When It’s Okay to Make a Decorating Mess

When It's Okay to Make a Decorating Mess | redleafstyle.com

Why when doing a new home project, does it seem like everything has to turn into a complete disaster before it all comes together? Be it painting a piece of furniture, rearranging a bookshelf or hanging a picture, whatever area I’m working on turns into utter chaos. And, that decorating disaster going on in one area often spills into the rest of the house.

I don’t know how many times I’ve started to hang a picture, figuring it would be quick work, only to find myself minutes later with discarded screws all over the house and wall dust scattered across the floor. The tool kit’s in the living room. The screwdriver’s on top of the fridge. (How’d it get there?) And, where is the freaking hammer?? Perhaps I need a better system for my tools. Or, maybe I just need to remember that, at least for me, I have to make a complete mess in order to make something beautiful.

Please tell me I’m not the only one who makes a disaster while in project mode.

So, what prompted this revelation o’ mine? For a while now I’ve been planning to write about how to style your shelves and surfaces. You know, tips and ideas for how to arrange all of your books, vases, plants and knickknacks so they look all lovely and organized and design-y? Well, I started working on just that in my own living room. I took everything off of all of the surfaces, started moving items around to see what looked best, then I remembered that the drawer on this (see below) dresser was broken. So, I decided that was the perfect time to tackle that project. Wrong.

When It's Okay to Make a Decorating Mess | redleafstyle.com

Two hours later I was sweaty, frustrated and wanting to put the dresser on the curb. I forgot to mention that I also thought it would be a good idea to tackle these projects at about 8 p.m. on a Sunday. It’s been almost a week later and my living room still looks like this…

When It's Okay to Make a Decorating Mess | redleafstyle.com

Gah! I know. It’s bad. It doesn’t help that my hanging collage is completely empty except for one lone postcard. After decorating the collage for Christmas, I took everything off of it…and haven’t put anything back up.

When a project isn’t going right for me, it seems like I have to leave it in all of its unfinished glory, out in the open, until I once again find the inspiration to finish it. Usually it always turns out better than expected after I get over the initial “this isn’t working” decorating depression. Let’s hope my living room undergoes just that sort of transformation this weekend. I’ll keep you updated.

UPDATE: I did get it cleaned up! See…

What about you? Do you have to make a mess when doing a home project? Or are you more of a clean-as-you-go type person? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments…

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  1. j g
    January 21, 2013

    I’m sure it look great now. I’ve been making those sort of messes also, but it does eventually come together. Yesterday was so through books and move them to different places, I had a mess, but had things looking pretty good this morning before I left for work.

    1. Red Leaf Style
      January 21, 2013

      It looks so much better now! I know you understand the whole making a mess to make it look better thing.


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