Luxe for Less: My Decorating and Blogging Philosophy~

I had an "aha! experience" last week, a serious "lightbulb moment", if you will.  It started simply enough, with a conversation about decorating.  Not that conversations about decorating are uncommon in my life, mind you.  As an interior designer and a home decor/diy blogger, they are probably one of the most common types of conversations that I have.  But this conversation was different in the unexpectedly overwhelming impact that it had on me. 

I was talking with a friend about a compulsion she was having to decorate her home.  She was expressing to me the fact that she thought she was being silly because she was struggling financially, and she felt that her home was probably the last place she should be spending money.  And yet, she felt overwhelmingly drawn to decorate the space and to make it a true reflection of who she is.

This is a feeling that I know well, and I told her that her desire was not at all frivolous. I believe that our homes are more than just spaces to live.  They are our safe places.  They are our escapes from a world that can sometimes be too much.  They are our lifeboats in the stormy seas that can sometimes be our lives.  They are truly a haven where we can regroup, gather as a family, create a stronghold for our children, our spouses, and ourselves.  And the desire to make these places beautiful and comfortable is a natural extension of their function as the one place that is totally unique to us in this world.

I believe the desire to create a beautiful home is innate.  It is intrinsically tied to the nurturer in each of us. And for many of us, it is a means of self-expression.   Last year I wrote a post where I talked about my obsessive need to redecorate and "my own desire for a beautiful home. And how that may be interpreted as materialism or discontent. But it isn't. It's my form of art."  I shared a personal experience where I learned first hand of the therapeutic nature of creating a beautiful home.
Everything was put into sharp perspective for me when my husband was in a near fatal car accident [in the summer of 2010]. My job (which was a 6 year contract) also came to end at the same time. Here we were, in a precarious situation…with no income…living off what little retirement we had. There was absolutely no way in the world that I could go out and spend money on my home.

And yet, I am a designer in my heart. It is my passion. It is my art. I felt an intense need, perhaps even moreso because of the tenuous nature of our situation, to create a home that was beautiful, comforting and nourishing to my soul. A place where my children were at home. The fact that I didn’t have any money to do that with was not a deterrent, it was a challenge. And so I set about arranging, and rearranging what we had. I learned that I didn’t have to purchase anything…good deal or not… to decorate a home. And I made a lovely home. And some people [may have thought that I was] spending money I didn’t have on decorating my home... And although I shouldn’t have needed to justify things, or explain that I hadn’t spent money on what I had done…I did justify it, I felt the need to vindicate myself... sometimes those of us with decorating in our blood are deemed to be materialistic and superficial. I don’t believe that is the case. It certainly wasn’t my intention during that time. It isn’t my intention now.
And the combination of all those thoughts is my not-so-concise explanation of my decorating philosophy - that it is innate, that it is a way to nurture ourselves and our families, and that it is a form of self-expression.   Now how does that translate to this blog?

Well, my dear readers, since I finally took the time to dilineate my thoughts on decorating, I decided that I should make this blog an expression of how I feel.  Because although I believe all these things about creating beautiful homes, I also realize that most of us do not have endless supplies of money to create the visions we may have for our spaces.

And so I decided that I was going to dedicate this blog to helping my readers find economical ways to make their homes beautiful.  I'm calling this blogging philosophy LUXE FOR LESS.  Because I do not believe that we need to spend a lot of money to create a beautiful home.  And more than that, I believe that it is completely possible to create high end looks on low end budgets. 

Here at The Shabby Nest I will dedicate myself to sharing how to achieve beautiful spaces realistically both in money and skill.  I will share great decor deals...and tell you when it is okay to splurge a little (because, let's face's not always possible to do everything on the cheap).  I will continue to share DIYs and empower you to tackle all sorts of home decor projects to create spaces that are both beautiful and functional.

I hope to create an even stronger sense of community here and I hope that you will all continue to join me here at The Shabby Nest as we learn to make our houses our homes and explore my new LUXE FOR LESS philosophy.



The Cranky said...

Considering the economic climate, I think your philosophy is timely...and will also help give your lovely blog a very hopeful vibe.

I'm looking forward to reading more about your Luxe For Less philosophy!

Ché said...

YES! Well said..I've been living this philosophy for awhile as I've been a single parent for many years on minimal income. But my home was my haven, and it needed to be that place that was inviting.
I am looking forward to reading more articles...:)

Glenda @ Magnolia Bend Drive said...

I often feel obsessed with my need to decorate and constantly change. I can appreciate your take on this- thanks for this post and encouragement.

Christina said...

SUCH a perfect post to portray my feelings towards design - thank you for putting it so eloquently! I love your lob because of this :)

LL from KS said...

