When I was newly married, and then when I only had a couple of kids, I counted decorating as one of my hobbies. I watched Christopher Lowell and Design on a Dime, and I was always finding ways to reuse things in new ways. What I lacked in funds I made up for in time and elbow grease.
And then I had child #4. I don't know if it's because he was my fourth child or because he was a boy after three girls, but I suddenly ceased caring what my house looked like. Every now and then I do something to fix up one area of the house or another, and I do my best to keep things tidy, but for the most part I think I have given up on the aesthetics of my home. Maybe it's because I can't keep up with the clutter of seven people. Maybe it's because I am so outnumbered by people who don't care what things look like. Maybe it's because I have had a toddler in the house for 10 consecutive years now, and they've worn me down. Whatever the reason, I am now more concerned with function, comfort, and organization than I am with appearances.
Case in point: my entryway rug.
I used to have a nice decorative rug, handed down from my parents there. But now I have this ugly, utilitarian black thing. And worst of all, I like it! See all those leaves? they are stuck on the rug, and they are not anywhere else. My old rug did not do that. I last vacuumed this thing on Friday, and since then 7 people have gone in and out, even moved furniture in and out, all past a large pile of leaves right by our front door, and there are no leaves on my stairs, only on the rug.
This is one of the tips I learned from this book.
The writer of the book claims that a large hospital got a new cleaning service that insisted they get this type of rug. They went from mopping up several buckets full of dirt each night to only half a bucket each night within a week of getting the rug. After a few months of having this rug, I believe it. It's remarkable the difference the right rug makes.
If you, like me, have noticed your standards slipping, you can get a rug like this at any hardware store. I think I got this one at Home Depot for $20. And I tell you, it's the best money I've ever spent on something for the house.
I do hope that when my children get a little older, a little less messy, or maybe when they leave the house altogether, I can go back to a pretty entry rug. In the meantime, this rug is one of those compromises I make so I can spend less time being frustrated with my kids and their mess, and more time making happy memories. And I don't regret it for a minute. So there, Christopher Lowell!