Is Your House "Decorated"?

Updated on November 14, 2011
J.S. asks from Saint Paul, MN
24 answers

I love my house... but when I walk around, I see my list of decorating projects in my head. :)

I have 3 kids (6, practically 3 and almost 5). We moved in 2 years ago, and it looks ok in most of the rooms, but most still are lacking the "finishing touches" to make them homey. Example, we still have no window treatments in the livingroom, dining room, or den. We painted most of the rooms, but not the bathrooms, or the den... the bedrooms look fine, and the living room is good but for the missing window treatments.

I'm just feeling like by now I should have had some of this stuff done! I have a plan for a "family portrait" wall, but it's not done... I have framed photos (the only professional ones we've ever had done) that are not hung...

Just curious if I am the only one. It seems like when I visit friends houses they are all "perfect" and completely decorated. Maybe they've lived there longer than they've had kids or something... why am I not able to get this stuff done!

Thanks for your help.

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So What Happened?

Thanks for your help, you make me feel better!

It was nice to be reminded that people with perfect houses might not have perfect portfolios :) I honestly hadn't thought of that... we are on a budget, and we pay for things when we can afford them... plus I'm picky and don't know what I want and don't want to settle on something big like living room curtains.

I'll focus on the smaller (less expensive) stuff and continue to save time and money for the big stuff.

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answers from St. Louis on

Everyone I know that has a perfectly decorated home hired an interior decorator. They also have homes that really don't reflect their personalities.

My house isn't done and who knows when it will be but at least what is up on the walls reflects who I am and not who I hired.

I have been in my home for 19 years if that makes you feel any better. :)

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answers from Des Moines on

LOL! Yup in Early American Garage Sale with eclectic accents of Hand Me Down!!!

Seriously, I worry more about keeping it clean and comfy! Pretty and "just so" is not where I want to spend time and money!

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answers from Philadelphia on

I wonder the same thing too. I think Jane is right, they are in debt. I have not had the "balls" (forgive the term) to put it on credit. The only things that go on credit are immediate needs. Not that immediate needs did not rack up a ton of dept. If i started perfecting my house, we would be in debt until the day we died. We go slowly :)

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answers from Seattle on

If by "decorated" you mean are there toys strewn about, dishes to be done, and art projects on the table...then yes! My house is TOTALLY decorated. If you mean do I have a theme and everything fancy...the nope. I LIVE in my house.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

J., I'm an interior designer and most of my friends houses are so much more "decorated" than mine. its good that you have plans in your head. Maybe you are a bit like me- you don't want to settle to just get something on your windows, you're waiting to invest in just the right thing and until you find it and have money to purchase it, you'd rather have nothing. Also, my husband and I have no debt but savings. All my friends with "finished" houses are in debt and went in debt to furnish. So maybe you are just wise with your money. I also have art waiting to get hung. thats part laziness and part waiting to feel like I've found the perfect spot for it. I'm also an artist and getting around to hanging art is cause for major procrastination. I mean, you have to get out power tools, a level, measuring thingy, you have to go to the hardware store........I feel you sister!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I don't "decorate." We are minimalist. We have few pictures on the walls, and I am going to keep it that way.

I have a lot of friends that truly "decorate,' but I find our minimalist approach to be "perfect" --for us.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I don't have any children at my house and I still to this day have never bought curtains for my bedroom. You will get around to it one suggestion...get in your mind one thing you want to accomplish that...and then after awhile do another's no big deal!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Is anyone's house ever really done? I am always finding things that need done, pictures to hand, curtains to hang or change out...I don't think it's ever really finished.

But yes, I have pictures up, painted walls (some rooms are done), and deorative touches. We're far from done though and moved in 3.5 years ago!

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answers from Boston on

Absolutely. I have 3 kids -- 10, 6, and almost 3. We're really just starting to turn to the decorating projects again. Walls are going to wait until the youngest is through the colors-on-the-walls phase, and then we're going to start decorating for real. It will probably take several years as we work our way through the house, but it will be fun to transform the place from a place decorated in the "small child" style to a place that looks reasonably nice.

Of course, there's a lot of cleaning, decluttering, and organizing that's going to have to go along with that project, which is one of the reasons I suspect it will take that long.

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answers from Minneapolis on

We've been in our house 15 years -- our kids are 11 and 8. I, too, have that feeling of the stuff that "should have been done" by now. Plus there is the stuff that is falling apart or due for maintenance. Sigh... What's that saying, "Life is what happens while you're making other plans."?