Wow! You found the exact words to describe how I feel about decorating too! My friends tease me about changing things around in my home all the time. I always tell them that my home is alive and to leave everything in the exact same place for years makes it feel stagnant. As long as I am living, so will my home. I've followed your blog for years and you've inspired me so much. I don't often leave comments, as I don't want to feel like a stalker, but I just had to say something today. Congrats on having a wonderful blog and being unapologetic about loving your home and need to decorate!

Lisa and Joey @ Paintbrush and Screwdriver said...

Bravo, Wendy!!

As much as I love to read decor/DIY blogs, it's somewhat disheartening when you realize that you lack the resources (be it finances, time, tools, etc.) to pull off the amazing projects that seem to circulate through blogland.

Well done, my friend. Can't wait to see what you have in store for us.


Starr said...

Very nice post today. Like some other posters, I've felt discouraged when I see someone post a great "deal" that is still way out of my reach.

As for decorating a home even when you're close to broke, I agree that making your home nice can be the difference between peace and chaos in the psyche. I know my awful bathroom makes me crazy, and the day I can make it better, whenever that is, will be so satisfying.

Groves said...

I was trying to express this exact point only a few days ago and you have put it into a string of perfect sentences and I will definitely be sharing the post! Here's my blog link for some home inspiration

Unknown said...

Sounds great. Looking forward to your future posts.

Revi said...

Wendy, I love this post, your philosophy and your linky party!

Good Time Charlie said...

This is exactly my philosophy. I love that you are using the term "Luxe for less", and I love that you are unapologetic about the needs to decorate our homes. I agree, if life is bleak, and our incomes are truly stretched, then esp. at these times we need to make our homes a safe haven. I too believe it is a form of art, it is how we express ourselves creatively. Spending tons of money decorating, is just going to a decorator and letting he or she make all the choices for you. That is not art, that is just hiring another service to do something you would rather not do. I have found that sometimes just one hour with a professional decorator can help me "unstick" my mind of a room that is going nowhere for me, and the money spent was an investment in the happiness of not only myself, but my family. Can't wait to see what you write next about this! -K

Life With Lucy said...

Such a great idea! I love everything that you do and look forward to all of your low cost decorating tips!

maria said...

Decorating your home (and in my case, fixing myself up) is an art. It's an artistic release and can help bring a sense of calm in chaos.
I recently got married and was desperate to make our old apartment a home. All I have are old, mismatched furniture and a lack of talent and tools for refurbishing. With no money to buy new things, I had to make it work. I ended up purging boxes and boxes of "stuff" that I thought I needed and was able to move things around to create a brand new space.
My husband woke from a long nap to the "new" space. He loved it and said he felt the place looked so peaceful.

Tauni said...

Love this post my friend...Also thinking SOMEONE should purchase that URL. It would be a good blog name if SOMEONE wanted something possibly more fitting. Just saying...

xoxo, Tauni

srpprcrftr said...

Wow Wendy you must be peeking into my head as we have no money for decorating.
When we're our most broke is when I tend to want to spiff things up a bit more so I get busy and always feel better looking around at the "new" things we've made out of what we have. Once in awhile I'll get something from the thrift store to redo.
I continue to make things from what I've accumulated in my crafts/sewing stashes. To me that's alot of the challenge and fun. I go out in the shed to "shop" for things i haven't used for awhile, "shop" my house, that keeps me pretty active. We're two seniors on extremely limited budgets so money for buying things is not an option except for thrifting.
In May we entered a craft show and everything we made, shelves, signs were made from wood we had out in the yard that hubby brought home when he was working at a construction site.

arkie said...

Thoughtful post! I so agree with your thinking!

Traci@ Beneath My Heart said...

Great post, Wendy, and I couldn't agree more with what you shared.
I know that My Creator has made me to create! :)

Karen Celebrating Home Rep said...

Very Well said. I love the "Luxe for less" theme. Right now so many are struggling just to keep from being evicted. I think your talent and desire to find and share style ideas but keep the costs within a small price is genius. I look forward to seeing some of your creations.

Barbara Matson said...

Yes, and yes! That has been my decor philosophy for some time, as much as it would be nice to just buy everything from scratch, there is something rewarding in creating lux for less AND creating a safe haven for the family. I am disheartened from time to time that we still rent {but housing in Vancouver BC is ridiculously overpriced - especially after living in Virginia and having a fabulous home for waaay less} Back to my thoughts - despite renting I try to create the most fabulous home within the restraints of renting and for as little as I can!

Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

This post spoke to me. I really need to decorate, and fluff and fuss and decorate!
Wendy, I am a new follower! I love your take on homes! I could learn a lot from you!

Jules said...

I drank in every word of this post, Wendy. There are times I have such GUILT over wanting my house to look its best. But you are right, it is an art; an expression of who I am... and like you've always taught us, it is our NEST, our safe place. No more GUILT! Such a beautifully written piece that came straight from your heart to ours!

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