Let’s Talk…About Making Everything Perfect

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Recently, I read this statement on another blog:

“It was a COMPLETELY different world {referring to when she started blogging three years ago}.    There was no Pinterest.  Which meant every shot did not need to be a money shot.  You could post a picture of your dresser in your driveway and it was FINE.  Now?  Not so much.  Everything needs to be staged and shot and vingetted till the cows come home.  Its just the way it is.”

This made me a little sad .  And thoughtful.  Truth be told, I do not read many blogs.  Mostly due to time constraints, and somewhat because I don’t want something to be in my head and then be writing about what everyone else is writing about.  There are a few I read on a consistent basis, and when I think about why I like them, it is because of the great content and approachability.  I love to look at beautiful images and step-by-step DIY’s where all of the materials are staged, but there comes a point where a blog looks more magazine and less…personal?  I mean, I like to look at magazines, but there seems to be so much pressure in the blogging world to make every thing you post look perfect.

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Something I have learned at Alt is there are teams behind what you see usually on the more magazine-like blogs.  A stylist, a creative director, a part time assistant, a full time assistant, etc. etc. etc.  And that’s great, it produces some awesome content, but I wonder if a blog can grow and develop, and the readers still feel that the blogger behind the blog would be your friend in real life?  I was talking about this with a dear friend last weekend, and she said, “NO!  Don’t stage everything!  It’s so easy to forget these are real people and real people’s homes, and it’s nice to see that other people have lamp cords and outlets, too.”  Ha.

Anyway, all this to say…what do YOU like to see in a blog?  Do you prefer to read blogs that are “styled ’til the cows come home”?  Or do you like a more homespun feel?  Or a mix?

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It’s funny the different images you can get of people writing their blogs.  I imagine the more “perfect” ones in an all-white studio sipping Starbucks and looking very fashionable.  I’m sure that’s probably not true in many cases, but that is “the feel”, ya know what I mean?

Me?  I’m sitting on our couch drinking coffee I brewed myself in my favorite mug from college (I only have one left, and it will be a sad, sad day when it breaks).  And yes, my child should be in bed.

 

But I truly am interested, and I would like to hear your opinions and thoughts.  Really.   In the ever-changing and relatively new world of blogging, are you more drawn to the totally styled blogs,  or do you prefer the “hey, I’m working on this project, and here is me doing it with paint all over my hands”.  There’s no right or wrong answer, and it probably is a mix of both.  What draws you to a blog?  Sometimes I wonder if the answer to that question is different than what bloggers are told.  Sound off, I’m listening.

Written by Grace

 

29 Responses to “Let’s Talk…About Making Everything Perfect”

  1. Shelley July 25, 2013 at 11:52 am #

    DON’T YOU DARE CHANGE A THING!! Your blog is perfect! I RARELY do anything everyday but EVERYDAY (week days) I read your blog!! It is the best find!

    • Grace July 25, 2013 at 11:52 pm #

      Shelley, thank you so much! You are so kind, and I am so happy to be a part of your day. Blogging feels like talking to a friend about all of the ideas bouncing around my head. So glad you are reading, G

  2. emily July 25, 2013 at 11:58 am #

    So good. I read that same post you mentioned and it made me sad/stressed out too. I just want to blog and do projects and make pretty things and sometimes it feels so out of my league. Too much pressure. Too much competition. I love LOVE looking at pretty pictures and styled spaces and beautifully arranged supplies for projects, but I also want those projects to be doable, the spaces to somehow connect with my own spaces. I just read another post today and she declared that while her house is decorated wonderfully, it is not HER. No more searching on pinterest, she declared. She wants her home to reflect her own personality and sometimes we see something great and try to duplicate it and it all ends up feeling contrived.

    All to say, I will never tire of a fabulously styled finished space, but I also adore the connection with bloggers over normal stuff {like blogging on the couch and non-manicured nails and lamp cords}.

    Thanks for making me think this morning!

    xo, emily

    • Grace July 25, 2013 at 11:57 pm #

      Oh Emily, tell me about it! I can completely identify. And that is super sad about that blogger’s house, but I know what she means. It is such a delicate balance of classic design, trends, and making a home look like you all at once. I have kind of a crazy idea for a small corridor between rooms in my house, and I think I’m going to try it. Brainstorming things I’m a bit afraid of tends to give me some good results. 🙂

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting, G

  3. Sarah Wolfe July 25, 2013 at 1:06 pm #

    Well, I feel a bit inferior voicing my opinion after Emily from Jones Design Company, but I’ll give my thoughts anyway 🙂 I don’t read many blogs that aren’t personal. I feel way to inferior to dive into most design blogs, just being honest. I read yours only because I know and love you 🙂 And, of course, because you have great style 🙂 I like blogs that have design IN them, but mostly if it’s doable for me, with the time that I have. So those uber creative people with the wow, amazing blogs, I usually browse and don’t go back. Not because they’re not fabulous blogs. They’re amazing blogs! But I can only take so much perfection. And can only take so many 25 year olds thinking they have so much wisdom to share with the world… ha! But not saying I have much to give at 38! I am DRAWN to blogs that honor the Lord, encourage, seek to help instead of make others feel jealous (even if unintentional), and that are light-hearted and don’t take themselves too seriously.

