Article Line Long1

The Sunroom Tile (And Life) Update

We moved in last week and I have a LOT to show and tell you. I’m extremely overwhelmed right now and feeling like a really happy chicken with my head cut off. I don’t know where to begin, or what to prioritize, and am super distracted by people working all day every day so I feel like I’m so behind and not moving forward. I am looking to hire an assistant – social, personal, design (someone starting out, looking to build their career, willing to do anything, learn a ton about all the aspects of this crazy business) which I hope will help. But the morning that we moved in, with 19 workers trying to finish every room, Kaitlin (my photographer) and I tried to shoot as much of the house, fully empty, as possible but it was hard. It was 1/2 a construction zone with dust and tarps in many of the rooms and we didn’t have time to clear it because that would hold the work and we needed to move in 2 hours later. But this room was fully cleared and ready to go. And my goodness it makes me so happy (more life update at the end).

As a reminder we added on this sunroom, to be a formal dining room, writing studio, and where I’ll do the bulk of my meetings. At times I was worried that it wouldn’t be worth it, but every time I thought about the tile I knew we had to do it. And I’m SO GLAD WE DID.

It’s wild to think back to where we started…

Move-In Day – It’s Done

Y’all. It’s just incredible. As a reminder, the tile was made here in Portland by Pratt + Larson in a custom blue and white, with a light gray accent color. It makes me so unbelievably happy, and I feel like the luckiest person in the world to sit in here and work.

It was installed by Level Plane Tile and Stone and they did an incredible job that required a lot of math, precision, and experience. We did 3/16th” grout lines, with a light gray epoxy grout. We used 8×8 tile (that is their biggest size in porcelain tile) with 1×8 pencil tile, 2×8 brick, 2×2 squares, and triangles. It was very important to us to cut the diamond in half, which affected the math along the border (making the border not the same all the way around) but it looks awesome. By the way, we didn’t have time to mop or clean it very well, so some of the little paint lines will be gone.

The windows are custom from Sierra Pacific (and the sashes still need to be painted – they are only primed right now, long story). They are SO PRETTY it’s unbelievable. Double-paned, simulated divided lights primed on the inside and aluminum clad on the exterior.

The light fixtures and outlet covers/switchplates are all unlacquered brass from Rejuvenation (Rose city fittings, with the deco glass shade) and I can’t wait for them to patina (which might take a while, but will be worth it).

We added the skylights late in the game and am SO GLAD we did. They add so much soft light to this room and to the living room (which was a huge goal of ours). This is a north-facing room so no harsh light ever comes in through them (it’s also west-facing which means sunglasses for dinner sometimes :)). We didn’t really need the light filtering shades in them but am also glad we have them.

A lot of people are asking how it feels to finally be in the house and it really is surreal. I have a lot of emotions, stemming from absolute elation (some rooms are so perfect IMHO that I wouldn’t change a thing), unbelievable gratefulness to the point that I must be dreaming, all the way down to some slight regret and disappointment (a couple of rooms just don’t sing the way I want them to yet). I also need to probably check myself into some sort of institution made specifically for design content creators – You know, help for those of us who publicly document our own homes, showcase all the ups and downs, please a lot of partners who are putting large budgets in their hands, all with high expectations while also making a home that we love and works for our own family needs…I’m not complaining at all and I LOVE my job so much and am incredibly privileged to be able to do this and have this home, but it can be very, very, very, very stressful at times and living inside a regret can be embarrassing and make you feel ashamed and dumb. Brian thinks I’m NUTS and he might be right, but here’s my analogy:

My Wedding Dress Analogy

It’s like I’m a famous fashion designer, designing and sewing my own wedding dress for my very public wedding (think Bachelor style, on ABC, etc). It’s not just a dress, it’s not just for my family, and it’s not just for “a day”. But I haven’t done a wedding dress before (design a farm, in Oregon) and I certainly haven’t designed anything like this dress for myself. I don’t know why this home feels more stressful to me than the mountain house, our LA house, or the first Portland project. I have my theories, but for whatever reason, I’m putting this crazy pressure on myself to not have any regrets and yet I do. Maybe it’s that I just published my book about “design rules”, a title I didn’t even want for this exact reason, and maybe I feel like a hack. It just became such a massive renovation with so many decisions at the same time. Back to the dress, this wedding dress needs to represent me and be really special, but in a lot of ways I want to just be really comfortable and casual so I can let loose on the dance floor and just have fun. I want a fun wedding that isn’t stressful, but after our wedding, this dress doesn’t go in a closet, no. It will be in a fashion museum, photographed til the end of time and people will stare at every. single. stitch. So right now I’m regretting that I did ivory instead of silver thread on the cuffs, and I wish I had lowered the neckline by 2 cm to create a different volume in the shoulders. Dumb stuff. To most people, it’s a beautiful dress. You might think that I’m being crazy for wanting to change some things, but to me – I guess I just really really need it to be as close to perfect as possible. It’s new. It was JUST DONE. So having to change something just sucks. As I started to have some of these fears and regrets a few weeks ago (as rooms started to get revealed after painting plastic came down) I had two options – 1. Stop the work, convince Brian something needed to change, troubleshoot the change QUICKLY, and live through REAL construction for weeks and weeks. Or 2. Be fine with it for now. Move in, slow down, decorate for a bit, finish the rooms that are SO CLOSE and then if I still think that something needs to change, take the time to make the right decision. I need a clear head and some perspective and I just can’t make another “permanent” decision right now. I feel like I’m off my game and I’m just full of self-doubt. So for now I’m going to try to enjoy the wedding, focus on the things that turned out even better than I imagined (the kitchen! the mudroom! the primary bath!), and enjoy living here for a bit as they wrap up the punch list. As I tell my kids every single day, “there is a solve for every problem” and per usual you guys will join me in that part of the process, too. So that’s how I’m doing. And thank you for reading. xx

*Photos by Kaitlin Green


Never miss a single post and get a little something extra on Saturdays.

131 thoughts on “The Sunroom Tile (And Life) Update

  1. It’s your home on the internet. Pressure and anxiety are to be expected. I hope you find your center and cannot wait to see the results of all your decision making.

  2. I’m sorry you’ve been feeling so much pressure but it’s also totally understandable! This was a huge undertaking that you are still in the middle of and you’re sharing with all of us. We read you and support you because of your transparency and openness but I’m sure that feels bad sometimes (you’re exposed!).
    As a fellow creative person, I totally get how hard it must have been to make so many concrete decisions at once. As a creative and visual person, you see possibility and options. I know I really struggle with the practical side of a renovation – my brain just doesn’t work like that.
    It’s totally understandable if every room doesn’t look ready for a magazine right away! Some rooms are just tricky and you have to live with them to figure out what they need. Wishing you peace of mind as you settle in. XOXO

  3. I hear the pressure and stress of it. From a reader’s perspective, though, this sounds like we get more great content. It’s MUCH more interesting to see rooms that were envisioned a certain way and then walk through the process of “troubleshooting” (what I’m sure is already wonderful) than it is to get one post about perfection realized. Besides, I just moved into a new house, too, and it’s amazing how my eyes have changed in a few months of living here. Things that felt terribly important initially don’t now… and new things have emerged. Focus on one thing at a time and trust yourself. You bring such value to your work and to your family, and to yourself. And maybe a few days off?

