design ramblings | contentment with your home

Marian ParsonsDesign Ramblings29 Comments

Kriste and I thought we’d mix up the ramblings a bit and talk about contentment and how it relates to our homes.  I’ve written about contentment before and it’s something I’ve struggled with off and on.  I’m sure it’s something we all struggle with, especially in the day of blogs, magazines, Pinterest, HGTV…there are so many sources of inspiration, but they can also make you feel like what you have isn’t good enough.  It’s easy to stir up feelings of discontentment when taking in so much eye candy!

As we’re working in the studio, Kriste and I often talk about heart issues, so we figured we’d carry that over into our ramblings…

design ramblings | contentment with your home

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29 Comments on “design ramblings | contentment with your home”

  1. So well said, loved this. “This is just a season” wonderful and so true and time goes so fast. Enjoy your home and the moment, but still dream and play and make it what you want.

    I forget that what you see in magazines and Pinterest and online photos is heavily edited. I am a perfectionist to the point that I give up way to easy to find a happy medium for myself.
    This might not be a great comparison…but, there are people in this world, that look at fashion magazines and then look in the mirror and are so unhappy with themselves over their appearance that they will DO ANYTHING to look a certain way. NO MATTER WHAT IT COSTS THEM… and it hurts them, physically. Not to diminish how these people feel or make light of it even (because I’m comfortable in my own skin) but I feel this way about my home. It doesn’t make the cut. It isn’t perfect– it is less than livable. ‘CONDEMNED’ (not really, but the feel I have)
    Isn’t that sad?
    When I get that way– I have to walk away and purge my mind’s eye. My view point. I get away from the media-homes and get cracking on mine… just washing the counters and decluttering the kitchen drawers gives me new perspective.
    There is a term that became really popular when Nate Berkus had his daytime show House Proud…
    well, a long time ago, House Proud meant something a little bit different, I think. House Proud meant for a woman to be home — keeping a home, washing, cleaning, polishing and stand back and look at all she accomplished in her humble dwelling and feel proud. The kind of feeling Mr and Mrs Martini …might have had back in the day, (from It’s a Wonderful Life) when they bought their own home.
    Being content in the home– having a home and seeing the true blessing; a gift indeed!

    1. That’s a very pleasant interpretation of the term (“house proud”), but not the one I recall from 75 years ago, when “house proud” was more a pejorative phrase than a complimentary one. “House proud” was used to describe a woman who poured all her energies into her home, to the exclusion of everything (and everyone) else. A woman whose home was spotless and polished, but in which no one could ever relax, because one’s every movement was being observed, lest one scuff the fringe of a rug inadvertently with one’s toe or accidentally touch a mirror with one’s fingertip. You knew, the minute you left such a home, that quick measures would be taken to erase any trace you might have left behind of ever having been there. The house was the repository of self-image for such a woman and all else went unregarded, including children, spouse, and friends (generally there were no pets — too messy).

      1. This is what I remember, too. It describes my MIL to a fault. I am not comfortably in her house and, sadly, neither is my husband.

      2. Hi Gretta–
        You know… I could be wrong about that. I’m thinking your definition of ‘house proud’ sounds accurate as well.
        I was thinking it was more or less a compliment.
        To me ‘house proud’… is contentment, stewardship and hospitality, I DON’T suppose it’s the right definition, but it seems like it should be. 😉

  3. This is exactly what I’ve been thinking about this year so far! I picked a word for my new years resolution and it is “contentment”. So this is perfect. Thank you! I will be watching this again and again.

  4. This is a great video and great advice, I think so many things are taking over (social media, internet, TV etc.) that we forget what’s important and how to love what we have! I live in a rental also so loving my home is sometimes on the tough side. I’ve started little projects “that are rental friendly” around the house, so I can live happy in the space I have now until we find out first home. Just remember being blessed for what we have and who is in our life will bring us happiness again.

