Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful


Okay friends! Time for a little pep talk! Do you ever find yourself comparing your home to someone else’s??  Anyone? I’ll be the first to raise my hand and admit this thorn in my side. Neon lights flashing down on me!  Might as well make a big ole billboard sign on I25 saying “The House of Silver Lining: Not always feeling like a beautiful home.” You see, what may be beautiful to me may be a big ole eye sore to you and vice versa.

I may love moody glam rooms and you may find them downright depressing.  Shabby chic is not my thing but that doesn’t mean it isn’t beautiful. Beautiful is what is beautiful TO YOU!  I want my readers (insert you), who I consider my friends since I invite you into my home a couple of times a week, to know that the struggle is REAL for everyone. Struggling with feeling like your home is inadequate or not capable of making someone else think it’s pretty. I just want to encourage you to BE YOUR OWN KIND OF BEAUTIFUL!

Your home can be beautiful!!  I repeat…YOUR HOME CAN BE BEAUTIFUL!!!!  I’m not trying to paint sunshine and butterflies here but if you could just look at your home in a different light, you may see that glimpse of beauty shining through!  Find that silver lining!  You know how we all get caught up in the comparison game, feeling our home is not “Instagram worthy.” Let’s just chat about Instagram for a minute.

I LOVE the “inspiration” I find on Instagram.  The perfectly arranged living room with the pillows perfectly karate chopped and fluffed. The room is bright and airy. The coffee table is perfectly arranged with styled flowers, books, trays, or whatever is the statement of the day.  Or let’s talk about that spotless kitchen.  Not a dirty dish in sight. Not a crumb on the floor. Bowls of fruit overflowing and rose petals strung across the island (okay that’s a stretch…lol!).


Don’t even get me started on that fabulous bedroom that displays a gorgeous bed that looks like it’s styled for a photo shoot in House Beautiful.  Not a wrinkle in sight on the bed duvet, not a pillow out of place.  No dirty socks on the side of the bed. No piles of laundry in the corner. No chocolate stains on the white comforter from that late night craving of Dove bars (I fully admit, I eat chocolate in bed).


We certainly can’t forget the glistening, spotless bathrooms either!  You know, the ones that don’t show a shampoo collection in the shower, or the unsightly scrunchies we bathe with. What about the hair on the floor (I shed like nobody’s business) or all the other unsightly daily junk that just hangs out on our countertops.


Bathroom tour HERE & Sources HERE

Newsflash friends!!!  That ain’t reality for the majority. There, do you feel slightly better? I sure do! It is so easy to get caught up in the Instagram world of self-doubt, feeling “my home is not perfect enough or pretty enough.” Remember friends, the pictures you see on Instagram are meant to leave a “first impression.” Speaking for myself anyways.

If you were to go for a job interview or on a blind date, you’d wear your Sunday best, right? That’s what Instagram is…your Sunday best!  Most of the time I share photos on Instagram with my house looking pretty darn clean.  I don’t want to leave that first impression of the laundry sitting in the corner ya know?  That’s what my blog is for!  I dare to be brave and air my dirty laundry here.  Sure, you visit the blog to see some designed rooms to give you a little inspiration to get creative in your own home.  That’s why I blog, to share all my ongoing projects and to inspire you!  I just don’t want you to lose heart in your home.  Trust me girlfriend (or boyfriend, IF you’re a boy) that I’ve had that battle with feeling that my home is not “pin worthy” and have come to realize it’s what robbed me of the joy in making my home unique to me.

Speaking of first impressions…if I posted this photo on Instagram would you instantly want to follow me (if you’d never seen my page before)?


I snapped this photo right after we got back from Florida for Christmas.  Maybe you would see beyond the cluttered island, the open trash bin, and the dirty dishes and see that it is a nice kitchen. But you would probably wonder why I didn’t clean it up a bit before I posted it on Instagram for the entire world to see.  Just like that job interview or first impression you want to make.  You’d comb your hair and brush your teeth and iron your clothes, right?  It’s the same concept with Instagram…wipe the countertops, hide the dirty dishes and tuck in that trash bin!

