Do homes bloggers need a reality check?

I spend a lot of time browsing homes blogs from all around the world and I have to admit, I find the experience a bit of a weird mix. I feel inspired by the perfectly styled interiors I see, with their pretty vignettes and pristine rooms but it’s hard not to measure my own home up against them. When I compare my modest first-time buyer flat to these gorgeous houses, all I can think of are the unfinished DIY jobs, the laundry draped over every surface and the once-beige-now-grey carpets. And I don’t mean grey in a good way.

So you’ll understand why I found this post over at Weekday Carnival so refreshing. Most of the homes featured belong to bloggers I follow – I’ve spent many an hour gazing at their perfect homes, occasionally exuding a small sigh of inadequacy / envy.

But this time, there was something different…

{Weekday Carnival}

{Polkan Tahtiin via Weekday Carnival}

{Anrinko via Weekday Carnival}

{Kotipalapeli via Weekday Carnival}

{Femke Dik via Weekday Carnival}

I suppose this raises a question… why do homes bloggers (and I’m sure food / fashion / lifestyle bloggers are the same) put so much pressure on themselves to present a polished version of events all the time? When I post photos of my flat – even when I’ve photographed it on a good day – I always find myself apologising for the things that don’t live up to my vision of how the room should look. As much as I love my flat and there are bits of it I’m genuinely proud of, I can’t help worrying that readers will judge it against all the beautiful homes belonging to amazing stylists and designers out there.

I don’t mean that critically – that’s the way I judge it myself too.

And as much as I want to present the reality of a girl starting out with big ideas and minimal funds, I still can’t help myself tidying and tweaking before I post photos online. It’s the same as when I have real life visitors – I want people to like what they see. I’m a true Monica in that way and I can’t decide if there’s something wrong with that…

Do you think there’s a place for warts and all interiors blogs or do you read them for ideas and escapism? How do the photos in this post make you feel about your home?

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  1. Katie Wickes says

    I don’t blog myself but I do read homes blogs (and other kinds too). Personally I read different blogs for different things. ‘Perfect’ and ‘imperfect’ homes can both be inspiring in theire own ways

  2. says

    This is a fantastic article… and LOVE these images! I can totally relate to everything you’re saying as a former interior designer and someone who has had and is about to have their home ‘shot’ for a ‘shoot’, who often… am already losing sleep over it!!! I realised (and how sad is this?!) that I don’t even have my young childrens’ friends over anywhere near enough because can’t face the thought of the appt not being tidy enough! Time to get a grip on reality!

  3. says

    I remember the time no one was allowed to sit on the sofa because I had feather seat cushions. All that plumping can only be done so often. Until my friend pointed out that a sofa you can’t sit on isn’t worth the room it takes up! I love perfect interiors but pictures like todays just make you reassuringly feel that everyone has their moments. GG

    • says

      Thanks for the great responses so far. It’s reassuring to know my fellow Monicas don’t mind a few slips in the facade every now and again!

      Catherine, good luck with your photo shoot and try to relax – you’ll be amazed how your rooms will look once a professional photographer has worked their magic. I’d love to know when and where your home will be published so I can have a peek!

  4. says

    I can really relate to this. I barely want to post any pictures of our home any more. Mostly because I’m not a good photographer. I think you can make any home look great if you are a great photographer. A great photographer makes a mess look like artistic clutter.
    I don’t mind a bit of mess, I think it adds personality. But I find it hard to be inspired by pictures with bad lighting and yellow tones.

    • says

      Thanks for your comment Nordic Bliss. I’ve decided going to try not to apologise anymore. My home is as much about the unfinished, dingy, scruffy bits as about the nice bits and I think I should make an effort to show you all the reality of my first home journey, not just the finished results. So, stay tuned for before and afters and projects from Decorator’s Notebook… warts and all!

  5. says

    Really interesting. I love the clean perfect look that I am always pinning but as my recent post about my crazy shelf shows it is unlikely to be a reality (until I have a spare room one day that I can just chuck all our junk in). A girl can dream.

  6. says

    I really enjoyed reading this post and think that the photos are great. We so often feel inadequate over the homes that we have which is crazy – we don’t know how lucky we are. Also you always appreciate the styling and taste of others, even if it differs from your own. You mentionned about apologising for your flat but I think your flat looks lovely and I really love the rug and white floor lamp that you have in your living room. You clearly have an eye for styling and in fact your post has inspired me to create a post for my own blog. I’ll email a link when it’s done.

  7. says

    I’ve never seen your house look anything less than immaculate. But I absolutely agree – hence our Real Reveals feature. It was kind of refreshing to not bother about tidying up and just posting a picture of the mess instead. And the commenter above is right – I read some blogs for fantasy, some for comforting reality…


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