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Transform Home Envy into Home Gratitude

Article by Donna Hoffman

Photography by Peter Rymwid Architectural Photography

Originally published in Newtown City Lifestyle

I work in a materialistically driven field. Like fashion, the interior design world is filled with glossy, aspirational images, and equally enticing romance language. They promise the life the Joneses have if you only had this room, this home, this …sofa.

From Pinterest to Houzz to HGTV to designer portfolios and websites, the game is set up to inspire a twinge of envy in even the most savvy, grounded design lover.

Here are a few perspectives to help you rejoice in what you have, while simultaneously admiring the greener grasses elsewhere.

Make an Appointment… With Your Home 

With pen and notebook in hand, starting at your front door, walk through your home. In each room, jot down every feature or beautiful item you love/like/enjoy. A wall color, a desk that belonged to someone you love, a view, an architectural feature, an accessory. Whatever. Write it down. This corny exercise actually works. Energy flows where thinking goes.

Say No to Compare and Despair

Whether about your body, your age, your job, your fill-in-the-blank, self-comparison is a 1-way ticket to nowhere good. With zero upside, why let your brilliant brain go there?

Instead choose to view an Instagrammer’s stunner home, or that of your bestie, as an abundant reminder of the beauty that is possible. After all, another person‘s health or happiness doesn’t mean you can’t be healthy or happy. These are not in finite supply. Neither is beauty. In home design and on any budget, there are infinite strategic things that can elevate beauty. You can get there.

Tame the Social Media Beast

Filled with highlight reels, social media pushes the fantasy that, “life is better,” elsewhere. Reality Check: Designers, builders, architects, and our photographers spend hours getting even ONE beautiful photo. Swoon worthy interior and exterior photography is taken to HAVE an effect on YOU. Garbage cans and real life don’t necessarily exist in those images. Enjoy the inspiration and leave it there.

Reminder: Home Size Doesn’t Guarantee Beauty

I have toured extensive residences where no expense was spared, that lacked beauty and grace. Don’t confuse home size with beauty, or assume smaller spaces can’t be a knockout.

Look at the Total Life, Not the Snapshot

Someone’s picture perfect home may or may not indicate a picture-perfect life. And truly, who among us has life that is without complications, challenges, and sorrows?  I know a stunning Instagramer / Model with a face and body women would “thrill for” yet she battles relentless depression and anxiety. Are you still ready to trade places to have her size 2 body?

Beyond all this, the best news is this, my lovelies: If you’ve ever had even a pang of home envy, it means you belong to the worldwide blessed community that has a roof over your head. #luckyperson.

So, as you sail through the holiday season ahead, I’m wishing you gracious appreciation of the beauty in your home today and the continued blessing of having that nest.

About Donna Hoffman: A multi-award-winning Bucks County based designer, Donna heads her design company specializing in new construction, renovation, whole home and full room design to deliver livable luxury to discerning clients. One of the nation’s design thought-leaders and seen in Forbes, Real Simple, TV, Podcasts and radio, Donna also founded, TheInteriorDesignAdvocate.com which provides online courses for DIY’ers.  

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