    1. I second this. I LOVE content that evaluates a space, diagnoses what’s not working, and tweaks. This is actually way more valuable/personally applicable for me as a reader than a complete gut renovation.

      1. Absolutely! I strongly second this! I have just come through a kitchen and bath reno I saved for YEARS for and because of supply chain issues the perfectly lovely bathroom doesn’t sing to me. I would love to see content about smallish tweaks and the process rather than a huge reno.

    2. Yes. I also find this a lot more interesting. With a one time reveal, we get to enjoy the content that day. With updates like that before the big day, we get to enjoy it multiple times and get to enjoy some of the process as well

    3. Yep was also going to say as a reader this is a great scenario! Much more interesting vs other content creators who move into a “picture perfect” (but usually quite bland/boring) show house and we get one reveal per room and then it’s done.

      1. I guess i also feel wasteful! like we JUST painted and I don’t want to promote to the world to just redo things all the time. but I also don’t want to feel held hostage in my own home with a regret staring at me all day every day. (VERY dramatic, no?)

        1. I’d also love to see how you work with some of the decisions you made that you don’t like like as much. A different kind of challenge than just redoing it. (I’ve certainly made choices that I regret and that I can’t or won’t change. It would be great to have some inspiration for recovering from it without just redoing.)

        2. It’s very very helpful to see that designers make a choice and then change it. Just like learning designers spend several hundred on paint samples to get the perfect color.
          It does not come off as complaining to say a room color did not come out as planned. I would say that is what we all experience and think its because we aren’t designers. The truth is behind the scenes designers change things that don’t work out before we see it. I would love to know what isn’t working for you even if later it grows on you.

        3. But Emily- all of us non designers have this happen. We struggle to see the end product & often make mistakes. I just painted 2 rooms last year & now that I can see it in real life instead of my head, I don’t like it. Watching someone like you have similar experiences and have to live with it a while then troubleshoot a solution- that’s much more relatable than nailing it on the first try. It’s human! Something we don’t see often enough in social media these days. Perfection just doesn’t happen. So enjoy the time settling in, getting a sense of things , and if you make changes- that’s ok!! It’s your home. Your choice- you live there day in and day out so you need to be happy with it. And we’ll enjoy watching any changes that happen if you decide to share!

        4. I understand where you are coming from. When you are designing for a client, it is so much easier to make those decisions than when it is for yourself. I just finished my own remodel after doing so many for other clients. Toward the end, I did make a couple of last minute changes and I’m glad I did. But, there were other things that I let go and decided to live with for a while. It’s going to be beautiful either way, because you are so talented! Enjoy your new home and enjoy the process as you tweak the design going forward.

    4. thanks, all. I guess i just feel honestly embarassed that I JUST made some of these decisions and i’m already realizing it was not right. not a mistake, necessarily but a regret (i’m realizing there is a difference – these are fine choices, just ones I wish i had done differently). I just feel like I should be better at this at this point, and I’m being so hard on myself (worse than its ever been). I think this house has always been a challenge, because I like living in a more clean/contemporary space and trying to plug that into ‘farm’ has been hard. and yes, I told brian yesterday that I need a few days off/away at one of those retreats where they make you good food and you meditate/read and not talk to anyone…. he agreed 🙂

      1. Thankyou for sharing this with us… I’ve moved i to a newly done place and I have the “why didn’t I think of that” or things I got wrong. Sometimes, you genuinely can’t see the issue until it’s real and in your face! We love your realness… take your break – and make adjustments as you see fit – it’s YOUR house! (Haters gonna hate sure, but lovers will love it all the more!)

      2. Definitely live in it before thinking you need changes, most ESPECIALLY because it is a “farm”. I bet you’ll find that in a few days/weeks/months that things you thought were a fantastic idea were not and things you are second guessing this very moment were spot on. Because we are harder on farm homes than city homes.
        Regardless, I know it’s lovely and can’t wait to follow the reveals!

      3. Nobody ever in the world has made all the right decisions at the right time EVER. You picked paint colors that may look completely different now that windows are in, floors are down, furniture is coming in. Give yourself some space, girl! If you change stuff, you change it. Someone will always, always be around to comment critically. You’re just a girl, building a house for an audience of infinity … lol ❤️

      4. I equate your situation to other professionals in their respective trades. We could face rewrites after edits, re-strategize after a failed negotiation, or bringing in a partner to give a fresh perspective on a project that is not panning out just right…the only difference is that you “initial draft” is in materials…paint, tile, windows, which might not make the final draft after the edits are made. Your edits just happen to require a pulling up tiles, replacing grout, etc. Go on the retreat! I actually came across a “silent retreat” in my searches recently, it looked amazing! 🙂 i

      5. To extend your wedding dress metaphor… in fashion, you get to try on the finished product before you ever show it publicly. Think of your regrets as things that didn’t work out in the fitting room, even if they looked great on paper! It’s okay to make more adjustments as you “try on” this “dress” that will be shown so publicly. 🙂

      6. I do this professionally also. There are so many decisions to consider from so many angles, it can make your head want to explode sometimes. Plus your heart gets really tied up in decisions and sometimes gets swatted around like a mosquito that mistakenly entered the wrong room. Add the social media pressure, doing it from LA, moving to a new city, supply chain issues, Covid, and just finishing a 3-day move — well you deserve to be up to your ears in massages, mojitos, meditations, and “mama is taking a little break”-s! You are fabulous and amazing and we have all loved your content and approach since Design Star. You get better and better with each project and we love learning with you because we all fall down sometimes too and feel humiliated. But things like your content help us get back up. 😊❤️

    5. Completely agree! And (as you know) sometimes furnishings or details are the missing link. It might feel wasteful to redo somethings but it’s not at all to talk us through how you figured out that the right art / furniture/ details / whatever were what was needed to make something sing. In my own (decidedly un-designer but thoughtfully curated for my family) house I have found that tiny tweaks often make such a difference. A pretty hook with a pretty basket in a place where kid stuff tends to land; a crock on the counter that somehow magically ties lots of elements together; etc. What’s so awesome about the farmhouse is that it’s your real house, and I’m here for learning how you tweak it in response to your family’s needs, which will continue to change in the coming years.

    6. I fourth (or fifth, or sixth) this. Its also WAY more relatable! I know that you may be focused on a magazine-perfect reveal, but most of us will never have magazine-perfect spaces. You’ve had so many sponsorships, etc, that I’ve found it a bit hard to relate to some of the farmhouse content with my own limited budget (How’s THAT for honesty?) However – dealing with the non-ideal, the imperfect, and learning to fix what you’ve got? Now THAT is something I can relate to 😘

    7. Came here to say the same thing! As a reader, I want in on this process! Posts about design regrets/fixes are my favorite.

