This past week I took all the Christmas out of the bathroom.

I packed it up and waved goodbye and wished it luck and told it that I would see it in November.

And then?

I paused and thought about winter bathroom decorating ideas.

I looked at the bathroom with critical eyes and planned out how to freshen it up for winter.

But in the middle of all that looking, something sad happened.

I couldn’t get inspired.

I couldn’t even think anything but all the cracks and chips and work that needed to be done.

I wanted to see a clean slate.

But all I saw were its flaws.

Has that ever happened to you?

You want to decorate.

You look at a space and your heart wants to create something beautiful and welcoming and wintery and fresh.

But all the chips and cracks come along and steal your decorating joy.

You can’t see the imperfections in these photos because I’ve edited them away.

I’m a blogger.

That’s what we do.

We ship and shine up our spaces and photoshop out the chips and the cracks so you can’t see any it.

But trust me.

They are there.

The baseboards need to be painted.

And the chair has dings and knicks and chipped paint.

And there are tiles that need to be replaced.

And the chandelier is crooked.

And the sink hasn’t seen a facelift since I wore stirrup pants.

In truth?

Some people might disagree.  They might say that the bathroom does have elements that make it so pretty.

It has my grandmother’s chandelier that shines sparkles everywhere.

And this beautiful antique mirror.

And pattern upon pattern of vintage tile.

And the prettiest gray color on the wall.

Same bathroom.

Same stuff.

Same tile and flowers and chandelier and sink and shower and floor and light fixtures.

Same decorating story.

But told from two different perspectives.

There is such a life lesson there.

Truly.

Sometimes we are so busy focusing on the flaws and the chips and the unpainted baseboards and the tile that needs to be replaced.

That we miss the beauty that is already there.

We let those chips and dings and scratches steal our joy.

So I took my own life lesson advice.

I hung up these snowflakes.

And shined up the light fixtures.

And added a new rug.

And new handsoap that smells amazing.

And a vase full of flowers.

And when I stepped back and looked at the bathroom with fresh eyes.

The chandelier sparkled and the tile shined and the towels grinned at me and the snowflakes waved.

It didn’t look perfect.

It didn’t look like a showroom.

It didn’t look like it belonged in a magazine.

Truth?

It looked better than all of those things.

It looked like home.

 

 

Comments

  1. Image for Mary S Mary S

    I love it!!! Especially the light fixture and the snowflake hangars. Love those framed pieces with the wire. I could use a couple of those in a soon to be remodeled bathroom. Are they old? If not, where could I find some like them?

  2. Image for Denise Denise

    Oh how true! Perspective makes such a difference. Back in the early 90's we covered the original 1920's bathroom floor tile with peel and stick tile. We wanted new and fresh. :) Last spring during a bathroom "refresh" I peeled up those tiles and rediscovered the original tile. What once looked dull with some cracks suddenly looked amazing to me. I had the perspective of time and a new appreciation for what was original to the house. Now when I walk in that room my heart smiles and I think of all of the people that have walked on that beautiful tile before me.

  3. Image for Kris Kris

    My first thought when I started reading this was, "Why do you need to decorate for winter? It's pretty the way it is!". I think that it's so easy to focus on what's wrong with anything in life--decorating, job, parenting, whatever--that we tend to forget what is going well. Thanks for the reminder to do just that!

  4. Image for Diana Diana

    So true, we miss the beauty in all things when we constantly want perfection. The bathroom looks fabulous Karianne and the snowflakes are perfection.

  5. Image for Linda Linda

    Karianne, Love your analogies, we do need to focus more on the positive and beauty we see before us and make that sparkle! Looking forward to another awesome book!

  6. Image for Carol Murphy Carol Murphy

    Hi Karianne, I literally put away the reds and greens and golds of my ‘‘Christmas bathroom” 20 minutes before I read your wonderful, fabulous, don’t-ever-stop-writing-it blog! The creamy bathroom looked a little naked and the flaws jumped out and said HELLO in a big way! So, I shopped my linen closet, pulled out some crisp white towels, a pretty aqua liquid hand soap, some aqua gingham check paper guest towels and a pretty box of tissues! Not quite there yet, but naked no more! Thanks for your advice before, after and always during!

