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I am always looking for easy and cheap decor ideas to spruce up my home for each changing season. Here is where I encounter problems. Most of the decorating blogs and websites out there are just not realistic.
Many decorating blogs have an air of pretentiousness to them. I mean, don’t get me wrong, there are some incredibly beautiful ideas on these blogs, which we will call “Those who shall remain unnamed.” It’s not my style to specifically call someone out that I’ve never even met. Besides, these blogs serve a purpose, and there is a reason they are successful. People use them for inspiration.
However, I am real, not fancy, and my house is never going to look like it came straight from the pages of Better Homes and Gardens. It’s just not sustainable for me, nor do I want it to be. I love my gloriously messy and realistic existence.
I recently relocated from Vancouver, Washington to Flagstaff, Arizona. We went from a small two bedroom apartment to a significantly larger three bedroom house. Needless to say, I needed some inspiration. So I spent an afternoon perusing different blogs and studying beautiful pictures, specifically of living rooms, my starting point.
After “Oooing,” and “Aahing,” over the sheer beauty of some of the ideas, I tried to picture if any of these would be realistic for my living situation.
That’s when a few things really began to stand out to me. First, none of the pictures have televisions in them. Most people have a TV set in their living room. My question is, do people with perfect homes just not watch the Tube? Because I have a television in my living room, as well as one in my bedroom. We have another set in my stepson’s bedroom that the kids use to play games on. These televisions get used. A LOT. Why? Because the people in my house LOVE to watch TV.
Check out this chart that shows the number of televisions in the average American home:
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Residential Energy Consumption Surveys
Come on people! I need décor ideas that include my beloved friend, the television set.
Another thing I noticed is that many of the living rooms I was looking at were filled with white furniture. Really? White? I’m a stepparent with two wonderful stepchildren, a boy of 12 and a girl of 10. They are pretty clean kids, relatively speaking. They are not what worries me. Even if I wasn’t a stepmother, I couldn’t trust myself with white furniture. I don’t wear white. I avoid white like the plague.
No matter what my intentions, if I am near something that is a beautiful stark white, or a creamy ivory, or any other hue, tone, or shade that could be referred to as a variation of white, it will not be white for long. I have impeccable aim when it comes to spilling. My spills almost always land on the lightest color and the most stainable surface. It’s almost a talent, really.
Then there is Mr. OG, whose nickname is “The Spiller.” Need I say more?
Lastly, I couldn’t believe the outrageous amount of money certain pieces cost! I will not pay $600 for a coffee table. It’s just not feasible for my lifestyle.
After coming to these realizations, honestly, I was pissed. “Who lives like this?” I kept wondering. Who would want to? Not me. I’m better than that. I’m above all tha…..
….wait a minute. NOW who is being pretentious?
As I began mulling this over, I started to realize that the nature of finding inspiration for décor is to find something you aspire to, a goal. I’m a firm believer in setting goals that may seem impossibly high. Because with hard work, nothing is impossible.
Perhaps I can’t afford the gorgeous blue desk with anchor knobs. But you know what I can afford? That perfectly sized $30 desk at the thrift store that is made of solid, good quality oak. I can also afford sandpaper, and small can of navy blue paint from Walmart.
When I began looking back through the pictures I was so harshly criticizing, I realized that like everything else in life, a few small tweaks are all I need to customize these décor goals to my life.
For example, I can wall mount my television set in the living room. That way it almost becomes a piece of art in of itself. And I don’t ever HAVE to have white furniture. I can go with whatever color I want. That’s called being an adult.
My home will probably never look as good as those pictures. But you know what is missing from those perfect pictures? The warmth. The laughter. The kids and cats and dogs. The funny movies. The unfolded laundry and unscrubbed dishes. The fights and tears. The hugs and kisses. The LIFE. The life is missing from those perfect shots.
I’ll take real life over a perfect snapshot any day.
My actual living room (complete with wall-mounted TV!).
Have a great day Broads!
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I’m the founder of The Bonafide Broad, and a thirty-something broad originally from the Pacific Northwest. I now live in Flagstaff, Arizona, with my guy, Mr. OG. When I’m not busy rescuing kittens from tall trees, carrying babies from burning buildings, and trying to establish world peace, I work for the school district in Flagstaff, and I run this blog.