This is what you would really see me share on Instagram…


A clean kitchen and a little editing technique that I’ll share on a later post.  Here, I give you my “Sunday BEST.”  But you all saw the before and that’s not even as bad as it can get, so cut yourself some slack and remember we don’t live in pristine homes.  Every home has beauty somewhere within those walls. Sometimes you just need to take a few steps in the right direction to find that beauty.  Wanna know my secrets of staying out of that rut? Well, here ya go.  Free advice. Take it or leave it.

1.  Clean your home.  Come on friends, let’s admit that a clean home always looks so much better! And yes, it is absolutely possible to have a somewhat clean home with kids. Believe me, mom of three boys here…and a dog!  Kids can make it feel impossible to have a clean home more often than not, but don’t give up and let the kid’s tornados destroy your home.  I recently heard the funniest phrase, “Cleaning your home with children in the house is like brushing your teeth while eating Oreos.”  Who can relate to that! Been there for sure!


One thing that makes me feel so good about my home is having a clean kitchen every night.  I can’t go to bed with dirty dishes in the sink.  As soon as dinner is over, I jump on that task and get my kitchen cleaned!  There may still be homework papers spread all over the island and backpacks in the corner, but no food crusted dishes becoming petri dishes in my sink.


I’ll sleep better.  I also keep my floors swept daily.  It takes me 5 minutes to whip through the main pathways in my home.  No, they don’t get mopped daily or even every week, but they “look” clean with a simple sweep.  I get down on my hands and knees and wipe the spills with a wet paper towel too. This photo is reality.  I spared you the dirty dishes in the sink. You’re welcome.


I also try to keep my main living room tidy since that’s the room everyone sees other than the kitchen.  I fluff those darn pillows probably 5 times a day. More often than not, my coffee table is a dumping ground as well.  The days I just clear it off, I feel so much better. Morning time with God happens here most days.  Once the kids are off to school, I’m fluffing those pillows and stacking the Bibles and books off to the side of the sofa.  This is the “non” Instagram-worthy, REALITY photo.


2. Purge.  I have been on a non-stop purge mode for over a year now and I have found that I love my home so much more without all the clutter and decorations that just don’t feel right.  My rule of thumb with purging is if it’s been shoved in a closet for a year (not talking about seasonal holiday decor), then it needs to go bye-bye.  I used to be so bad about hoarding all the misfit decor that I wasn’t using.  Thinking I may use it again, but that never happens.  Once it hits the storage closet, it pretty much sees its grave. I am learning to not cling to the things that just don’t fulfill the look I’m desiring for my home.  That look is ever-changing!

I’ve been on a big spending freeze the past year too. Meaning, I no longer walk into Homegoods for a hand towel and walk out with ten pillows, three lamps, one rug, and five other random pieces that probably will end up in that said closet in two months.  I’ve learned to walk away from the “must have” item.  It took some major will power, but I’ve figured myself out.  If I can’t stop thinking about that one item for a week after I’ve left the store, then maybe I should go back and get it.  Most of the time, I forget about it before I even leave the store. When you buy less, you have less clutter to deal with.  No brainer there. Unless you are buying storage bins. Problem was that I used to buy lots of storage bins to store my junk that I didn’t want!  I cannot tell you how freeing it is to just get rid of it!! Make a few bucks and sell it on Craigslist.  I do sell occasionally on Craigslist but always make sure Tim is home when the shoppers arrive. Safety first!

There is also a local Facebook selling site that I have used a ton to purge my cheaper items on.  I can post an item for sale on Facebook and sometimes within an hour someone has already picked it up.  The most awesome aspect of this is that I don’t even have to see the person.  Not that I’m!  People will just leave the money under the mat!  I call it collecting my “daily tip” when I lift that mat and see some cash at the end of the day!  It’s all honor system based, because you see the purchaser’s profile on Facebook so most likely they’re not gonna stiff you.  I highly recommend you find a site like this in your area!  For the cheap items I don’t care to make any money from, I just haul it all to Goodwill.  I have a spot in my laundry room that collects my Goodwill junk that I drop off weekly.  All this chat get’s me so excited to purge!

