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“Our house is clean enough to be healthy, and dirty enough to be happy.”
-Author Unknown

I had a bit of a nervous breakdown this weekend. With the impending move (the first weekend in April—yes!) and out-of-state guests coming for an extended stay in mid-April, I furiously took stock of each item on our ever-growing to-do list.

Our in-progress guest bedroom, complete with missing door handle, unfinished trim and an uncovered switch plate.

And although I’m so proud to say that we’re in the home stretch of this intense renovation, I also realize there are a lot of finishing touches that will require our attention over the next few days weeks months.

A guest bathroom that's not quite guest ready...

So, today’s post is dedicated to the daily honey do list. To the unfinished stack of thank you notes, the dent on your stainless refrigerator, the dust bunnies under your [unmade] bed.

“We labor to make a house a home, then every time we’re expecting visitors, we rush to turn it back into a house.”
-Robert Brault

With so many online magazines, glossy covers and inspiring blogs featuring immaculate spaces, it’s easy to feel as if your own home doesn’t measure up. Yet behind every smartly styled photo shoot is a scratched coffee table, bleached tea towel and missing fitted sheet. Trust me.

An incomplate backsplash hidden in our beautiful kitchen.

“A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken.”
-James Dent

The key to renovating (and life, in general, if you ask me) is to be kind to yourself. Give yourself the time to breathe and enjoy the work in progress. It’s progress that makes life more enjoyable, yes?

Well, progress and finally locating that missing fitted sheet.

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Design Inspiration

17 Responses

  1. Martha says:

    I love the quotes you chose – I have been thinking a lot about homes since I don't have one (we are renting in a student complex) and I want one so badly. In my efforts to become more like my Mennonite grandmothers, who were the most naturally hospitable people you have ever met in your life, I have made a few resolutions for this year: invite more people over spontaneously (this prevents me from making a fuss over the cooking), keep the bathroom clean (I clean the toilet and sink once a week while my toddler is splashing in the bath), and never apologize to guests for the state of anything! I have loved your renovations and I am very excited to see you turn it into your home.

    • Pinky212 says:

      OH, Martha! Wherever you live and whatever you're living in — IS your home! Perhaps you meant "house" and used the term "home" in it's place. I hope that's the case. However, I've often see through the years (I'm a senior citizen) that students, homemakers following their husbands to another city on the way up the corporate ladder, and young couples in apartments take the attitude of "waiting until we have a real house" (or dream house as in the case of the corporate wife) to make their living environment into a home for themselves. When a person "waits" for the right time, that right time eludes you. The right time is now — wherever you are and whatever you are living in. You may not have the finances to do everything you want to do, but do what you can, knowing that your taste will evolve along with your pocket book. Choose things and/or colors that make your heart sing and/or put a smile on your face. Life is waaaaay too short to wait until the perfect time to make your living environment a home.

  2. my parents visited me and my (then) new boyfriend about two weeks after we moved into our house! it was sparse and half of our stuff was in boxes. the dogs were stinky and everything was filthy. they were just happy that we were happy!

  3. designmankind says:

    thank you so much, ladies — i have so much to learn about being a better hostess, but i think remaining calm and worry-free is one of the more important lessons i'm teaching myself. ;)

  4. designmankind says:

    (happyhomeblog) — i couldn't agree more! we invited my husband's grandmother over for coney dogs and root beer late last night. we didn't have plates and ate from a card table, but it was such a fun memory!

  5. Sarah@ModernKids says:

    I've lived in a house under construction for three years and although I live in Northern California we do require heat in our homes and we've been living without it or insulation, yikes! It's been a very cold couple of winters for us, to say the least. I love looking at beautifully designed and styled home but I never let it get me down. I just remind myself that wonderful things don't happen overnight and you cant just luck into a beautiful home. You need lots of patience and in my case, warm clothes. Thanks for this post, Erin!

  6. @Tartydiva says:

    Oh how I look forward to your posts, Erin! Life is a work in progress, no? One thing I've learned is that if I'm happy and relaxed, my guests will be happy and relaxed. You're going to have a great time!!

  7. designmankind says:

    You are such a positive group of readers — THANK YOU for your support!

  8. @hyperbets says:

    I REALLY needed this today. Can you have a weekly imperfections post? It would do my soul good. Come on April!

  9. designmankind says:

    Ha — of course, my love!

  10. @dorynw says:

    I cannot tell you how much I relate. Before anyone used to come over the place had to be "finished" meaning pictures on the wall and every accessory in place. As I get older and the more I have moved and renovated, I realize that I have to be okay with the fact that my 3 year old thinks the contractor is her second daddy, I can't privately go to the bathroom anymore and once in a while when I can't contain my perfectionist ways anymore, I watch The Money Pit to make myself feel better and giggle a little. I've been renovating for 3 1/2 years and I feel your pain!!I cannot tell you how much I relate. Before anyone used to come over the place had to be "finished" meaning pictures on the wall and every accessory in place. As I get older and the more I have moved and renovated, I realize that I have to be okay with the fact that my 3 year old thinks the contractor is her second daddy, I can't privately go to the bathroom anymore and once in a while when I can't contain my perfectionist ways anymore, I watch The Money Pit to make myself feel better and giggle a little. I've been renovating for 3 1/2 years and I feel your pain!!

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