  7. Image for Michele M. Michele M.

    Well said, and those snowflakes look perfectly at home there in your awesome bathroom that is sooooo magazine worthy! Hugs,

  8. Image for Toni Toni

    I read this as I was looking at my own scuffed baseboards and bemoaning their condition. We do forget that all the “wear and tear” on a house represents LIFE and that’s a pretty special GIFT. THANK YOU for the reminder. Gratitude changes perspective.

  9. Image for Carrie Carrie

    "And the sink hasn’t seen a facelift since I wore stirrup pants." Oh My! My laugh out loud almost became a "spit out the coffee" laugh.....you, my sweet friend, have a way of spreading joy! I just watched a Netflix series last night, "Tidying Up with Marie Kondo" and the first thing she asks is that we "greet the house"...and it brought me back to you walking through your house 'waking it up'....perhaps THAT is why you see the sparkles and not the dust. You have the right perspective!

  10. Image for Susan Susan

    Thanks for this - every room in my house right now is needing some fixing. And I just get overwhelmed with it all. I tend to look at each space in its entirety and I freeze because I don’t know where to start. But you’re right, sometimes it just needs some cleaning and a bit of touch up rather than a major overhaul.

  11. Image for mary mary

    i love that your home has flaws, but only to you, lol. we just moved in a few months ago to a brand new build and everything is off and wrong and needs touching up... to me. but it is home, and ultimately, it makes me happy. as do you and your blog. keep on sparkling!!!

  12. Image for Victoria Schwalbe Victoria Schwalbe

    I’m spending a week in Jamaica and have learned so much about learning to accept the flaws and imperfections of my home and myself. So many of the “houses” are nothing more than lean tos. The people walk everywhere, frequently without shoes. Food prices are outrageous especially considering the little they make. And yet I’ve never encountered a happier people. They are very religious and feel blessed for what they have instead of envious of what others have. It’s an eye opening experience. There will ne lots of soul searching onthe plane home.

  13. Image for Jillian Jillian

    I agree with everyone...it looks nice. I also agree with the desire to do the space over if you want to. You did the kitchen over! You did lots over. That's what the design obsessed do....so why not, if it is needing a facelift? I know you have a vision, and visions need to be answered. :)

  14. Image for Kim Kim

    I want to let you know how much happiness and joy you bring me each day! I love your posts! I love that your towels grinned and your snowflakes waved! This is what life is all about ! I simply enjoy you! 😊💕

  15. Image for Regina Merrick Regina Merrick

    I love it. I know how you feel, though. People come into my living room and "ooh" and "ahh" over the woodwork, the high ceilings, etc., and I'm apologizing for the floors that need to be refinished, the cracks in the plaster, the worn furniture (thanks, cat), and the lint on the rug. I'm in a constant state of dreaming of remodeling. But you know what? It IS beautiful. Warts and all. Hopefully, we are, too. :) Love you, Rock star!!

  16. Image for Christie Titus Christie Titus

    Awwww, that was a great read. I do feel like we have all been there. And then I also remind myself that I am lucky for what I have.....perfectly said, it's home :)

  17. Image for LisaB. LisaB.

    I think because you ARE a blogger, you may feel you have an certain level of “perfection” or higher standard to live up to.. Your home is absolutely beautiful, flaws and all. I personally enjoy seeing pictures of homes that look “lived in.” People have busy lives, kids, and pets....so, homes do not look like “magazine stills” on the daily. It’s the same with following beauty bloggers with their seemingly “perfect” looks. It often takes a lot of makeup, exercise, lighting, angles, and filters, not to mention a team of people, to attain those looks that many of us envy, and it can make us feel like we can’t measure up. There are some studies out there that show that social media can increase anxiety, depression, loneliness, and low self-esteem. I can especially imagine it being difficult for many teens and young people. We all should try to embrace our flaws in our lives and strive to focus on what is right with our lives, ourselves, our homes, etc. and most of all, don’t sweat the ‘small stuff.’ I’m just speaking to everyone in general terms, and this is certainly not an ‘attack’ on Karianne. I know she realizes how blessed she is, and so should we all. Happy New Year Everyone!

