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Why The Heck Can’t I Finish A Room?!

Well, I’ve determined that it’s because of all of you. 😀

Okay, I guess that excuse won’t fly. At least not totally. Although I do think that y’all are part of the equation (which I’ll demonstrate shortly), but you are just one part of a much longer equation.

And in my defense (yes, I’m being defensive against myself right now 😀 ), I have completely finished four rooms/areas in my house.

My kitchen…

The breakfast room…

breakfast room after - upholstered benches, artwork, wall sconces and pantry doors

The hallway bathroom…

And the hallway…

hallway after remodel - original hardwood floors, teal doors, striped walls, watercolor artwork

So I do have finished rooms. And in the other areas, there’s been a tremendous amount of progress — new drywall, new insulation, electrical upgrades, new plumbing throughout, refinished floors, cased openings created/moved/expanded, a fireplace added, new cabinets and bookcases, all new crown moulding/baseboards/casings, and on, and on. There’s also been a room conversion, a carport add-on, a front porch makeover, all new siding, new windows and exterior doors, etc.

I mean, even if the rooms were completely empty without a stitch of furniture or accessories, the difference between what I have now and what I started out with is a day and night difference. So I’m really not too stressed about the fact that I don’t have the living room, entryway, and music room completely finished.

I’ve had quite a bit on my plate, and I’m just one person. 🙂

But seriously, why do I seem to have such a hard time finishing these rooms? It’s not just a time and/or money issue. Even if I had all the time and money in the world, I’d still have a hard time. And after giving it some thought, I think I know why. There are several reasons, actually.

I treat my house like a DIY ideas laboratory.

I have ideas. Y’all, I have thousands of ideas. I have folders and files, both hard copy and online, with ideas that I love and want to try. On top of that, I constantly have new ideas popping into my head throughout the day almost every single day. I have handwritten notes strewn about, and notes typed into my phone. My brain never stops. It’s exhausting sometimes, but that’s just how I am.

There are literally hundreds of ideas that I want to try just for the sake of trying them. Will they work in my house? Probably not, but some of these ideas I want to try out anyway just because. I just thoroughly enjoy the process of creating and making and testing out ideas and tweaking ideas.

My music room walls are a perfect example. I can’t believe I DIYed and decorated for over a decade and had never stenciled a wall. So when I needed a new idea for my music room walls, it seemed like a perfect time to try out a stencil. Some of you suggested other things. Wallpaper (been there, done that), the birds and branches hand drawn design (I’ve done that, and didn’t want to repeat something I had already done).

See? If an idea has already been tested in my lab, I don’t really want to do it again. I want to move on to other things that I haven’t tested yet.

So now I can say that I’ve stenciled a room.

And I can say that I have tested out my idea to enhance the look of a stencil with a Sharpie marker.

And I can confirm, for the record, that I absolutely hate stenciling walls and will probably never do it again, but I’m glad that I tried it in my lab.

Check, check, and check.

I just love trying out ideas. So many ideas.

I get completely bored with finished rooms.

Seriously, what is wrong with me? The rooms and areas that I have finished in my home aren’t safe from me.

My breakfast room, for example…

White curtains? Seriously, who the heck got into my brain and told me that white curtains were the way to go? I could kick myself for that. Even that green leading edge with the pom pom trim (i.e., the only part that I like) isn’t enough to spice up boring white curtains.

I’m making a promise that I won’t do anything to change any of the rooms I already have finished (with the possible exception of new kitchen appliances) until I have finished the living room, entryway, music room, pantry, and my studio. But let me tell you, it takes every single ounce of self-control to stop myself from making changes in those rooms.

The white curtains in the breakfast room. The neutral breakfast room walls. The tile border in the bathroom. The bathroom countertops.

Interestingly, my kitchen is the one room that I don’t want to change at all (again, with the exception of appliances). But those other rooms will only remain safe from me for so long. One day I’ll give myself permission to make significant changes in those already-finished rooms. One day.

I decorate my house in a confusing, non-cohesive piecemeal manner.

I used to be an interior decorator who worked for clients and decorated other people’s homes. And yes, I would finish them. 🙂

The process of decorating another person’s home and the process I’ve used in my own home has been so vastly different that they’re not even in the same ballpark.

When decorating for someone else, I would come up with a complete design plan. The customer would sign off, and I’d implement the plan. It was relatively quick and easy. My goal was to create a beautiful space according to their desires and taste, and as long as I accomplished that, I was satisfied. I’d get it done and move on to the next person.

With my own house, I do things in a very piecemeal fashion, and I think that goes back to the “ideas laboratory” issue. If I want to try a stencil, I try a stencil. I may or may not give much thought to how that will affect the projects I’ve already done.

So generally one idea tested out will lead to other things that I’ve already done needing to be changed, so it creats this endless loop of projects needing to be redone over and over.

I know this drives some people absolutely crazy, but for some reason, it doesn’t bother me. Now if I were in a perpetual state of redoing structural things or things that created lots of mess (like constantly having to re-drywall because of my changes, or constantly changing out door trim or crown moulding), that would bother me. I can’t live with that kind of mess indefinitely. I need that stuff finished and tools put away to maintain any semblance of sanity.

But the decorating stuff? The fluffy and pretty extras? That doesn’t bother me too much, although I can say with certainty that I eventually want these rooms finished. I want them finished this year, in fact. So as long as I can still meet that goal, the redoing along the way doesn’t bother me. Heck, it just gives me more opportunities to test out the plethora of ideas that I’ve saved up! 😀

And then there’s all of you…

Oh, come on now. Y’all have to know that you feed my addiction, right? All of your suggestions are like dangling a little bag of white powder in front of a heroin addict. 😀 I’m not asking you to stop. I like them. Ideas are my addiction.

