The Most Embarrassing Post I’ve Ever Written

Three years ago today I started Domestic Imperfection. For the first two blogiversaries I put together giveaways as a thank you to my readers for all the support. This year I didn’t plan anything though, mostly because it’s a whole lot of work and only one or two people win things. So instead I’m going to do something better…I’m going to completely embarrass myself for your entertainment. If that doesn’t show my gratitude then I don’t know what does.

So here it goes.

Sometimes get e-mails from readers that say something along the lines of “I love your home, you have such a great sense of design! I wish I was as creative/talented as you!” First of all, y’all are sweet…so much sweeter than I deserve. So thank you for that. But when I read something like that I also think to myself “Girl, if you only knew how wrong you are.” Because you are, in fact, crazy.

I love creativity and DIY…but being good at it (and I still have SO much to learn) doesn’t come naturally. It takes practice, and it takes failures. So many failures.

So if you totally suck at designing and decorating a  space, there is hope for you. And I’m not just saying that, I have pictures to prove it. This, my friends, is my childhood bedroom.

400639_256032547901525_1174661891_n (1)

I know, it’s bad. So very bad.

The worst part is that I wasn’t even a child when I did this…I was a senior in high school. I thought this through and planned it out. I bought blue and purple paint, cut sponges into star shapes, called up my friend Denise and told her “come hither, for it is time.”


Y’all, she didn’t even try to stop me, even when I was like “Hey! I have a great idea…lets put stars on the furniture too!”


I don’t know if you can tell, but the sheets on my bed were also covered in stars. I remember buying them at Target and they were scratchy as all get-out, but whatever…they had stars on them, so they “matched.”  Obviously.

It even goes a step beyond my bedroom. Instead of a traditional purse I carried and mini Jansport backpack ( I might not have been the most feminine teenager). I couldn’t stop there though, I had to make it my own. So, this happened…

star backpack

Yes, that is a current picture. I’ve tried to get rid of it so many times, but my husband (the least sentimental person I know) makes sure it sticks around. It was the purse I carried when we dated and I guess he likes to be reminded of what a hot mess he married. It did look good paired with my goodwill t-shirts and plastic jewelry…now it lives in the toy box and holds matchbox cars.

Speaking of painting my bedroom, here’s a fun story. The night before “star day” Adam came over to my house to meet my family for the very first time. I remember that I was upstairs telling him about my big bedroom plans and had to leave and go downstairs for some reason.

This is where everyone’s story gets blurry.

All I know is that Adam and my brother were alone in my room, and when I came back upstairs both of them were furiously trying to clean up a giant blue pile of paint on the carpet. To this day they still argue about who actually spilled the paint. Luckily my parents were great sports about the whole thing and laughed it off. Poor Adam though, the first time he meets my family he was somehow involved (gotta stay neutral, lol) in spilling a quart of paint on the carpet. Wait, it gets better…I have a picture.


Note that both suspects are splattered with paint. Also, note my goodwill t-shirt and plastic jewelry…I wasn’t kidding about that (as much as I wish I was).

Okay, so here is the most embarrassing part of this post. I have a confession…I am messy. I am a right-brained creative and organization and cleanliness doesn’t come naturally.  Here are a couple more pictures of my room that I can’t believe I’m posting…

ashley's room

high school room

My parents took pictures of it one day so that we can always remember how horribly messy I was. Don’t worry mom and dad, my husband will never let me forget.

Just so you know, I am much cleaner these days.  My super clean husband has rubbed off on me (and I a little on him) and we now live happily in a semi-clean home.  Actually, it would be relatively spotless if it wasn’t for my boys ransacking the entire thing every 20 minutes.

I’ve decorated a lot of spaces since that star bedroom and with each one I learn and get better. For example, the first room I decorated when we bought our house was the guest room.

Guest bedroom

The guest room isn’t terrible…but it’s not great either. I don’t love it. If we actually ever finish remodeling our house this will be the first space I redecorate. (Update: I did redecorate, and it’s awesome. Click here to see.)

Shortly after the guest room Adam and I did the laundry room.

laundry room

Getting better…the laundry room is much more my style than the guest room. (This is after the first remodel, here is what it looks like today).

Next I did the living room…

living room

I like my living room, but there are plenty of changes I would like to make now that I’ve lived in it for a while.

