Blogging & Some Honesty


In the post about my cousin's house, like I mentioned, I shared more of the design process with you & said more than I would normally say about a client.  I also showed a scarily MASSIVE home which many of you seemed (how shall I say this?? ;) ... disgusted by.   hahaha  (It may have been my initial reaction too ;) ;

There's something a little bit different when you are working on a project for a family member rather than a normal client...  I've both more and less protective if that makes any sense.  I'll be honest that 1 or 2 comments stung a little when I felt like remarks about the house reflected poorly on my cousin.  (references to an "excess of wealth" without knowing anything about his character...)

{the garage}

My cousin's worked really hard for what he's got (he started his business when he was 12 years old) and is one of the most incredibly generous people I know.  His house may not be what most of us would want, but I don't think it's fair to look down on him for it either.  He may not be married with kids yet, but he wants a full house and his doors are always open to family & friends & their kids.  He sees this house as the place where everyone can come to stay and wants lots of extra bedrooms for guests and hopefully his own kids one day.

{My cousin with his best friend's daugher}

  While I'm okay with poking fun ( i.e. "Fauxscan" ;) ;)  I never want what I say to feel mean-spirited or judgemental and I hope I didn't come across that way in my last post.  (Or hurt anyone with Fauxscan's feelings! ;) ;)

I've been thinking a lot about something I said to my 5 year old last week about diplomacy...  He was saying something to our 3-year old and it wasn't so much what he was saying that was so hurtful, but just how he was saying it.  Trying to simplify things for him during my scolding I said, "You can say pretty much anything you want to say, but you just have to say it nicely."



And I've been thinking about it since...  I think it's true.  I think most people can take honesty, corrections, and things that sting if said from a place of kindness.  But if something comes out and sounds judge mental or mean, then the person's really not even going to hear what's being said, they're just going to be angry or hurt.  It's almost a waste of breath.

Whenever I've said anything too harshly, I almost always regret it.  I think of myself as fairly diplomatic but things just come out sometimes ;) ;)  (hahaha ok, maybe lots of times... But I'm trying to work on it ;) ;)

Here's what I've been trying to work on lately:

1) Say anything you want & be totally honest, just say it nicely. (It's not what you say, it's how you say it... all that ;)

2) Take a deep breath and let it go.  You'll never regret under-reacting but you'll almost always regret overreacting.

3) Be careful what you put into writing because once you do, it's out there for anyone to see.


As you might know, a few years ago I decided not to allow "anonymous" comments to my blog.  Most of the anonymous comments I received were totally normal/nice but every now and then I'd get one or two that just hurt my feelings.  I'm laughing as I write this because some of the stuff that hurt my feeling was so silly (a bookshelf!!)  & I can't believe it did but, I could get 30 sweet comments (enough to make my month!!) but the one negative comment would just bring me down and seemed to eclipse all of the others.  They made feel stupid and they made me wish I'd never put whatever I'd written about or shown a photo of out there.  They made me question even writing a public blog.   By the end of the day, the bad feeling in my stomach would go away but it took a couple of hours for me to let it go and I realized it wasn't worth it.  Why have those feelings a couple of times a month??

(see how jam-packed my bookshelf was??  it's not for everyone...  especially my dad who has commented on how terrible it is more than anyone else I know ;) ;)


I found that taking the anonymous option off, still allows anyone to comment but that with a name on there, most people tend to just say things more carefully, more diplomatically and I'm actually able to take in the advice or criticism instead of being hurt by it.  To be honest, nowadays I'm able to shrug off any hurtful comments pretty easily...  Maybe it's because I'm older & tougher/ not as sensitive now and have been doing it for so long or maybe it's because there's a name on there?? I don't know...

But my blog is a personal one- I'm sharing bits of my life, my passions and my loved ones and I am inviting  people into my home or their homes in a way.  I can really take anything as long as it's said respectfully.  I have to protect those whose homes I share on here.  (The alternative is sharing nothing.)  I understand that I am putting everything out there to be judged, and that having a blog or being in any sort of public eye puts you out there to be critiqued harshly... and so I'm  just asking for things to be said respectfully.  I know I have no right to that, because this is a public web address & all that, but I am asking for it.  




I'm so proud of everyone who's a part of my blog too...  my mother-in-law remarks all the time on how nice everyone is in the comments...  I write for you because I feel like you're my friends and that you want good things for me and are respectful of those whose homes I share on here.  (Because BTW- they always read a post when it's about them!!!) I wouldn't be comfortable writing one of those blogs that's more like a forum where the comments sometimes get heated & dramatic and where the blog is about bashing.  I write this blog because it's my special place & I invite anyone along who wants to be a part of that.

Most of you had me cracking up as I read the comments on my cousin's house, by the way, because I think you really get where I'm coming from on & it had fun with it.  I'm totally okay and love that.