    Love this post!

    • Grace July 25, 2013 at 11:59 pm #

      Sarah, I think you’re amazing of course, so you have nothing to feel inferior about. Your comment made me laugh and nod my head in agreement. You always put things so eloquently and so cleanly heartfelt. I really appreciate “your voice”. Love you. G

  4. Amy @Five Kinds of Happy July 25, 2013 at 3:57 pm #

    Hi Grace!
    I’m so into this discussion because I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately! 2 years ago my blog was carefully curated and photoshopped when I was starting out. I omitted personal content and just posted pretty pictures. NOW, I feel totally uninspired to post “inspiration” pictures because they are ALLLLL on Pinterest anyway. Instead I only post my own original photos… I try to make the images attractive and pin-able, but definitely not styled and I do have to laugh when I think how ridiculous it is to hide chords (yet I totally feel that I should).
    I too try to avoid bombarding myself with perfect images from other blogs/pinterest. They don’t inspire me – they make me want to copy! Talk about trending!

    I post less now, get less comments, and talk about whatever I want. Somehow I doac’t are about people-pleasing my audience at this stage. If I had a shop or made money from my blog it might be different 🙂

    Anyway, long story short, I totally relate.

    • Amy @Five Kinds of Happy July 25, 2013 at 3:59 pm #

      *that should say “I don’t care” about people-pleasing 🙂

    • Grace July 26, 2013 at 12:04 am #

      Amy, all very good responses and acknowledgements. Very interesting! I find myself not wanting to post things sometimes because they are not perfectly accessorized or the space is not complete. It’s easy to forget in what feels like “blogging perfection” all around you that people don’t necessarily want that or care. I think for me, I really have to focus on my “real voice”. It’s easy to lose that when you are typing into a computer. It helps me to imagine a group of my favorite friends sitting in front of me – it helps me to be authentic. I love that you only post original photos, wow!

      Thank you so much for taking the time to offer that insight. G

  5. Denise July 25, 2013 at 4:13 pm #

    For me, I like both the highly-curated and the down-to-Earth blogs, but I faithfully read the down-to-Earthers but the highly-curated only are read only when I have extra time/energy. (That’s not common.) I want to be able to make an emotional connection with the author and I just cannot relate to having a gorgeous home without clutter or hand-me-down ugly furniture (although it’s nice to visit them and dream).

    • Grace July 26, 2013 at 12:06 am #

      Denise, ha! A life without clutter or hand-me-down furniture, hmmmmm…it’s hard for me to imagine that, too. 🙂 I’m with you though, it does make for a fun visit. Thank you so much for your comment! G

  6. Jennifer July 25, 2013 at 5:24 pm #

    Nice post. My favorite blogs are the ones that inspire me and not the ones that intimidate me. Read, I value approachability, too!

    • Grace July 26, 2013 at 12:07 am #

      Jennifer, that seems to be a common theme…non intimidating. I think it can be difficult to be an expert but not too “expert-y”, ya know? Thanks so much for offering your thoughts! G

  7. Muffet July 25, 2013 at 6:00 pm #

    I read several blogs and the personal ones are the best as long as they offer information and inspiration (as yours does.) They can’t be about nothing. The “fancier” ones tend to be riddled with advertisements and endorsements that make me wonder about the sincerity of the blogger. Keep up the good work! I love what you do.

    • Grace July 26, 2013 at 12:13 am #

      Muffet, thank you so much! It can be so tricky to make sponsored posts not feel too contrived – I see some bloggers who do this super well, and some that just make it feel…kind of icky. It’s a controversial subject, for sure. Great content and transparency seem to be the keys to making this work so no one feels misled. I’m so happy you are reading! I was actually thinking of you and your babies the other day. 🙂

  8. Melissa July 25, 2013 at 6:26 pm #

    I love real people and real life. That said, I enjoy pictures that the blogger takes during the process with her iPhone, and maybe later we see the professional photo of the finished product. Keep writing just as you do, I enjoy your blog so much.

    • Grace July 26, 2013 at 12:15 am #

      Melissa, thank you for the encouraging words! I too enjoy the process, and I like the reader to feel along for the ride. I’m so glad you enjoy the blog! G

  9. Hayley July 25, 2013 at 11:49 pm #

    My favorite blogs are the ones like yours – real life, down to earth- great style, but realistic and attainable. The blogs with the overly styled pictures, and the “wouldn’t it be nice” looks are fine to glance through, but for someone like me that is just never going to happen…so why look, ya know? I say keep up with what you’re doing, I personally love your style and would take a post with iphone pics vs. not posting any day!