But just so you can see what I mean, just in my last two posts alone, here are your suggestions…

  • repaint the entryway
  • repaint the fireplace
  • replace the loveseat
  • move the pinwheel art and replace it with something else
  • make new artwork for the music room
  • repaint the credenza in the entryway
  • paint the front door another color
  • replace the credenza in the entryway altogether
  • repaint the orange lamp
  • replace the orange lamp with something entirely different

And those are just the ones I can think of right off the top of my head. Y’all feed my addiction. 😀

So I’ve determined that if I really want to get these rooms done by the end of the year (and I really do, I promise!), I’m going to have to treat those rooms as if they belong in a client’s house. I’m going to have to remove emotion from the equation, and somehow tamp down my incessant need to try out random ideas and treat my home like a laboratory.

I need to create mood boards, develop and entire decorating plan, and then implement it with little or no variation from the plan. And then walk away and move on to the next project.

Does anyone actually think I can do this? 😀 I have my doubts. I honestly feel a little bit anxious even thinking about it and knowing that my decisions need to start becoming final, but I think this is the only way it will ever get done.



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86 Comments

  • Reply
    Krikit
    June 28, 2018 at 10:37 am

    What about building yourself a fairly sizable model of your house and using it to try out your ever-changing “laboratory” ideas? A model along the idea of a large ‘doll house.’ I can envision that working, and it would be much less costly to continuously try out new ideas. Just a thought. ~:0)

    • Reply
      Onelia Riera
      June 28, 2018 at 10:56 am

      This is such a great idea!!

      • Reply
        Krikit
        June 28, 2018 at 11:56 am

        Thanks. ~:0)

    • Reply
      Marianne in Mo.
      June 28, 2018 at 1:45 pm

      Now you’re just giving her MORE ideas! LOL! Shhhh! She might hear you! Seriously Kristi, I think you’ve hit the nail on the head, so to speak. You need to “be the client” and get it done. After that, THEN you can also “be the client” and change what you don’t like that the “decorator” insisted you needed! (You know they may have done this!) But PLEASE — don’t change the front door color! It’s the best!

  • Reply
    Sherre
    June 28, 2018 at 10:41 am

    I have my doubts you can do that, and doubt that you should! This is your passion and your hobby and you are lucky enough that this is also your “job” and you can pursue it each and every day! Who cares if you don’t finish, aside from one or two picky readers? If your hobby were knitting, would you learn to make a hat, finish it, and then give up? Probably not. You’d make that hat and then move on to something more complicated, like a sweater! You’re doing the same thing with your decorating, but you have a finite amount of space, so things inevitably will change and be replaced. And in the process, you’re giving hundreds of readers new ideas! I’d be sad if you finished your house 🙂

    • Reply
      Beth
      June 28, 2018 at 12:17 pm

      100% AGREE!! If you “remove emotion from the equation” you are also removing the GOOD emotions. I follow a lot of home decorating blogs and yours is my absolute favorite for a couple of reasons:

      1. The fact that you are constantly changing things makes me not feel so bad about my own indecisiveness. 🙂
      2. Of all the “home decor” blogs, you have way more actual home decor. I don’t mind little tidbits of the rest of your life from time to time but I’m here for the decorating ideas.
      3. The frequency of your posts. If you stop doing your “experiments” you won’t have anything to post.

      You should never feel defensive. This is YOUR blog & YOUR home. Life is too short to NOT do what makes you happy. And it seems you are lucky enough to have an incredibly supportive husband who has no problem with it!

      • Reply
        Alice
        June 28, 2018 at 7:34 pm

        I feel the same way.
        Yours is the only blog I read every post on. The only time I read other blogs is when Pinterest leads me to a post. Keep being YOU!

      • Reply
        Deanna Middleton
        July 2, 2018 at 7:12 pm

        I totally agree, Beth! Kristi, you are my inspiration. I tell my hubby about your projects every time we start a new project ourselves. Keep on keeping on! Love your house and your blog!

  • Reply
    Beth
    June 28, 2018 at 10:54 am

    I don’t believe a word of it. LOL. And I am happy to be along for the ride. I have learned a ton from your experiments, successes, and do-overs. It’s your house and we are just DIY/decor voyeurs as far as I am concerned. Who are these people that have “finished” houses anyway? What do they do with all of their extra time?

  • Reply
    Alison
    June 28, 2018 at 10:57 am

    Why? Just do what and when YOU want to. There really is no such thing as done with a designer/fluffier/tweaker, and why should there be? Besides that if you were done there would be no blog content. And I have my doubts you could do it. And if you did, you would not be happy. Keep being you, change is good.

  • Reply
    Guerrina
    June 28, 2018 at 10:57 am

    Since your home is your lab, I have serious doubts about this plan. Take the emotion out? Of planning your home? Our homes reflect us and our emotional feel is involved! Uh … no.

  • Reply
    Linda
    June 28, 2018 at 10:58 am

    I like the white curtains in your breakfast room. They are a neutral backdrop for the other items like the gorgeous chairs and the
    purple credenza. They allow those unique items to shine. I think the color draws the eye to the kitchen because it is
    similar to the walls and counters and again because it is neutral does not detract from the color scheme in the kitchen.
    They sort of join the two spaces together.

    • Reply
      Patricia
      June 28, 2018 at 11:53 am

      Exactly what I was I was going to say ! There’s something’s to be said for letting the eye rest and colors and the pattern around it shine through .
      And I don’t think you need to take the emotion out if your process – you just need a little peace for the journey!

      • Reply
        Tenney
        June 28, 2018 at 2:30 pm

        I definitely agree that white curtains look great – and let’s remember that at some point they will frame a view out to beautiful patio filled with flowers, birds and butterflies! As for removing emotion – no, No, NO! The emotions you feel in your spaces reflect the choices you’ve made and the comfort you enjoy – why would you want to tamp those down? And to what another commenter mentioned – this is your work; if you finish everything, we will have nothing to read. Style and fashion change constantly, and we want to learn how to interpret those changes into our homes – otherwise we’ll just go home to avocado appliances, shag rugs and Barcaloungers! So let your rooms speak to you and through you – keep up the good research. Thanks!