To give you an update on the plans- they're pretty much set and are being approved by the county now.  The only exterior changes I was able to get were reducing the number of columns and turning the arches into more of an 'eyebrow shape,' squaring the columns off and widening some of the windows.  I do wish I could have been brought in sooner, but let's be honest, I work on IN-teriors so I really just have to put my focus into those.  I was able to get many of the architectural details changed inside, which is where my role lies so I'm thankful for that. ;) ;)

And hahaha YES!! you all win on the overhangs!!!  I think everyone from Florida mentioned them (sadly it's never been in my hands anyway... tear) but I am feeling better after so many of you have said that your homes are still sunny with the overhangs.  (Adam's current house feels like a dark cave so I am hoping this next one won't...  The ceilings are much taller and the sun will come in from that direction so I'm really hoepful.) Just keep telling me that so I can sleep better !! ;) ;)

I'll update you on all of that next week!!!  Sorry for the heavy post on a Friday but this stuff's been on my mind!!  Have an amazing weekend and thank you so much for reading!! :)




If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.

91 comments:

Lizzy Carpenter said...

I just discovered your blog and I love it, but only wish you lived closer so you could help me with our old monstrosity.
Your cousin should build the house he wants. Those that can't appreciate that are poop-heads (my kids' favorite put down).
Thanks for sharing your world.

BaileyWife said...

I feel ya...."if you don't have anything nice to say...." I love that you share your home, family, work, etc. That is why we come over!! You constantly inspire me with your creativity and your humbleness;) Can't wait to see your handsome cousin's finished home-ala-Pure Style! Hard workers deserve to reap the benefits!! ~Kim

Kathysue said...

Lauren beautifully stated!!!SAY it NICELY is a very simple and good way to put it. As a designer you have to be thick skinned, because design is subjective. As long as the client loves it you have accomplished what every designers goal should be. Whether it is your personal space or a clients, the personal taste has to be considered. Our job is to guide that taste in the best possible direction. I am working on my own personal space right now and I have opened up a dialogue with my readers about some of the choices I have to make. I find people like to feel a part of something, but when we open it up we do invite some that are maybe a bit more opinionated than we would like!! Right now I have a post up about which sconce would you choose for my family room. http://goodlifeofdesign.blogspot.com/2013/02/which-pair-of-sconces-would-you-choose.html

I have all kinds of answers, but I love reading them all.
Have a good weekend with your sweet family,
Kathysue

Suzanne Stuebe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Claire O'Connor said...

Hi Lauren, I've been reading your blog for about a year, and this is my first comment. I just wanted to add my voice of strong support and celebration for you putting yourself and our creativity out there -- I know there is a vulnerable aspect to it for sure!

It is really of service to me that you are so honest, transparent and share so much. Thank you and keep it coming!

(And I totally agree with you about the no-anonymous-comments guideline -- it's really smart in my opinion!)

Looking forward to seeing this -- and many more houses come together -- including yours!

Cheers and brava!

Claire O'Connor
www.enchantedlife.net

Suzanne Stuebe said...

I have been following you for four years(ish). I really appreciate the tone of your posts; your focus on family, how much you share of your process and your self. You come across as incredibly honest and caring, someone I would love to hang out with. Thanks for reminding people to treat others gently, we all have enough stress in our livesas it is. Love your new house and what you have been able to post about that. Looking forward to seeing your cousin's house take shape.

Blondie said...

I can sympathize with your sensitivity to any teeny tiny negative remark discounting all the bazillions of glowing ones ... but remember, you have a delete button and you OWN this spot on the internets. Feel free to make it entirely what you want. If you don't like something? Use that delete button. :) You don't owe anybody an explanation or apology. ((((hug)))

With that being said, I totally laughed out loud at "fauxscan" because That.Is.Totally.Me. Right down to the ginormous Tuscan painting with the hideous gold painted frame. HA!

Your cousin works very hard to afford a luxurious house and it sounds like he's family-oriented and "good people." Anything negative that strangers on the internet have to say about his choice in square footage, etc. is a reflection on THEM, not him.

I can't wait to see you work your magic on this dream home! I know it will be gorgeous!!!!!

Rhonda said...

My mama always taught me that if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all! I'm afraid those genteel southern manners are falling by the wayside these days. And I know exactly what you mean about the pain one negative comment can cause! Sigh! When we will ever learn to let it go? I hope soon, for all of us! I'm always amazed at the number of hurtful and unnecessary comments some posters leave on blogs. A blogger certainly has got to have tough skin!

Hope your weekend is full of fun and happiness with your precious boys!

Amber King said...

Amen sister! Love your blog and your honesty.

http://www.faceitcatalog.blogspot.com

Janna McCalley said...

I think what I enjoy the most about your blog is that you come through as a genuine, honest, sincere and kind person. I'm sad to think someone would comment in a negative way about your family and their choice to live in a large house. Why is it a "bad" thing to be succesfull, especially when you have worked for it? I told my husband all about your project last night and how I'm excited to see you do your work with someone who's style and taste is different. I'm sure it's going to stretch and grow your creativity and the results will be awesome as they always are! Best, Janna

Christine Vandormolen said...

beautifully written Lauren...I just started a Blog about a month ago and I know sooner or later I will be getting a nasty remark too. So this is great advice to remember! BTW after posting your cousins pic, you will most likely get some inqiries from all the SINGLE LADY READERS....lol....Greetins from WA
Christine
http://littlebrags.blogspot.com

Stephie Z said...

