A Piano, a Horse, and a Confession

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I  apologize in advance for this post being a little loopy . . . I have a lot going on in my head that I am going to try and get out.  Hopefully I can make it all fit together and make sense, but just bear with me.

This post has three topics, and I want to reverse their order in the title and start with the last one on this list.

I have a confession to make.  I have been prideful.  It’s been a sneaky pride, hidden under lots of false humility, but still pride.

Discovering this was one of my main take-aways from the Haven Conference (you can read more about that here).  While in a session about how to find your personal decorating style, it hit me square in the face–Hidden in my talk about being a good steward of our finances and not spending more money on decorating our home and being content with what I have because so many have so much less . . . there was pride.

As I listened to the two bloggers teaching the session share about how they used their gifts and talents to create homes that are places of refuge for their families and gifts of hospitality to others, my eyes were opened to the attitude of  my false humility.

Let me see if I can explain better . . . In the world of DIY and Home Decor blogging, I don’t feel that my home measures up.  It is nowhere near magazine-photo-worthy, and as I have looked at so many other bloggers’ photos of their homes I have felt discouraged and like I would never be able to “compete” in the blog big-leagues because my home isn’t pretty enough.

Rather than dealing with that feeling, I just covered it up by telling myself it was really better not to care at all about decorating your home.  It went something like this:

“I don’t need to have a perfectly decorated home like that. Those other bloggers probably spend so much money on decorating their homes, and that money should really go to people in need”

“When so many other people in the world have no place to live and no home of their own, I shouldn’t care about decorating mine.  I’m going to just be content with what I have”

So . . . there is truth in those statements.  We should consider people in need, and always hold our resources with an open-hand so that we can share with others who are in a place of suffering or struggle.  And contentment is a Godly character trait that breeds joy and peace in your heart.

But the problem is that I was saying those things to myself as a way to mask my disappointment and my feelings of insecurity–tearing other people down to make myself feel better–rather than processing through my issues and dealing with them in a healthy way.

There is a lot about my house, decorative-wise, that I really don’t like.  Much of it is not my style at all.  Over the 6 years of living here I have made changes here and there, but left other whole areas untouched because either we didn’t have the money to put into them or the task was too daunting.

Now that there is a little more wiggle room in our finances and we have learned some more DIY skills to help us tackle those big projects, is it wrong for me to want to change things?

Prior to Haven I had told myself that it was.  But now I see that using my God-given talents and creative skills to make my home a more beautiful, inviting place is not a waste, but really a great gift.

There is a way for me to be content with what I have and be concerned for the needs of others, while also appreciating and using my resources to make my home more of how I dream it would be.

So now, when the money and time are there to spend on refreshing a space in my home, I am going to use it with gratitude.  I resolve to enjoy the talent God has given me, and to also be content with what I have when the option to change it isn’t there.

I am hoping that my false humility will grow into an authentic humility.

So that leads me to the second topic of this post . . . a horse.


I have been dreaming about having an old child’s rocking horse for years–in fact, I actually wrote a post last year about my last-minute Ebay auction.

Typically, these old rocking horses are way out of my price range. But last week while visiting family back in Tennessee, I found one tucked away in a small booth at an antique mall.  And guess what?  He was only $15.

Not only was he totally affordable, but he was actually just the right color scheme.


The distressed white and faded blue is perfect.


And I love the playful little details, like his cracked, hand-painted face


and the western-themed stencils on his base.


This horse really is exactly what I had been looking for,  My plan was always to display the horse I found on top of my piano, which meant that the it’s base could only be so wide. I knew this little guy would fit perfectly.

Which brings me to the third (or first 🙂 ) topic of this post: a piano.


This is one of those areas in my home that I don’t like at all.  My 2 story living room and connected dining room is painted this very pale yellow color (even the ceiling!) and I think it’s awful. I much prefer cool-toned colors, and the way this yellow plays off the wood laminate flooring (something else I’m not a big fan of) in our space makes everything look orange.

Bonus points to you if you can find the Star Wars action figure in the photo above:)

Because of the 2 story ceilings though, painting this room would require hiring a painter, which is why it hasn’t yet happened. Every other room in the house I have painted myself–some shade of blue, gray, or green–but this one is going to cost me, and I have just had too many reservations about spending the money on hiring the painter (see the entire beginning of this post!)