    • Reply
      Pamela
      June 28, 2018 at 2:09 pm

      I too think the white curtains look great it there. Not everything should jump out at you.

    • Reply
      Sharon
      June 28, 2018 at 3:10 pm

      I agree. The white curtains are fresh and set a perfect backdrop for the rest of the room. The pompom trim is perfect on them. In the name of getting finished and calling a room done for now, take a step back and try a less is more approach, with a minimal effort spent. It clears your head and gives you freedom to move on. I know this because in my own house I stopped trying to make everything perfect and custom-made (I sew my curtains, bedskirts, pillows, shower curtains, etc.) and loosened up and did some ready-mades and guess what? It did not take away from anything at all! Then you can go back and fine-tune the rooms after you have enjoyed them for a while.

      • Reply
        LBriscoe
        June 28, 2018 at 4:43 pm

        “Knowing” you like I do, I know you’ll change out those curtains one day…maybe sooner than later. Because you looooove color!

        I’ve been reading your blog nearly every day for YEARS, and I don’t read any other blog regularly.
        Eventually, most blogs become stale. Your taste is different from mine, but because you’re always trying something new, I’ve learned to choose from your many ideas and tweak some for myself. And since this is what you do for a living, you’d run out of ideas if you just…finish. The end? I hope not!

  • Reply
    Kelly
    June 28, 2018 at 11:01 am

    Well, I just think you have DADD – Decorating Attention Deficit Disorder.

    Here are the symptoms:
    1. You have to constantly be doing something. This is a good thing, but makes the rest of us feel lazy. Lol.
    2. You cannot look at a finished project and be satisfied. It has to be perfect.
    3. You cannot pass by a paint sample display without thinking “Ohhhhh, that would look better than what I just painted the ______room”
    4. You are always looking at others ideas and giving them a new twist in your space. This is a good thing as it gives all of us that, “Ohhhh, I could do that” feeling.
    5. Wide Open Space. After living in the condo and not having much space to decorate, you are now a little overwhelmed at the volume of space you have to play with.

    I don’t care how many times you redo your spaces, Kristi. You do you! Redo it until you love it. I will continue to sit here and watch and be amazed. You have a true gift.

  • Reply
    Onelia
    June 28, 2018 at 11:05 am

    Hi there!

    I’ve been following you for about two months now and I must say your mentality is very contagious. I recently moved to a new house and have been treating it like a full on project my self. Its like following you has awaken something deep inside me which can’t stop decorating!! Even my coworkers have noticed this change hahaha. For example; when selecting what color to upholster your chair I chose orange, and was sooo happy and giddy when I saw others choosing the same. I felt like I passed initiation into the décor world LOL.

    PS I love your blog!

  • Reply
    Kate
    June 28, 2018 at 11:25 am

    Another idea: Paint something fun on those white curtains!

    • Reply
      Kathy from Tennessee
      June 28, 2018 at 11:37 am

      Katie,
      I also said that in my head along with piece some colorful fabric into the white curtains…LOL!

  • Reply
    Angie
    June 28, 2018 at 11:26 am

    Decorating for yourself is ALWAYS harder! I know a lot of interior designers that either have another interior designer design their room, or like you said, they treat it as if it were a client! I have faith in you =]

  • Reply
    Shelby
    June 28, 2018 at 11:30 am

    Is someone bugging you about this? If you actually finished your house, your blog would dry up and then what? Do what you want, when you want, how you want. It’s the process that you enjoy and we learn from. Go ahead and repaint a thousand times – that’s a thousand lessons I learn vicariously. I ENCOURAGE CHANGE. There is no single, right way to decorate. That’s what makes it all so interesting.

  • Reply
    Patti
    June 28, 2018 at 11:32 am

    I can relate 100%. Having just recently moved and faced with a never-ending stack of boxes, I jumped at the chance to sit and read today’s post. I just can’t seem to keep up my momentum to get this move finished. 😖

  • Reply
    Lena
    June 28, 2018 at 11:42 am

    I think you need to leave yourself some room in your studio where you could constantly try different treatments etc. that you really want to try and are not sure of for your house, but it something you want to try. Maybe build a wall on rollers so you can do stuff on both sides to try different treatments or colors. Something you can move around too to see how it would look in different areas. If you decide to take on clients again then you could even though a treatment and bring to their house to show.

    • Reply
      Alyssa
      June 28, 2018 at 12:02 pm

      I was thinking along these lines as well; a finished, usable studio will give you your space to experiment and invent and re-do, re-do, re-do! Creative minds cannot rest–so do what you must to get through this slump (which, aren’t you just trying another experiment?) and when it stops working, try the next idea! 🙂

      PS Kudos to Hubby’s patience and willingness to let you tinker!!

    • Reply
      Marion
      June 28, 2018 at 6:04 pm

      I think the studio could be a key for you too. If you finish artwork and it just isn’t wowing you in your living space you could make a gallery wall out there and sell those to clients decorating their homes. Nothing will end up feeling like a waste. Personally I dont feel like anything made using my creativity is a waste either, but houses can fill up with unused things and become a problem. Since this blog is your job I wouldn’t be too worried about when you finish anything. You’re probably in the midst of also trying to put away some money to finish the bedrooms, master bath, and sun-room, so you can only move just so fast. In the meantime you may want to redo some smaller things and tweak them as you gain time to do some of the larger projects. Just think, you probably have 50 more years on this planet. In this kind of project there doesn’t need to be a hard and fast time limit unless there are other things you are wanting to branch out into when your own home is finished.

