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You Can Decorate Your Home Even When You Aren’t Creative!

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So many of my readers tell me you want to know how to decorate your home even when you aren’t creative so this post is for you!

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What is it that you’re facing that seems unbearable? That literally is sucking the life out of you?

Do your children drive you crazy and leave you beyond exhausted at the end of the day?

Do you feel isolated and separated from real friendships, believing no one could possibly understand what you’re going through?

Is your marriage struggling and seemingly beyond repair while you weep into your pillow every night?

Are you taking care of elderly parents or loved ones and facing choices that leave you feeling inadequate?

All these circumstances may be beyond your control yet you still long to create beauty in your life.

You put everyone else before yourself, believing what you’re doing is noble and right. Yet it feels like a piece of you is dying inside.

We all make compromises every day and our home may be one of the first areas to go.

A screen shot of a living room

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This season in my life is one of intense introspection and discovery for me. To be brutally transparent, I’m in counseling for ME. After years of raising my adopted kids with wounded hearts and taking them to therapy, now I’m working on MY needs and focusing on who I’ve become. I’m facing the way my decisions have shaped my life, in both amazing and difficult ways. 

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In the last two decades I’ve taken care of and homeschooled five children, filled in as a second mom to my niece after my sister’s tragic death, managed the care of my elderly parents until their deaths, helped out our family financially by turning my blog into a business, and the list goes on and on. Always, always my needs were last.

A lamp that is sitting on a bed

I’ve watched my troubled adopted son run away from home at age 16, live in a group home for a year, return home much like the prodigal son and yet choose to leave again. To say my mama’s heart has been shredded more times than I can say is an understatement.

Elizabeth Stone says, “making the decision to have a child – it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ” Anyone else ever feel like this?

A pink flower pot

My marriage has been in crisis for several months while my husband and I desperately work on ourselves as individuals so we can find our way back to each other.

Simply put, it’s hard. Heartbreaking, cry myself to sleep at nights, weary to the bone hard. Yet we don’t throw 30 years of marriage away just because it’s difficult and that’s what the world would tell us to do.

A vase of flowers on a table

Sometimes the heartache of these last several years leaves me bitterly disappointed with my life, questioning my choices and God’s promise to bring beauty from ashes.

But honestly? I’m nothing special. My heartaches are no different than yours. None of us goes through this life without pain but we can choose the way we channel it. Choose to see good when the temporary feels so bad.

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We can choose the memories that fill us with joy, choose to celebrate little moments with those we love.

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I realized through so many years of taking care of others I lost me. I lost my voice and forgot how to express myself. Yes, I scrapbooked our family life and while I cherish those albums and memories they were still more about my family than about ME. 

A group of people posing for a photo

It’s a truly beautiful, sacrificial act to put others before yourself when it’s done with the right motives but we all need reserves to draw from.

As women, finding joy through the act of creating something beautiful and stepping outside the ordinary can be life giving.

A bed in a room

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I hear from my readers all the time that you can’t possibly decorate your home when you aren’t creative or artistic at all. I’m sorry, but I just don’t believe it.

Your home may not be perfect but you always have CHOICES you can make.

YOU HAVE A CHOICE. Do you hear me?

You may only have a tiny space that you can call your own but I want you to CLAIM IT. You have the right to use your God-given gift of imagination to unleash your spirit and bring joy back to your life. 

Bedroom and Paint

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***You Can Decorate Your Home Even When You Aren’t Creative!

What if there were no rules?

Sure, there are trends and designer tricks to make small rooms look larger, accessories all coordinate together, etc., but the essence of your home is YOU. Creating can bring joy in the midst of heartache and loss.

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When my husband painted my craft room wall purple I loved it! It goes with nothing else in my home but it was an original choice and I don’t regret it.

Home and Room

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When our kitchen was sunshine yellow I loved that, too! It was such a happy room for me and one of my favorite spaces. Although it’s more neutral now, for years the bright yellow cheered me up when life’s circumstances were beyond my control.

A room with a wood floor

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You may say it’s easy because I have a husband to do the work for me. Ha! It’s taken years and many battles for us to learn to work together and me to trust my instincts and talent.

