The room is *almost* done. You think. But maybe you’re not sure. Will it ever really be done?
When is enough enough?
There is always more you could do, more you could add, more inspiration to steer you a different way. So, it makes sense to think that decorating is never really finished.
While your home and your style will evolve over time and there will always be another room to tackle, I think there is point when enough is enough (for this room, at least for the time being).
When you go past enough, a cycle of over-decorating sets in. Where nothing is ever good enough. Nothing is ever done enough. There is no enough.
10 Signs You Might Be Over-Decorating
1. You’re still actively pinning inspiration pictures to a Pinterest board for the room you swear is *almost* done.
2. Your hubby/significant other/roommate/mother is sick of hearing you say, “It just needs one more thing.” Followed by, “I’m just not sure what.”
3. When you go shopping, you make it a mission to find something to add to the room and whatever you find by golly you’re going to make it work.
4. You enter a daily stare down with your ceramic dog
to see who looks away first wondering if he would look better over there or there or there.
5. Every time someone comes over they say, “Oh, you changed this room again.” Behind your back they whisper about how you seem to have nothing better to do.
6. There is so much decor on every surface, it’s crying out for breathing room like people in an overcrowded elevator stuck between floors.
7. Guests feel awkward sitting on your sofa. They’re uncomfortably perched on the edge, because there are too many pillows to lean back. And they’re afraid to move for fear of knocking over something on your meticulously decorated end tables.
8. You’re still apologizing for the room. You say things like, “I’m almost finished with it” or “I’m still working on it a little bit.” While whoever’s ear you are gnawing off (especially the guest with only one cheek on the sofa cushion) thinks it looks done, stick a fork in it, and for the love of everything stop telling me about it.
9. Your decorations have decorations. The devil is in the detail and good decorating is layered, but when you start adding fringe to your lampshades because you’ve run out of other changes to make, it might be too much.
10. You decorate your home like they paint the Mackinac bridge. As soon as they finish re-painting the 5-mile bridge, it’s time to start over at the beginning. You move through your house like a decorating storm and as soon as you finish, you start over again at the beginning. Hobby-schmoby.
I am not suggesting you don’t ever make changes to a room once you’ve decorated it, but there is an endpoint to decorating. Knowing your decorating style can help you avoid distracting trends and second-guessing your decorating decisions.
It’s only healthy at some point to stop decorating the home and to start living in it.
P.S. I’ve completed the Mackinac Bridge Walk, walking across the longest suspension bridge in the Western Hemisphere. It scared me, especially walking over the grates watching the water swirl below. But I definitely recommend adding it or a similar bridge walk to your bucket list. (Just an idea for something to do when you take a break from decorating.)
Firstly, congrats on walking the bridge! That is quite a feat…our cousin did it. We have a summer place an hour south of it. Secondly,#5 was my fav…the part about whispering behind your back :-) ha. I once worked in my yard meticulously getting it so right following a 12 yr stint of full time work with never enough time to garden the way I wanted. A friend came over and said apparently i didn’t have enough to do! I was crushed. For 30 yrs I worked full time or raised babies or homeschooled! Lastly, I rotate out accessories w/the seasons plus Christmas and Easter because enough is enough! When our rooms change purpose, which seems often w/a growing-changing family, I sometimes have to redecorate.
Pamela, oh no. This is all in fun, but no one should ever put another down for a creative pursuit that fills them with joy and brings beauty into the world. I hope you are still gardening :)
I think there’s this time–kind of when hmmm….the kids have finished college, married, they didn’t take all their stuff and their house is bigger! And I don’t know…something happens. A few of my friends threw it all away. I mean furniture, dishes, accessories, bedding–and brought very little back into their spaces. Decor equaled clutter.
Or me. I had a distinct change in my life in my mid forties and had few possessions. I rather liked my empty garage and house. And I liked taking my time to do it my way. And I’ve redone it again my way. I love color and changing my ‘stuff’ around. I always have bags going to Goodwill but I keep changing with seasons because I can. I have time. I look at it all. Memories mixed in with accessories. Things up high? I change less often than things down low. I totally change looks by checking out great clearances so if styles change I’ve not invested a fortune. I learned I like a few items by a favored artist Jan Barboglio mixed in with my clearanced $6,99 West Elm glass jugs! Plus I keep lots of open floor space. My hubby reminds me he feels comfortable at our home. I just think some people are bold and we are maybe overly sensitive!!!
So Pamela, that friend didn’t / wouldn’t ever garden!! She couldn’t imagine it being anyone’s passion!! I loved to garden. I now have incorporated many staples that bloom at varying times to avoid all the annuals I used to do. But I still love the look of flowers. I will probably add a few when it’s not 108. I have a friend who is bored or critical of my space. So I let it go in one ear and out the other. I still decorate for seasons. Just not Fourth of July. But it’s your home and you’re finally getting to decorate it and spoil yourself in your yard. Enjoy!!!
Iris W. says
Thanks so much for this post! I became a stay at home mom almost two years ago. Since then, I’ve been trying to get comfortable with my new identity. I had worked since I was 16, so almost 15 years. After making it through the first year, with a baby that demanded to be held almost 24 hours a day, he finally passed that stage and opened up some time for just me. Let’s face it, we all need a little me time. Well anyhow, the decorating bug bit me, and for the last six months my home has changed drastically. I’m at the point where I can’t decide if I’m done with some rooms, mostly because my abilities and knowledge of decorating has really evolved since that first month. Still, I find myself almost disgusted with how much I’ve been spending and how I’m still not done. I also read your post about how much you should spend on your home. The have been really great resources for me, and I really hope to follow the advice. Thanks again!
Iris, Thank you. It is so hard to make that transition to being at home full time, working or mothering. Spending so much more time in your space allows you to find more things to change. I hope these posts help you find balance. These are certainly the things that have helped me…I was guilty of over-spending and over-decorating and over-thinking.
Lori Hunter Hawkins says
Hi Jackie: you hit the nail on the head – the decorations have decorations!! I am so glad I have found your site and joined the group. This is already a positive experience. I look forward to sharing. Lori