Then we finally finished the kitchen and dining room.


dining room

These I love. I’m getting better at this.

Then there is the nearly complete master bathroom

bathroom before and after

The lesson here is two-fold –

  1. If you happen to like stars, don’t sponge them all over your walls and furniture, purchase star sheets, and star-bedazzle your mini backpack. That might be going slightly overboard.
  2. Even if you have done some wicked bad decorating in your past and currently have no idea what you’re doing…there is hope for you.

As for my star room, as soon as I got married and moved out my brother moved in and painted over the walls. They are a deep teal now…but when the light shines on them you can still see all the stars. Mwhaha. Anyway, serious props to my parents for letting me do whatever I wanted to my room, even if it was terrible. I can’t wait to hear what they think of this post…they’re either hanging their heads in complete shame and embarrassment right now, or laughing their butts off that just posted that horrible mess on the internet.

In conclusion, thank you for reading and supporting me over the last three years. I’ve had so much fun blogging about my projects and I’m glad to have y’all along for the ride!




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  1. I love your stars!! :) In high school my walls were covered with posters and pictures, but I had those little glow in the dark stars *everywhere*. Like thousands of them. And any and all floor space in my room was pretty much always covered in clothes and stuff too! Drove my parents nuts! So glad we grew up and out of that phase! :) Thanks for sharing Ashley and happy Blogiversary! :)

  2. this post was awesome!!!!! i loved it! and tomorrow we are going to be snowed in so i just cut out some star shaped sponges and am set to get to work.

  3. Love. It.

    So much!

    Reminds me of my room…. which first, was sky blue with sponge painted clouds on the ceiling (still proud of that)… second, was like a periwinkle blue that I criss-cross painted (not sure if that’s the correct term) paired with hot pink woodwork and doors… and third, and finally, is still a VERY bold shade of yellow that I painted AFTER I moved back in after college. I’m also appreciative of my parent’s letting me take creative freedom in my room.. even though I’m pretty sure the hot pink woodwork made my Dad cry.

    Oh, and my favorite part wasn’t the stars – though fabulous – it was the beanie babies strategically arranged around your tv. I cannot admire this enough. My beanies are one of the items in my life I just can’t seem to part with.

    1. Thinking back, when my room was in the criss-cross blue and pink stage, at one point I took my oil pastels and drew stars and moons all over one of the walls. I loved that so much. I guess stars were really a thing!

  4. Lol!! Reminds me of when my daughter HAD to paint her room a deep plum color. You had to peer into the corners to see anything at all! Think every teenager has a calling when it comes to decorating their bedrooms. Oh wait! Did I mention the huge collage of the New Kids on the Block (glued to the wall)!!! Hey, you’re only a teenager once and it’s only paint. :)

  5. Love it. I also was “inspired” in high school. I wanted my room to look like the outdoors. First step-painting the ceiling sky blue & painting fluffy clouds on it. The walls are a mint green. Very minty. The basic idea could be fun for a kids room but I’m not a natural artist. Sky blue ceiling with white blobs. Haha! I’ve been gone & married for 10 years & it STILL has never been painted over. I smile whenever I go in that room. :)

  6. My family still throws my design adventures from adolescence in my face. My brother just brought down the six pack of coke in the glass bottles that was part of my retro coke room. I rounded it out with coke magnets, seeing as though actual retro stuff wasn’t in my budget. So.many.bad.choices.

  7. LOVE this post, Ashley. I wish my mom had taken pictures of my room growing up, because it was equally as messy if not more! My mom always said laundry day was her favorite, because she could actually see my floors. I still hate to clean, but somebody’s got to do it. And until I can afford to pay someone, I guess it’ll be me! Happy anniversary!