I just want to say that while I thought the house was excessive when reading about it, at the same time I can relate to plenty of friends who think that would be their dream home and I like that you can poke fun at your cousin. I really like reading about how you are trying to talk him into changes and I can't wait to see what shapes up and would love more posts on the project. As hard as it is you should ignore the negative nellys. Reading some comments on the internet these days is like seeing the horrible side of humans. The problem is you only see the super positive and super negative because those are the only people who generally comment.

I for one, think your earlier post was great and even if the house is not to my style I love the process and your discussion of it. Keep it up!!

Heather Peterson said...

Good for you for speaking out. I love that you follow your own advice about saying whatever you want but saying it nicely--even when you could (or should?!) you never scold and you never create drama.

Blogs are sort of a weird new format with such a strange blend of public/private, I think the "rules" and the etiquette is really still forming. This is a post that people can point to when moving forward with ideas about commentary.

Heather
loveyourspace.blogspot.com

Inspired Design said...

Love those sentiments.

Our world needs more "Culture of Honor" treating others with kindness and good manners. You go girl! Some of my most amazing clients (good, generous, lovely) had the biggest homes, and some the smallest with smallest budgets. They were ones that I submitted (and made into) Cowboys and Indians Mag., California Homes, Cottages and Bungalows and more....For everything there is a season....(and a delete button)

My worst client ever had a huge house and huge budget, and I left the job and gave almost all the money back as she was unkind to workers and mean and picky and not generous at all. I think she went through 6 designers and contractor left job with depression, first time ever. (But it was because she was mean, not because her house was big)

Size doesn't matter. Love and kindess do!
Love your blog.

The Farmer's Wife said...

Aw Lauren, here's the thing: if your cousin gave everything he made away and, by choice, lived in a box and wore a brown bag, those same people that called him excessive would call him financially irresponsible. There are always critics and they're not why you, or he, do what you do. I hope you don't feel the need to justify your blog, your work, yourself, or your family to others--especially those that don't even know you. You do spectacular work, and your cousin's home is beautiful. I can't wait to see the finished product!

Razmataz said...

Good for him on his success and good on you for defending him. People don;t need to apologize for having money. All the time bloggers are very careful to say they bought it on sale, thrifted it, saved for it or whatever as if they should be guilty for spending their money. It's Ok to splurge and buy nice things and dream houses.Whether you are in debt or donate half your wealth to charity is no ones business. I applaud your cousin for making a success of his business and living his dream. And by the way Lauren...I LOVED those bookcase full of stuff the way they were.

Diane Haynie said...

I had a wise neighbor once who told me that God made flowers in the garden all different and that is how he made people as well and that difference is what makes the garden so berautiful. I remember that any time I become a bit judgmental about someone's tastes. While your cousin;s house is large and maybe not the style many of us would want I know I enjoy peeking into the windows of how the other half lives. Ignore those naysayers, they are not worth the stomach ache or angst. This country has lost all manners and social graces and I for one hope we rediscover those SOON. Thanks for sharing, as always

Emily A. Clark said...

I've come to realize that the people who actually take the time to respond with a negative comment (instead of just ignoring what they don't like and moving on) are those that are usually just mad about life in general and there's not much you can do to fix that. These are usually the same people that would cower in fear if they ever thought they had to say the same kinds of things to your face. I've been pounded on sites other than my own. And, while I appreciate the exposure, reading all of the comments just stinks.

M said...

BEautiful blog and so well said. I have never commented before, but this post struck a nerve with me and I agree totally. It IS so hard to let those negative comments go, but I love your honesty and know you aren't alone in feeling that way. Can't wait to see the finished product on your cousin's home!

Jill Hinson said...

Lauren,

This is my first comment although I read your blog regularly as it is on my sidebar!

Shame on anyone who judged your HARDWORKING, SUCCESSFUL cousin! It's a terrible thing that we have begun demonizing those who have achieved success! It should be celebrated! Good for him for having worked so hard that he has arrived at a place where he is able to build such a beautiful home. Neither he, nor you should have to apologize for that!

Glad your skin is getting thicker! Unfortunately, it is a necessity - but don't change who you are or what you say - you are entitled to your thoughts on your blog. Those who don't like it can go elsewhere!

Have a lovely day!
xo~Jill

Tawna said...

I've been so busy lately I'm just catching up on my favorite blogs. Lauren, you were one of the first blogs I started reading, and you have influenced my own blog by being so genuine and truthful. I've tried to do the same. I say thank you for putting yourself out there. It allows me to be brave and do the same. And thanks for sticking up for the people that work hard and are successful. They've taken a pounding the last few years by people that are ?jealous? ....I'm not sure why there's so much hatred out there. It seems that has been mankinds way from the beginning. It's definitely time for more love, respect, and kindness. I'm excited to see your earthy, cleaner taste meet a home like this. It will be so fun to see! Xo, Tawna

Tawna said...