    • Reply
      Roxie
      June 28, 2018 at 9:35 pm

      Lena, this is a brilliant idea! Then Kristi could make videos showing how she does each “design” so we learn from them! ha ha

  • Reply
    Lorin Small
    June 28, 2018 at 11:43 am

    I’m in the same boat, but I wouldn’t mind some more $ and help from my hubby especially this summer. I just found out I’ve got a torn rotator cuff. No wonder my shoulder has been killing me. 😞 thank goodness it’s not super bad but I see surgery in my future.

    • Reply
      KathleenC
      June 28, 2018 at 11:58 am

      I empathize! I’m in the process of having a probable rotator cuff tear diagnosed, and it’s sooooo frustrating! The weeds are taking over the gardens, and the painting and repair work I wanted to do this summer…
      Oh well. It’ll all be there when we’re back to two useful arms someday!
      I hope your surgery and recovery go well!

    • Reply
      Rebecca Neustel
      June 29, 2018 at 1:02 am

      I’m sorry for both of you. My rotator cuff problems started at age 16. After four repairs on my left, one of which was open, I finally had a reverse shoulder replacement four years ago (that’s the only replacement people without an intact rotator cuff can have. I hope yours will be an easy repair.

  • Reply
    Lori
    June 28, 2018 at 11:46 am

    I have no problem whatsoever with multiple room re-dos. I will never live in a “finished” house. I don’t even understand the concept. My mother, on the other hand, was satisfied to buy some cheap furniture and a couple of lamps from a discount store and live with it for forty years without giving it another thought. Neither of us understand how the other lives the way they do but that’s ok.
    What does drive me absolutely nuts is when a project is started and left half done forever! Can’t stand it! Seriously, do you really love those purple curtains as much as you first thought? Or do you just really hate sewing and can’t bring yourself to work on them? I get it, either way. That’s why I don’t buy really expensive home decor fabric. I’ve had too many false starts.
    Anyway, I really hope you don’t change your ways too much. The entertainment value of your blog surpasses just about every other one out there. Just, maybe… finish those curtains? Please? 😉

  • Reply
    Theresa P
    June 28, 2018 at 11:50 am

    I’m in agreement with everyone else. Just do what you want! If you want to redo something 17 times, do it! Also, as a financially minded person, I worry about your revenue stream! I keep living off your blog, you’re going to have to redo areas, as you only have a finite amount of space! 🙂

    • Reply
      Theresa P
      June 28, 2018 at 11:51 am

      *to keep living off your blog…

      sorry about the typo!

  • Reply
    Karen
    June 28, 2018 at 11:51 am

    I so enjoy your processes – thought ones as well as the hands on ones – and would surely miss them if you decided that you’d be done with a project or room (or your house…). Being allowed to watch you trying out things has been a gift and is the fantastic thing about your blog. And if constantly changing aspects of your house makes you happy, go ahead! There is no need to “finish” something only to make all the critics happy – YOU live in your house! (And Matt, but he seems to be very happy with what you do :))
    I can always reach my favourites among your projects by clicking on them in your blog even if they don’t exist any more (pony walls, bird mural), but by watching you try out all the new things I learn so so much! As always: thanks for taking us with you on this ride!

  • Reply
    Cam
    June 28, 2018 at 11:53 am

    You go girl!

  • Reply
    KathleenC
    June 28, 2018 at 11:54 am

    If You, and only YOU (and your husband of course), want these rooms finished, then do what you need to do that. It will be satisfying after all. But only if it’s what you need to keep focused and moving. And, of course, you should give yourself permission to go back, in the “someday”, to change them again.
    But don’t put yourself in blinders just to please some idea of what you “should” do. Especially if it’s someone else’s idea of “should”.
    I have thoroughly enjoyed watching you try, try, and even try again… your ideas, your creativity, your excitement… it’s inspiring! And I say this as someone who probably wouldn’t make the same choices you do in my own home (I’m much more of an eclectic clutter bug😜). It’s not a question of do I like your wall treatment.. it’s “Oh, I like that! But wait, that’s even better for your scheme. Huh… I don’t know… maybe when that changes…Yes! Now that’s cohesive. And it’s your personal style done… for now.”

  • Reply
    Peggy
    June 28, 2018 at 11:55 am

    While I will admit that you jumping from project to project without actually completing many of them is not my way of doing things, if it doesn’t bother Matt, and it doesn’t bother you, then who cares? There are things you’ve done I absolutely love (the art above the fireplace, your breakfast room, your kitchen) and some that aren’t particularly my taste (the green credenza, orange lamp, coral door) it is YOUR home and you need to do what makes YOU happy. I like being along for the ride.

  • Reply
    Christine Meier
    June 28, 2018 at 11:56 am

    Why don’t you just embrace the “wabi sabi”ness of your house. Wabi Sabi shuns idea that anything is ever perfect or complete. Think of the house as an ever growing changing organism — constantly evolving and adapting. I know I would be bored (and probably not growing or changing as a person) if my home were ever “DONE”. how dull.

    I will say I have benefited greatly from Gretchen Rubin’s “4 Tendencies” book to understand why I sometimes have trouble finishing things. You might check it out. I think knowing why you are the way you are (and that there’s no changing it – only learning to work within your personality) might take some of the stress out of your process. gretchenrubin.com/take-the-quiz

    & Relax, its only the internet — not real life.

  • Reply
    Kim Morrison
    June 28, 2018 at 12:06 pm

    I think there’s a big difference between not finishing a room and not using a room because it’s not finished. The trouble is when we wait to have guests over once everything is finished, or put off hosting something because we are waiting until all it’s completely done, perfectly. When it puts our life on hold is when it’s a problem. You get to live in your lab! If we are living in a space and enjoying the process of changing it up, I think that’s wonderful.