      I think, though, your concern is less about blog content and more about your own mental health. In that case, make some soup, focus on the good things in your life, watch some trashy tv, get outside. Live with the house and be assured that whenever you decide to make some tweaks, we’ll all be here cheering you on. To my eye, everything is turning out just beautifully.

  4. I am super into your farmhouse renovation that at this point I’m skipping all other posts. I think you’re doing an awesome job 👏

  5. As always thank you for your honesty. As someone who has almost completed building their dream home (there is also a long story about why we now have to sell it), it is refreshing to know there is someone else who feels the highs and the lows. So many spaces are better than expected, some are just like I envisioned, and some are disappointing (I may have shed a few tears). I can’t imagine doing it with everyone else watching and trying to make sponsors happy. My hat is off to you. I know your spaces will be beautiful and liveable (often missing from design), but I also understand some of what you are feeling. Know you aren’t alone in at least part of what you are going through, and thank you for sharing your heart in this process.

  6. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the renovation and understand what you must be feeling and experiencing. You are in a vulnerable position, and I can understand how that creates doubt and hesitation. The sunroom is glorious though! A dream work space!

  7. Hi Emily! I’m sure there will be other designers that are capable of picking apart your work on this house, but to most of your followers or at least me I won’t see something that is off by 2cm. What I will see is an incredibly inspirational house that I got to see all the way through which to me makes the imperfections matter less because of how much work it took to get there. That realness is nice to see over the perfect houses in Architectural Digest that you have no idea how that was attained. Even when you do posts on those aspirational houses I get so much more inspiration from them after YOU explain it to me. So this rambling post is to say I get that you spent a lot of money and it is agonizing to worry you made a wrong choice. But your followers won’t be judging you over those things I promise.

  8. Longtime reader but total stranger here. I AM SO PROUD OF YOU!!!! This room is gorgeous, and so you. Enjoy enjoy enjoy.

    As far as regrets and overthinking go, you’ve always been fabulously transparent about mistakes, do-overs, and neurotic thought processes. We love the bumpy road, the works in progress, the ‘thought we were done, but oops I hate it’-s, and the beautiful wins. Feel free to lean in, wonderful Emily. We sure get it.

      1. Makes sense that there would be so much MORE this time because with every project the pressure mounts and this house is the ultimate project. Your forever home and the vision that this home should somehow capture the best of all the styles you’ve played with in the past while avoiding mistakes you’ve made before and also not making any new to you mistakes. Impossible standards, so I can understand how it is all adding up to feel overwhelming.

        Also, I am just weeks away from completing a major renovation that I’ve waited 20 years for and of a scale I will certainly never be able to do again. I am so excited and feel so incredibly lucky and am also aware that there will be regrets. Even I won’t want to admit them to others, so I can only imagine how you feel.

        Your house is amazing and it is fun to know it’s going to just keep evolving. Good content and good modeling (that we don’t have to be perfect). And good learning for those of us learning from you.

        Keep on keeping it real as you always do. Haters will hate so TRY not to let them get to you. You never promised to be a perfect all knowing designer, and most of us don’t expect that of you.

      2. I understand the feeling of “I should be better at this by now.” And the truth is, you are! But new things always come up.
        I just had my seventh baby and often look around thinking, “Why is this so hard when I’ve done it six times before?” But that’s life. I forget some things I’ve learned, and I assimilate others and don’t even realize I’m using what I’ve learned. The truth is, I *am* doing this newborn phase better than before, in some ways, but there’s also a lot more going on!

  9. Heck of a lot more interesting content wise if you’re honest about some rooms not being perfect. How boring and intimidating it would be if you have a picture of a perfect room and that’s that. Would just make me move on. Roll with it, let it flow and you may end up with something even better than “perfect”.

  10. Emily, I have loved following you for over a decade because of your idealism and optimism for every project. That means that when you turn around and are honest about struggles, your audience trust you even more. Sometimes that idealism hurts when life don’t live up to expectations. Thank you for letting us come on on the journey. My favorite posts of yours or when you tweak a room and show the before and after for how that changed helped the design process. I’m looking forward to having some of that content from your own home again!

  11. First off, the sunroom is glorious! Great job! And second, as I tell my kids perfection is an made up idea meant to torture us. No one and nothing is perfect! I can only imagine how stressful it is to put yourself and your work out on the internet for people to judge. You do such a great job and this home is absolutely beautiful.

  12. This room and the tile is stunning!! You are wise to enjoy what you love and take a breath and a beat on the things you are unsure or unhappy about!

  13. Sometimes living in a house really changes your perspective on how things look and function. When I installed my flooring, I was so uncertain about it. Lived with it for a few months and I love it now. There is a lot of things in my house that I looked at with a microscope when I had finished it, but then I forgot about any flaws once I lived with it for a while.

    1. agreed. we said from the beginning that this project is VERY hard because we never got to live in this house (or state) or experience it before we starting trying to predict our lives here. The main reason was because it was lockdown and we had this fully done mountain house to live in during the first year of the renovation. So we could either move during covid and live in a much needed to be renovated house in the rain, or just start and try to do it from afar without living there. We chose that second option, but y’all i can’t stress enough how important it is to live in a house and experience the property before you force yourself to make so many permanent decisions. It’s going to be fine and I think we labored over every single decision as much as humanly possible, trying to predict every single scenario, but it added so much stress, hesitation and doubt and opened us up to more regrets. The mountain house we lived in for 7 months before we started construction. We knew how we liked to use it and what really needed to be done. Now the good news is that i’m so happy with so much, again i think i’m just feeling highly sensitive right now, frustrated by dumb stuff, burnt out and alone right now. thank you all so much for the support. its seriously making me feel better. xx

      1. I was thinking about this being perhaps the single most difficult part of the farmhouse renovations, not having had the chance to live in it beforehand. And also as someone else said, perfection is impossible! I hope you live with it for a while and let your emotions settle before making changes.

        After you’ve had a retreat and come back to the house project refreshed, I hope you’ll write a post about the differences in renovation between a home you’ve lived in vs. one you haven’t, because thst would be super interesting and helpful to your readers. But first, take a little time away from the decisions and the looking at everything with a magnifying glass!

  14. Your honesty was a gift to me. We are finishing up a modest-ish build and not everything has come out “just as I imagined or planned”. You, of all people, sharing some regret made me feel normal and okay. Most of my regrets are from the sheer massiveness of choices. What if I chose that instead? I am choosing to settle in and major on the gratefulness, as I hear you also doing, and live my best life in this imperfect (but perfect for me) vessel. Love.

  15. Anyone that’s done remodeling understands regret. The house looks beautiful AND it’s ok to want to make some changes. Be easy on yourself. I think you made the right decision to wait a while before you make anymore decisions. Decision fatigue is REAL!!