  18. Image for Susan Susan

    Your bathroom is simply a part of "a house well loved" and she's showing her age! But ahh she has aged so gracefully. Like so many of us, sometimes you just need to take a step back and look for what's right and find the beauty in the ordinary. You have a fabulous home and it's obvious that you love the house that shelters your family. Thank you for sharing it all with us!

  19. Image for Ann C Ann C

    Many years ago I subscribed to many decorating magazines and found myself seeing all the flaws in my hand me down furniture. So I sat down and wrote a “magazine article” about my home. I used all the current descriptive words and phrases, for example calling my fabric worn sofa as “a much loved comfortable sitting area”; an imaginative use of throw rugs (to cover the worn spots)...well you get the idea. It helped me see my home with a different perspective. It’s all in the words! Of the beholder! Thanks Karianne for the reminder.

  20. Image for Darlene Darlene

    Your comments were spot on, it all depends on what frame of mind you are in at the time. No one comes to our homes to criticize us or our surroundings, they come for us and always see the beauty that we don’t see right in front of us. “ Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” that goes for our homes as well as us. I think your bathroom is beautiful.

  21. Image for Bonnie W. Bonnie W.

    Why didn't anyone ask where the snowflakes were from??? ❄❄❄ Oh, maybe it's because I'm in Michigan and most everyone else is south of us! LOL No complaints about snow... my motto is "Let it snow". 😁 Seriously, how pretty can one make the only entry into the house with snow boots and shoes collecting? Sure could use some suggestions!!! Thanks for sharing your talents Karianne!

  22. Image for Wen Wen

    KariAnne I’ve followed you forever & you just touch my heart ❤️ more each post!! This one especially ~ because 6 months ago I moved to new state, new 20 year old house That wasn’t taken care of. Many things that need painted & repaired. Yes I look at it like it’s damaged goods. But thankfully you are helping me know it’s my HOME- I will start loving it unconditionally! Huge adjustment to metroplex & driving here!!! 😢 Thanks for being you & showering us with exactly what we need to hear!!!!!

  23. Image for Cindy Cindy

    I love everything about this post! I love the imperfections in our homes and in our lives. They show that we are real! Thanks for sharing each and every word!

  24. Image for Cara Cara

    Are you kidding me? I absolutely love your bathroom, tiles, fixtures, lighting, decor, the whole nine yards! When we bought our home we had carpet in every room, bathrooms, kitchen,etc... the bathroom carpets had to go before I would move in, just gross! We installed marble floors in our bathrooms and painted, but the rest just fell into place and I love them now... the kitchen still has carpet, we save and pay cash as we go. We cannot see getting into debt, sometimes you just have to live with things for a while. I love following blogs, getting ideas for our home and seeing how it all comes together. Life is perfectly imperfect... and I think our homes should reflect that. Thank you for keeping it real with us, I know I appreciate that!

  25. Image for Kim-Pacific Northwest Kim-Pacific Northwest

    I recently felt my bathroom needed some love so I took everything out and gave it two coats of fresh, white paint and then cleaned everything up and put it back in. I put up a different shower curtain I already had and that simple change made all the difference. My husband commented that it looked so much nicer and more inviting. Far, far from perfect. It is so small the two of us can't be in there at the same time but guess what? It is ours and it is paid for and that makes it function just fine for us.

  26. Image for Cheryl Foley Cheryl Foley

    Isn't it funny that we all shop for shabby chic worn and antique accessories for our homes, yet at the same time mourn what isn't perfect in those same homes? hmm... I guess we worry so much that others might see those imperfections. Such a shame, really that we let such thinking steal our bliss. I loved this post. Your bathroom is lovely!

  27. Image for MARY-ANN (FROM CANADA!) MARY-ANN (FROM CANADA!)

    Your posts are so special, KariAnne! And your bathroom is just beautiful, perfect and amazing -- just like you! Bless you for being such a special gal and always sharing your heart with us!

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