Maybe you could write something about “blogging envy”?! I always find myself reading beautiful design and DIY blogs and then having the urge to go out and buy whatever has caught my fancy at that moment. Like, it’s sometimes hard to stop yourself spending because “everyone has it” or someone styled it so beautifully, you want it as well. Or am I the only one this happens to? Also, knick knacks – knick knacks are the devil when it comes to sticking to the budget!

– Johanna (Dear Life We Need To Talk)

Fantasy image: Amy Butler‘s  home.

Firstly, Johanna, you are not alone!!

This is something that has always been around but has come to the forefront since the advent of blogs and sites like Pinterest. Not only are All The Things more in-our-face than before (when you only got your fix from a monthly decorating mag) but with DIY bloggers such as yours truly it now seems as though it’s not just a unrealistic catalogue image but that there’s the pressure for everyday folk to have incredible ‘pinnable’ homes.

Being the decorating-obsessed and somewhat impatient person that I am, I know that I would find it frustrating to go about creating our home in a slow and sensible way regardless, but being immersed in so much inspiration does increase the challenge.

Here’s how I deal with my own green-eyed monster…

Stop comparing

You don’t know what’s going on in someone else’s life. Perhaps they forgo other luxuries like travel, eating out and clothes so they can pour everything into the renovation that has you swooning. Maybe they’re in credit card debt up to their eyeballs to afford the ‘perfect home’. They could be miserable because they’re tied to a job they hate but at least it pays for the latest must-have.

Or maybe they just live in an area with a different cost of living to you. I know that whenever I see US makeovers and they list the prices I’m like well no wonder they can afford to do more projects than me, when furniture and paint is half the price that it is here.

See past the things

I get a lot of inspiration from my fellow bloggers – in fact it’s one of the reasons why I started my own blog in the first place, to give back. But seeing a full-on before & after doesn’t necessary mean I then think I need to rip out my kitchen or redo my entire living room.

It might be something much smaller that I take away, like the brightly coloured front door, or the furniture arrangement, or the vignette or the way the family photos are displayed. These are cheap or even free projects that  you can achieve in a weekend.

Focus on what you can do

Focusing on the fact that you don’t have the money for your dream kitchen right now or that you can’t paint because you’re in a rental is only going to make you feel frustrated and jealous. Instead think of all the things you can do.

You could put a rug over those ugly rental carpets, switch out cupboard door handles, bring in an indoor plant or update your bathroom with new towels. A small change that you have achieved is better than a big change that you are only dreaming about.

Find the real reason

Sometimes it’s not even anything to do with the inspirational home image that brings out pangs of envy. Seeing (seemingly) perfect home after perfect home might simply be making me frustrated that I’ve let clutter get out of control or I am working too hard to actually enjoy our home.

No amount of cute new Etsy purchases is ever going to solve those problems.

Does it work for you?

One easy test to keep my coveting under control is to ask myself: if money weren’t even an issue, would this item even work for me? I mean, why feel bad that you can’t buy a piece that wouldn’t even work with your home or lifestyle anyway? I don’t fall in love with bookcases / bar stools / armchairs  because I have no space or need for them.

Instead, I focus my energy on the things that my home does need, such as some window treatments, a front porch/yard makeover and a new bathroom.

Be selective

Okay, strange advice, I admit, coming from someone who has 7,941 pins. But they are by no means my must-haves or must-dos, it’s simply my way of finding my style.

By doing this, I can keep track of which ideas I keep coming back to time and again and which were passing obsessions. Then when I do the next project on our home or make plans for a future home I can be confident that I’m making choices based on what I truly love, not on the latest trend.

Avoid the knick knack trap

Of course, it’s hard to resist the latest in-thing when all you can see is gold lamps, honeycomb vases and geometric print cushions everywhere. Whenever I’m tempted by a piece like this, I ask myself if I want it because I really love it, or because everyone else has one.

Sure, I want our decor to look fashionable, but not in a tragic fad-obsessed kind of way. I prefer to keep the majority of our homewares as meaningful items such as special gifts, souvenirs from our travels, original art and handmade pieces. From there it doesn’t cost a lot to mix in a couple of key trend pieces to bring the look up-to-date.

You can’t have everything

No really, if you had everything, where would you put it? If you actually had everything you ever wanted, your house would look like a complete dog’s breakfast of styles. Not to mention the clutter!

By realising that you don’t actually want everything, you can be more comfortable and less envious that you can’t buy everything.


I hope that’s answered your question, Johanna, and helped anyone else who has struggled with this.

Anything to add? Leave your own tips and thoughts in the comments!

If you have a question that you’d like answered in a post, please email


7 Responses

  • Claire

    I love the following quote:

    “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel”
    -Steve Furtick

    • Yes – love this!!

  • Alicia, WOW! This was so much more than I expected thank you so much!!
    Two points really hit home: being selective is so important! I think that sitting down and really considering “will I like this a day/week/year from now and does it fit my style” is something that could really help disregard the little knick-knacks that are so cute but really, you don’t NEED them. And I definitely feel like I should focus on de-cluttering, to help me appreciate the things I DO have more – which your posts have been so helpful with! Thanks again!

    • Yay, glad you found it helpful! That’s one of the other great things about blogging: I can explore a certain trend or idea in a blog post and get indulge my current obsession without needing to buy anything.

      I think I am going to take my own advice and have a big weekend of decluttering and mini-projects using things I already have :)

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