I've been so busy lately I'm just catching up on my favorite blogs. Lauren, you were one of the first blogs I started reading, and you have influenced my own blog by being so genuine and truthful. I've tried to do the same. I say thank you for putting yourself out there. It allows me to be brave and do the same. And thanks for sticking up for the people that work hard and are successful. They've taken a pounding the last few years by people that are ?jealous? ....I'm not sure why there's so much hatred out there. It seems that has been mankinds way from the beginning. It's definitely time for more love, respect, and kindness. I'm excited to see your earthy, cleaner taste meet a home like this. It will be so fun to see! Xo, Tawna

Karen at Home Sweet Hollywood said...

People who leave mean comments on blogs are just rude and miserable.

Don't take it personally...it's them, not you or your cousin or his beautiful home.

Lynda @ Happenstance Home said...

I think it is so sad that so many people can't be happy for others and their accomplishments. Of all of my friends I have one like that, and it is just sad - not to mention weakens friendships instead of strengthening them. She is also one of the most miserable people I know. I was just talking to my husband about just this - I want to start a linky party where you write a post that celebrates the accomplishments of others - random things we find each week - and link them up! I think it's great to be happy for others! Your cousin's home will be a beautiful space, but the way you describe his personality is what makes it truly special, and what will make this a home full of love and happiness.

eLIZabeth Floyd said...

Have a wonderful weekend Lauren.

I am sorry to hear that some people commented in a hurtful manner about your Florida project, I look forward to learning more about it. Please keep sharing it with us if your cousin is fine with it.

Thanks, Liz

Kelly said...

Well said!

mom23 said...

I agree with not accepting anonymous comments. It always seems to me that those are the people who can be downright nasty. Have a great weekend!

Little Cottage on the Pond said...

I think it is sad that in America we criticize someone for doing exactly what this country was founded on- hard work! So what if it's not my taste- good for him for working to allow him to express his tastes! People can be so jealous and mean spirited. Keep doing what you do- I love to read about your hard work and talent :)

Kristen said...

Such a shame people are so judgmental. I do think you bring an excellent point up though- I think it's very healthy to be able to say what you want as long as it's in a nice way. I need to be better at this, as I am typically very shy and don't say a lot of things out of fear it will be taken wrong. Looking forward to seeing how his place comes together!

Windlost said...

Lauren, I think your feelings came out very clearly in the previous post. You talked about your cousin in glowing terms and he sounds like a super person. I was left with no negative feelings at all about him - a wonderful, hard working young man was all I heard.

And the joking about the house or the fauxscan was totally understandable...I think most of your readers have pretty refined tastes and should know exactly where you were coming from. I love all my relatives, but most of them are not known for their taste, and you were just being honest that the house was a little stereotypical and not in the best taste in some ways.

I think you were very lovely in your writing about your cousin and anything negative you said about the house was meant in a fun and "just being honest" way. I never get a mean vibe from your writing. Never. I am sure you have a negative side like we all do, but I never sense that anything you write comes from a mean-spirited place.

I find it sad that anyone had to make a negative comment about your cousin or his house or questioned anything about him. People have money for all sorts of reasons (mostly HARD WORK!) and it is not anyone's business. I certainly only can credit him with asking you to help with his project! And if I lived in the neighborhood, I would hire him because your glowing review of him as a person speaks volumes.

I hope he loves his house and enjoys every minute in it and outside it!

xo Terri

Anne said...

Lauren, thank you for sharing your heart so openly. This is why your readers love you :) And for the record--your dad is crazy; your bookshelf was amazing! :)

Anne said...

One more thing--I meant to ask about this earlier...your pictures from your family vaca were so lovely. The thing I kept wondering is how in the world was a trip to such a beautiful, relaxing place even remotely relaxing with a 5, 3, and infant along for the ride?! :) I have a 4 and 2 year old, and we are beginning to think about getting the courage to go for #3, but the thought of bringing them along on a trip totally stresses me out. I really wish it didn't...anyway, I don't know if it has anything to do with the fact that since you're a working mom (I stay home), your time with your kids is more precious? Maybe it's just me! :) xo

Unknown said...

Lauren- love your blog but never comment. Speaking from the real estate point of view- Florida in general is much less costly than most other places in the US and this sort of 'grand' architecture is probably the norm in very upscale neighborhoods there. It might be out of place in the Hamptons but I bet it fits right in with its neighbors, which is always best for re-sale.

amanda said...

Love your blog and follow you on IG. You are darling and it's fun to follow along on your projects. Sorry you had some gumps this week!!

Christine Conte said...

I am always amazed to hear about how mean people can be...perhaps in cyberspace they feel they can just let loose. Well, good for you for calling them out on their bad behavior. Freedom of speech does not mean you have to let people bash you up on your own personal blog space. It is true that it really has nothing to do with you and is a total reflection of them and how they are feeling, but i'm sure it does not that way when you are reading something negative written about something you did. Hang tuff sista...the haters just have bigger mouths, but there are many more of us who love you.

Linda @ DesignInMyView said...

Lauren, mostly ditto....

