It’s come to the point in the home building process where I’m starting to pick out finishes—so, the fun stuff like lights and tile and shelves and mirrors. Which means that I have spent A LOT of time looking at both home decor magazines/blogs/Instagram posts and home furnishings websites in recent weeks. And I’m here to report a serious disconnect.

Every home decor magazine and blog is all like “this year is all about pops of color!” and “check out this bold wallpaper!” and “why don’t you have jewel-toned fabric on all your walls yet?” If I look at some of my favorite designer Instagram pages like @charlottelucas, @barriebenson, and @maalleninteriors (shown in order below), I feel like my home should look a little like a suitcase packed for Woodstock in 1969—the more orange, pink, and patterned, the better. And if you don’t have French wallpaper with vines and birds, and at least three emerald green furnishings, what are you even doing?

Meanwhile, over on the home page of every major home furnishing site, there seems to be a competition for who can create the beigey-ist beige room possible. Here’s Crate and Barrel coming in strong with a room that includes exactly one color. In this room, you’re so pure, you just drink water and sit in the sun with your one blanket.

Pottery Barn is kind enough to add a few blue hues and a cup of coffee to the scene.

But don’t get too comfortable. Over at Lulu and Georgia, you can sit on your couch and look at your one brown bowl.

Serena and Lily is my all-time favorite home site—primarily because I love all of their blues and greens. And while they have more color than anyone else, even they’ve gone with the “we live in a world of beige and golden hues” theme.

Finally, West Elm is my favorite. They don’t even show furniture. They’re just like, here are some food groups that match the theme.

You see my dilemma? It’s really impossible to know what’s in style right now. (Side note: Someone should really psychoanalyze what it means that in a year with so much turmoil and unrest, American home furnishing stores are like “here are the most warm, comforting, and bland furnishings ever—buy this soft beige blanket and soothe yourselves.” But that’s a post for another day.)

Anyway, it’s really hard out there for a human who enjoys bright whites and colors in softer hues. And so all of this has been leading up to a confession: It turns out that my current favorite home furnishings/inspiration site is Pottery Barn Teen.

I refuse to feel ashamed of this. I blame the industry on the fact that my home is going to look like a 14-year-old girl decorated it. Perhaps if there’d been more options and variation, I could have found inspiration elsewhere—maybe even in a place that includes kitchen decor because adults use kitchens. But this is where we are and so I’m embracing it. And it really only feels awkward when I’m scrolling through items and there’s something like a random Harry Potter themed owl clock thrown in.

Anyway, this is the latest update on my home building. And I’d like to respectfully ask that if you come to my home in the future, you just settle into your bean bag chair next to the porcelain unicorn diffuser and keep quiet about it.

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