  • Reply
    Jo Ann
    June 28, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    Stop decorating and go to work on the studio! Get to work building cabinets, shelves, do some manuel labor. These are things that you hopefully won’t want to change. Use your body and let your mind rest! Lol

  • Reply
    Sherre
    June 28, 2018 at 12:29 pm

    Also, just for reference. I have two half-finished canvasses that just need some leaves and outlines done before they’re ready to hang. I have a Ziploc baggie full of 2″ diameter painted circles which I cut after finding your DIY fish scale art. I have two boxes of wood shims that I purchased and began gluing together to make your DIY sunburst mirror. And I have another baggie full of petals that I cut from scrapbook paper to make a giant flower on a canvas. All of these were started within a period of 1 – 3 years ago. You’re not the only person out there who can’t finish things, you’re just more public about it 🙂

  • Reply
    Margie E
    June 28, 2018 at 12:40 pm

    My house is a work in progress. It will always be a work in progress. I like decorating and now that it’s just me I have to please, I can and will change my mind and add and subtract stuff! So I get what you mean. But I DO need to finish my office!!!

  • Reply
    Kathleen
    June 28, 2018 at 12:43 pm

    Sometimes I’m sad to see you redo projects that I love (like the hand painted wallpaper you did with some help from your mom) – and sometimes I open your blog and say to myself ” I hope that disappears today” (like the orange lamp).

    I think you simply need more rooms to decorate. It’s not the finished room that you love, it’s the art of creating. That’s why you don’t need to finish because you already see it finished in your mind – the stenciled walls are a case in point. After a few hours with the sharpie, your brain said “done.”You either need clients, virtual clients, or a TV/YouTube channel to provide you with more rooms. I think you’re awesome so sign me up for any of these.

    • Reply
      Sally
      June 28, 2018 at 12:45 pm

      What she said.

    • Reply
      Jennifer
      June 28, 2018 at 3:33 pm

      Yeah, the kelly green and gold kitchen is how I found this blog a few months ago, but at the time I didn’t realize she’d already redone it. Searching out more info about that kitchen (I wanted to relive every step on the journey to that magical result), I found out she’d repainted it. My heart was broken.

  • Reply
    Sally
    June 28, 2018 at 12:43 pm

    I’ve been wanting my hallways painted for a few years now. My kitchen was done over a few years ago and the fixes need fixed. You have no idea how much more progress you make than most people do….

  • Reply
    Melinda Ruth
    June 28, 2018 at 12:53 pm

    I love the passion in which you approach your projects. When you decide to do something you generally complete it. Example: your artwork – If you don’t complete something it usually means you don’t really like it or don’t like some component of it. You don’t want to make it work – you want it to work! Example: Your entryway wall

    Because of your passion I have been completing many of my own half finished projects. Reading your thoughts on your own creative process made me realize that I wasn’t finishing items because I too wasn’t comfortable with something regarding that project. Either the process, the end result or that it was something I should do instead of it being what I love.

    I realized that you sometimes finish a large project AFTER you complete a piece of art or a serious object such as the ceiling lights. I think you unconsciously hold off until smaller but significant items are done giving you a better “feel” of the room. Example: the flower picture for the music room. The room told you to finish the stencil before you hung up that beautiful picture.

    Also I’ve learned through reading about your trials, tribulations and triumphs is that I need to look and listen to what I’m working on to see why I’m having trouble. Then I make the decision to do it, change it or scrap it all together. It may take me a day, a week or a month for the decision but when it’s made I know it’s the right one. You don’t look back and I’m learning not too either!

    I hope this makes sense and thank you for all the postings on your creative process including feeling defensive. That only means you truly love what you have done.

  • Reply
    SUSAN tofteland
    June 28, 2018 at 12:55 pm

    Have fun! You’re a creative person! Follow the direction you feel like going! You don’t have to finish any room until you feel like it. And if you feel like going back and changing something, like white curtains, go for it! You are never really going to be finished, and besides, there’s always another room nearby that you want to start or finish! Enjoy yourself!

  • Reply
    Yoli
    June 28, 2018 at 12:58 pm

    Don’t change Kristi! We all love the way you are, the way you think and the way you are decorating your home!!!

  • Reply
    Diana
    June 28, 2018 at 1:12 pm

    Kristi, I love reading your blog, not for the design/decorating ideas but because your struggles validate me! Your sharing the process, the frustrations, the redos, the re-redos of home remodeling and decorating are why I keep reading. My family can’t understand why I take on such big projects especially as I get older, but I feel you would understand, it’s what I do and despite all the hard work I love it.

    I am an interior designer and I have never had a completely decorated or completed an entire house, mostly for the reasons you state in your blog. Plus, I like to say I make my mistakes in my own home so I don’t make them in my clients homes.

    Like you I like to try out ideas but once I have done them I don’t particularly want to do most again. I never hardwire ceiling light fixtures because who knows if the table will still be there in a year or what the room will be used for then.

    The layout of my home has changed tons since I bought it over ten years ago. In its current configuration I have changed the main bathroom, master bedroom and another bedroom into a mother in law unit at the back of my house with its own entrance and rent it out as an Airbnb to supplement my income.

    This is not even the most recent change. So Kristi you are not alone. We who have the bug understand.

    Keep trudging along your path and sharing your journey. We love being along for the ride.

  • Reply
    Dale
    June 28, 2018 at 1:22 pm

    Now you have me wondering what color you are considering for your breakfast nook that will coordinate with your chairs and kitchen cabinets?

  • Reply
    Molly
    June 28, 2018 at 1:37 pm

    I’m just curious, but when you did do other clients rooms, was there ever a time you went to implement something and it didn’t work? Didn’t you have to adjust in those times to a plan B, and maybe didn’t even have a plan B until you knew the original plan didn’t work out?