If your cousin (or anyone else) didn't build what he wanted (and can afford) where would those tradesmen who build and glaze and paint and weave and design get their money to live their lives?

Enjoy the freedom of your creativity and this blogland forum!

My House, My Garden said...

If I was single, I would be leaving a comment with my phone number!!! Lol. I live in Houston and big homes like this are more "normal" in the coastal south I believe. It's going to be gorgeous!

A Lifestyle Thing said...

Lauren, thank you for this post. Being 'open' is a double edged sword sometimes. We do this to promote the biz and because we love what we do. I wish more people could see that. I LOVE your openness, and heart so much!

To touch upon what happened in a relatable story today...we got a call from the city because an anonymous neighbor of ours is threatening to sue us and the city, all because we have had a cute contractors sign in the yard for 10 weeks. The city had told us we could keep signs up until the renovations are complete {four more weeks!}. But now, as of today, our complaining neighbor {who we also uncovered is an attorney who lives two blocks away} has not backed down in his relentless pursuit of a witch hunt. He is saying that our biz sign is an eye sore and that it is devaluing properties in the neigbhorhood. We are floored, and hurt because we could think of nothing better than restoring a house that was in complete shambles. I can't even tell you how badly I want to react and take it to the blog. But my hubs is doing his best to restrain me. Meanwhile, we drive thru the hood and see countless other signs up in yards for contractors. What happened to "Love thy neighbor"? I know that jealousy and hate are @the route of most of it. We open ourselves up because many people get jealous without even valid reasons and sometimes don't have anything else better to do than stir up hateful feelings. I'm going to heed your advice today and not over-react. Just curious, do you and your hubs put up residential contractor signs during projects?

Keep up the good work, dear!
xxxx

cindy hattersley design said...

Well said Lauren...I can't wait to see what you can do with this "big guy". Your stamp will be worth it's weight in gold!

Lori said...

It's really pretty disgusting that some folks believe they have the right to pass judgement and make snarky comments on blogs like yours. There are plenty of sites where the plethora of opinions are welcomed and part of the discourse, and others where people are sharing, not for comment. It slays me how many designers will share work on their blog and get "advice" from the readers. Really? Takes balls.
You rock and everyone's house is their own business.

Christina Schmiesing said...

I have rarely commented (maybe twice in 2 or so years), but I just had to. I did not bother to read a single comment on part 1's post nor todays, but now I want to throw in my two cents! I am so sorry you received any negative comment. Sure, your post may have been casual, but Lauren, that is what draws me and probably many others to you. Never, never have I felt you to be disrespectful towards a client. You have simply been more 'familiar' with family...your dad and this cousin. We appreciate the candor and honesty. People who comment on other's blessings, rewards, gifts are often times selfish, angry, bitter, entitled-type people who want an entire society of mediocrity b/c they cannot stand somebody having or doing more. You need not make excuses for your cousins' wealth. I'm sure he is very generous as so many/most self-made wealthy people are. Praise the Lord that we still live in a country where anyone truly can become wealthy with hard work, a great idea, whatever. What those people fail to realize is that your cousin hires employees and provides a service (??? Cannot remember what you said he did) that people WANT AND PAY FOR! He is a good businessman and many of us can learn from him! Ugh...I find it hard to be charitable towards gripers! Your post today was very kind which says a lot about you!

Rebecca said...

As a teacher I can relate to the one negative comment impacting you so much more than the multiple positive ones. I do think it's much more painful, though, when someone we love is being criticized.

While reading your humorous comments about your cousin's taste, I couldn't help but feel relieved that you are helping him. ; ) I keep thinking that it doesn't matter how big the project or how much money you spend, it's what you do with it that matters. Frankly, most of us aren't designers (who, in my book, are really artists).

It's one of the reasons I'm thinking of hiring an interior designer for the first time. I think she (or he) will provide focus and no doubt make even minor changes that can have a huge impact on everything from livability to that hard to describe feeling of home (not to mention save me money in the long run).

Your cousin sounds like a wonderful, fun-loving, family and friend-oriented man who has worked hard for the opportunity to build his dream home. He's so fortunate to have you! Know that the majority of us wish you well on this amazing project!

Scandi Coast Home said...

I love your bookcase......especially the way it's so artfully jam packed.
Tania xx

Lakesha Christian said...

Lauren don't let it get to you. Where I'm from they call it HATING. Tell her "Don't hate....jump on board and Participate". Love your Blog,
Lakesha

Stacy said...

The way people behave anonymously is a poor reflection of the human condition. People will do and say anything they can get away with anonymously. Just think about the way people drive. There is rarely a face associated with the car that cuts you off and that is why it happens all the time. Disallowing anonymous comments is a good way to tackle this problem.

I hope you have fun with your cousin's home!

Michelle Price said...

Lauren,

I just wanted to reiterate what an inspiration you are to so many of us. I have always admired how honest and vulnerable you are in your posts and am getting ready to start my own blog soon and I hope to be as true to myself as you seem to be. Keep up the good work and try your best to ignore the unhappy people who feel it necessary to be so judgmental. I'm still trying to figure out why it's wrong to live in a big house if you can afford it? Is it more "moral" to be broke and living somewhere tiny. I can't wait to see how your cousin's house turns out.
Michelle

ArchitectDesign™ said...

