Home Truths – The Reality Behind Instagram

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Social media is such a wonderful but crazy thing.  There is so much inspiration to be found on Instagram.  I really do love it.  The flip side of that is that we’re constantly bombarded with magazine worthy images of people’s homes several times a day.  And even myself who knows the reality behind Instagram, I still find that those feelings of inadequacy creep up from time to time.  Like, “Damn, how is her house so clean all the time?  Am I the only one who has permanent junk piles on my kitchen counters??  My home will never look like that.  Ugh…. just burn it all.”  This isn’t a new topic by any means, but it is one that’s often on my mind.  As young girls we were influenced by the touched up models in magazines.  We grow up feeling like we’re never pretty or thin enough.  Maybe we’ve finally accepted our body in a bathing suit, but now it’s our homes that we feel aren’t good enough because all we see are perfectly photographed, pristine homes.  I don’t like that.

I love inspiring you guys to try new things in your homes.  Sometimes by seeing other people’s furniture layouts we can better visualize it in our own homes.  Seeing someone else’s pretty vignette give us an idea for what we could put on the top of an empty dresser we have been struggling with.  THAT’S why I love sharing my home with you guys.  I never want anyone to feel like they don’t have it together when they see a photo I’ve posted.  I most definitely assure you I do not have it together.  If my husband is reading this he’s probably laughing at the thought of me having it all together 😀 

Last year I started a series on my Instagram page called #hometruthtuesdays.  It’s where I share the normal photo you see posted to Instagram, but then also the reality that readers don’t usually see.  Lighting is bad, the house isn’t picked up, life is happening. Think of it as if my house just crawled out of bed and is staggering to the bathroom in the morning.  I’m not saying my house is a complete dump at all times, but I am saying we live here with two little people and a large dog. There are times when it takes some work to get an “Instagram worthy” photo. 

Here’s what I mean.

That clean kitchen counter you see in the photo wasn’t like that earlier.  I had to move all the piles of junk out of camera shot, wipe down the counters for the tenth time that day, make sure I’m taking the photo at the best time of day where the sun comes in just right, brighten the dark areas in a photo editor, and in some cases edit out a dried up bread crust I didn’t see laying on the floor.  Sometimes the kitchen gets all the things piled on the counters at once and there isn’t enough time that day to keep it clean. Oh, and I leave my pendant lights on when I’m home. I definitely can’t get a decent photo with lights on.  

My entry is a dark cave.  There is zero natural light.  I can get a nice photo so long as the front door is open, or the camera is set to an incredibly slow shutter speed.  If you were to walk past my entry it would be dark like in the bottom photo.  And, more than likely have items like my son’s lovie that he left by the door on his way to school, or the carseat that my husband brought inside before going to work. But hey, that’s what this spot is for anyways!

Our dining room is the one room in our house that I can rely on to be clean most of the time. However, it has it’s days as well and is a complete booger to photograph due to the position of the windows. It always requires a lot of lightening and brightening in an editor. On this particular day my plant clipping decided it just couldn’t take it anymore. My husband had also recently brought some of his childhood possessions home. Benji, the Millennium Falcon, and my dead leaf sat like this for a few days.

Ah, the master bedroom. Our retreat from the crazy. LOL!!! Anytime I photograph our bedroom I’m always having to kick a dog bone or two out of the shot. Unfortunately my pretty plant didn’t survive here long. Our dog kept tipping it over in the middle of the night. He also did a number on his toy that left stuffing everywhere. If it’s not a stuffed dog toy being destroyed it’s something else. Usually one of my socks.

I’m sharing all of this with you guys because I want you to know it’s not perfect. Getting an image that’s going to inspire someone to try something new in their house can sometimes take work. The truth is, people are more inspired by a beautiful image that has been styled or edited to show everything in the best light. It’s like makeup for a home. Everyone loves a beautiful image, but over time it can make us feel crummy about our own homes.

So, the next time you see a beautiful photo on Instagram let it inspire you, but know that even the most beautiful homes have their flaws. No one, and nothing is perfect.  

If you’re on Instagram, and want to join me in sharing your Home Truths, tag me and add #hometruthtuesday to your photo! I would love to see them! Be on the lookout for mine on Tuesday!


  1. Pamela Jones Avatar
    Pamela Jones

    Wells there’s no doubt your home is functional and well lived in. I love your spaces.

    1. Shelley Avatar

      Thanks so much! Definitely heavy on the lived in 😀

  2. Jill Avatar

    I totally relate to the dog toy stuffing! And why do they have to do it on the “nice” rug 15 minutes after vacuuming?

    1. Shelley Avatar

      I think they know when the carpet has been freshly vacuumed, because he always manages to do something to it!

  3. Shelly Avatar

    Thank you! Just, thank you for being real! We need more of this! Your home is lovely and you are so sweet to show us reality!

    1. Shelley Avatar

      I am so happy to hear you enjoyed it, Shelly!!! Thank you so much for your sweet comment!

Meet Shelley

Hi, I’m Shelley! My belief is that with a little creativity and elbow grease, you can make your home look like a million bucks without spending it.

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