciate your comments. But please don’t think you need to comment on every post. That you look at it and read it is surely enough for me.
If you want to comment, fine. But please don’t feel compelled to do so.
Now back to homes we dislike but can’t move away from them for whatever reason.
Just do what you can to brighten the rooms of that house you really despise. If you own it you can do a lot more than if it is a rental.
And even if you own the property, there may not be the extra money to renovate and really decorate it as you would like to do.
Scan blogs, Pinterest, Instagram if you like that platform. Search for bloggers who write about frugal living who might show you photos of how they decorate their homes.
Look To Nature For Inspiration:
I find inspiration everywhere. It might be the shade of a flower, or something I see out in the countryside.
I think nature should be our biggest source of inspiration. Because there’s so much there!
“The home should be the treasure chest of living.” – Le Corbusier
There’s texture and color everywhere you look. There’s the starkness of trees that have shed their leaves,
And there’s the new green leaves of springtime when the tiny shoots emerge on the bare branches.
All the colors of the rainbow are out there just waiting for you to see them. And to then use some of what you see when decorating your home.
I’m tired of the all white kitchens with not a speck of color. And kitchens that only have stainless steel appliances.
Those kitchens have always reminded me of morgues. What is it about stainless steel that is so appealing to everyone?
I’m also tired of the gray colors and shades in photos I see online, with virtually the same furniture and decor.
Thoughts On Trends:
It’s one or the other: the person who owns the blog either doesn’t trust their own instincts. Or they don’t want to deviate from the current trends.
I won’t lie. I’ve loved many trends and copied them in some ways. And I buy mostly neutral furniture. I’m not rich, so I can’t switch out big pieces of furniture constantly.
With those more neutral pieces of furniture, I can then work with an abundance of colors to accent them.
I can change the pillow covers and smaller pieces of decor and this changes the entire look of the room.
That is a much cheaper way of decorating and introducing new colors.
So I typically go with beige, tan, or cream furniture. I don’t get bored with it because I am always changing the colors around it.
And then I can change out mostly canvas paintings (I have so many in my closet) that I’ve purchased.
I typically purchase canvas paintings because canvas is much cheaper to buy than framed paintings.
“The magic thing about home is that it feels good to leave, and it feels even better to come back.” – Wendy Wunder
Well, I’ve gone on and on while I drank my cup of coffee and listened to “Tommy James And The Shondells” music on YouTube free. And now I’ve moved on to Paul McCartney music.
I like their music because I recall it from my youth. But I really prefer piano music most of the time.
Have a great day! Change something in your home. Even if it is just something small.
Not only am I so over seeing gray everywhere, I’m tired of HGTV shows where just about every house looks the same. I’m a fan of white, as a background for color and my seasonal decor. But all white neutral homes, while they are attractive, would depress me. I love color, light and nature.
You already know from knowing me all these years and reading my blog, that I’m with you on all that you said. I’d much rather see (blogs and in person) homes that have personality and charm: vintage pieces of furniture mixed in with the new, decor collected over the years from specialty and retail shops or flea markets, grandma’s dishes, art work passed down in the family, quilts, colorful pillows and throws, lots of plants to bring in greenery and a peaceful vibe, pottery picked up from an art show, a framed piece of art that your child made. I have a friend whose house is small and simple, but filled with all kinds of interesting things they’ve collected over the years from their travels, antique hunting, and art shows. She’s an artist herself, so she has a gallery wall of some of her paintings. The sofa in their living room is a bright orange, mid-century modern one. Yes, her house is filled with personality!
I don’t mind a gray room, as long as the entire living quarters aren’t gray. Our master bedroom has light gray walls with blue undertones. The area rug has navy, white and brown in it. I purposely kept this room in neutral tones to give it a peaceful vibe.
I also don’t like stainless steel appliances; they look too cold to me. And I’ve heard from those who have them, that they’re hard to keep clean and fingerprint free. Give me white appliances anytime….or, if I could afford it, one of those fancy bright-colored stoves like an Aga or Bertazzoni.
I had no idea that the reason a lot of blogs don’t have blog rolls was because they didn’t want you clicking over to anyone else’s blog. Wow. I stopped reading most of the “big blogs” because they’re unrealistic and all look the same.
Have a good weekend, Brenda!