I think your bookshelf looks great, just for the record :-) Putting yourself out there always brings out a lot of positives and a few negatives -we all get them. Try not to let them get to you (but I know they always do). The people leaving the negative comments generally have their own personal reasons for doing so (now thats diplomatic of me) and it has nothing whatsover to do with the object at hand. Just look at how many supportive comments this post has received in a matter of hours!

Rie said...

I remember when a negative comment would ruin my day too. :(. just so you know, I hardly ever check many blogs these days, but I always check yours...i love your style and ideas and can't wait to see your new home in a magazine one day soon!

Maureen Richmond said...

I'm with Rhonda. Nothing nice to say, don't say it, period. I do think it's ok to express an opinion respectfully if you're asking for one.

You might want to edit your moral for your boys when they get older. My 8-year-old has been studying government at school and claims he has freedom of speech and can therefore say anything he wishes. LOL. I simply state that I don't want to hear any unkind words.

Don't let the nasty comments get you down.

Unknown said...

I hope you cousin LOVES his house once he is in it! I hope he realizes what a wonderful & talented cousin he has helping him design and decorate. And I hope he builds an ADDITION if he thinks he WANTS too. His hard work, his money, his dream, his choice. Negative people ..... Move On!

Andrea said...

Lauren, I love your jammed packed bookcase…I wouldn't have mine any other way!

You are so sweet and sincere. Your suggestions to improve your cousin's home plans were in no way mean-spirited. I'm sorry someone reacted to your post that way. I look forward to seeing the house come together. Tuscan can be tasteful. You most certainly are an asset to the design team on the project.

Carolyn@Sweet Chaos said...

Just wondering... will your cousin's house be ready by spring break? Since he wants to fill the house with children, I'd be happy to bring my four boys down there for a week :)

You are going to do a fabulous job with this home. Can't wait to see the finished product!

Carolyn@Sweet Chaos said...

Just wondering... will your cousin's house be ready by spring break? Since he wants to fill the house with children, I'd be happy to bring my four boys down there for a week :)

You are going to do a fabulous job with this home. Can't wait to see the finished product!

ChrisC said...

I've never commented before,but I have been reading your blog for awhile,and I love it!
That said,your cousin can build any house he wants.If people don't like it,$cr3w 'em!It's his money,he can afford it,so there.He earned it honestly, after all.
On the thing about overhangs:living in Florida,you really,really need 'em.Trust me.The sun is a killer to furnishing,not to mention the heat.

katiedid said...

Oh....and by the way....I LOVE your bookshelves!!!!!

sjr said...

I loved your post about your cousin's house, he is the embodiment of the American dream, work hard and enjoy the fruits of those labors and as someone commented, his house is also supporting others. The architecture of his house is so South Florida and that pool spectacular. The whole post was very sweet and inspiring, just as you are. You are a very talented and grounded young lady, unfortunately there is alot of negativity and jealousy floating around. So what fabrics are you going to use???? Maybe he will inspire you to do a line of vibrant florals.....long live barkcloth!

vignette design said...

Well said Lauren. I too have felt all the same things that you mentioned. 30 positive comments, but one negative put-down and I'm upset. I guess it comes with the territory of putting our lives out there for people to read. Most people who follow along are lovely, but every once in a while someone will come along and feel it necessary to criticize. That's why I
also got rid of anonymous comments.
Have a great weekend! ~Delores

Melkorka said...

I posted before - but I just had this thought - the same thing that makes you sensitive to mean spirited 'anonymous' comments is the same thing that makes you a creative talent. To be creative you have to be open to the world - and damaging cynics who are out only to bruise, who needs them? I totally applaud you controlling your audience and your own space in the corner of the blog-o-shpere!

Melissa @ Lived In said...

By the way, one of my favorite things about your old casa is the bookshelves :)

Melissa @ Lived In said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karen said...

Lauren,
I know I don't comment on your site much, but I always enjoy reading your wonderful posts. I thought you post about your cousin was fun and entertaining. I'm sorry that there seems to be a group of people that were never taught that if you can't say something nice then say nothing at all.
I 've seen these mean spirited comments on other blog sites and they usually stem from jealousy.
Just know that most of us can appreciate your design job that you'll be helping your cousin with.
Karen

dervla kelly said...

What a lovely and honest post, Lauren! Although it's what i love about your blog in general. It's awkward to get those kind of comments but you've addressed it all in a very upfront and nice way.

Lauren said...

Aw I'm so sorry :(. We do put up our contractors sign because we want to promote him as much as possible and it also lets ppl know good things are going on inside... Mental hug coming your way from me.
Xoxo,
Lauren

Lauren said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carol@HouseandHomeDefined.com said...