Want to know what I’ve learned though? It’s OK to mess up! I don’t have to be perfect. Joy is found in the PROCESS not the completion

What if part of loving your home is learning to let go of some of the stuff that is cluttering your life?

I hear over and over from my readers that you have too much stuff and clutter but you just don’t know what to do about it. Somehow I have to believe there’s an emotional attachment and FEAR of letting go of all.of.the.things. Does this ring true for you?

A bedroom with a lamp on a table

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I know when we recently tore down the wall between our kitchen and living room and gutted the kitchen I had to get rid of a lot of stuff. It was freeing. That jello mold from our wedding 30 years ago? Outta here. 

What if true joy comes from the creative process and not just the finished product?

Sure, we’d all love a beautifully styled home where the toys stay out of sight, the pillows remain fluffed and pets don’t pee on the floors (just being honest here, folks!) But what if we’re looking in the wrong place for our joy? What if the Pinterest perfect picture isn’t attainable and shouldn’t be the goal? 

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Life is messy, y’all. There’s no way around it and what I’m beginning to understand is my home reflects my inner life. I can pine away for those beautiful homes on the cover of the decorating magazines or I can accept reality and create a tiny oasis of beauty in the midst of my chaotic, often difficult life circumstances.

A double bed in a room

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I’m a fighter, much like you, and I’m not going to run from the life I’ve been given.  I will choose what I do with the beautiful treasure of both my life and home. I can sit around and feel sorry for myself or I can get up off the couch and find the voice God has given me. 

Can you breathe with me and feel the stress melting away?

You deserve to have a calm retreat and I want to help you discover it. Who’s with me?

I want to know your number one problem RIGHT THIS MINUTE that’s keeping your from finding that inner, creative spark of joy. 

Then if you’ll share this with your friends who need some hope today I’d be grateful!

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17 Comments

  1. Oh sweet friend! I cannot even tell you how much I admire and appreciate your vulnerability and honesty in sharing your heart (and your home!) in such an open and real way. Both your heart and your home are beautiful and we need more realness like this here in the blogging community. I pray that God will continue to reveal to you His deep, abiding love and that you will know how very pleased He is with you as His daughter.

    Love you!

    1. Hi, sweet friend. Thank you so much for taking the time in your crazy busy summer schedule to leave a comment. I’m so glad you were touched by the message that is so dear to my heart in this season of life. I pray that the lessons I’m learning will be a blessing to others just as your writing has always blessed me. Even your words here are an encouragement for what has been a very hard season of searching. Joy comes in the morning! Love you my friend!

  2. From Lela,
    The bottom of my world has dropped several times over the past 60 years. Mental illness on my part, never learning parenting skills which pushed my children away from me— Losing a home, and now finally losing most of my mobility due to osteoarthritis and many other physical conditions; have threatened my state of mind daily for many years. It’s a matter of motivation. Finding something, anything that gets me out of bed in the morning. Yes, my home is more than cluttered– crafting and learning new things are my balm to soothe my battered mind and soul. I wish my home looked calm and peaceful, but that’s just not me. Wild, bold, bright colors with clashing patterns and styles are what appeal to me. That is what comes creatatively out of me because that’s what is inside of me. Every once in a while it’s a hit, but it is AUTHENTIC and full of ME ever time I finish something.

    1. Hi, Lela. Thank you so much for sharing your heart and vulnerabilities with me. I’m honored that you took the time to write. I don’t think your home has to look calm and peaceful and unless YOU long for that. Wild and bright colors are joyful and contagious and feed the imagination! That’s the precious message of this post. Being authentic is so much more important than pleasing someone else. That’s really what home is all about. Way to go, girl!

  3. Every life and every family has its scars. A therapist once suggested to me that perhaps I loved organization and an orderly, bright and cheerful home so much because my childhood was so chaotic. She further suggested that my craftiness was born out of fear because I lived so many of my childhood years in fear. After that analysis, I stopped. I thought that if this passion and love of beautiful and organized surroundings was born out of ugliness, then I wanted no part of it. It took many years for me to get back to what makes me feel centered inside. It was faith that brought me out of that fog and back to my happy place. The therapist can call it escapism, but I call it my safe place and I claim it and I thank God for it. Thank you for sharing your scars and encouraging some of us to be comfortable with ours. I once read someplace that scars are a reminder of what God has brought us through.