I read and enjoy your posts every day and have for years but comment only occasionally when I actually have something to say. So I was glad to read that doesn’t bother you. I only read a few blogs and am really tired of the “perfect homes” blogs that get boring after a while. When we read your blogs we are part of your circle and look forward to what you have to say and how you are feeling on a particular day. Your blog is real and that is comforting in a chaotic world.
I look to nature for inspiration too. Like you I find it all around me and that’s why I started immediately working outside in the garden. We did start painting what we could prior to moving in because the existing paint color was a gloss white, which we didn’t like. It’s an older home and the paint showed up every little flaw. We waited until later to add color. We were cash poor and had to work on the home slowly and do as much as we could ourselves. I could not afford to renovate all at once. And even if you own the property, there may not be the extra money to renovate and really decorate it as you would like to do. It takes a lot of money to fix things, especially if you have plumbing issues or heating expenses. After spending on necessities you may not have the money to spend on decorating, not to mention all of the other things that can happen in life.
One of the reasons I stopped looking at blogs was because they seem the same and don’t represent real life–not my life anyway. I don’t have a perfect home–far from it. My life is not perfect and sometimes chaotic. I like more color. I try to keep a tidy home, but it has become cluttered in some spaces and I don’t care to feel less than because of it. I have enough on my plate to contend with. There is a tendency of some types of people to want to “fix” others too, which is so unhelpful and in many cases insulting. Life is filled with loss, tragedy, health issues–you name it and it can be difficult navigating that territory. I would say that my cozy abode currently reflects many of those challenges. I really loved this post, because it resonates for me. You reflect on many of my thoughts that I mostly keep to myself.
I like the coziness and your use of color
Your pics show a “home”, not a showcase
Please keep doing what you do. I’ve been viewing over 5 years
I like a lot of your decorating ideas…and its fun to me to see what you are doing. I really need to get this apt in better shape…maybe if I can get more rest at night (caregiving takes a toll) then I can…at least I can take a break, come here and get ideas!! THANK YOU!!
You are a real person to me and I prefer that personality for writing and decorating. It speaks volumes to your consistent style in your homes as well as you mention books you’ve read even knowing most of your readers have a variety of tastes.
I’ve removed all those “perfect” living/decorating blogs. They’re all the same. I once followed a blog that purchased a lake property only to remove the entire structure & build a mansion, all white everything, with 4 young boys. It was the dumbest. Now everything is trendy. I’ve purchased an item only to find in a year it became popular and I tossed it because I saw it everywhere. I just dislike trendy. I like yours – it shows YOU. Decorating doesn’t show the person anymore. And I can’t relate to “perfect”, much less “perfect trendy”. And gray! Good grief! How depressing. LOL. What a freedom to remove all those blogs. I like real.
One of my greatest joys in life has always been decorating and displaying things in my house. However, during the past seven(!) years my daughter and her twin boys (turning 12 today!) have lived with me. Now, for the past three years, her new husband lives here, too. My house is a small ranch and we are stuffed in here like a bunch of sardines. They have virtually taken over my space and it is impossible for me to decorate or display much at all. It is a big loss but at present we don’t know when things will change. Basically, it comes down to them buying my house and me moving–to where? Or they find a house they can afford and I stay here and try to afford the up-keep. Aargh! Anyway, didn’t mean to unload my frustrations on you, but just to illustrate how much not being able to decorate and display our treasured objects can affect a person’s mental health. Those of you who are able to do those things to make your home cozy and reflect who you are, just know how lucky you are! I think looking at and reading about what you do in your apt. along those lines keeps me sane, Brenda!
BEST BLOG EVER! I just love this particular post. I’m such a chicken when it comes to decorating. Tomorrow I am going to change SOMETHING!
Another devoted follower of your blog here.
You’re so down to earth,I love that you share your entire life with us,warts and all.
My most disliked thing that seems to be everywhere is barn doors,they look so huge and clunky,I just don’t see the attraction.
Yes, I don’t get all the gray….walls, etc. I like warmth and coziness too. And white kitchen appliances. And our furniture is looking worn, but we have 4 cats, with claws, so I’m really not up for buying new furniture. I’d rather “accessorize” with blankets and quilts.
I really enjoyed your last post, too. Ivy is a shining light in your blog. Loved the pics of her as an adolescent. She has no idea how many people love her!
