A house is NEVER finished!! A house is like a “life“;  “a scrapbook” of the lives living in it; and is always a “work in progress” over the lifetimes spent in it! A great house adapts to the family and animals who live in it! And it evolves as they do!

~ Penelope Bianchi

Penelope Bianchi's outdoor living area in her Santa Barbara homePenelope’s outdoor living area in her Santa Barbara home

Every time I am on the verge of purchasing a piece of furniture or significant home accessory

Palmer on french chaise lounge via The Gracious Posse(like this fabulous french chaise that I still can’t believe is mine),

my husband asks states, that’s it, right? Then you’ll be done. In my typical ostrich way, I usually change the subject. His view of what makes a house a home is so very different from mine. Maybe it has to do with the fact that so much of his time is spent in the office doing what he does best. Also he was raised in a very simply furnished home by his single mom who sacrificed just to put her children through private schools when politics practically destroyed the Richmond public schools.

dNz's living room via The Gracious Possea beautiful Richmond living room ready for spring

Penelope’s quote above succinctly describes why I don’t expect our home to ever be done. An infrequent blogger, Penelope is a thoughtful designer and role model who helps her clients and family find ways to live with their passions. She is also a gracious reader who generously shares her remarkable taste.

Bar Cart ready for Christmas via The Gracious PosseShe even had a suggestion for Ellen on how to position this bar cart in her living room.

I am sure the notion that a house is never done has my husband cringing right now. He just doesn’t get it. While he grew up playing tennis, squash and basketball, I was reading my mother’s decorating magazines, as well as Jane Austen and other female writers who peppered their novels with enticing descriptions of  beautiful interiors and gardens.

Meg Turner Landscapea local Meg Turner garden

A few years back, Joni at Cote de Texas wrote a very insightful post explaining why men are from Mars and women are from Venus when it comes to their approaches to decorating the home. Entitled Convincing Your Husband to Decorate Your Way, Joni vividly describes the differences that may sound like stereotypes but ring true for many couples whom I know. She also suggests a great way to get your point of view across to your husband. While I commend her whole post to you, the following sums it up well:

To a husband, his home is somewhere he is comfortable, somewhere to relax after a hard day at work. It certainly isn’t something he has planned for after studying countless décor magazines or watching endless programs on HGTV. To the wife, though, she has been waiting since childhood to have her own house, decorated in her vision, a place to entertain and a cozy nest to keep her family close. It is everything to her. It is the center of her existence.

~ Joni Webb

Joni Webb's library/officeJoni’s fabulous library/office

Reading great decorating blogs like Joni’s and Penelope’s, in addition to other favorites from Tobi Fairley, Lauren Liess, Brooke Gianetti, Mary Ann Pickett, and former Richmonders Daniela Shuffler and Lucy Williams (to name a few), continually informs and evolves my tastes and childhood fascination with gorgeous and welcoming homes.

Becky Jessee's living room via The Gracious Posselocal artist Becky Jessee‘s inviting living room

I have an ever-increasing shopping list in my head that I have hesitated to put in writing for two reasons: I don’t want to give my husband a heart attack or stroke, and I also don’t want him to hold me to it. Inspired by bloggers like Centsational Girl and Little Green Notebook, I love to shop with the posse for vintage finds that will move items off the list. Then I discover cleverly conceived details

doggie gatelike this doggie gate spotted on Lucy Williams’s blog

that would be perfect for our home (especially with our newest family member, pictured in the second picture above), and my list grows.

Our home will never be a candidate for the pages of House Beautiful, but it does reflect the imperfect people who populate and love it. As we live and breathe, so will our abode. Guess what, honey ~ it won’t be done until we are, so why not enjoy the journey?

salutationa&eFebruary 24, 2014