  16. I think you have to live in a house for a full year before you really know how things are going to work and what you like. Experience all the seasons – which there in Portland you will. Give your self time! And I agree with all the others saying we would rather see problems and issues (that we are dealing with as well) dealt with and solved than the perfect ending. Show us the bumpy road, it’s much more interesting and real. thanks!!

    1. agreed. we are supposed to shoot in the spring but I think I can pull it together enough for shots knowing that some things might still need to be tweaked.

    2. 100% agree on living with it through the seasons. Especially with the landscaping, too.

      Here in Portland we’re going on over two months without rain (and this is normal!) and the ideas that people may have of the “rainy lush Northwest” can mean that their plant selections are wildly off for the actual climate (very wet winters, very arid summers). As a result their landscaping fails to thrive and/or they end up irrigating with massive amounts of water (please no!) from late May-early October.

      Live in the house, feel it out.

      Watch the sun move through the rooms – it changes a LOT up here through the seasons. Watch it move through the landscape, see the areas with poor drainage, or the spots that receive a blast furnace of sunlight through the summer.

      Then revise.

      1. This is so true. I live in Maine where our house looks and feels different in every season between light and weather (and I wouldn’t change a thing about that!:). After 18 years, we are still happily making changes as needed and wanted. My home has evolved with me over the years. Most days I am just grateful to live somewhere that I love in a house that meets my needs and just happens to be really cute and welcoming.

  17. Just like building and designing this space from literally almost ground up took time and thought and noodling to create, making your house into a home will to – and that is totally ok! The thing about the wedding dress is that usually is for one special day in time. But a home is meant to evolve and grow and change with you. Didn’t Nate Berkus just re-do a house tour for a home that they previously designed – bc their lives changed and their tastes changed and it is impossible to see every little micro decision on paper and how it will translate in real life. We understand the pressure you are under, but just so you know – all of these thoughts make you human and relatable and it’s ok if everything isn’t “perfect” right away. Watching the evolution of your home is just as enjoyable for us. Give yourself a break, pretty please.

  18. Some of the best advice about decorating a home is to let it happen over time. It doesn’t all need to come together perfectly right away. Even if it does, it will likely evolve as your family grows up and your tastes change. I understand the pressure but let up on yourself. You’ve done a ton of work. Let yourself enjoy this moving in step. It’s huge and wonderful.

  19. Give yourself abreak, after the global turmoil of the last two years, moving x2, and relocating to a new region, just try to step back and breathe. We have had a similar experience, sans gut remodel (lived in the house for a year first to see how it lives) and I’m only now just feeling the anxiety abate. Try not to overthink things, outsource/delegate whenever possible, and remember you’ve sunk an enormous amount of resources and energy to get to where you are right now. Focus on finding a good new flow for your family, recharge by make soup, finding new walking paths, indulge in your guilty pleasures of bad tv/romance novels. I’d organize the shit out your hoard of stylist stuff, but we’re out of state. So get someone else on that, and maybe focus on making content that is more everyday lifestyle based, imperfect? There’s a lot of power in embracing that too. All the best!

    1. “I’d organize the shit out of your hoard of stylist stuff …” made me spit out my water laughing. 😂😂

  20. This is THE best and most beautiful sunroom I’ve ever seen! 🙂 And I know it’s cliche and maybe you even say it (I had to skim-read) but at a certain point done is better than perfect. Besides- there will ALWAYS be something you wish you had done differently so just try to roll forward. And be nice to yourself 💕

  21. Emily, thank you for acknowledging design freedom’s evil twin-anxiety/regret. Apparently they are conjoined because the latter ALWAYS shows up uninvited. Anytime this much thought and debate goes into a decision, second-guessing is to be expected. The harder the call was to make in the first place, the more apt we are to question it. I actually think some of these regrets may just be your (entirely justified) anxiety playing tricks on you, so you’re wise not to rush to change anything. When I was very pregnant with my first child I designed a diaper bag at a shop where you could choose from various templates and seemingly endless fabrics. When I picked it up, I immediately hated it. I couldn’t believe I’d spent so much money and picked such hideous fabrics. What was actually happening was that all my anxiety about becoming a new mom had found an easy outlet. I ended up loving the bag and still have it.

  22. As a creative person that likes many things, I find it difficult to make decisions for my own home. I also do better with fixes and tweaks as opposed to a complete renovation and design. There are always too many things that I like and too many options. Oh and designing other people homes is always a lot easier than making decisions for my own home.
    I truly enjoy your blog, and I already love what you’ve done in your new home. It’s great to witness the transformation. Thanks for sharing your journey with us

  23. You think we haven’t made mistakes? It’s like ‘do you even know us?’. Please, mess up and then make it charmingly imperfect. Perfection is boring and doing everything ‘safe’ and it isn’t really perfect after all. You may love it even more for being imperfect.

  24. Emily, I’m going through a major renovation (our first and maybe our last?) and the pressure you described is exactly how I feel – and I don’t even have the added pressure of having my career tied into it. It’s so validating to read your perspective because I understand it completely. The pressure of paying all this money and making these functional decisions that you know have to be made – and yet there are literally thousands of tiny decisions and every one feels final and will wreck you if it doesn’t work out the way you envision – ugh I’m right there with you. But all that’s to say, we are all huge fans of your work. The sunroom is awe-inspiringly dazzling (who could have put that together but you?!). And you have an amazing gift and intuition. I can’t wait to see it all together and even the “regrets and mistakes.” And there is always a solution for everything. Thank you for writing this (and letting me in turn reassure myself, too)!

  25. To echo some of the other comments — this vulnerability is where you really shine as a content creator. I’m sure it’s frustrating as a designer, but we all learn in our writing classes that your work needs vulnerability to allow others to relate to it, and that’s something you are great at doing. It’s one of the most refreshing aspects of your blog, and it’s why I’ve been reading it since the very beginning. It’s so honest. We feel like your friends because you aren’t afraid to open up to us, your loyal readers. I look forward to seeing how this home evolves and I appreciate you always baring your thoughts for the rest of us to see.

  26. Imposter syndrome. Be kind to yourself. It’s a weird internet-world we live in, where we can look at our doubts any time someone wants to remind us of them. Try and approach it from a pre-internet place. Make an internal boundary. There is plenty, plenty, PLENTY of inspirational and educational content in this house for your work. Besides, perfection IS boring. 😉 Little snags make the beautiful parts more beautiful. And it’s not a house for work and your internet world to live in, it’s a home for your family.

    1. I came here to add this. If you haven’t read about imposter syndrome and the strategies to cope with it, please do. It was life changing for me to see that all the doubt I carried had a name and I was not alone in feeling like a fraud (though objectively I am overwhelmingly successful in my field, that tends to fuel the imposter syndrome even more).

  27. It’s amazing and a project to be proud of! I hope you feel some of that pressure lift and begin to feel clear-headed and at peace with whatever decisions you make. You’re talented and awesome.

