Y’all know that I spend my days working by myself. Right now, I’m working (still) on the master bathroom, and as soon as that’s finished, I’ll be working on our home gym. That means I spend many hours each day by myself, left alone with my thoughts. And I generally take a short break every couple of hours to scroll Instagram for a few minutes before getting back to work.
What has struck me lately is the sheer amount of busyness and consumerism that is promoted on blogs and social media. I’ve been a blogger now for 15 years, and so I think to some extent, I’ve become numb to it. It just seems normal to me now. But before I started blogging in 2007, I only decorated for one holiday — Christmas. And as far as general decorating in my home, once I got a room done, it was done. I didn’t continually tweak the room, buy new stuff, change out the decor, etc. I finished it, and then I enjoyed it.
That’s not to say that I would never buy a new throw pillow. Of course, if I happened to be in a store and find one that I absolutely loved, and I thought it worked better in my room than the one I currently had, I’d buy it, swap them out, and get rid of the original one.
But I never had the thought of hanging onto 20 sofa pillows so that I could swap them out seasonally or with every single holiday. I don’t really know anyone who did that back then.
But now, my Instagram feed seems to be filled with people constantly changing and tweaking their rooms. I see people decorating for every single holiday, not only the big ones like Christmas, but everything in between — Valentine’s Day, Independence Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, and the list goes on and on.
Then there are the seasonal decorations for winter, spring, fall, and summer. And then there’s the swapping out of the decor every time a favorite store releases a new collaboration with a favorite social media person, or at the beginning of the year when each paint company releases their “color of the year” for the new year and we start to see those colors more in the stores.
It all gets a bit dizzying for me, and I’m genuinely curious how blogs and social media have affected you in this area.
Do you feel pressure to decorate more and more often? To swap out your sofa pillows, artwork, and curtains for each new season or holiday? Is this something that real world people are actually doing in their real world homes? Or is this just something that content creators are doing in order to create content?
Because again, unless someone was hosting a New Year’s Eve party, I’ve never known someone who went all out and decorated their home for New Year’s Eve. And unless someone was actually hosting Thanksgiving dinner, I’ve never personally known anyone who decorates their home for Thanksgiving.
And I’ve certainly never, ever known someone who redecorates rooms — swaps out pillows, curtains, artwork, etc. — for each new season. At least, I had never known that in the real world, and I had never seen anyone do it until the advent of blogging, and it seems fairly common now on social media. (Of course, what I’m talking about goes far beyond simply swapping out your summer quilt on your bed for your winter down comforter. That makes complete sense.)
All of this seems manufactured by social media, but I’m wondering if you agree, or is this stuff that you were doing long before the advent of blogging and social media?
I know that for me personally, spending too much time on social media (especially Instagram) can cause me to start feeling discontent with what I have. I see people constantly refreshing and redecorating, and I think, “Wow, I guess I should be doing that, too! I guess I need to change things up so that I and others don’t become bored with my house!”
But then I look around my house, and I realize that I’m actually quite content with it. In fact, I love my house, and I don’t want to change it.
Even just this morning, as I was standing in the kitchen mixing up my morning collagen drink, I glanced at the colorful art wall in the sitting room, and had the fleeting thought, “Maybe I should swap out some of that artwork for new artwork just to keep it fresh and interesting.“
After all, that wall has looked exactly like that since September of last year. But then I tried to narrow down which ones I’d swap out for something new, and I realized that I don’t want to swap out any of them. There’s nothing on those ledges that I’m tired of looking at yet.
Of course, the day will come when this room will undergo a significant change in function. Once we have our addition built (which I talked about yesterday), I’ll be able to move the recliners out of this room and bring back a dining table and chairs so that it can function as a proper dining room again. But that’s not quite what I’m talking about.
Then I glanced into the living room to see if there was anything in there that I’d consider updating and refreshing.
Again, it’s a no, at least for the most part. There’s nothing in here that I would redecorate to change the look or to add a seasonal touch or a holiday vibe. But obviously, I am one who will change things out more for practical purposes. I did get rid of our gray chenille sofa that our cat could (and was) easily shredding, and I swapped it out for a gray velvet sofa that she can’t claw and shred. But that didn’t really change the overall look of the room. I swapped out gray for gray.
And I’ve never found a good combination of throw pillows for my sofa that I’m happy with, so my sofa has never felt “finished” to me. But once I do find a combination that I love, I’ll probably live with them for years.
I’ll also say that if I could find a pink fabric that is the exact same (and I mean identical) color to what I currently have, but is more durable than what I currently have, I’d probably buy it and make new curtains for this room. But my purpose wouldn’t be to change the look of the room. My purpose would be to have curtains that stand up to my cat better and that she can’t snag with her claws so easily. But again, that’s more of a practical change. I would only do that if the color is the same, which means the room would end up looking the same as it does now.
The rest? I still love those floral pillows, artwork, lamp, throw, rug, coffee table. I’m just thoroughly pleased and content with what I have.
And then there’s my music room…
I did think the other day that it might be fun to try to make new artwork to go above the piano some day. But that was more just a fleeting thought than an actual plan. And if I never get around to it, I’m perfectly happy with what I have.
So that’s me. If you’ve followed along on my decorating and remodeling adventures for long, then you know I’m the kind of person who has no problem at all changing my mind and redoing projects until I get them right. I mean, how many tries did it take me to get the living room right? I think it was about five times, including one wayward attempt to turn the living room into a dining room. Same with the entryway. I just couldn’t seem to get those areas right, and I really struggled with them.
But now that I’ve finally gotten them right, and have ended up with rooms that are very much “me” and feel right to me, I just can’t imagine feeling the need to constantly swap out, tweak, and decorate for every passing holiday, season, or store collaboration that is released.
And it’s a battle of the mind for me when I’m scrolling through social media. It’s a battle to not allow myself to feel like I should always be busy doing more. But more than that, it’s a battle to not allow myself to feel discontent with what I have, and to think that I always need new things. I think discontentment can rob us of the peace that we should feel inside of our homes, and my goodness, nothing can breed discontentment more than seeing the constant consumerism on social media (at least for me).
Tell me what you think. Do you battle discontentment when you scroll social media? Does it make you feel like you have to do more and buy more? Or are you pretty good at enjoying social media while shielding yourself from that pressure?
And how often do you redecorate and tweak your decor? Are you a seasonal decorator? Do you decorate for holidays? Do you buy new things each time a collaboration is released at Target or other store? And I’m also very curious to know if being on social media changed any of this for you.
Addicted 2 Decorating is where I share my DIY and decorating journey as I remodel and decorate the 1948 fixer upper that my husband, Matt, and I bought in 2013. Matt has M.S. and is unable to do physical work, so I do the majority of the work on the house by myself. You can learn more about me here.
I hope you’ll join me on my DIY and decorating journey! If you want to follow my projects and progress, you can subscribe below and have each new post delivered to your email inbox. That way you’ll never miss a thing!