I have this storage closet in the basement that holds all of my holiday decor and other random decor pieces that I do plan on using on occasion.  My rule of thumb is, if it doesn’t fit on these shelves, then it’s outa here! This is what it looked like before I got it all organized again after Christmas.


3.  Make goals.  There is never a finished room in my home.  It drives me crazy at times but I dig my own grave.  I’m the culprit.  I’ve learned that by focusing on just one room at a time, I feel more satisfied with the design outcome.  I encourage you to really think about what “looks” you like.  Get on Pinterest and start pinning photos of rooms that make your heart flip-flop.  Pin the attainable rooms.  Not the Beverly Hills mansion that will never happen in our homes.

pinterest collage

Take screen shots of Instagram photos and start a phone collection of rooms that have caught your attention.  What is it about that room that pulled you in?  Was it the paint color on the walls? The rug? The colors? The mood?  What was it?  You will learn more and more about the beautiful that you want to create in your home by tuning into what rooms you have screen shot or photos you have pinned.  I go through this process with every room I design.  It’s a feeling.

What I may think is beautiful for my home may not be beautiful in someone else’s home.  I currently have a huge crush on emerald-green sofas. GORGEOUS GREEN ENVY going on! BUT, I don’t think that is the best choice for my home at the moment.


Emerald green sofa

Just because a piece of furniture or a color looks fabulous in “her” home, doesn’t mean it will be the right fit for your home.  So stop comparing and make your own home goals.

Pick one room that you really want to improve.  Set a budget and start writing the goals you would like to achieve in that one room.  Maybe start with a fresh coat of paint. Paint does wonders!!  You can read about how it completely transformed our home HERE.





I’ll be the first to tell you not to hire a painter either.  Painting is not difficult and it can get expensive when you hire it out.  Save that money for furniture!  If you need to, take everything out of that room and look at it with a clean slate.  Only put back what you love, get rid of the rest.


It’s okay to have a bare looking room for a while.  You can slowly add the pieces you like over time as long as it’s practical for your family. Our loft sat empty for 9 months after I purged the old furniture.  You can see the recent makeover HERE.

If you no longer like your sofa and can’t afford a new one, then just freshen it up with some pretty pillows.


Floral Pillow | Leopard Pillow

Paint the chipping coffee table. Pitch the stained rug and go without.  Embrace the journey of making your home lovely and pat yourself on the back when you see your room coming together in a way that is beautiful to you!  It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks!

Be-your-own-kind-of beautiful

Get The Look:

The Outfit Look:

Are you ready to be your own kind of beautiful?  I’d love to hear how you are making this your motto!  I’ll be your cheerleader, cheering you on!  Your home doesn’t have to be big or fancy to be beautiful!  Fill it with heart and it will be beautiful! Embrace all of its imperfections as “beauty marks.”  Those old tattered cabinets or grandma’s worn out chair can be charming you know.  If you’d like to leave a comment about one design dilemma you’re having, please let me know! I’d love to point you in the right direction!  Also, I hope you’re following me on Instagram to see the “pretty” photos {wink}.

ps.  The sign was from Hobby Lobby and unfortunately they no longer carry it.


Disclosure:  Affiliate links used




  1. Shauna!! I loved that post! Just the encouragement I needed this morning as I’ve been purging! Slowly but surely getting it done! Thanks for sharing and taking the time to encourage others????

  2. Great post. After reading the Unclutterer blog years ago I haven’t been able to stop thinking about only using the space that you have as you mentioned here. No more storage containers for stuff you don’t really want. By the way, I love the popcorn bowls you have in your bar area.