    • Grace July 26, 2013 at 12:18 am #

      Hayley, thank you so much for taking the time to write that. I know exactly what you mean. Sometimes I cringe a bit when I look at bad photos I took in past DIY’s, but hey, it was authentic. I really was making ___ at one in the morning, and that is why the pictures are all dark. Ha! So happy you are okay with a little imperfection. 😉 G

  10. Sally July 26, 2013 at 7:47 am #

    I was thinking about this the other day. I read all kinds of blogs, but my favourites are the ones where I can tell the blogger is a real person, and I can see the effort they are putting into their homes, and I can share in their satisfaction of a job well done. Who doesn’t love a good before and after post? Following progress in real time is also enjoyable for me – it’s all about the process, these things don’t happen overnight!

    • Grace July 30, 2013 at 2:40 am #

      Sally, I’m so happy to hear how much you and others enjoy the process. Sometimes it is difficult to know whether people just want to see the end result and hear background of how you got there, or if they want to see the step by step transformation. I think there are many areas in my house that aren’t “done” so I haven’t shared them yet. I think I need to get over that more and offer more of the building blocks. I really appreciate your comment! G

  11. Catherine July 26, 2013 at 10:25 am #

    I do love the perfectly styled finished space of a big makeover or a client project, but definitely don’t need or want the photos of the process to be perfect. I love seeing the bloggers show photos of themselves when they are less than perfect or their rooms are less than perfect. It just feels more real and makes decorating/design seem more achievable. This is a complete aside, but one thing that bugs me about styled spaces is that it’s often the flowers that bring that last pop of color or statement and I always wonder what that room looks like when the flowers are gone. Not that I think they shouldn’t use flowers, I just always wonder how you achieve that last wow piece or punch of color if you don’t have fresh flowers every day.

    • Grace July 30, 2013 at 2:42 am #

      Catherine, YES!! So interesting…and you are totally right. You often see flowers as the “pop”, which is not real life, at least not for me. It’s so much easier and practical for the color to come through a small piece of art or a pillow. Thank you for sharing your thoughts! G

  12. Erin July 26, 2013 at 10:55 am #

    Agree with the comments above regarding preferences for a real feel, and appreciating your current balance of styled and human. I have to say, I really appreciate the blogs where I get to see the process – not just the pics along the way, but the thought process behind how a decision was made, the approach taken, the inspiration, the story behind the event. For me, that’s the most fun and satisfying (and inspiring!) part. Myself, I’m a creative person who has zero time for design creativity these days, so getting to see the approach of the blogs I read is so satisfying and joyful, and keeps me fired up for when the time constraints will loosen a little bit. But I really enjoy your blog – so much of your wonderful spirit comes through, and it’s a joy to read. Kudos to you for all your work!

    • Grace July 30, 2013 at 2:45 am #

      Erin, yay, another process person! I’m so happy to hear that people really like viewing transformations in stages and don’t necessarily have to have one post with the whole shebang.

      Thank you for your kind words. 🙂 I so appreciate you taking the time to comment. G

  13. Sarah Garner July 26, 2013 at 11:35 am #

    I edited down to a couple blogs that I follow because sadly, some of them made me feel inadequate. Because I didn’t shoot my photos in a lightbox and edit them just perfectly. I LOVE posts knowing I’m not the only mom that loves a pretty home but it just isn’t picture perfect and is a mess 85% of the time, because we actually live here. You know? I want to read the ones where I feel like I know them and that we would be bffs, sitting around drinking a cup of coffee.

    • Grace July 30, 2013 at 2:50 am #

      Sarah, I actually completely know what you mean. In the past, it has made me sad when a blog has “turned” from normalcy and inspiring to unrelatable. It’s such a tricky balance to be an expert and a regular person online where people can’t hear your inflection and tone and sarcasm.

      P.S. I’m drinking coffee right now as I type this. 🙂

      Thanks for sharing your time with me. G

  14. Frances July 27, 2013 at 7:56 pm #

    I’ve been thinking about your post for the past 2 days now. It was definitely a thought provoking topic! I am in the process of starting my own blog (hope to do my first post sometime this week), and as I research, I constantly see comments that your photos should be “blog worthy”. To some extent I do get that…if company is coming over you do tidy up your house, right? But on the other hand I do find myself drawn to blogs that are not perfect like a magazine. I like ones that you can tell a “real” person is behind them. That is the great thing about blogs…people sharing their thoughts and knowledge with other people. A nice picture to illustrate their point is just extra.

    • Grace July 30, 2013 at 2:54 am #

      Hi Frances, welcome to the world of blogging! I too like blogs with real people behind them, where it feels like real people are behind them. It seems like this trait can be easy to lose if you let your voice become a persona, rather than your true, thoughtful self. That’s why I type to “friends” rather than thinking about it as a screen. It helps me keep myself in check, saying what I would really say if we were to sit down and talk. Send me your blog! G 🙂

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