Comparison, blogging and progress

The Canadian Bloggers Home Tour was a couple of weeks ago. It was great to see Canadian bloggers come together and share their personal styles and beautiful spaces. I’ve been inspired by their designs, photography and styling (tune in Friday for a post showing some of my favourites). I’ve even found some new blogs to add to my feedly.

However, often when I see posts like these home tours, I’m a bit conflicted.

I know all of the houses have been cleaned and staged before any of the photos were taken, but I still can’t help feeling slightly inferior when I see house tours like these.

Holy bad paint job, Batman. There are maybe three rooms in my house that are even close to being photogenic enough to be part of a home tour. And they’d all need a good tidy before I took their picture.

Dining room

Much has been written about the unreality of the blogosphere. I think we all know that the images we see on Pinterest and many blogs are not always accurate representations of how people actually live. Lauren at A Lo and Behold Life did a behind the scenes post last week showing some of the real life at her house, which was nice to see.

The bloggers who participated in the home tour are to a certain extent the cream of the crop of Canadian shelter blogs. One of the organizers, Shannon of AKA Design, said “we selected Canadian bloggers who have gorgeous homes (big or small), great photography and mad decorating skills.” Fair enough. Home tours don’t have quite the same inspirational impact when you see the clutter clustered in the corners or the toss cushions tossed on the floor rather than arranged artfully on the couch.

I have to remind myself every so often that reading certain blogs is basically the same as reading a decorating magazine. It’s about appreciating design and finding inspiration for my own spaces. It’s not about other people’s homes or blogs being “better” than mine.


I like the saying that comparison is the thief of joy. In a lot of ways I don’t care what other people do or what they think of me.

Even though I obviously share a lot of my house and my life in public on the internet, I blog for myself (and those like-minded souls that loyally hang in there through slow-moving makeovers and interminable renos).

My house is for myself (and Matt).

I’ll be honest, though, I can’t help wondering what’s wrong with me that my house doesn’t look like these beautiful spaces I saw in the posts last week. We’ve been living here for two and a half years. Why is our house not “done” yet?

I have every confidence that our house will get to a stage where our rooms are beautiful and tidy and perfect reflections of our personal style. Someday, we will be home tour ready. I’m just feeling a little impatient to get there.

(And in case you missed it at the top, I don’t want this post to be interpreted as a rant against the Canadian Bloggers Home Tour. There’s too much negativity and criticism out there. I think the tour was a great way to showcase creative designs and some talented Canadian bloggers. I was inspired by many of the designs I saw. This post is simply my personal reflection and an expression of where I’m at today in my own renovation/decoration saga. I have another post coming up later this week with some of my favourite designs from the home tour. Stay tuned.)

12 thoughts on “Comparison, blogging and progress

  1. LOVED this post! You spoke to something that has been in my own head for some time…perhaps you have given me the impetus to continue blogging. It’s OK if my house does not look blog ready all the time. Good luck with your continuing renos!

  2. I like to look at those perfect images of homes because it gives me inspiration and direction. But I have to remind myself OFTEN that I will never get my home to look exactly like those for the reasons you just stated, they are not lived in, they are not reality. I have dust, my mirrors are not always sparkling, and with a dog in the house, my floors ALWAYS need swept again!

    It is refreshing when those bloggers with “perfect” homes, let us see occasionally behind the scenes!

  3. Oh, I second all of this! On the occasions I’ve gotten my house to that level (usually when I’m trying to sell it) the anxiety over it all has been intense. I hover around, looking at it all, and rushing to correct the slightest little speck or crinkle. I drive the people around me crazy!! Finding a balance is challenging, but I like to think my house exists to serve me, not vice versa. Thanks for keeping it real, Julia! Contrary to what you’d think by all these perfect blog homes, it’s much appreciated by us readers.

  4. Love this post! I’ve been neglecting my Bloglovin’ feed for some time, and I’m so glad I picked today to catch up! I always start with my “Bloggy Buddies” folder so I can see what my fave people are up to. Anyway, all this to say that I love your blog. And I love this post! “Comparison is the thief of joy” is always on my mind, and I’m a girl who LOVES Pinterest and decor magazines. I think of it every time I start to feel down about my house. Our main floor is barely finished,the basement is halfway done and the bedrooms and bathroom upstairs are all sad sad sad looking – I still have plywood floors! We’ve been in this house together for 2 years now and I ask myself the same thing you do – why isn’t it done yet? But the truth is we have to keep it real. Renos cost money, require time, and should be well thought out. All of those things do not equal getting things done quickly unless you’re made of money (and I don’t happen to be). I love what you’ve done to your home, and I happen to think you have accomplished A TON!! For real! Keep it up.

    P.S. will I be seeing you Saturday? Have I already asked you this? I hope your answers are yes and no! 🙂

  5. I’m super late to commenting on this post Julia, but I wanted to say I share those feelings too sometimes. Even though my house is “done”, it never looks as good as it does in those photos (at least all at once!). And there’s always someone to compare to: someone with a bigger house, better light, bigger back yard etc. Your house is awesome and I know there are corners of it that are just as beautiful as any featured in the home tour.

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