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answers from Pittsburgh on

We've lived in this house for 14 years...there's a 'cycle' to the painting, changes, maintaining, etc. Is a house ever "done"? If you're "done" will it be the same 10 years from now? living room used to be the "pretty room" as my MIL called it. Now my son & his buds play dodge ball in there. Just part of the cycle. I love it.
I always say my dream house is the concrete one in the Terminex commercial, no knick-knacks, plain, you could just hose it down once per season & rinse the dirt/dust into a floor drain!

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answers from Houston on

My house is never "done" There is always a project in the works. Right now the girls bathroom is #1 on my list (im going to repaint it to match the new sink im installing the week) next on the list im redoing my kids rooms.

A little tip, write down all your measurements(window sizes and stuff you need to get specifically fit) and paint colors, write in outlet covers,,,,picture frames, etc... on a note.card and keep it in your wallet.

Focusing on one room at a time can help also.

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answers from Detroit on

We've been in our home for just over 2 years, and because of painting in some areas that still needs to be done, I'm still waiting on hanging pictures in those areas. And we had to clear out my mom's house for selling after she passed away, so we still have a lot of boxes and stuff from her house cluttering up our house! Not to mention that my daughter's toys are everywhere! So while some areas look okay, it's not going to be featured in Better Homes and Gardens anytime soon!

You didn't mention if you are home with your kids, or work outside the home, but sometimes it's hard to find the time to do everything you want to do. It might be easier if you just break it down into chunks, and then decide that today, we are going to hang these pictures, then next weekend will look into window treatments for the living room. Set a goal for the week or weekend as to what you want to get accomplished. It only takes 2 minutes to hang a picture.

And yes, the most "perfect" homes I have seen are the ones without any kids at all. I will take my kid and my less-than-perfect house. And get on DH's case to get the rest of the interior painting done. ;)

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answers from Chicago on

Unless you hire someone I don't think a house is ever done. Plus once you are done with every room it seems like the room you did first is now outdated!!!! I have a friend who was telling me she just painted her master bedroom. I told her I was surprised they repainted it because I thought they had just painted it. She said that was 5 years ago and it was time. I just started laughing. Our master bedroom was last painted 25 years ago. I guess we should have painted it 5 times by now!!!!!!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I've lived in our house for nearly ten years. It feels pretty decorated to me, but not like in the design books (although some do inspire me). It's more that I fell in love with a man who loves color and isn't afraid of it. He has the fine art (inherited from parents who are still alive), I bring the little knickknacks which make my heart glad. We still have a kitchen and hallway that beg painting and I think some people would claim we are a bit cluttered, but I love what's around us. Especially the pictures my son draws and paints. Those make me the happiest.

But truthfully, it's never done, is it?

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answers from Dallas on

My house is mostly done, but we've only been here for 7 months. I still have painting to do, etc. I figure I have my whole life to get everything just so, so why rush?

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answers from New York on

I like houses that are comfy, warm and inviting. Is my house decorated? Well kind of, sort of LOL. Well the colors are coordinated, I have lots of
pictures on the walls and mantel because I love my pictures. It is clean but
do I have stuff around, you bet I do. My house was more "decorated" when
my kids were little because we were a young family. Had my first 11 months after we were married and then one a year for four years. Of course 35 years ago, kids did not have the toys that kids have today. Also
being newly married we did not have the stuff that we have 37 years later!
So right now, I am looking in my living room at all the toys and stroller, high
chair in kitchen, bowl of sippy cups etc on the counter. Family room more
toys. In other words my house is lived in. Have grandkids three days a
week so I just leave out the toys. They are part of my decorating process LOL.

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answers from Detroit on

My house is shall we say, "perfected." What that means to me is that everything in it is easy to clean. For instance, we just replaced our doorwall with a doorwall that has built in blinds inside the glass. It's wonderful--I don't have to clean blinds anymore! I love that. I'm a minimalist. Only one room in my house has carpet. The rest are laminate and vinyl flooring. Easy clean. I don't care for knick knacks or things other than a picture here and there on my walls. I love to paint my house, so my walls get painted about every three years. For the kids rooms, I put decals on the walls that I can take down when they are down being into a certain character. But, I do have toys everywhere in the it's definitely lived in!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

You have an almost 3 year old, eh? Yup. That's why. Now that your youngest is begining to play on his/her own, you start noticing those house projects that you've put off for the last three years. It happened to me too. (We've lived here 4 years and my bedroom still doesn't have any pictures on it's walls) But don't feel bad. You've just been busy.

I get this way too around the holidays. I will have guests visit and I want the house to be warm and cozy and inviting. It's just not going to happen. My husband and I are 'eighty percenters'. We never finish projects. And the facts of that are heightened during the holidays. So I just have to try and pick one project at a time and learn to live with the rest. I mean, my family doesn't really care, they're here to visit with us, not my house.