  28. This post is why I love you. You are honest, and while I think most of what you do is perfection you let us see that you are human with similar feelings and are imperfect. Which is incredibly comforting because we are all imperfect too. I am sorry you are feeling so stressed and so overwhelmed, but I think you for being so open with us.

  29. as a long time reader I am looking forward to the evolution of the spaces, NOT a super grand finale of a perfect reveal! We are all cheering you on, pitfalls, triumphs… all of it 🙂

  30. The thing about weddings is that they have a time stamp- so the dress is what it is, and upon the that stamp, it is held in time. I think a home is an evolution-not frozen in time, but constantly changing and adapting with your family as the years go by and your tastes and needs change. It grows WITH you. It is yours to create in forever, a never-ending project with no time stamp. So whether you make changes the first day you move in or twenty years from now, it is all just part of a big, fluid life project that shouldn’t ever end. I can’t wait to see your home’s evolution.

  31. Oh, Emily, remember YOUR saying, “Done is better than perfect!”???
    You’ve DONE it!
    You’ve moved in!
    That’s hee-uge!

    The quirks and tiny imperfections (we won’t likely notice if you don’t point ’em out) are sometimes what makes a space great, instead of ‘too perfect’.
    Too perfect is bland. 👍

    My ol’ girl is nearly 100. There are curved, bull-nosed bricks forming the arches on the front verandah.
    One morning during the restoration, I was sitting on the verandah ledge waiting for all the tradies (tradespeople) and I saw a eucalyptus leaf imprinted into one of those hand-made, old bricks.
    An amazingly, imperfect, perfection!!! I love it!😊

    Just as we each are perfectly imperfect, so is each and every, single house on the planet!
    Thank you fir being vulnerable and keeping it real. That’s why we’re here.
    Rusty 😘xx

  32. It’s helped me to relax about my own situation knowing that even someone who has all the resources can end up with regrets and things that need to be fixed.

  33. Once you are fully moved in and your family is settled, you will begin the lifelong (or however long you live in the house) tweaking that any design-obsessed person lives for! You just need a moment for the dust to settle, literally, and then the fun can begin again.

  34. I love the wedding dress analogy!

    Have you ever read Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic? I feel like her relationship with creativity is really applicable here – you are not here with the full weight of designing this house on your shoulders, you are doing your part by showing up to dance with this house, which is a being unto itself with it’s own personality and quirks and energy. Your relationship is going to evolve over time as you get to know each other better and you learn from her what might feel best to you both in a given space. Looking forward to being along for the ride! 😘

  35. I would love to see a detailed update on this post! What are the things you experienced regret and second-guessing about? How did you decide, on those specific issues, whether or not to yell “halt”? What is your thought process about how to ameliorate the things that are giving you pause? And then, in a few months or however long, what do those decisions look like in retrospect? This sort of real-life decisionmaking minutiae is honestly so helpful and interesting–we may not all be renovating Oregon farmhouses, but we are all making decisions.

    1. most of the regrets came near the end, honestly or I would have changed them earlier. I will share, but need a second to get perspective (and some courage). xx

      1. I know it probably doesn’t feel this way, since you did so many design drafts, but the house’s first iteration is it’s own version of a first draft. It will have many versions, as the kids grow, and your garden grows. It’s all okay. You can’t possibly know everything in advance. We all need to give ourselves permission to change the things we don’t like, even if we chose them.

  36. As a tell all women who are about to get married, “if the bride is happy, then everyone is happy.” If you are happy with the renovation, everyone else will be too.

  37. WOW!!! Your sunroom turned out so incredibly lovely! Skylights were absolutely the right decision, the blue tiles looked black in the before pic. It sounds like despite feeling like a hot mess, you know exactly where your center is and how to get back to it. You’ll get there and we are rooting you on! I would really love to hear an update from Brian’s perspective. You think he’d be up for it? Congrats on your big move, Hendersons!

  38. There is a “solve” for every problem. Sometimes the solve is to recognize that perfection doesn’t exist, that perfectionism will ruin your enjoyment of your new home or any project, and that maybe getting yourself to be happy and completely satisfied with the beauty of the entire house, not just the best parts, is positive emotional growth. It all looks beautiful so far.

  39. Emily, Your home is looking so beautiful! I think it is actually really refreshing and real to see designers make mistakes. It is a HARD job picking out all the different finishes and no matter how much you do it, it makes sense that there will be some mistakes or regret. Don’t be so hard on yourself. In some ways, reading and watching the mistakes in someone else’s project is just as interesting as seeing a room turn out perfectly. Also, it’s an important lesson to your kids that we can learn from mistakes, and it’s ok to make them. Yes you are a pro, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to change your mind! Chris & Julia have made some big changes after things didn’t feel quite right recently, and we can all learn to allow ourselves less perfection by watching them navigate that. Cheering for you and sending support for all the stress you are feeling!

  40. Emily, I so appreciate your honesty in how you’re feeling. I’ve felt this agony in so many of my home decisions, so it’s reassuring to know that even designers go through it too. It’s hard when we put so much pressure on ourselves to get it right, invest a ton of effort into every little decision, and then immediately after it’s done it feels like “oh, hindsight is 20/20, now the right choice seems obvious and it’s not the one I made!” I think the way you’re feeling is normal and nothing to feel shame over.

    From my perspective, your new home is coming together beautifully and I can’t wait to see how it unfolds! Hang in there through this crazy time… I hope it starts to feel less overwhelming as the construction wraps up!

  41. without diminishing the stress and frustration I’m sure you must be feeling, I do think your transparency is helpful in normalizing that no matter how hard you work to plan out every detail, there are almost always elements in a major project that don’t hit perfectly.
    I honestly think this is why large scale over-haul renovations or new builds are so tough. It’s just too many decisions at once & so much of the design is happening in your head/ on a computer.
    Now, most people probably choose to live with their frustrations (often a combination of finances and just wanting to be *done* with construction). This is your job though, right? So tweaking things seems justified. I look forward to seeing how you trouble shoot and work through what feels like it’s not quite working.

  42. Oh EM! I want to infuse you with all my favorite, most impactful ‘therapy card’ reminders but instead, I wonder: what would ‘Future’ Emily Henderson say by way of advice and encouragement to the current You..? I can’t help but think she might remind you of the one thing you’ll be hard-pressed to recapture in the future after these initial ‘move-in jitters’ subside: the opportunity to Enjoy this INCREDIBLE space you created all while juggling an absurdly long and complicated (at odds with..?) set of priorities, parties AND expectations..?

    Ok, can’t help it, a few of what I call ‘therapy card’ nuggets:
    *Uncertainty is Always a trigger! (I often ‘try on’ the opposite side of the coin: maybe each point of pain now becomes a lesson you cherish in the future..?)
    *The ego will rob you blind with it’s loaded suggestion of “What if everything isn’t Perfect and/or Regret-Free?” (I am desperate for you to get to enjoy this space in-real-time from the place of AWE that I am…)
    *And from the book “Loving What Is”: You don’t have to give up your “regret-free” thought but, who would you be if you did..?
    *Lastly, an oldy-but-goodie: Practice radical self-acceptance and set aside ANY of the thoughts that are quietly diminishing and/or threatening to unravel you in this moment.