    The reason I ask is couldn’t you challenge yourself to think like that problem solver when you hit your roadblock or design decision that didn’t come together the way you had wanted to?

    I also know that in times past you have said that once you see that something is going to work out you no longer have the drive to finish? Perhaps it would help if you wouldn’t allow yourself to step back and evaluate if you are happy with something until you are finished so that, even if may want to change, what is there is closer to finished than not?

    Just some thoughts 🙂

  • Reply
    Chris
    June 28, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    I think you should at least give the mood boards etc a try. I think you’ll find finishing those rooms will give you a relaxing place from which to launch new ideas and and go back round again tweaking parts you where you’d like to try out new things.

  • Reply
    CLHays
    June 28, 2018 at 1:49 pm

    Sometimes I am totally amazed at your analytical side of your mind. It is like you can step outside of yourself and view your actions and the reason you do them . I personally think you are brilliant. Your mind has no down time. You are always thinking five steps ahead even when you may be tripping on the present step. I also understand your artistic side of the brain that never wants to repeat something because you have been there done that . That poses a problem when something needs repeating in a room ( drapes) I think your analytical side of the brain is fighting the artistic wanting thing finished. I hope this makes sense. I love all that you do but not always how you place it together but it is not my home.it is yours to redo as many times as you like.i thank you for letting us make this journey with you even the unplanned forks in the road.

  • Reply
    Erin
    June 28, 2018 at 1:54 pm

    Putting together a detailed comprehensive plan would be a valuable process, and I’m sure many readers would learn from it. I don’t think that you should force yourself to stick to it if something changes or you want to try something; just update the master plan! Think of it like your master project list; a guideline to follow and give you direction, but not something that you absolutely have to follow. If you come up with a new idea you want to try, you could see how it would fit into the master plan, and whether you might have to sacrifice some other element that you were excited about. Plus, it may help prevent wasted fabric purchases.

  • Reply
    Marianne in Mo.
    June 28, 2018 at 2:03 pm

    I hear you with the stash of ideas, especially since pinterest happened! I have my own collection — DIY’s and recipes! I have so many recipes I want to try, and so many cookbooks with pages tagged! I know I will never make most of them, but that’s my hobby now. I’ve been through the decor rut, husband has commandeered my tools, making them dull and cruddy, so I gave up constructing things. I still have fabric stashed to make bedding and curtains for a guest room I envisioned 15 years ago! Maybe the colors will be back in popularity soon! LOL! So now I am perfecting standby recipes I have often, trying to improve on them. That’s my “me challenge” nowadays! But I love seeing your creations and admire your tenacity, so just do what you want! I’ll be happy to see whatever you come up with, and you will inspire others along the way!

  • Reply
    Debbie
    June 28, 2018 at 2:58 pm

    Just gotta say, I love your white breakfast room curtains! I think your whole house is just so colorful and interesting. I wouldn’t change a thing. So don’t listen to the decorating “pushers” out there. Stay strong!

  • Reply
    Brette
    June 28, 2018 at 2:59 pm

    Subconsciously or consciously, you don’t want this blog to end? That’s okay. I’m enjoying it. It’s one of the best. Maybe when you finish your house, you can tackle another.

  • Reply
    Vicky Henson
    June 28, 2018 at 3:15 pm

    You’re addicted to decorating and I’m addicted to your blog! Please don’t finish everything! I look forward to your posts, projects, redo’s, family and your awesome personality. I have been following at least two years, and I’ve never been able to faithfully follow anyone without getting bored. You are continually teaching us and helping us when you change your mind. I absolutely love that you are so creative and flexible. Please don’t change!!

  • Reply
    Emily R
    June 28, 2018 at 3:18 pm

    How about not trying to finish a room?? I mean walls, insulation, floors, trim finish, the bones of a house – but decorating is an ongoing process. You can only set yourself up to fail if you try and “finish”. I’ve lived in my house for 11 years and it’s never going to be done. I’m constantly looking at decor items, pillows, rugs, lamps, bedding. What I can’t wrap my head around is living with with unfinished bones of a home such as trim or walls, electrical etc. Get that done, and then pick out wall colors and decor.

  • Reply
    Paula Anthis
    June 28, 2018 at 3:51 pm

    First…He says “Peace I give unto you. Not as the world gives, I give unto you”.

    Second I only know the lay term for it but it strikes me that you are an extraordinarily gifted and talented window dresser who is dressing and redressing her own home! And like us as little girls with our imaginary homes called dollhouses, you are having a TON of ideas that are all pretty good, some over the top wonderful and most make the rest of us drool over the steps you take and the expertise you exhibit constantly! You, My Dear, are jes wunnerful!

    Now the third. Some of us are called, as you are, to DOING things and where we can go arwy is thinking we can achieve perfection. Or in other words wanting things to BE perfect… and when we get to what is that place for us in that point in time, at that moment we can be satisfied. However, time marches on and new ideas are constantly popping in that just might be better than what was already accomplished so now I will be made to feel unhappy with what was perfectly fine a while back, but is suddenly unpleasing.

    Yeah, I am one who at age 70 is reforming my ideas to a goal of exceptional, or the best I have done is good enough … at least until I get the rest of the project up to snuff. Then I can start round two or it will never be HOME! I am learning the choice of being content is a really good choice, and that it sometime takes more effort than trying to make it perfect. Now, even when I can suddenly see that I could have done something differently I ask whose voice I am really listening to?

    I wish I had learned this lesson years ago, but as I still hope to have at least 10 to 15 years of healthy living ahead of me, I am so glad I am learning it now.

    My hope and prayer for us all is that we will do well what our hands find to do and that we will work not for ourselves or the approval of others but for that satisfaction that is only found in that place of rest and heavenly peace given when we slow down and spend time with our Creator.