I was just saying the other day how much more I like warm creams or beiges as a base color but cold grey is so pervasive these days – they just redid the halls of our condo varied shades of grey.
I also think creams and beiges and tans are more warm. Gray is what they call glum rainy days!
Your observations are so on point to me today. Personality is what I find lacking in those monochromatic sterile designs. I love your blog. I read it every day.I consider you a dear friend. You encourage me to be more involved in my relationship with my own home.
I’m so glad! Because ultimately it is a relationship.
After awhile, all these huge kitchens done in white with stainless steel all start to somehow look alike. I like your battery candle in there with the greenery. Nice glow.
I never really listened to Paul McCartney once he went out on his own, but I remember the Beatles fondly.
I’m talking songs like The Long & Winding Road. Loved that one!
I love that song too. Lately I’ve been listening to In My Life–there’s a black and white version by Judy Collins which I think must be from the 60s.
Love the pic of the antique bottles with fireplace behind them…beautiful💕
I like to frame one thing behind another in photos.
What attracts me to your blog even after I’ve abandoned most others, is the warmth and homeyness it portrays. What you did within the walls of your previous very humble abode was nothing short of amazing. Our souls all seek the comfort you put together on a very modest amount of money with a very dynamic amount of talent!
You reminded me of some funny stuff when my “grandma blog” was at its peak readership and “mommy blogs” were viciously fighting for clicks. I watched in amusement one public battle between two such “ladies” after one photographed her kiddoes doing a craft originated by another. Despite being fully credited and linked for the idea, mommy #2 launched an epic hissy fit, outing mommy #1 and DEMANDING removal and apology. #1 fought back. #2 threatened legal action! Mind you, this was over some mundane paper sculpture whatnot crafted by a 5 year old. We grandma bloggers started linking it to each other and laughing our butts off. Like you, our content was always free and open, designed to enrich our readers with ideas for more fun times with grandkids. Some people! Lol
I know just what you mean. It can get ridiculous. Do you still have your blog going? If so I’d love to know how to find it.
My blog is still up, even though I’ve not posted in months. Here’s the link to a post you featured from the days you hosted a “blog hop” when those were popular with us all….
Oh yes, I remember this blog! If you start posting again, let me know.
I find reading some of these comments interesting. I’ve heard about middle school behaviors of bloggers and those on social media circles. I’d like to say that I’m surprised by such behaviors, but unfortunately I’m not. It seems you can’t escape such antics from human beings. It’s very off-putting though to read about that type of rivalry and competition which I suppose is another contributing reason as to why I don’t tend follow blogs, but read when the mood hits and when I’ve got the time. I used to visit apartment therapy website hoping to find inspiration for smaller spaces and found a lot of the comments rude and judgmental, so I stopped going there too. One could stop reading the comments, but isn’t that a part of the so called “community”. I really wish that some people would find more grace in their lives.
Thank you for sharing all your insights regarding several subjects; especially decorating. I want my home to be cozy and welcoming (even if it’s just for me). Yet I don’t trust myself.
I enjoy leaving a comment but I’ve never felt that I had to and I don’t expect a response from you. Reading your blog is one of the highlights of my day.
I’m singing and humming Crystal Blue Persuasion and probably will for the rest of the day. Tommy James and the Shondells have been favs for a long time. 🙂
Have a great day!
It’s just such sweet and pleasant music to listen to.
Darlene, it’s so interesting to hear you say you don’t trust yourself. I seem to suffer from decision fatigue and really never knew where it came from. I don’t think I trust myself either but I’ve never seen it that way. Thanks for the insight.
I love your blog but the subscribe button won’t work and I’d like to sign up to receive regular updates for you. I hope you can help and I hope your blog provider can fix this glitch. Thanks so much. Best to you and Ivy. Sue
I’ll have to figure out this button thing myself. I’m going to look into it now. Thanks for letting me know.
I moved it to the bottom of the blog. Maybe it will work there. There seems to be a problem with Firefox not wanting to display it for security reasons. If this does not work, email me and I’ll just add you to the list myself. Or you can go ahead and do that. All I need is your email but I know you don’t want to put it here. Email it to [email protected]. One of these days I’ve got to change my last name on that email address, but it’s such a formidable hassle I keep putting it off.
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