    PS. Importantly, I am not a therapist! Just a person who has spent enough time in therapy to have learned that in some instances it isn’t what Happens in our life that is causing our pain, but rather the way we Think about those events.

  43. It’s the stress talking. Trust the process, trust yourself, and keep your eyes on the goal – a beautiful, cozy, functional home for your loved ones, not an Instagram post. It’s a process to create such a space. It takes iterations and adjustments, and you cannot fast it forward or avoid it, however many years of amazing design experience you have. Your new home is gorgeous and will only become more gorgeous with time and change. Embrace it (and take a few days off if you can). Much love!

  44. Regret is the worst emotion. But no one can get everything right. I find you talking about “mistakes” or things you would change incredibly helpful. If it makes you feel better at all, that’s the kind of content that I learn from and keeps me coming back. I hope things start getting a little easier in the coming weeks, I can’t imagine all the stress and decision fatigue. Xo

  45. Thank you for your honesty Emily. As a self taught designer I made mistakes in earlier phases of our remodel and I felt really embarrassed about (still do). After looking at them for years I convinced myself the mistakes were because I was a bad designer. It’s refreshing to know that all designers have details that they later feel differently about, or that didn’t translate exactly as planned. I look forward to seeing this home continue to transform with you and your family at a calm and enjoyable pace. Congratulations on all of it!

  46. I always tell my clients to live in a new home at least six months before they make any big changes. The things that you thought you couldn’t live with and wanted to change immediately usually end up being the thing you don’t mind as much. It’s something you never noticed before that becomes the thing you have to change now. It’s also hard when it’s your home. That is why I have a job as a designer. I can make choices for others because it’s not personal for me. Once it becomes personal, it becomes difficult. I have the same problem with my own home. Deep breathing helps and taking your time. Things will come together in the end! Emily you are very talented and I follow you for a reason. 🙂

  47. your wedding dress analogy is spot on and understandable. but speaking for myself, I am drinking it in and I’d personally rather do that slowly and thoughtfully instead of gulping.
    I’ll be perfectly happy watching you live in this beauty and do what you do…solve the problems, make the adjustments, do all the things….gradually. It’s how most of us live, contrary to what social media tells us.

  48. I wonder if there is additional pressure, too, in making this your ‘forever’ home and getting everything right on the first try? We Virgos don’t need any extra help putting pressure on ourselves!! I hope you can take that retreat, get some distance, and hear all of our words of support and solidarity and gratitude for how you show up on this blog. Your vulnerability and honesty gives us freedom to show the same and to not feel so alone when we inevitably encounter similar situations. Love, someone who went way over budget on a recent bathroom reno and hates the floor grout I agonized over

  49. We’ve been building a house along side you and seem to have similar perspectives. My husband and father in law built it (really built it, they are carpenters) and it was a long arduous process plus we lived with our in laws during the build! I had so many doubts about my decisions and obsessed over so. much. my kids were like, “stop talking about tile!!” and I couldn’t stop! we live in the mountains, no one is going to just “drop in” and see our house, no internet followers, hardly a soul. just a few people once and a while-but when people come over I want them to FREAK OUT because it is so dang beautiful and we did it. I would be just like you if I was in your shoes (obviously). sometimes I look at the baseboards and really think I should not have painted them but stained them instead because my kids have already destroyed them, ramming them with skateboards and putting their dirty paws all over the place and how could I not have known!!! haha, it’s nuts. And all that to say–you’re not alone, even if we do have a giant difference between the eyes that land on what we created, our brains are doing the same things!

  50. I think even when you’re not on the internet, after you’ve spent that much time and money and creative energy on something it’s normal to have a little “buyer’s remorse” at first. I feel like a lot of it settles out and fades as you live with it, decorate, etc. but- as you say, for the things that don’t you can change them later. Thanks for being so honest!

  51. I saw your Instagram story discussing this post, and I wanted to read it immediately for the same reasons many people have already said — we follow you (and all the incredibly talented people you employ!) because your passion is contagious, your honesty is refreshing, and your design is REAL. I can’t tell you how much I relate to your wedding dress analogy — I’m getting married in 17 days! I bought my dress a year ago and although I didn’t design my own dress, I tried it on last month for my first fitting and immediately found every detail that I didn’t love and regretted the purchase. But my mom gave me great advice! She said “I think you’re taking the stress of your wedding out on your beautiful dress, and she doesn’t deserve that.” And that reminded me what our wedding is all about — not my dress or the food or the music played, it’s about marrying my best friend!
    So hopefully you can find some comfort or connection in that same idea. At the end of the day, this journey is about designing a home for your family to keep them dry & warm, create fond memories, and plant strong roots in a new city. Your farmhouse is stunning, so try not to take it out on her. 🙂

  52. All makes perfect sense to me. I am sure I would feel the same way. Glad you have Brian and the rest of your team to slow you down a bit. You always tell all of us to ‘style, play, every day’ – no room is ever finished, right? Enjoy your house/workshop, get that assistant hired, and live in the now as much as you can (though that is a lot to ask of all of us). The house is beautiful and I wouldn’t read this blog if all you did was show us perfection and ‘final’ outcomes. It’s the evolution of your spaces, the sharing of obstacles and mistakes, that make me love Style by EH.

  53. Take a breath, even the greatest thinkers didn’t get everything right 💯 of the time. In a project this size decisions are bound together like dominoes and it’s so hard to keep all the decisions and threads of everything in your head. Some decisions you make in the moment don’t work out. Sometimes you need to see and live in a space. You are doing so great and just know as a reader I love your work but do not expect perfection from you. You have to love your home. Sit with the things that aren’t quite right one at a time and then change them. Slowly. You can get them right, you just need time. You might find peace from acknowledging out loud you are unhappy with how some aspects of the house turned out . Don’t force toxic positivity on yourself.

  54. So a lot of people have written this in different ways, but for me, this is also the difference between a blog and Pinterest. I’m not interested in the pretty picture, I’m interested in the whole ride. The choices, decisions, mistakes. And guess what? Living with them. Sometimes it makes sense to change things – your example of paint is an easy one relatively speaking. I do think it’s disgustingly wasteful to, say, rip out a perfectly decent staircase for one that is only slightly more attractive (looking at you, NC bloggers), so I would definitely encourage you to wait before you do any major expensive changes – if you do them at all. Live, breathe, let go of perfect. And yes, as others have written, your home should evolve with your family. My kids are 12 and 15 now but we had to reevaluate our home set up every couple of years as they grew. What kind of play did they do? What kind of family time did we want to have? Then translate that into the physical space. So you might have thought your kids/family would use X space one way but it turns out Y is more intuitive – that’s what makes a home more than 4 walls.
    Lovely sunroom – I wasn’t seeing the specialness of the tile before, but it really is lovely.