    I hope this post helps and does not hinder or offend.

  • Reply
    Diane
    June 28, 2018 at 3:57 pm

    Oh my goodness… I think that several of the “new” ideas to change up the space were mine. Sorry to add to the crazy stew.
    Kristi I have to say that the concept of your home being a DIY decorating laboratory is a fabulous explanation for “the process.” AND I totally “get” doing something once and moving on. The world is full of possibility why would anyone not want to try something new… again and again? You are brilliant and I don’t think for one moment that you should treat your home the way you’d treat a client’s home. Who said things needed to be finished? If you’re okay with the process and Matt is okay with it (Have you forgotten about his game room?) then keep doing what you’re doing. I’ll hang on for this fun, wild, and crazy ride you invited us on. 🙂

  • Reply
    Arli
    June 28, 2018 at 4:12 pm

    Don’t think of your upcoming projects as FINAL, just FINAL FOR NOW! When you get all the rooms done for this round, you can start all over again with the decorating part.

  • Reply
    Deb
    June 28, 2018 at 4:32 pm

    Maybe all our input kerfluffles you? Could you take photos as you go along, complete the project, then introduce it to us once it’s done? You could write about your thought processes/doubts/fears that you had during that project at certain stages and what resulted in changes. Then at the same time, you’ve moved on to the next project without all our comments to distract you. Or perhaps I am seeing myself in that scenario…lol.

  • Reply
    Cindy
    June 28, 2018 at 5:21 pm

    My sister and I both sympathize and love to know there are others out there who are totally addicted to learning how to do new stuff! Anything! Everything! Don’t quit and don”t apologize! Yours is the only blog I follow or have replied to! Love it! And remember nothing is ever finished or perfect!

  • Reply
    Elaine Ness
    June 28, 2018 at 5:38 pm

    Fabulous post by you, Kristi, except for the title: “Why The Heck Can’t I Finish A Room?!”

    ‘Can’t finish?’ Huh?? That visual display of what you have accomplished is breathtaking. You are Mighty Mouse personified. Seeing is believing. I do, indeed. Thank you for showing your (so far) portfolio.

    My comment yesterday was not meant to imply that you fail to finish things. My apologies if that is how it came across. I only wondered if getting the living room done would change what else you decide to do about the hallway and even the music room since one space flows into the other.

    I love the way you work and the progressive way you think. “Takes one to know one.” Eventually, things come together, don’t they? Maybe more methodical people who work by following sequential steps, can’t understand the Leaping Lena approach, but for many of us, it is the way we go at things. True, especially in the home lab of experimentation.

    You go for quality materials. Good lesson. Here in Ecuador, people tend to buy cheap paint because labor is cheap. The painting needs to be redone within a year or so, but landlords don’t want to spend the money again. So, they don’t. But, I have a very progressive landlady, who spared no expense to construct my lovely apartment. I paid for the best paint available, because it is washable, to redo the original color choices. She trusted me and appreciated the result. But even so, just today, I had to reason with her on the wisdom of her spending another 11.00 per gallon for a top-quality paint to use in the new apartment she is building for my son and daughter-in-law. She did it. Happy day.

    I have learned from your daring musings and implementations. Keep those ideas hopping. I admire your boundless energy and the fun you have in sharing with all of us. It may be a great way to relax for you. Writing can do that for many of us. So, keep offering us your insights and whatever is happening.

  • Reply
    Lindia Gordon
    June 28, 2018 at 8:37 pm

    MOST houses are a work in process UNLESS you hire a decorator, lol. As long as it’s livable, who cares if it’s finished or not. Plus, your stopping and starting kind of tells people it’s OK to not charge through a project. Sometimes we need to step back and take a breath before we can go for the finish line.

    P.S. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE white curtains and that’s all I will hang in my house, lol To me, they are light and breezy and reminiscent of a summer day at the beach!
    🙂

  • Reply
    Connie
    June 28, 2018 at 11:13 pm

    Well Kristi, just keep going on, gal. I wondered, given you have never been given to the idea of bland, why you used that neutral paint and why the white curtains. It is so different from all your stated ideas of what you like and a 180 from previous decorating. When you do the 180 that is when you generally have a redo.

    As for the “finish a room” thing, I would say for you to just plow through and get it done. Its not like you don’t still have things to do that will require lots and lots of ideas. You still have your work room to go and you know that once you get started the ideas you have in mind now will probably change. Also, by having your main rooms done may make you feel less pressured. It needn’t mean you can’t make changes to them later … after your list is completed. Its not like you are going to run out of projects anytime soon. You have a master bedroom and bath addition, a sunroom, your pantry, and the outside landscaping to do. I think you will like your porch, which is looking fantastic, much better when the beds immediately in front of it are planted. You may be amazed at how much difference it will make.

    So, good luck ladybug and I know it will all come out swimmingly.

  • Reply
    Rebecca Neustel
    June 29, 2018 at 1:24 am

    Have you ever used lacquer? I really want you to use a colorful print fabric on the music room chairs that brings in the colors of the artwork above and then lacquer the table in one those colors–maybe the pink. Anytime you use a neutral solution for the answer to a decor dilemma, I usually think to myself, “I wonder how long that’s gonna last?” lol

  • Reply
    Rebecca Neustel
    June 29, 2018 at 1:25 am

    *one of those

  • Reply
    Rebecca Neustel
    June 29, 2018 at 1:31 am

    Oh, how funny! I shouldn’t have read this post until I’d caught up on the couple of posts I’d missed. I see the artwork has pulled a switcheroo. I think the pixel artwork matches the buffet/console perfectly and looks great where you put it!