  3. Purging, Craig’s List and FB are my best friends!! Such a refreshing post on things I know we all deal with, and so well written! You are a true gem, Shauna!! Thanks for keeping it real for us and reminding us not to get caught in that rut of feeling Instagram inadequate:)) ????

  4. Shauna I love this post! I think we all relate to the comparison problem. Thanks for keeping it real and reminding us (me) that it’s ok if my house doesn’t look like the top photo on Houzz ????????

    1. Thank you Mysha! I have to give myself that pep talk more than I care to admit;) Your home has been an inspiration to me, Mysha! So keep on shining friend! I can only dream of having your DIY skills!

  5. Shauna, this is so very true and the “Sunday Best” is one I will remember. Perfect analogy. You have written an incredible balance in not discrediting the importance of the first impression but with a transparency that is so encouraging! Love this. And you. xo Kel Nan

    1. Thank you Kelley! It’s always good to see how life really goes down in our homes. I do love a clean and decorated home, but more often than not, I call it a hot mess going on in a few rooms at any given time. Those boys of mine that create it are far more precious than fluffed pillows;)

  6. Such a breath of fresh air! I adore a gorgeous picture as much as the next girl, but I also love seeing what real life looks like for all of these amazing and talented women and I follow! Thanks for keeping it real, friend.

  7. Wow! Feels great to know that someone else has that same comparison problem phew! Thanks so much !

    I am at a point where my living room is almost done but I can’t seem to find the perfect coffee table to bring it all together.. I have dark grey sofas, espresso tv stand and colored throw pillows.. Didnt want to go matchy matchy with my tv stand buy also want something to coordinate..I’ve been on the hunt ( and on a budget) for months!! Any help?? What kind should I get?

  8. I loved this post Shauna! So true and such a lovely reminder that we are all human! Thanks for the tips and for sharing your sweet heart! Love ya sweet friend! Xo

    1. Hi Deb,
      We actually hired out the board and batten due to all the curves in our arches and precision of cuts involved. There are so many DIY board and batten projects on Pinterest. I actually have a good tutorial pinned under “Board on Batten” on my Pinterest. You can link to it directly through the Pinterest icon on my website. Good luck!

  9. What a PERFECT post Shauna! Loved every single word. I shared a horribly dirty picture of my kitchen on IG after Christmas because I just felt like it was time to keep it real! IG can be so hard that way! Everything is perfect all the time and it makes you feel like your house has to be too. I love what you said about finding what speaks to YOU. I just finished decorating my office and every time I walk in there I smile and it’s because the whole thing is so ME. I don’t think it will be one of my more popular rooms.. probably a lot of people won’t love what I’ve done, but I don’t care. It makes me happy and that’s all that matters. 🙂 This post made me happy. Your home makes me happy. And most of all YOU make me happy! Love you cutie! And I’m buying plane tickets this week! Woot woot!! xo

    1. Thank you so much Erin!! I think I saw that Instagram photo of your kitchen and thinking it’s still so beautiful! Showing real life in our decorated spaces speaks louder than just a staged room, right? I love your home and I love you too sweet friend! You are always such an inspiration to me and I CANNOT WAIT to see what you did in your office! I know it’s going to be so fabulous! ps. did you get your plane tickets???!

  10. Shauna,

    This was such a wonderfully written post Shauna! I have followed you on IG for quite awhile now, but for some reason, I didn’t realize you had a blog! I was actually reading on Randi Garrett’s blog, and she linked to an article by Kelley Nan, and then she linked to YOU! (isn’t the internet such a rabbit hole that way?!!) Anyway, I just wanted to compliment you. There are so many blogs that don’t put much thought into posting, or writing, and yours was SO well done.As a fellow blogger, I know how hard it is to do really well done posts, and you definitely have. And of course, I’ve always loved your (Sunday best!) on IG. And now I’m popping around and reading older posts and am so enjoying it!

    Thanks again for a great post and hopefully, you will pop over and say hi on IG or on my blog!


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