If I were you, I'd pick the one thing that would instantly help - but keep it a small project. Like two windows to get curtains for. Work on one thing at a time. You'll get there. At least you'll get to 'good enough for now' and the rest will follow.

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answers from Joplin on

I have never owned a house. All I have ever done is rent, so for the most part I have stared at white walls for the past 19 years. Almost everything I own I have been handed down or inherited, a couple of things I have picked up second hand via garage sales etc. I am not into nick nacks. When my daughter was born I made my first attempt at really giving a room a theme, and we went all out, I even started her a collection of Raggedy Ann and Andy figurines that she got for holidays and birthdays etc...but when she turned 10 she decided she was sick of them, so some of them got packed away and some of them grace my window in the kitchen because they do make me happy. I have a huge wall sized painting that hung in my Grandmother's kitchen when I was growing up, and now it resides in my kitchen. One day I will own a house and all I can say is it will be colorful, because i hate white walls and I am sick of generic plastic white blinds. I think a lot of my furniture is more out of the conclusion that as long as we have kids they would ruin anything nice. I like my big comfy furniture that I can enjoy and not stress over. I keep my house clean and although it is a bit cluttered, I have always put my kids happiness first.
I think I will have many years to worry about a house, and even still I never see my house looking show roomish, it will always be welcoming and homey with a lack of nick nacks...because I do hate to dust and as FLYLADY can't clean clutter = )



answers from Chicago on

I have almost nothing on the walls, and it will remain that way until my boys are old enough to not destroy everything!


answers from Tulsa on

I've been in my house for two years and it is decorated with all kinds of random stuff. I don't even have matching furniture! But it is cheap. For example, my living room consists of two couches, two bookshelves, a desk, a TV stand, and an organ. It's decorated with a clock, two metal wall hangings, two floor lamps, and a rug. Organ and desk were gifts and everything else was either found free or on sale throughout the past 10 years. Total cost: less than $300. There are still some things I would like to do, like painting or getting a nice portrait made and hung, but I would rather spend my time and money on other things right now.


answers from Jacksonville on

I think it takes awhile before you can get the right "feel" of your home to commit to doing some of those things. It wasn't until AFTER we had had our first home on the market for a while, that I finally managed to finish the things I always felt were left "undone". We took the house off the market for a bit and that motivated me. Then, when I finally got it "pretty" we sold it. LOL

That may very well happen here, as well. I still have areas of our home that I haven't quite decided exactly how I want them to be. My guest room has NOTHING on the walls. Nothing. My guest bathroom doesn't either. It has nice rugs, and matching towels, etc... but nothing to make it "homey". But I haven't come across the "right piece" or whatever to "finish" that space. And I am not one to just throw something up to just to have "something up".
So I guess, no, you are not alone!



answers from Seattle on

There's a line in my favorite TV show (spooks) where one of the operatives is begging for her life. It's a long diatribe and it finishes up with "....and I HATE my kitchen."

ROFL... yeah. The fact that that is an actual "bucket list" item is just sooooo true. A kitchen I don't hate.

I'm part you, part Jane, and part This Old House (before pictures).

It's decorated in my mind.

Actually, if you want to get right on down to it... it's two and a half times the SIZE in my mind.

My house is something of an ongoing embarrassment. It neither looks, nor feels, the way I WANT it to. But it's home.

It needs about 10k in work for the space I already have to 'finish' it...and about 100k in work to REALLY "finish" it (but we're talking building costs, as well). Since I don't happen to have either a spare 10k laying around, much less 100k... I tackle projects as both time and money come available. And the house ALWAYS takes fourth seat to plane tickets, fun stuff (classes, concerts), and necessary stuff (yes, this is in reverse order). I bought a 100 year old tiny fixer upper/starter home. The UPSIDE is that I made sure it's "livable", but it is definitely screaming for work to be done.

I'm used to moving every 2 years. So having been here THREE and having things such and ongoing disaster is HIGHLY vexing... but this is the first house I've OWNED.

So I've got 75 black picture frames in the basement (and the wood for reflooring the upstairs), and torn out drywall, and a HIDEOUS kitchen, and no elbow room, and a half finished fence (the bottom portion is done, but the decorative top 1/4 has to wait on good weather and $ for wood), and only 1 bathroom (a key problem since the toilet is currently broken, and when stomach flu hits 3 people and 1 bathroom when it's *functional* just plain. isn't. enough., and no fireplace (in a land where it rains 10mo a year, and stairs that need ripping out, and a backyard that's half torn out, and, and, and, and. ((The problem of only using cash is that sometimes there IS no cash))

But it's home.

And I can see what it WILL look like in my mind.

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