Home improvement fails

I’m writing up a story for Better Homes & Gardens on what might possibly be the most beautiful home, ever. If you think looking at these eye-candy pictures is a feast for the homemaker, try seeing it all in person, in several angles and in three dimensions and from above and below. I’ve scouted dozens of homes for magazines and Edie’s is by far the most original, creative, tasteful, and comfortable I’ve ever seen.

I can’t even begin to put into words how a home like this can make you feel-and I’m writing the story about it! (Luckily, BHG has a tight framework that an analytical person like me can mold the story into, and as we talked during the interview I felt the little light bulb clicking on a hundred times with ways to present Edie’s one of a kind style in a way that women can…not imitate, but use ideas from and apply her creative principles to their own style.)

So even as I’m practically lusting over the indescribable charm and beauty that is her home, I know, if I’m honest about it, that I have not the creative eye, the time, the money, nor the inclination to have such a beautiful house. I’m into clean, neat, simple, and unadorned, although that philosophy has a bad habit of leaning into either spartan (bare walls) or neglected (clean, but not beautiful).

That said, I have a few of my own projects on a to-do list; they’re just so much less cool than Edie’s.

1. The fabric on the headboard has been dangling loose for months, and it will be such a simple job to secure it, but I never seem to connect with Derek at the right time to have him move it out so I can just DO it.

2. I’ve had the pattern for my mosaic outdoor table sketched out for–again–months, but got derailed by the move to Maryville and then the pneumonia and then a new job. I plan to get it out again this winter to work on to pass the time on those cold evenings.

3. I’m going to Home Depot next Thursday to take a “Do it Herself” course on installing tile. Since I’m planning to put in hexagon tile in the kids’ bathroom and to tile a fireplace surround in slate, this will come in handy.

4. My office doors are still unstained. Functional, but unstained. I wanted to wait until fall so I could open up the house and get the stain odor out, and here it is fall, and if I don’t do it winter will come and the project will be postponed another six months. Which means this one should technically be #1.

5. Derek found a guy to put my office ceiling back together after we got a ceiling fan installed, but I still need to go around and touch up paint on several walls and the ceiling from that project.

6. The wallpaper in the kids’ bathroom has got to go. Got. To. Go. But I’m debating whether to strip it and paint, or if I could possibly somehow install beadboard over the top of it and avoid the stripping altogether. How lovely would that bathroom look with beadboard walls and a hexagon tile floor? (Except, then I’d want to replace the gold fixtures, and while I’m at it, the entire tub monstrosity, and then the sink has to go, too. And that’s not happening.)

7. We want to build a little handmade bar on the screened-in porch with a little beer fridge underneath. I have it all planned out in my head, but … sensing a theme here? … a severe lack of time to actually do it.

8. One thing I’m trying to make happen soon: new sofa pillows. Our sofa is ok; it’s a pretty dark blue color with a nice shape, but the pillows are ugly and old. I’m trying to find coral or rust orange Euro-style square pillows, with possibly a second set with a yellow pattern, and everything I find is either too expensive or not the right color. And I can’t sew, or I would have ordered fabric long ago. But I just found this on etsy and maybe this pillow project will happen.

It would be nice to check one thing off of my list, after all.


  1. Can’t wait to see your article! Gah!!

  2.  Send the pillow fabric to me and I will return it in pillow cover form :)  I have the same problem with finishing projects!  I have to have a deadline of company coming to finish practically anything anymore.   But for some reason, I will drop everything to help someone else out. 

    I can’t wait to read your article too.  I am so glad I got to meet you in person! I feel so spoiled with all these fabulous new friends.

    • Take her up on the pillow offer. Seriously. I would if I hadn’t just redone mine. (Why didn’t I send my fabric to you in the first place, Kel?)

  3. There are so many reasons why I love you but after seeing you in your “working element”,  I have to say, you are so gifted. I felt like a bumbling idiot trying to describe my style/house/design to you but I just know you’ll be able to translate  it all into intelligible and meaningful words.  I feel so fortunate to have met you and through you, some really awesome Lutheran, cowboy-boot loving girls.  Thank you so much for making my day with the kind things you said.   You are amazing!     Mwahhhhh:)))))

  4. After visiting Edie’s house I’d want to come home and completely redo mine, so your list seems so much more realistic and do-able. Keep us posted on your home improvement progress and good luck!