  8. You need to make this post your Home Page :)))) It is such a confidence booster for all of us out there, hahahaaa.

  9. That is awesome!! And not far off the colour scheme of your master bathroom ;)
    I had the chance to do a room from scratch when I was about 14. I think I was suddenly at a phase of needing to be noticed in my life, because I decided to go with red and black. Yes. The carpet was brilliant red, the walls would have all been black but my mum vetoed that so one was black and the other three were grey. I had this futuristic silver light fixture with three big white globes on it, our old red loveseat and black vinyl chair, my piano and a red light. I can’t even tell you how much my friends and I loved that room! My plan was to paint this huge picture on the black wall. It was from my psych text, and it was this stylized cat that had been painted by an artist with schizophrenia. I thought it was the coolest thing I’d ever seen. I was going to paint it in those transparent paints that only show up under a black light. That plan didn’t materialize – unfortunately, because it actually would have been pretty cool. But now I would know how to make it happen!
    Yay for cool parents who let us try out our new wings, even if we do blunder into everything in sight! :D

  10. Am I the only one who thinks it is beyond adorable that you and Adam knew each other back in high school?! Such great picture! And BTW, I would have been SO jealous of your bedroom back then because “everything matched” which to my sophisticated sense of high school style meant everything. . . Lol! Thanks for sharing brave girl :-)

  11. Perhaps it is the teacher in me or the jealous teenager (whose parents dictated what my room looked like…not me, sob) but I kept thinking (and now am writing) – your room was perfect at the time. I admire that you had a vision and went for it. Everyone should be allowed to express themselves and even though you look back and wondered where your taste was (in the body of a teenaged girl, thanks) you were following your muse.
    I confess, that I still think I have issues today with not being allowed to “follow my muse” as a child. So parents, let your child create a hideous room, just close the door and let them be.

  12. What fun sharing life and love it that your parents actually took pics of all . Just having them tells me they were great parents giving you the wings to grow into who you really are. I’m in my 70s and have to see the stars at night when going to sleep. A couple of years ago I suggested the kids buy me glow stars for my birthday to put on my ceiling and glow paint gel for tiny ones. I wanted to create the milky way. Could have easily bought these myself, but when you are my age, no one knows what to get you, so I make it easy for them. Just a bit of personal info so you will know that parts of us do not grow up. One thing noticed was your yellow bedroom table and that you still add the same yellow hue to your home. Oh, I noticed the orange shag carpet too, The stars on everything are a bit humorous, but you had a plan and got there. A decorator from the beginning and free spirit which is why I hang around with all of you. Never let go of your free spirits.

  13. You gotta crawl before you can walk and look at all the creativity you had! I think we all started this way with a burning desire to decorate our own spaces limited to our bdrms at the time, and have a similar story lurking in our background! Mine was a theme wall of forest wallpaper and painting my desk bright orange yeah go figure. Happy blogiversary!

  14. Hahaha, I remember those little backpacks. Had forgotten all about them until your post. I love that there was a paint spill and no one fesses up. So funny.

    Your home is lovely, I’m glad you outgrew the star phase. :D

  15. I love the creativity and I love the mess! Your parents should get awards for “Successful Parenting-How Its Done”
    As a child whose parents had her strictly to be unpaid domestic labor (it’s okay, I lived), once I became an adult living on my own, I struggled very hard to be clean and tidy and my own children’s mess became a comfort to me.
    Now in my third life, my significant other (who is a raging neat freak) recognizes my need for chaos in order to be extremely happy and that’s where my craft room comes in. He claims a fabric bomb (glitter bomb, paper bomb, ribbon bomb, etc) went off in there but shrugs, closes the door and goes and cleans something in his garage. Support is a brilliant thing, especially with someone who encourages the process and admires the product.
    Thanks for your post.

  16. I absolutely love this post! I did the exact same thing at 14! Except my mom only let me paint my closet… I’m sure if you decorated with stars today, you would make it very creative and cute {but grown-up style} :)

  17. This was too funny! My bedroom growing up was pink with white sponge painting on the bottom half divided in the middle with a doll wallpaper border. When I moved out my mom removed the border and repainted the room, but the bottom still has a weird sponge texture all around the bottom half….

  18. Okay, so you may be in competition with me when it comes to ridunkulous high school bedrooms!!! Remember when sponge painted walls were hip in the 1990’s? I totally thought it would be awesome one day to that in a hot pink vomit like color in my entire bedroom. It was HIDEOUS and some how my parents still managed to sell the house like that!!! I love how you carried the stars over onto everything and that you had pics to capture the whole process! Now you have me wondering if I have any pics of my old room. Happy blogiversary!

  19. Oh my. I love this post! When I was that age, everything in my room was vintage (bc we were poor) and my window/door frames were baby-pink, like I was 5 or something. I did NOT know what I liked. haha

  20. Well, guess I’m old enough to be your mother, so I’ll just share that my then-teenage son’s bedroom was almost worse than yours! He still tells his kids that I used to tell him, “Please, just make A PATH!” (because I would occasionally have to enter – eek!). Thanks for the memories, and I love your style – we’re all domestically imperfect, which adds character, I think!