    1. Hi, Clarissa. Thank you so much for sharing your heart with me. The things your therapist suggested to you might indeed have been true but that doesn’t make them bad things unless they OWN you. An orderly, bright and cheerful home is a wonderful thing if it brings you joy and DEFINITELY if it’s your safe place. Our homes should be that place for us and I know personally how it feels when it’s not. As we’ve struggled with issues with our children it has been freeing to makeover a room and allow God to do something NEW inside of me at the same time. I’m sorry, but that’s good therapy! I’m so very glad you were brave enough to share your story with me. I cherish it. Blessings, my friend!

  4. I love the home you have created – it looks so calming and my wish for you would be that you can feel as calm as your home looks – I realize you have had a lot of things happen in your life as we all have and i wish good things for you and hope everything works out well for you – You are so very lucky to have your husband – i lost my 14 years ago this July and still miss him to this day but somehow i got through that – I am very lucky to have a wonderful son (who is now married and has 2 beautiful little girls and a lovely wife) – I wish they lived closer to me me (4 hours away) so i dont get to see them often enough – however every moment with them is precious to me

    I have struggled with losing my parents and in laws and it seems like my family circle just keeps getting smaller – i do have my sister and her family close by so i just try to be satisfied with that – Right now i am struggling with whether or not i should sell my house and move to where my son lives – i realize my family here will be against this but i feel i need to be near him and my grandchildren (my sisters son and kids live around the corner from her so she can see them all the time) i know she will not be understanding however in the long run i have to do what is best for me so we’ll see how this turns out – I wish you much happiness for the future and remember somehow things seem to find a way to work themselves out love carol

  5. An add on to my comment – I do have hobbies that help keep me busy and i share a lot of things with my family – i love my gardens and i also do quilting and crocheting among other things – i have made a lot of quilts that i have given to my little granddaughters and other handmade gifts for them – my daughter in law always appreciates any gift that is hand made and i love doing these for them i have managed to keep a few things to decorate my own home so it does feel warm and comfortable – it is good to keep busy – it doesnt pay to have too much time to dwell and think – keep up your decorating – i love your ideas xox

  6. Dear Marty, I can’t thank you enough for your honesty and for writing this post. Was feeling many of the same things you described in your post and it sure helps to know I am not alone. May God continue to use this blog to speak to broken hearts like mine. btw-Your designs are always so beautiful. I enjoy seeing what you have created and how peaceful your home looks. Keeping you in my prayers. Love, Mitra xo

    1. Hi, Mitra. Thanks so much for sharing. You and I have much in common. My background is in theater and I have a degree in voice although I just sing for pleasure and to worship God now. My creativity comes through writing and decorating which surprises me to no end! I read about your cancer journey and my prayers are with you. God doesn’t waste any of these moments, heartbreaking as they may be, when we surrender them to Him. I pray you may find comfort in His arms today.

  7. I’m coming over from At The Front Porch’s Weekend Wonderings. This is so, so good. I’ve had so many discussions with the Lord lately about this very thing. How even in the midst of brokenness and pain, we were made to create, and that creating brings life. I’m right there with you, seeing my own brokenness, walking through some unknown health issues, and anxiety that accompanies it, but choosing on a daily basis what I can be thankful for. That and continuing to be creative where I can, bring life and joy.

    1. Hi, Cheryl. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. I checked yours out as well! I’m so sorry about your health issues and know the anxiety they can bring. Raising a family is both time consuming and emotionally draining as you know. There are so many things I wish I had done differently but I’m coming to peace with them and and wouldn’t trade the brokenness and pain that brought me to the cross. Love your home and your storytelling! Have an amazingly blessed day!

  8. Thank you for any other magnificent article. The place else may anyone get that type
    of information in such a perfect way of writing?
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  9. I’ve been trying to decorate my house in very different ways but non of it worked as i thought it would. But this article has given me pretty great ideas. Thank you 4 sharing.

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