I became a little frustrated last weekend as I took note of two commercials that made it seem like we should all be on a constant mission to make life and home perfect. One of them I think was a commercial for a real estate website. It starts with the mom standing in the kitchen with her three children, perfectly dressed and all standing in a row making lunches together, neatly and in perfect rhythm (as if I could get my two to assist with making their lunches without actually ending up wearing any of it to school). The mom continues through her day, perfectly dressed in work clothes but sitting on an exercise machine working out, seemingly making the most of her time without messing up her hair, she continues going through her day in perfect rhythm while commercial talks about finding the “perfect” home for the perfect family or something like that. As if finding the perfect home will make your life “perfect.”

Recently I have been talking a lot about the importance of finding your own personal style and of infusing your home with the things that make you and your loved ones happy. I personally believe that home should be a place where you feel absolutely wonderful, calm, and at peace. It should be a place where you rejuvenate and regroup so that you can take on the outside world. It should be a place you share with your friends and loved ones. However, aiming for perfection in your home and in your life will make any of this near impossible. If you have children, grandchildren, pets or rowdy friends, having a so called “perfect” home will be near impossible. It will likely rarely look like it belongs in the pages in of a magazine. But that shouldn’t stop you from loving it. Your perfect home is never going to be perfect. If it is perfect, it means you aren’t really living in it and using it the way it is intended to. You, your kids and your friends should be allowed to make messes and to enjoy doing so without fear or worry.

Designing your home for real life living is not as hard as some might think. It can still look amazing, it can be full of personality (hopefully your personality) and it can at times look like it belongs in the pages of magazine. It takes some planning and well thought out solutions that really get to the heart of how you want and need to use your home. It requires some real understanding of your own personality, style, rhythm and daily routine. Most importantly, it requires an ability to accept imperfection, a willingness to try and fail and let yourself be creative.

I wanted to share a few photos of perfectly imperfect homes that showcase the personality of the owners and look and feel lived it. And guess what, they are worthy of a spread in a magazine at the same time.

A charming play room by Charm and Whimsy (www.charmandwhimsy.com) courtesy of houzz.com

A very colorful and personality filled living room by JBM Designs LLC (www.jbmdesigns.com) courtesy of houzz.com (http://www.houzz.com/photos/715583/JBM-DESIGNS-LLC-eclectic-family-room-baltimore)

Cute living room with pops of color and personality and a four legged friend by Think Contemporary Interior Designers and Decorators (www.thinkcontemporary.ie) courtesy of houzz.com (http://www.houzz.com/photos/1576612/Quirky-House-Renovation-eclectic-living-room-dublin)

A warm, inviting room by Going to the Roost (www.goingtotheroost.com) courtesy of houzz.com (http://www.houzz.com/photos/1370300/Santa-Ynez-farmhouse-living-room-santa-barbara)

I know for a fact that our clients who own this room we designed for their Woodbridge home adore hanging out together as a family and watching movies in this space. The collage showcases their family photos and mementos and the style and personality in this room is all them!