  21. HAHA! This is cute! Love your sharing and strengthens the connection with your followers! Your messy room as a teen looks very similar to my daughters! Love your Kitchen and Dining Room, you have come along way! Experimenting and practice is what it takes to suceed at anything. Great JOB! Great Post! Happy Blogiversary!

  22. I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog every day. I look forward to it! You always keep it real like with your Christmas house tour…loved it! I use your ideas too. I recently painted the grout in my guest bathroom. HUGE difference. I’m going to paint the tile tub surround too.

    Again thanks for just being you and sharing the good/bad and ugly with everyone!

  23. I couldn’t stop laughing at your bedroom. That was pretty bad especially once you matched the sheets and furniture to the walls. I think there is a huge learning curve for any diy or decorating project. Just when we think we have it down we’ve grown up more and our style changes and becomes even better.

    I still love your kitchen and wouldn’t change a thing about it. Same goes for the laundry room, the stenciled hall, and the dining room. Other than the guest room I could move right in.

  24. My parents took pictures of my messy room too. It actually looked worse than yours!

    My friend in high school also had a room like that and she used to try to convince my mom that the clothes all over the floor helped keep her room warm (we lived in Arizona). That friend is now an accomplished attorney but my mom still likes to remind her about that room and her logic.

  25. I think we all make bad design choices in the beginning [or maybe even later], I take it as a part of learning. My room was lilac and I painted quotes on the wall in a darker color purple. I forget what they said but they were very chic and inspirational although I think there was a misspelling lol. And the carpet was green. Dark green. But that’s so on my parents.

  26. This is great. I completely went for 12″ squares of contact paper in RED and checkerboarded my room. Well 2 walls, thats all my mom said i could do. Too crazy. And, I begged for black carpet but only got gray. Boo. It was really a fun room. My parnets wouldnt go for a blacklight so I improvised with strings of clear chrismas bulbs around the edges of ceiling. Yup early 80’s too!!

  27. My floor looked very much the same as yours when I was a teen, sadly my walls were wallpapered by my mom so I couldn’t take out my creativity on them…. or maybe that was her plan.

    When my parents were selling their house many moons ago, I was telling my girlfriend how we were having difficulty selling , so my parents ripped all of the old, dark brown 80’s carpet out of the bedrooms to replace it with a lighter colour. My girlfriend’s response, “Wait, you had carpet on the floor of your room, I had no idea?” So supportive.

  28. Love this story! Your taste certainly has improved! But stars were huge, and I was obsessed too! I sponged them all over my bedroom walls too–after painting the wall a shade of ice blue that I hated! Thanks for sharing, and thanks for the laugh!

  29. This had me laughing out loud. “Come hither, for it is time,” ha ha!
    Growing up my room went through many phases. The Sun/Moon/Stars must have been a thing during our generation (I’m 29) because I actually had a professional come in a make a painted “border” at the top of my room, and then I stenciled in Moons and Suns on the border. I took my parents almost a year to sell that house!

  30. My Mom let me and my best friend paint a bathroom with sponges and bright red paint when we were in high school! Here’s to parent’s that let us try out our design hand on their spaces! May we be just as adventurous parents!

  31. A kindred spirit!!!!

    Haha. I was just given a link to your blog from a friend, and I love this post!! I am a right brain creative as well, and ridiculously messy. Sadly, even in my adult life I’ve not yet learned how to overcome that. My house is not even remotely flattering right now. But hey! I’m not alone. Thanks for sharing!

  32. Haha loved this post! It reminded me of my room when I was a freshman in High School! I had butterflies stickers ( the black ones from target) all over the walls! Every time I had friends over they will think it was so cool. By my senior year, I realized it was not cool at all. My dad helped paint and remove the stickers!! I was quite the designer in my childhood years, we had a house in Mexico and my mom asked me to pick the floors for some reason… I picked hot pink titles and I still can believe she actually had the installed!

  33. I could not stop laughing when I got to the starring of the FURNITURE too… and the backpack! That’s honestly exactly something I’d have done, too, but it is f-ing hilarious.

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