While scrolling through all of the perfectly pictured homes on Instagram the other day, I came across one of an unmade bed. I didn’t think much of it until I read the caption. It talked about how all of the pictures on Instagram are staged, and even interior designers have rooms they would rather not have photographed. I agreed with everything up to that point. Instagram is filled with eye candy, homes we all dream of living in. This is why #perfect has been used over 36 million times and #dreamhome and #dreamhouse have been used nearly a million times.
This is where her message derailed. She went on to say that she was going to be different. This was her attempt at being “real”. This was her bedroom in all its raw unsightly beauty. Only this bedroom was just like every other bedroom on Instagram, only worse. The sunbeams softly filtered in through the window with the nightstand clean and bare except for two chic and trendy accessories placed just so. Her unmade bed had wrinkle free sheets and a gently folded duvet cover as though she had just gotten out of bed. This flawlessly styled and beautifully lit “real life” bedroom was staged.
Don’t get me wrong…I love a beautifully styled and lit room, just check out my Instagram account. My issue was that she was claiming that this was her “real life”. We have all come to grips with airbrushed supermodels on the covers of magazines, but we are now finding ourselves also surrounded by airbrushed lives.
Between Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook, we see glimpses into homes, lives, and DIY projects that make it seem like everyone can do it all, except me. I am talking about that picture of a mom and kids baking in the kitchen, the son licking the spoon without a drop of spilled batter anywhere to be seen, or the one of the kids playing in their bright white and spotless playroom with only a few sweet toys scattered around them. These are not ads, they are people giving us a glimpse into their “real” lives. I am here to tell you that ten minutes into my son playing in his room, it looks like an earthquake hit, and everything was flung off the shelves and onto the floor. And when I am cooking, even all by myself, I can run out of clean counter space while just prepping for dinner (although, while I’m being “real” I have to admit that some of that counter space is being taken up by clean dishes and groceries that still need to be put away).
After being constantly faced with these pictures plastered on everyone’s virtual wall, there is now self induced pressure to do it all and do it all beautifully. We all want our lives, our kids’ lives and our homes to be their best, but sometimes that best isn’t always picture perfect. Homegrown is about real homes for real people living real lives. Take it from my clients themselves. All of my clients’after pictures and my entire portfolio are taken by my clients, raw real life (although probably cleaned up a bit).
As a designer, I will continue to love beautiful homes, flawless photography, and inspiring projects, but life is messy, chaotic and overwhelming. There will always be a bigger and better, but loving your life and the home that allows you to live it is more important than having that flawlessly styled picture. My kids will get dirty, and my house will not always be picture ready, but I will embrace the mess. I design homes, not magazine covers, because that is how we really live…in a beautiful mess!