Perfection, Perversion, and Preservation

If you've read every article on this interior designer's website in the order they are presented, then I assume you are here after finishing your project, possibly one room. You should be proud of yourself. You are to be congratulated. Is the room just as you imagined? I hope so.

But sometime in the future, maybe even already, you will start to see things about your interior design that you may wish you had done differently or after seeing a friend's home, you may be jealous of something her home has that yours doesn't, maybe something that you didn't think of, or something that wouldn't have worked in your home's layout, or you might see something on interior designers websites or in a store sometime soon and fall in love with it and wish you had decorated your room around it instead of whatever it was you did use.

These types of things are not pitfalls of doing your own interior design. They aren't even quirks of your personality. They are bumps in the road of life itself, everyone's life, not just yours.

It is human nature to always reach for more, to constantly be in search of blue skies, to believe that the grass is always greener somewhere else. But constantly reaching for perfection is something we need to come to terms with as a society.

Perfection is a pipedream

You will never find the perfect house. It doesn't exist, not even if you had all the money in the world. I know you may not believe me, but it's true. Interior designers websites may make you believe perfection is possible but houses are just like people, they have limitations that were placed in their design when they were made. Some people buy or worse yet, build a home believing that it is the perfect design. That it will make all their dreams come true. Soon after moving in and living there a few years, they start wishing they had instead designed this or that into the house and they start looking for or worse yet, building yet another new home that our limited land resources cannot sustain.

This constant building and abandoning is very similar to getting married, finding that your spouse isn't perfect, getting a divorce and seeking another spouse. Getting married and divorced over and over and over again is a waste of time and energy.

As everyone but the person on this treadmill knows if someone is never happy in any marriage maybe it is time for them to look inward rather than outside themselves for what is causing this dissatisfaction.

No matter what interior designer's websites seem to show, just as you will never find a perfect spouse, you will never find a perfect house.

Don't get me wrong, I am not being judgmental. Everyone makes mistakes and some of those mistakes can be corrected and should be corrected. We should all strive to become the best people we can. And in regard to interior design if it is important to you to have a beautiful home, you should try to make it the best it can be. But know that it can't be everything, just like you can't be everything.

Know your limits

Finding happiness or at least contentment with your interior design has everything to do with a good assessment up front.

If your house doesn't have much storage space, that needs to be considered in every aspect of your interior design. For example, maybe furniture that is "open" meaning it doesn't have built-in storage such as drawers may worsen your problem with little storage rather than solve it.

The way to learn to appreciate this is to remember that if you had a walk-in closet in every room of the house and because of this had purchased a table rather than a desk with drawers, that working at a desk that has drawers is easier in some ways than having to go to the walk-in closet in the office every time you need a pencil.

Interior designer's websites are full of uncluttered rooms with open furniture with clean lines. If you have lots of storage and wish to have open furniture pieces because of the clean look they provide, go for it. Just assess upfront how many of your things will then need to be placed in plain sight. If you imagine a home with clean-lined furniture and few everyday objects in view you will need to have quite a lot of storage space indeed and every time you need a pencil you will have to be willing to go get one.

It is true. There are trade-offs everywhere. But knowing this upfront is the key to remaining as happy as possible with your finished interior design. Regardless of what you see on interior designer's websites you are the one that has to live there. And no interior design is ever truly finished. It is okay and expected that you will want to change a few things from time to time over the years.

Appreciate what you have

Houses are not perfect and their faults are what give them character, just like a person's faults are part of what makes them unique. Character is beautiful. While a vinyl fence around your yard may be low-maintenance it also will never have charm.

There is an old house in Kirkwood on a very large lot that has a natural wood split-rail fence around the front yard. The fence is old and has green moss growing on it. It is not perfect, but it is charming and sweet. Its beauty lies in its character, that it ages and shows its age; so you see, perfection isn't possible. The wood split-rail fence will eventually fall and need to be replaced. But it was beautiful while it lasted. The vinyl fence will never need to be replaced but will never be beautiful. We all make trade-offs. Compromise is a part of life if we hope to be happy.

If you need assistance with your interior design and are in St. Louis, contact me at [email protected]