Show of hands of anyone who wants a beautifully decorated house right out of Southern Living magazine? PICK ME. PICK ME.

Show of hands of anyone with the budget to back that desire up? Yeahhh, I gotta pass on that one.

I think it is a natural and even good desire to want a beautiful home. We want our homes to be a reflection of who we are as people. A tangible expression of our inner personality.

Affordable design from The Carolina Farmhouse

And as believers, we want our homes to be even more. We want the people we welcome into our homes to feel loved, comfortable, and refreshed.

All of these desires can be a little overwhelming if you're not Martha Stewart, so where does one begin?

I want to discuss this question and more in a series, which will cover topics such as choosing paint colors, how to work with a tight budget, and finding inspiration.

But in this post let's just get to the heart of the matter: The fear that can sometimes come with decorating.

I've been at this whole decorating-your-own-house-like-a-big-girl thing since I got married...so only two years. It took me awhile to even realize what exactly my style was. When I would find something I really liked, something that expressed me, I would buy it and bring it home.

A lot of times it would just sit there. I would create piles of these purchases with the intention of "assembling" my room one day soon. But weeks would go by before they were even touched. The idea of figuring out how to decorate and display all of these things in a beautiful and unique way overwhelmed me so much that I just avoided it altogether.

Painting your own furniture by The Carolina Farmhouse

I would browse Pinterest and Instagram for ideas, and that would give me some motivation. But there was still this looming insecurity that made me dread decorating. I couldn't put my finger on what the issue was. I just figured I wasn't gifted the talent of interior design.

Then my sweet husband bought me the book The Nesting Place by Myquillyn Smith. My world was changed.

She talked about how our homes are to be a place to live real life. A place where mistakes are okay, love abounds, and messes aren't judged.

Sign. Me. Up.

After reading her book, I realized that the root issue of my fear was not a lack of talent, but of pride. I didn't want to fail. I didn't want people coming into my home and not being impressed. I didn't want to mess up.

Wow. Who knew decorating could reveal so much of my sinful heart!

So one night, I grabbed a hammer and a bunch of nails. I gathered up items from my "piles" and decided I wanted to hang them above our couch. Each item meant something special to me. Things like our wedding invitation in a frame, a mirror my mother gave me, a picture of Rhett, and mirror from the Civil War, etc.

And I just began nailing.

I had no idea where I was going to put things. I didn't lay them out before and decide if I was making a terrible mistake. I just let myself go. And I was absolutely terrified (and so was my husband! ha).

But as I hung each picture my confidence grew a little more. "Hmm. That doesn't look too bad!" I'd add another to the wall. "Yeah, that's what I was imagining!" I started to get excited and all of those STOP-YOU'RE-GONNA-RUIN-YOUR-HOUSE thoughts began to fade away.

I actually had fun.

Gallery Wall by The Carolina Farmhouse

That was my first big accomplishment in decorating our home. Whenever I look at that wall I smile, not just because I love each item hanging there, but because that wall helped teach me an important lesson.

It's okay to take a risk and be creative with your home. It's okay to make mistakes and not like something. All you have to do is take it down! Nail holes can be mended, paint can be touched up, and furniture moved around. What do you really have to lose?

Have fun with decorating! Let yourself be crazy, for cryin' out loud! ;) Start small if you need to, and as you build your confidence move on to bigger projects.

Let your home become a safe place that you can express your taste, your dreams and your heart.