June 25, 2024


Swing Your Home

Design lessons from a newborn


When my husband, Aaron, and I first bought our home, my mind was brimming with ideas on how to make it our own. At one point, Aaron asked when I thought the house would be “done.” I said never.

Home With Tess: Nailed it! My Home Depot disaster

While I was only half-joking, I’ve come to realize that was the honest truth.

I grew up in a house where constant projects were the norm. My parents cycled from room to room making endless improvements, barely stopping to bask in the beauty before moving on to the next thing.

Theresa "Tess" Bennett

Theresa “Tess” Bennett

Maybe that’s why no matter how many projects I finish, my to-do list only seems to grow. New ideas often overshadow any moments of satisfaction that come with checking something off the list.

That’s especially true now that I have a newborn. I spend many, many (many) hours on the couch with him, alternating between reading interior design magazines and staring at my walls envisioning new ways to revamp the space. While I love my house, something always feels like it could be better. At the same time, I’ve never had less time to make that happen.

This is, I think, a reality for many homeowners (not to mention people in general for many other areas of life). We’re bombarded by aspirational ideas in media; we’re inspired and work toward those we’d like to attain; and as soon as we attain them, we set our sights on something new. This is especially true for those short on money and time.

So, as I sit in my home that I’ve spent the past three years working on, I’m trying to reflect on what I’ve accomplished while staying grounded in the present. After all, everything I’ve done so far was, at one point, something I’d hoped to achieve.

Our baby son has helped me gain that perspective. He’s quite an observant little guy, a wide-eyed bobblehead who loves to take in his surroundings (both day and night, which is adorable and exhausting). He tends to overlook the toys I hold in front of him and instead stares intently at some of the things in my home I’m proudest of: my plants; my shelves I built for him; the wall I painted in the nursery.

While I’m not sure I’ll ever feel like my house is “done,” my son has taught me a first of many lessons that I’m sure are to come: it helps to look at things from a fresh perspective.

Home With Tess: Finishing our nursery was a labor of love, and I fully embraced my design vision

This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: Newborn baby provides fresh perspective on home


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