    1. Hell yes to “ this is also the difference between a blog and Pinterest. I’m not interested in the pretty picture, I’m interested in the whole ride.”

      I am definitely here for the whole ride!

  55. Emily, ooooooooh your sunroom is so beautiful and gorgeous!! How lovely the time will be when you spend it working and dining in there!
    Thank you for sharing how you are feeling…I love that you share the process including the challenges and second guessing and regrets – we are human and therefore not perfect. That being said, sharing that you are not perfect and being vulnerable makes me (us) love you all the more, because not sharing and pretending to be perfect is NOT the human experience! Thank you for being you and for sharing your talent and life!

  56. I think you are just suffering from decision overload and sliding into home plate! Orlando has been feeling stressed too, judging from his recent posts. I think y’all should go chill out together somewhere and laugh till it hurts! 😘

  57. I work in the film industry and after a script is written (usually for years), notes are given by a wide variety of often smart people, and the film is shot… there are almost ALWAYS changes that are needed once you’re editing, i.e. “living” with the project you made. Most films need “re-shoots” and “pick-ups” (additional shooting days). There are things that literally NO ONE could see until a huge amount of money had been spent, and they are now working with the reality of the footage, not just an idea of what the movie will be. No one thinks this is an embarassing failure on the part of every director and writer who has a project who needs this. It’s just understood that it’s a part of the process. Hope that helps!

  58. I was here first thing this morning but didn’t have time to comment. I love returning and seeing all the much-deserved encouragement. Emily, thanks for being vulnerable with us. I do think part of it is the whole “living the dream” thing where you have so much pressure on yourself to do it perfectly because you have been waiting for it to happen. I am fresh off a 95% finished en suite bath gut reno that has been 20 years in the making (no exaggeration.) The floor tile went in and I loved it. Then the meticulously chosen grout went in, and it dried so much lighter than expected and I was devastated. As I lived with it, I started to like it. Then the shower tile went in and I loved it. Again, chose grout that was “perfect” (not the same as the floor, won’t make that mistake twice, haha) and this time it was DARKER than expected. For weeks I walked in and out of there and just stared at everything with waves of disappointment and guilt. I knew I couldn’t afford to rip it out and redo it and didn’t want to risk damaging the tile either. And it killed me that I had “messed everything up” on a design that I had been dreaming about and tweaking for years in my head. But once the cabinets went in (which are filled with their own drama and are currently sitting without door fronts), and the tub and lighting went in, suddenly the things that bothered me didn’t bother me so much anymore. And now that the space is usable, I actually love it. Long story short (too late!) – some of your regrets will vanish before your eyes as you fill the space with furnishings and with your life and the memories created within. And others will be great content for helping readers understand how to work through “design dilemmas” of their own. Thank you for your vulnerability and I can’t wait to see more.

  59. I agree with the comments that this makes your content so much more interesting–not because you made a mistake–but because it feels real–and it is real. I have done 4 massive renovations and with each one (and with more money/time spent) the pressure builds, even if it is not in the public eye. The money coupled with the perceived permanence of decisions can be debilitating. Trust yourself that you made the right decisions; you chose the things you did for a reason at the time. Having said all of this, I will say one thing that might not be popular, but I read all of your posts and have for a long time and think your older work had more of “you” in it-more style, more personality. It’s hard when you have to please a lot of people (partners, husband, etc) but you do get to pick your partners and I’m guessing you chose them wisely. I have sensed a lot more direction/barriers/directives? from Brian recently in your language and posts and that must be hard because it is your family home (so obviously he would want a say), but it is also your brand/business (your dress so to speak). I wonder how much of this regret is because you were trying to keep the peace and compromised on the “you” part of it. Regardless, you are very talented and will make your farm amazing. Think of it as a new design challenge!

  60. Paraphrasing here – there’s a saying that goes something like this: “The voice you will hear talking to you most often in your life is your voice in your mind. So be kind to yourself.” Perfectionism makes it really hard to be kind to yourself; I know because I struggle with it myself. But nothing is perfect. Nothing. So trying to reach perfection is self defeating and often inherently unkind to yourself. Take a breath, be kind to yourself and focus on all of the things that are right in your beautiful farmhouse.

  61. Hi Emily! First time poster, long time reader – I’m not sure if that NYC sports talk radio quote fits here – but I’ve been reading your blog for years, and I’m only posting today because I was moved (no pun intended) by what you wrote. Please don’t feel bad for feeling ‘bad’ about elements of this project. You are human and allowed to change your mind. We all learn MORE from doing wrong than doing right…from our mistakes and from yours. What I love MOST about your site are the articles you write about regret, mistakes and how you would do things differently. I am ~10 months behind you on a major home renovation and your articles about making changes (skylights!!) have absolutely influenced my decisions. So if you think you are being wasteful with changes, just know that you probably saved many of us alot money (and headaches) by sharing articles Just. Like. This. Thank you!

  62. I’m sorry you’re feeling this way but I have to say this might be my favorite post ever because it’s just so relatable. Not the part about having your home on the internet, but just the part about second guessing things or the stress of having to make so many decisions quickly without enough time to really feel things through piece by piece. I always feel like there is something wrong with me for taking a long time and not being able to quickly decide on house things because I need to make sure it feels right. Anyway, thank you for the vulnerability. It’s the best of social media.

  63. Emily. Be softer on yourself. We have built 9 houses and there are always imperfect things. Most of them don’t matter once you are there for awhile. It will be amazing when all the others leave and you are sitting in the already gorgeous sunroom with your cup of coffee!

  64. Emily, you are a lovely person and a fantastic, inventive designer. If you want to think over a couple details, you do it. I’m in a similar spot myself with my own house, but without an audience/blog. No one really paying attention except my husband. I remodeled an entire house, in a new state, and I have a few things that could be better. I believe that most people work until it’s done, but the best creative workers keep working until it’s right. Yes, it costs money and everyone gets annoyed, but when it’s right, it’s right.

    I think the pandemic years made creative thinking and planning so much more challenging, AND I think there’s something very weird going on these last couple weeks — the whole world feels a bit off balance. So I’m taking it easy for a little while but I know I’m going to keep adjusting every little detail until it’s exactly right, and I encourage everyone to do the same. It’s your work, don’t compromise – PUSH.

  65. As a fellow ADHDer, I believe we suffer a wee bit more perfectionism that contributes to the intense need to have the perfect home, even without being a content designer. It takes a lot of self talk to get around it and not have the resultant anxiousness run our lives. You have accomplished a remarkable project. I hope you can take a beat and quell those feelings. Best wishes, and congratulations!

  66. First, LOVE the sunroom!! Looking forward to seeing the rest of the completed spaces! As for the latter part of your post, I wanted to share these reminders that I keep on rotation to not be so hard on myself: 1) On big decisions, I tell myself that I made the best decision for (insert day) at (insert time) with the information I had at the time. 2) Don’t let perfection be the enemy of good. 3) Life (or house) is a journey not a destination! 4) Also, I heard this tidbit on a podcast this week: “a tired/sleep deprived brain will only remember the negative.” You have to be rested to have perspective. Hope that helps!!