I have tried living with the yellow for 6 years though, and it really does just have to go. So saving up the professional painter money is now one of the top priorities on my list.

The above picture is of my piano as it has been for the past few years.  It’s a kind of random, hodge podge of books and photos . . . I’ve never really given it much attention because in my mind I always saw a horse up there. Without the horse, I never knew what to do with it.

But now that I have my horse, I can finally give it a quick little makeover.


It’s still not 100% me, but it’s closer.  The walls are still yellow, but I was able to add in my cool whites, blues, and greens.  I even rummaged around in my leftover fabric drawer and quickly pulled a remnant around the bench seat, just to get rid of the cream and pink stripes, ughh.

I swapped out the family photo for a more neutral print with cooler tones, and used old books for height rather than the newer book I had been using.  I still like the sheet music, but took it off the stand and incorporated it into the rest of the display. The big ironstone pitcher (another antique mall find) is another nod to my vintage style.


But it is still surrounded by more warm tones . . . just not my thing.

It’s really a big deal for me to even show you these photos because I dislike the look of this room so much!  But hey, I’m going for real humility again here!

At least for now though, a bit more of my vision rests on top of the piano.  It’s given me a starting point for where to go with the rest of my space.  It will take me awhile, but I hope over time to really transform our living area into a space that reflects our playful, vintage-loving family.

Whew, I know that was a long post!  Congratulations if you have read all the way to this point–I appreciate your attention.

I want to be the real Melanie on this blog, and so thank you for letting me get my issues off my chest.

On a totally different note, there are still a few more days to register for the Vintage Wooden Soda Crate giveaway being offered by this month’s featured Etsy shop, River House Designs.


You can click on the picture to be taken to the giveaway post.  Entries are still low, so that makes everyone’s chances of winning a little better!



Barbara Ann

Monday 17th of August 2015

I love your humility. You know how to be thankful for what you have. But don't feel guilty for what you want. As long as all things are in their place including what's important and what's not, you'll see the rewards, like the cutie patootie pony, and a happier you and family. I one day want to start a blog but in no way have a home or the resources other bloggers do. It is intimidating. I feel like I would get lost. But I'm working up my courage. How about just painting the walls for now using the ceiling as an accent wall. I've heard it said to consider it our 5th wall. Oh and the Star Wars guy is on the floor by the piano bench. Praying for a painter to come into your life. Barbara Ann Etsy.com / shop / barbaraannscreations


Monday 17th of August 2015

Thank you Barbara . . . I so appreciate your kind and encouraging words. And 100 million bonus point you for seeing the Star Wars guy :)


Wednesday 12th of August 2015

Ditto everything you said Melanie! I know exactly how you feel. I always end up feeling like I can't possibly compete in the blog big leagues as well! I had a thought about your yellow wall dilemma, can you rent some scaffolding? and then do it yourself? Or are you afraid of heights (as I am). I have a two story stairwell wall, and I painted the upper portion using a long extender attached to my roller. I didn't have to contend with a line where the ceiling met the wall because I painted the ceiling the same color! I got in the edges by taping a brush to the pole. It wasn't perfect, but it worked well enough. That would all be trickier if you have a white ceiling that needs to remain white. Best of luck whatever you decide to do!


Friday 14th of August 2015

I'm just chuckling at the image of you on top of scaffolding with a paint brush taped to the end of a pole :) I hadn't thought about renting scaffolding, that is not a bad idea at all! And I totally think your blog could be big league anytime you want to take it there. Thanks for the encouragement and for the painting ideas!

chris aka monkey

Wednesday 12th of August 2015

mel i have said it before you are a good person, most of your issues would not be issues with the rest of the world.... good things come to those who wait and i say you have waited long enough so go on and do for your home and family xx

Susie @ The Chelsea Project Blog

Wednesday 12th of August 2015

Lovely post, Melanie. You've given a voice to feelings many of us have, but just know that your room is beautiful. As for the high ceilings/paint situation, I have the same problem. If I come across a way for me to DIY new paint, I'll let you know. I painted it the original color, but ithat was years ago and I was younger then. Lol. Take care and God bless.


Wednesday 12th of August 2015

Melanie, how great to read your humble comments. Love your horse and the nostalgic touch it brings to your home. Love your blog.


Friday 14th of August 2015

Thank you Dorothy! I am so enjoying my little horse, and I appreciate you being a reader.

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