Why Don’t People Decorate?

A story I wrote for MakeItBetter.net about how to stop living like a camper in your own house — you know, actually get some furniture, or arrange the furniture you do have, unwrap your pictures and hang them — got me thinking. We all know people who don’t decorate, but why don’t they decorate? It’s not money. It’s something else.

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How Your Home Affects Your Health

I’ve been curious about a house’s ability to make or break your health for a long time, ever since I read an interview with a 90-year-old woman who lived in Racine, in one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian houses. Wright built these houses for the middle class starting in  1936, in an effort to bring good architecture to the masses. They were one story, L-shaped houses, and are considered the precursor to the popular ranch house design (the photo above shows a modern fieldstone ranch, probably built in the 1940s, that has elements of Wright’s style).

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Three Good Reasons to Move

After experiencing a major life change — anything from death of a spouse to the empty nest syndrome to divorce — how do you decide whether to stay in your home or move? Is it healthy to bail out and get a change of scenery? Or is moving a thinly veiled attempt to run away from your problems (and of course only later will you discover that the same problems have been transferred with you in the moving van)?

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3 Ways to Keep Your House from Running Your Life

Who’s in charge of your life and your priorities, you or your house? When we were neck-deep in a big mortgage, we weren’t making the decisions, our house was. Are we flying to Phoenix to be with my parents at Christmas? No, we aren’t. Our house made the decision for us.

I’m never going back to that way of living, and I know I’m not alone. Here are three ideas that can help guarantee you’ll never be a slave to a mortgage:

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Why Can’t You Test Drive a House?

If you can test drive a $25,000 vehicle, why can’t you test drive a house? After all we’ve been through with buying and selling our dream house, I would be sad if we bought our next house and later discovered there were deal breakers we couldn’t see during a couple of 30-minute walk-throughs.

Here are six deal breakers I’d be looking for in a test drive:

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Commitmentphobia Domus

Oh yeah, I took Latin in seventh grade, and look how it’s paid off.

House Commitmentphobia. Or, once burned, twice shy. This week, I’ve experienced how it must feel to think about getting married again after having lived through a nasty divorce.

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Maximalist Manifesto

This week, my colleague pulled out a book she had on her desk, entitled, “minimalism.” (Note the lack of a capital “m” — how very minimalist).

The cover shows two guys against a brick wall wearing t-shirts and jeans. They aren’t even properly accessorized. I mean, not even a simple chunky watch? The subtitle, “live a meaningful life” somehow implies that minimal=meaningful. I’m no psychologist, but look at the body language. Even I know that arms crossed in front of your chest screams that someone is on the defensive. Hey, I can’t blame them. If simplicity was so great, wouldn’t we all run off and join the Amish?

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Happy Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for much. I am happy and healthy. I have work that I love, a small but close family, and devoted friends. Life is full!

When we moved into this rental house and I was having a teeny tiny coping problem, I wish I would have thought of keeping a gratitude journal — not your typical gratitude journal, but a Home Gratitude Journal. I wish I would have made lists of what I was thankful for about the house.

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Scandinavian Design, Houseover Style

Scandinavian design is having a moment – you can check out some of the top blogs here. I like to mix up decorating styles and since The Houseover, I’ve become much freer in my decorating style. One of my goals is to insert personal touches into our home.

Enter my own little Scandinavian design touch: the window Nisse.

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The Upside of a Setback

This post was almost titled, “mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be writers” but I hate to be discouraging about something that deep down, I love. In this blog, I’ve been giving glimpses into the themes of the book I’m working on. Today, I want to give you a glimpse into the writing process. “Process” makes what I’m doing sound logical and planned. It’s not. Here’s why.

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