  5. I am very content in my home but find that because we have moved 14 times, I need change. I get bored looking at the same things in the same places every single day. When I used to want to replace wallpaper, my husband would say, wait, in six months we will probably move, and we did. Now that we are retired, I worry about wanting to be able to change things up. I don’t mean move a picture but I think about changing big things and we built our home and did a great job. It’s a beautiful lake home. My in laws had a picture grouping over their couch that they took a picture of when they moved so they could put it back in just the same places. I would change that up in a heartbeat. I think retirement may get me in trouble

  6. What a PERFECT ramblings!! I have always strived for that perfection!! Sometimes you do things and it looks terrific and other times you just can’t figure out what is wrong!! So glad you talked about this I am 68 and have been married for 48 years so have gone thru all the wonderful stages of children and marriage !!! Still not perfect but enjoying it a little more!

  7. Marion,Kriste You are spot on. Not sure if I ever mentioned….we down sized 2yrs ago. from a 3bd 2bath FD/Living room tiny sitting area, on a 55×130 property. All do to my illness. Now we live in a rental…2bed,1bath, tiny, tiny kitchen/living-room F-Bsmnt. I am so guilty of every thing you advised,said,thought. I love all the comments. I am about to re-paint the place. (all walls are a Flat off white…hence why I’ve been looking to find what color your living/dinning/family room are)
    I have a home/garage/basement filled with antiques. A binder filled with tear-sheets from my Fav.magazines,Pinetrest boards, blogs,blogs & more blogs. A great gal I found who flips furniture much like you came over yesterday to help me with some layouts etc. When all was said and done she said what do you need me for you have fabulous furnishings….great ideas all your own. For me I just need that reinforcement sometimes. for today just a matter of changing things up no need to buy one piece of furniture. So.o.o.o…. I closed the project book,turned off the computer…not to you. Last night I said OK this all still makes me happy right here and now. PS please recommend the paint have used in your home.

      1. Thank you!!!! 🙂 Who is it by? BM. What is the color in the guest room and Kitchen
        thanks so much!

  8. I believe a key thing to remember is that a photo shows only a moment in time. For every blogger, creative personality, or overtired mom, each picture is a snap shot showing a journey of the vision. It is only a moment of “still life”. I love all the photos that bloggers and shelter magazines put out there and they can’t possibly do that while making a mess. But, all of us need to remember that we move from frame to frame and that the pictures of all our lives flicker like a movie reel. So I think contentment should be realized in those moments when you are still and maybe the kids are playing quietly and your coffee is still hot, sit back and enjoy your home. Then when inspiration strikes again, and it will, enjoy the journey.

  9. Dear MMS, I love these videos! It’s so good to see you and hear you say such wise and wonderful things! Thanks. Keep up the good work, you two. Hugs, Anne Boykin

  10. Marian, my sister!

    What a great discussion. I love the way you bring your thoughts to the table. I have fantasized about you and I having very good banter doing something like this! Not in a creepy way, mind you. :0

    I have learned so much about contentment with my things. Growing up in Retail Therapy sessions with my ma, it was kinda hard to break, but it WAS a heart issue. God showed me it is about Him and people, not stuff. I am a ‘designer person’ personality, so what I have to contend with now, as we have been in this home the longest in our married life, is ‘when am I allowed to repaint anything?’ I think my husband has a very staid look at design – it was done, so why do it again? I also want to point out that all these projects take time and/or money, so I am constantly asking God about that – the ‘life’ allowance He gives – where does it need to be spent? Love these ramblings – why hasn’t HGTV picked you up yet? I actually have ANOTHER fantasy of hosting a show on that lovely channel with visiting design bloggers all over the country and showing the world their wares in a different format! Blessings!