  67. Don’t beat yourself up regarding the waste aspect- I’m 100% there with you but remember your ‘regrets’ and tweaks get broadcast to a large readership who will hopefully learn something from you! You repainting a room and doing a thoughtful post about why the color wasn’t working and why you went in a different direction may save many people from making the same mistake, thus saving hundreds of gallons of wasted paint!

  68. I’m an appraiser who does a lot of high end plans and specs homes and I usually go back for the final when complete. In 30 years of doing this I’ve only met one woman who was 100% happy with all her design choices when complete. Lots of mostly happy. But a little this that or the other they are telling me they wish they had done differently even though they are happy with the home. There is no such thing as perfect home no matter how hard you plan or how much money you spend. It’s fine. Enjoy!

  69. It’s normal. Just finished my new home in March & boy did I find things that I didn’t love. Slowly I’m repainting some rooms & redoing what everyone thinks is a beautiful kitchen, but just wasn’t what I had envisioned. It’s going to be your home for a very long time so you don’t have to change things all at once. Life is short and we need to take time to wind down from big projects before we start redoing things. I’m looking forward to seeing the rest of the house and learning from your journey of making it a home.

  70. Well. This is the first time I ever read the end of the post first! Just think of how many thousands of decisions you’ve made about this house over the past year or so! I know what it’s like to obsess over EVERY. SINGLE. DETAIL. to the point where I can’t sleep- spending hours and hours rethinking every single thing. But, wow- what an absolutely fantastic thing you’ve created! Nobody is ever going to be 100% satisfied with every single thing on any project, and the fact that you had to make so many decisions in a compressed time period means there will be some that turn out to not be as perfect as you would like. And then there’s the fact that over time, what we want changes! And as you live with these things, your feeling about them will also change over time and maybe a year from now you will be fine with some of them or even want to change them in a different way than you want right now. Our spaces are living, breathing things, it seems. The house will not look the same 24 hours after you shoot it, once life moves in! I recommend taking some long walks and doing some meditation or breath control sessions (pranayama) and giving yourself the grace you deserve! You’re freakin awesome, Emily! Now go enjoy the heck out of your new house!

  71. Longtime reader but very infrequent commenter. I think you could use a phrase I’m trying to integrate into my own perfectionist life:

    “the best one is the one that is done”.

    I’m one to be frozen from finishing projects or even beginning them because IT. MUST. BE. PERFECT. In my lizard brain it becomes so overwhelming and stressful to have to get it right. Just ask the 4 chairs I have yet to finish upholstering or the packages still unsent to friends or the pillows that need new sewn cases. The problem is though that done and imperfect is always better for life than incomplete and possibly perfect one day.
    I know you’ll have edits to make in the future, just think of it as meaning you’ll have good blog content later on. But for now, for you and your family, a finished home is the best one.

    1. Just realizing reading comments that you originally said the “done is better than perfect” phrase I’m trying to integrate more.
      So hopefully you can take a breath and revisit your own words in that post 😊

  72. this house is great, and I feel it’s more you than the past couple of homes. it’s tough to be yourself on the world wide judge web. so… kudos! can’t wait to see more

  73. Absolutely love the room and all the windows 👍 So much light for you !! I feel like maybe the extra stress is because in the back of your mind you feel like this could be your forever home? Just a thought…☺️ It’s a beautiful home, made with love and I hope you and your family enjoy every minute spent there ❤️

  74. Hi Emily!
    Your wedding dress analogy hit home for me because I just got married! And, it was an *awesome* day. So many people raved that it was a fantastic wedding, the most fun they’d ever had at a wedding, that my dress(es! – one a bright pink Alexander McQueen ball gown because I am 46 and just getting married, so LET’S DO THIS PEOPLE!!) were gorgeous. My most critical friend sent me a text the next morning that said only: “It was a triumph.” (Accurate or not: best text ever.) And yet – for *days* after, throughout my honeymoon, amidst all of the well wishes, my mind was SPINNING about the things that went wrong, that I should have done differently. Did I look fat in the pink dress? Did I say the wrong thing in the toast? Should we have had more matches?? Dammit, I should have checked the DJ list!! My memories of those first few days after my *beautiful* wedding are of being besieged by anxiety. I know my situation is very different from yours, but I wish I could have those days back! So I would say: there is plenty of time to change all of the things (and, like many others have wisely pointed out, you may want to change them differently in a few weeks/ months/ years!), but there is only one time to relish in *these days*, when you’ve pulled off this massive THING. I hope you’re able to get some rest and congratulate yourself for this wild accomplishment! xoxo

  75. This is such a perfect description of whole house renovation! Helpful for me to read. I felt the same way after doing our entire house at once. I finally decided we needed to pause some things because it got to the point where I couldn’t tell what I wanted anymore, about seemingly any little thing. As a little more time has passed I am feeling more clarity again!

  76. This post is obviously resonating with so many people, and with me too. First, yay, even the pros don’t get it right 100% of the time! What a reminder to dial back the expectations I have for myself. Thank you for sharing so honestly with us.
    The post really made me ponder how I deal with some of these feelings in my own life, and you know what I tend to go back to? Often, I just think of my three kids, and imagine how I would want to them to respond in some similar scenario. It clarifies things somehow. Also, I try to remember that really, my purpose in life, my value as a person, my sense of worth, can’t really come from what I do or have or want. We are so much more than our latest loss (or win)!

  77. Emily – I love reading your content and everything you do is simply stunning. I’m a loyal reader of 7+ years and I can hardly wait to read your site daily. This sunroom looks gorgeous, as I’m sure the rest of your home is too! Thanks for all you do for your community!

    As a random aside…. When I moved to Seattle 6 years ago, I felt the same way as you are describing – more anxious, harder to make decisions, and candidly it left me a little paralyzed. I swear it’s partly because of the lack of sunshine in the PNW. I just moved to Denver and feel the opposite – like this feeling of coming out of a seasonal depression as I soak up more natural vitamin D. I mention as just a thought given your shift from LA to Portland!

  78. I am also a 40 yr old designer, wife, mom, Virgo, romance novel addict, self doubter, with sometimes debilitating chronic indecisiveness. With a Reno of this size and having never lived in the house, you are absolutely bound to make decisions you will regret I don’t know how you would avoid it. The magnitude of decisions that need to be made and the timeline you have to make them by doesn’t allow for things to flow like they would if you Reno’d more slowly. Give yourself a break it’s looking beautiful. We have been looking for a new house and I think I’m going to hold out for an old farm house now, you’ve inspired me 🙂

  79. I love this sunroom so much — the tile is so special. Windows are perfect and the skylights will help so much during the gray times. I can’t wait for the full reveal.

Comments are closed.