Isnt it amazing how being "grown up", some still never loose their childish ways. Bravo to you for rising above. I love the changes youve suggested for the exterior. Dont cut yourself short, you should be on the exteriors, too! ;-) As for your cousin, bravo, too, to his success, and his ability to achieve that in this country, with the feedom to share and express his success as he chooses :) The nay sayers should perhaps put their envy away and be glad we live in a land with such great freedom of expression. Not meaning to be political, just saying that I enjoy watching the success of others, I find it inspiring. You included, Lauren! Good luck with this house!!

Kara said...

Hi Lauren love,
What a SHAME. I am so sad to read that there are people out there who would take a personal jab at you or one of your family members. One of the reasons your blog is so successful is because you do open your life up to your readers. I feel like a mama bear who wants to protect you. Your blog is my favorite because you share so much of yourself here. You handled this beautifully and I hope it doesn't prevent you from being your true, wonderful, authentic self. God bless you.
Kara :)

Sheri said...

Well said and good for your hard working cousin. Envy is an ugly monster! Keep up the good work!

Mom said...

My niece would kill me if she she i was writing this!!!!! Lol. She lives in Florida too and is single :). She is absolutely beautiful inside and out. I know I'm biased but she really is! She was voted best looking in high school ;). Haha. Let's set them up!!!!!!!!

Lauren, I love love love your blog!

Lilac In May said...

Well said Lauren, keep sharing please.

DecRenew Interiors said...

Well said! You have such class and I admire the realness you put out on your blog. What an inspiration you are! Thanks for your honesty!

DecRenew Interiors said...

Well said! You have such class and I admire the realness you put out on your blog. What an inspiration you are! Thanks for your honesty!

Ems said...

I always believe that it says more about the people making those kind of comments than it says about, in this case, your cousin.

Just like any house it makes a big difference once you see "real" pictures of it etc. a plan is just a plan but once it is reality, then it has got the opportunity to show it is not just a house but also a home!

I would be really keen to see the garden as well as the interior. It must be very exciting!

Best of luck and enjoy!
Emma in uk

Pretty Inspirational said...

I've been enjoying your posts very much but haven't commented in a while. After reading your most recent post I wanted to let you know I think it's great that you addressed the rudeness head on! I know exactly how you feel when you get a rude comment or two even if it's among many kind remarks. I haven't turned off the "anonymous" function yet but I'm going to now.

I recently visited the Textile Museum in DC plus Darryl Carter's new store. I thought you would enjoy my recent post on the trip...

http://prettyinspirational.blogspot.com/2013/02/100th-blog-post-darryl-carter-ottoman.html

Have a great time working with your cousin. It looks like a fun an exciting project! - Melissa

Dovecote Decor said...

Hi Lauren: Just checking in to see what you are up to. It was providentially just the advise I needed! I hope you are coming to HP, and I'd love to have a fun dinner with you like we did before! I never had so much fun!!
Best,
Liz

Sarah said...

Thoughtful post Lauren...my mother always taught me not to mind what others say - if you can't say something nice, don't say it at all - I wish more people lived by this!! We live in a time now when a lot of people may resent those with money etc...I say more power to them, your cousin has worked very hard for his money, his lifestyle etc. and the house is his dream. Its his business, not anyone else's...looking forward to seeing the pics!! ;-))

Amber said...

Wow so well said and great blog you have here. Good luck to you x

Erin Higgins said...

Well said. I live in NOVA and word on the street is you are sweet and fabulous/brave with design. Don't let the nay sayers getcha down. Having also grown up in South FL- that style of house is quite common. It may just look crazy out of place/large to readers who haven't lived there. As long as I don't have to clean that large house- more power to him:)

Judy said...

I just wanted to say that since a lot of resources (time, money, labor, materials) ARE being put into this home, I am so happy to see that you have become involved in it. You have changed the trajectory of the project from something that would date quickly to something that will better stand the test of time. I applaud that kind of use of resources.

bonnie b said...

nicely said:-) i just don't understand why it is now acceptable to criticize those who have done well? i come from a hardworking middle class family who raised me to study hard, work hard, treat people well, and then give thanks to God when you get to enjoy the riches of your labor. everyone has this chance, no matter where you come from. let's all keep working for our "golden ring" and stop worrying about what others are doing. thanks for the inspiration and good luck with the super cool project!

Bonnie said...

I think turning off anonymous comments is a great idea. If you can't put your name to what you have to say, then you probably shouldn't be saying it anyway. While your cousin's house may not be my personal style either, many people do love that style and I think it's great that you are including this job on your blog since a lot of people will find whatever you do stylistically applicable to their own homes. Looking forward to seeing more of the progress on the Florida house!

Brittney said...

I think it's sweet that you took out the time to write this post, but also silly. I think it's silly that you should have to apologize! People can be so judgmental and think they know so much about people on the web, with what little information they have. Neither you nor your cousin should have to apologize for his success/house/anything! :) Keep your head up. Haters gonna hate! haha

Wendy Williams said...

I read an interview Gwyneth Paltrow once did after so much criticism on her blog . The criticism was brining her down and so was close to closing it down. She finally decided it was someone's conscious decision to read it and it wasn't her responsibility to make it for everyone. Lauren, I read your blog (and I only read a few) because your style struck a chord and I love it. It would never occur to me to criticize a clients' decision or yours for that matter because as the reader it's MY responsibility to take what I will from it, not yours to alter your or your clients' style to conform to the masses. I just feel lucky that I have such easy access to your information and that you are so willing to share it! Thank you!