  11. I am passionate about homes and put a lot of time and energy into mine (not very much money though). I love blogs and magazines and enjoy pinterest. However, I am very rarely jealous. I love my modest house. I love to create and I can do amazing things on a budget. I don’t think I am in competition with these other homes. I see it as a little narcissistic to make other people’s homes about you and your home. I enjoy looking at pretty things. I’ll go on One Kings Lane and look at pretty things for a spell. I’ll enjoy the beauty and walk away without feeling envious. I guess it is because I am so content with my own life. My house is warm and I share it with the 9 amazing kids and my hubby who I adore. Did I mention it’s 1800 square feet? Of course there is winter gear and thousands of items getting moved in the span of a day. It’s a great life. You are right, it’s a heart issue. I’m so glad I haven’t just had money to buy whatever I wanted because it’s developed a creative outlet that I would have missed out on.

  12. Hi Marian, Thank you both for the pep talk, I really needed it. I’m a diy person out of necessity. But I have fallen into that trap many times,want-want. Keep up the good work, I love your ideas.

  13. Hello, Marion! Thank you so much for this video! I had gotten into a very discontented mode thinking nothing is ever complete. Then I look at these lovely bright photos and homes and wonder if I will ever be “there”. I had even gotten so bad that if there was an idea for my home I would check online just to make sure that it was “ok” by up to date design standards!! Of course when you look something up there are always harsh critics saying how awful it is or how it was a trend that needed to stop from chopping pillows, to the use of some artificial plants, to using kitchen towels for table napkins. Sometimes I would actually feel subpar for having the ideas in the first place. But when we step away from the computers, we do see that God has given us so much more than we could ever deserve, and then we can truly count our blessings! Just about every time there is a new project added to our house, our six year says “It looks like ‘Home, sweet, home’!”, and that’s enough for me!!!

  14. Ladies! Great ramblings! I guess for me, “contentment” in my home extends beyond me. I’m striving for my family to be content in my home. Even though I may have a design aesthetic that differs from my husband or my children at times, I always have to pause and ask if they will be content in this home. I pass by doing things a certain way because there are three different males in the house. This is why I am designing my kid’s bedrooms first. My son’s bedroom is half-way there. I want them to have a space they feel content in, even if they choose colors/items that go against my design ideas. Like I said, great ramblings!

  15. Gratitude and contentment are perfect themes, not only for the new year, but for our entire lives. Thanks for your discussion and reminding us what’s really important.

    I would suggest possibly exploring the topic of compromise in home decoration. I think many women find their style to be something not appreciated or understood by their spouses and I know from experience that it’s really difficult to please everyone enough instead of one person completely.

    By the way, Kriste looks fabulous in the rich colors of her black watch plaid scarf. it really complements her beautiful hair and eye colors. And, as always, MMS/Marian is as cute as a button.

    I’m really enjoying your ramblings. Thanks for sharing your insights and ideas.

  16. Here’s a question for your “Design Ramblings” –

    What height above the window casing should a curtain rod go? Some appear to be level with the top of the window and some several inches above. Is there a hard and fast rule?

  17. Being one of “those” people who constantly changes things/adds things/rearranges things, I find myself struggling with this as well. I think part of it does lie in contentment, and trying to get it “just right” (& we know when it’s “right” & when it isnt- I even get a physical little flip in my stomach when it’s finally “just right”, as crazy as that sounds), but I also think that’s it’s just part of our artistic expression. Our environment has an effect on us, and to those of us who love to decorate, our homes become our canvas. They say artists aren’t happy unless they are creating, & I think we just have artistic personalities & that’s where our expression comes out. For me (& most of you too, I’m betting), it isn’t about getting my home to look better than your home. It’s just our natural artistic expression, it’s what we love to look at, and it makes us as happy as an artist looking at their completed canvas!

  18. Marion – can you please answer a super quick question for me Does PA have Design/Antique/Farmhouse style markets/ shows anywhere? I see them mentioned in other states, and I wonder if PA or neighboring states have them? I figured you would be the one to know!!! I live in Western PA for reference. But, as long as I can travel by car to haul stuff back…. THANKS!!!

  19. Love to hear your advice and conversations.Thank you very much! May I offer a constructive criticism? The words “um” and “like” are distracting and if you can use them less? Golden!

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