I was so inspired by Justina’s post last year showing her home in everyday use and I wanted to share mine as well. I will admit it felt a little weird to me. I am so used to cleaning and staging rooms before a shoot. The messiness of our home changes constantly. I feel like the mess moves from one room to another, actually. In part because of my work and and in part because it’s on the larger side and we don’t have a house cleaner currently, so we have to clean it in batches during Nova’s nap times on the weekend.

(If anyone asks if I am pregnant, I will be so annoyed—it’s just an angle.)

Anyway! For better or for worse, here’s my unstaged, real life home tour!

The living room. This is accurate—haha. I always rush to fix these pillows when someone is coming over.

The kitchen. It can be worse, but we do clean it every night so this is pretty much what it is. I usually remove the air fryer and a bunch of things from the counters when we do photos.

My office. This is where our messes tend to “land” and I am always trying to change that. I clean it about once a month and the rest of the time I just work in it like this and try to ignore the mess.

Other side.

The living room. This room actually looks pretty good.

Yeah, I’m proud of this room.

Except for this half-dead plant that I’m not sure what to do with … hmm.

Our entryway is typically decent unless there’s a million boxes.

But today the boxes are here. It is what it is.

The sunroom is beautiful no matter what. Yes, there are a few dead plants and some stuff from blogging that needs to be put away. But still pretty.

Our nieces stayed in this room a few weeks ago and added those tassels to the chair. This is a guest room so whether it is styled or unstyled it usually stays that way until a guest is coming—a good thing when it is clean. But this year it took me from Christmastime until summer to clean it because it got so bad. We had Collin store all our packages in here when we were gone to China for two weeks. Then when we got home we had just adopted Nova and my mind was other places. So, a month or two later, I opened all the packages from December and a bunch of them were food gifts (that were now rotten). Nice.



Not a bad guest room. But I can tell who made the bed (Jeremy—lol).

Nova’s playroom goes back and forth. At first, I would clean it once a month and let it get REALLY bad, but now I clean it every week (sometimes every night after we play) because it’s just easier.

Little known fact: Our dogs also sleep in Nova’s playroom. It’s been weird finding the right place for their kennel (they share one). I tried switching them to a dog bed, but they really prefer the kennel. I’m thinking when we adopt our second child that their kennel will have to go in one of the guest room closets. Not sure, but we’ll make it work.

Definitely my favorite room in the house, though.

The laundry room for sure goes back and forth. This was at the height of laundry procrastination. After we did these pics, I spent the whole weekend doing laundry.

The potty training lifestyle is our current phase in life.

Nova’s room is all over the place. I am actually about to rearrange it. It’s really tough to keep up with all her little clothes. I am still figuring out storage and what to do with clothes that are too small and too big.

I definitely think kids rooms are magical feeling even when they are messy.

Our dogs have been sleeping on all this extra bedding in our hallway for about two weeks.

Our bedroom is pretty quick to clean up, it takes less than 10 minutes. But why is it SO easy to mess up? As long as it’s clean and made up part of the week, I am fine with it. It can’t be perfect every day.

(By the way, I was in a book photoshoot a couple days before this, so that’s why I have so many amazing flowers in our bedroom—that is not typical.)

Last thing … I always use this tub to throw clothes in when I am cleaning out my closet. It’s a bad habit but this tub has clothes in it so often. I am almost done cleaning my closet now, so hopefully I can stop doing this. It’s weird how little habits like that start and then it feels normal after you have lived with it a little while.

Ok! Well, I hope you enjoyed this. This isn’t the worst our home ever looks and it’s not the best. It’s a regular day though.

As someone who stages photos often for my job, I never want to portray that our home is *always* as organized or styled as it is in photos. Obviously it isn’t and no one’s is. We both work from home and we have a toddler. It gets messy and that is just part of it. I honestly think it is awkward to take photos of your messes and you shouldn’t have to do that to somehow prove you are normal. That said, for the purpose of this post, I had fun doing it!

Now let’s have a group hug and a glass of wine. I love you! xx – Elsie

Credits//Author: Elsie Larson. Photography: Amber Ulmer.

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