  • Reply
    Nicole
    June 29, 2018 at 9:13 am

    If you finish your house…what are you going to blog about? Take ten years to decorate your house for all I care. I have an addiction too…it’s watching you decorate your house. I don’t even like color. I’m in the Joanna Gaines movement, i.e. black, white and wood grain. I’ve been coming here daily since you argyled your laundry space back at the condo because I live vicariously through you. I can’t bring myself to add color in my house but I enjoy watching you add color to yours. So take your time, finish your house at your pace because honestly, you know we’ll all be here watching today, tomorrow and ten years from now to feed our own addiction.

  • Reply
    Elaine Ness
    June 29, 2018 at 9:39 am

    I took another look this morning. I love the white curtains. They don’t hog the view to the outside, where pretty things will bloom someday soon. Can’t wait!

  • Reply
    Caitlin
    June 29, 2018 at 9:59 am

    I’d like to see you focus on making your house functional first, not necessarily ‘finished’ (for my humble two cents)! You can always play with design as long as you have the “bones” to work on. If you had some blank canvases (like getting the sun room or your workarea built out but not necessarily designed), it would be so fun to see you play around with the space! I hope none of your rooms will ever be truly “finished” because that’s what I enjoy most about your blog – you experiment and adjust and improvise (plus give great DIY tips). Most importantly, though, I’d hope that your house/workspace functions for your family first and foremost. I’ll be looking forward to however you proceed. We moved into a house that had A LOT more work needed than we realized, and I refer to your blog all the time. My husband loves the paint sprayer you recommended!

    Best wishes from Ohio 🙂

  • Reply
    Julie
    June 29, 2018 at 10:05 am

    I was totally prepared and expecting pictures at the end of this post showing that you are painting over the stencil!! (hahaha!) It felt like a preface to a revision in the making! Love your blog and your creativity!

    • Reply
      Kristi
      June 29, 2018 at 10:38 am

      Haha! No, that hasn’t happened. Yet. 😀 I make no promises! 😀

  • Reply
    Rebecca B
    June 29, 2018 at 10:07 am

    I think the white curtains look gorgeous with the green pom poms. They look perfect in the breakfast room. And THANK YOU for the promise that you wont go back and re-do already decorated rooms until you have redecorated the old yucky rooms!

  • Reply
    Jane
    June 29, 2018 at 4:00 pm

    Kristi–I think you’re doing great! I love reading about all of your experiments and projects.

    If you are anything like me, you may be extremely sensitive to color balance. There can be a cascading effect of making one change and then affecting the color balance of the whole space.

    My only thought (something that’s helped me in the past) is to plan your color flow from room to room. Before I moved into my current place, I mapped out the colors that I would be using in each of the rooms. Once I nailed the color story, I was able to fill the rooms with specific furniture and art work. If I want to switch things up, it’s easy so long as I stay within the original color story.

  • Reply
    Janette @ The 2 Seasons
    June 30, 2018 at 6:14 am

    Sometimes our eyes just need to rest. White curtains and neutral walls in a house full of color give them the opportunity to do that.

  • Reply
    Rachel
    June 30, 2018 at 10:16 am

    Your language is color. Nothing wrong with that. It is just who you are. I literally laughed out loud about the white curtains! But I feel very similarly…. I have a neutral room in my house and I feel it is the hardest one to decorate. Colors are juicy and lively and make you feel good.

    I think designers love to move on to other thing when their house is “finished.” For instance, they love to play with tablescapes, plan parties, design bedding, plan formal gardens etc. They need that creative play where color and pattern and texture all come together. (plus it is a bit easier to change a plate or glass then the wallpaper etc). So don’t feel bad when things come to a “design conclusion.” There are always things to play with! 🙂 And don’t forget the magic of holidays!

  • Reply
    Alma Miranda
    June 30, 2018 at 12:09 pm

    I think designers use their own homes as laboratories testing to see what works and what does not. And also, there is a tendency to nitpick when all of a sudden we see and idea that we fall in love with. In all honesty I have to say the white curtains with the pompons in the breakfast room look lovely because you have a lot of color elsewhere. Give it a week or two, you might fall in love again.

  • Reply
    Wilmoo
    July 1, 2018 at 1:20 pm

    Kristi,

    Keep on doing what you are doing your home is spectacular. I love reading your blog and seeing what new ideas and new found knowledge you come up with. I love the term laboratory. I now can use that term with family and friends to explain when I change things. As a artist, designer/creator that’s what make you unique so keep on doing your thing. If your husband and you don’t mind then it is all GOOD!

  • Reply
    Michele
    July 1, 2018 at 10:43 pm

    I don’t think it’s possible (at least for me) to take the emotion out of planning your own home. Our living spaces have such symbolic meaning on various levels. Plus, there is your hubby to consider and his preferences should figure into your decisions. Personally, I never call a room “done”. It may have my seal of approval, but that is a temporary state of affairs. Changing things up makes me happy, it is the joy of finding that new idea or detail you can do on your own. So “done” is never achieved. And that’s OK. It’s not a job, it’s where you live. But for you with your blog and business, it is a job, so there should be endpoints, just not endpoints that are fixed in concrete. How about determining some endpoints you can live with and will let you move on to the other areas. Don’t kid yourself! When the house is “finished” you will be ready to start repairs, refurbishing, recovering, etc. Because.

  • Reply
    Maria B.
    July 3, 2018 at 8:55 pm

    I love your laboratory! That, and your wonderful ideas, makes your blog fun and interesting to come back to all the time. Besides, when you “finish” your house, you can come do mine!!!!

    -Maria B.
    (I’m on a small island in the Northwest so plan you visit accordingly!!)

  • Reply
    Carol Willis-Holden
    July 20, 2018 at 9:21 am

    I think you and your home are amazing, as is! But I understand the need to tweak and re-do and for that, I’m with everyone else ~ you do you! Myself, I’m an Aries and perfection is almost never part of the equation for me, but I do love seeing your ideas, your skills, and your results! You are one fantastic woman!

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