Pam said...

Love your blog! I'm still trying to figure what's wrong with the bookcases because they look great... I love that your cousin is having you help how supporting is that?

Elizabeth@ Pine Cones and Acorns said...

Lauren,

I have been reading your blog since you first started and I have always admired and loved your HONESTY, first and foremost, in fact I often comment here that I love that you "keep it real."

Your cousin works hard and he should have a house that he loves and enjoys. It is wonderful that you are working with him to make it a beautiful, warm and inviting home.

Please continue to share your projects, your life and your views, your blog is a breath of fresh air and an inspiration to my own.

Take care, Elizabeth

Unknown said...

I know how you feel with the negative comments. I had a taste of that last week, when a commercial client posted a photo of some of my work on their business Facebook page. They've done this for months, and nearly every comment has been positive and happy - but this one guy had to be very nasty and went so far as to suggest they "get a new designer." I was able to mostly let that go, but then it seemed others had to jump on the bandwagon and the one negative turned into three.
There will ALWAYS be critics, and ALWAYS people who love you. And so long as you are sure of what you have done, and know that there are more people who love your work than otherwise... then why let it bother you?
And... I don't think the bookshelf is too crowded. You balanced it out with white walls and white trim, and everything else was so very simple and restful. I like seeing your personality, and bookshelves tell so much! xoxo- Cris

Loretta Fontaine (APPLESandRUBIES) said...

Lauren,- Another beautiful and honest post.

In a perfect world we could hear comments "speak" with a human voice - not just words on a screen. I think comments can be a one-sided conversation, and a rough one at that when you can't easily judge the emotions behind the words as easily as you can when you hear the pitch and fall of words that spill out of someone's mouth.

Keeping it respectful is right on.

Loretta

Lisa LoJacono said...

Lauren,
Your blog posts are like a little gift in my inbox that I love to open. I don't comment often enough about how I appreciate your honesty and positive spirit. I'm truly sorry about the negative comments. I'm inspired by how you've handled the whole situation...staying true to yourself and honoring your family and client (whether they are one in the same or not!).
xo, Lisa (CookStreetInteriors)

westernreservebutlerspantry said...

I was a little concerned that you might get some nasty comments regarding your cousin's home. It's sad and also not a good sign that success is now a bad thing. I've been complaining about this attitude for quite awhile. It's human nature that we can have hundreds of kind remarks and that one nasty one sticks out in our mind. You have a lovely blog, a beautiful family and a successful business plus your cute, that's going to tick some people off. You don't have to explain your cousin's success. Isn't or wasn't that the American dream. It's getting too confusing anymore.

Lavender said...

Just catching up on my blog reading and wanted to add my two cents about the discourtesy and plain meanness that I find in a lot of anonymously posted comments on many blogs. I guess unhappy people want company. This penchance for intentionally hurting people was illustrated by Seth MacFarlane at the Oscars’ this year, disguised as humour, where his satiric jabs were not limited to domestic abuse and the weight of a woman. I was furious that this passed for humour and stopped watching…whereas my friend who enjoyed his performance said that people who want to be in that business need to develop a thick skin to survive. Their choice. I thought this was a dismissive response, placing the blame on the people who are victimized. I was shocked she did not recognize these “jokes” as abusive, especially knowing she herself had suffered domestic abuse in the past.

The problem is that none of us have a skin thick enough to escape unscarred by these comments. What I would like to know is why do we allow this kind of baiting or “humour” to become mainstream...where children can see it? I’m talking about meanness, a destructive meanness wrapped in ridicule that permeates from adults down to our children. Where do we think bullies come from…we grow them in our own homes.

So yes, you have a right to be hurt when the delivery of those comments was meant to inflict hurt. And it’s refreshing not to have a blog where repeat offenders come to vent their bile accumulated from other sources. Keep doing what you’re doing. You know you have our support. Bianca

Peggy said...

I love this post. I agree with everything you say. I don't understand why people are so mean now. Perhaps their lives are lacking in one way or another, but I also think that jealousy plays a role. I remember reading an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal years ago that said, "At the end of your life, the only thing that matters is if you were kind."

Jeannee said...

Lauren, the best way to teach someone how to speak (and not just a five-year old, either!) is the Scripture passage that gives us some good guidance: is it true? is it necessary? is it kind? If far more people took the high road using that as a guideline, rather than the low-road as trash talkers that have invaded our society - well, to use a song title - 'What a wonderful world this would be!!!'

& God Bless ur Cousin!!! Nowhere near as beautiful, but in the past, I, too, had an open-door policy ... and unfortunately had far too many 'adventures' with how predatory people can be ;( I pray he stays safe and loved and enjoys his wonderful home, and is able to provide a getaway (even an extended stay to some stuck relative - hey, would he like to adopt an nice old auntie type ;) ) for many, many years!!!