How to Eliminate the Fear of Not Being a Good Enough Homemaker

Interior design and home decor inspiration and ideas flood the internet, from Pinterest to Instagram. And after the rabbit holes of browsing and pinning, it can leave one feeling overwhelmed, inadequate and hopeless to achieve their perfect home. Even myself sometimes, a professional interior designer with 20 years of experience and a Bachelors in the industry. It leaves me to wonder in the sea of perfection presented on the internet, where is the real life? And what truly makes a home good, beautiful, or perfect. And does that even matter? over creating a safe sanctuary one can be proud of. In this blog I will share how to eliminate the fear of not being a good enough homemaker.

It’s true, a well designed space can elevate your mood, confidence, and contentment.

Nevertheless, a good home is filled with feelings
For more inspiration quotes for the home by Maya Angelou, Ellen DeGeneres, Oprah Winfrey, and more! Read the blog Home Is Where the Heart Is.
Farmhouse project, San Juan Capistrano by OCSIB – staged for a commercial photo by Tiffany Nguyen 2018

The Art of non comparison

It is truly an art and stoic practice to view all of those perfect homes, mess free and real life junk or toy free photographs of rooms, and NOT compare your messy space to theres. Because behind every camera shot is a huge pile of real life mess.

Let’s be honest, even the most minimal of neat freaks has a pile of mail, markers, schoolwork done by their children, notes, bills, family photographs, and so much more cluttering some odd drawer or corner or surface of their home.

Because one thing I know is that our reality is in our minds. And if I, for instance was perpetually comparing my family’s lived in space with the most pristine of white spaces on Instagram, my mind would be a wreck! And therefore no matter what I did with my home, it would not be a sanctuary because my mind would have me imprisoned in this unrealistic expectation of what a home should look like.

So I ponder, if a perfect, beautifully clean home may not quite make a sanctuary, based on one’s perception what does?

Bathroom Remodel Project, Irvine by OCSIB – photo taken the day contractor finished work. by Tiffany Nguyen 2019

Accept what is and work with it.

I can’t count how many times I have entered a home for a design consultation and the homeowner immediately apologizes for their mess, or home’s appearance. And I always reassure them “I am not here to judge”, and truly I am not! If their house was a perfect home they wouldn’t need my help and I wouldn’t be there.

It is my gracious pleasure to see your mess so I can help them fix it, clean it up and transform it. But it is an interesting observation that so many apologize due to this culture of showcasing the perfect sides of their life, or home on social media. It shows the sign of the fear of not being good enough.

But we are not robots or movie sets, we are real life human beings with struggle, emotions, packed schedules, kids, sports etc.

I have learned that we must accept what is in the present, and work with it. Work with what you have, allow yourself grace and don’t let anxiety get the better of you. Time is precious and spending time playing with your kids or quality time with your partner is far more valuable than cleaning your house all day.

Don’t get me wrong I LOVE a clean and organized house, however I have a daily chore chart and take 30 minutes to do one of those each day so I am not overwhelmed one day of the week. I don’t plan on being a maid, and I have hired some in the past. It was so lovely the first two weeks, but then that luster faded and I saw that I could do a better job myself if I just took the time a little each day to do a deeper clean on that one area.

Tiffany and Kim Nguyen Co Founders of OCSIB – photo cred. professional photographer Mariusz Jeglinski

When Kim and I were first married we both were in a job transition and frankly, my side gig of horse training ran us into eviction and debt. When we got back on our feet it was a slow process and I learned to DIY and work with what I had for our home’s decor. I strived for that perfect home with the resources I had.

I encourage you, no matter if what you have to work with is a little money or a lot, in the world of comparison the money never seems to be enough. So I’ve learned to be patient. Now that we are comfortable, I still find I wish this room could be perfect, or that room, so I can post it on Instagram and truly be happy when I walk by. However, that mindset will set me up for disappointment every time because I am not loving it for what it is NOW.

I will remember my kids shoes in this cute little fabric box on the floor one day with nostalgia after we’ve completed our custom built in hall tree.

Photo by Tatiana Syrikova on

I remember my toddlers helping me paint an old garage sale bookcase that I placed their board books in when they loved to read every night.

Tiffany Nguyen & daughters. photo cred. : Dreamcatcher Art Photography

I will remember the business mistake I made by returning a custom sofa and adopting it as our own in our house. But I will also fondly remember that it housed weekly movie nights and hide and seek games in it’s vast crevices.

“The power of acceptance allows us to truly experience happiness.”

-Tiffany Nugyen
Wallpaper Project, Irvine by OCSIB (this is an instagram worthy photo, but in the end, the client yearned for her plain white wall back.???) photo by Tiffany Nguyen 2017

A perfect home is filled with feelings

I truly love to make spaces functional and beautiful.

However I have to admit that a good home’s foundation is a home filled with acceptance, freedom and feelings. -good and bad feelings

The full human experience is a mixture of good and bad, happy and sad, hugs and conflict, laughter and tears. Each teaches us a lesson.

What makes a home a sanctuary is the ability to accept each other inclusively, to foster freedom of thought and speech, and teach about teamwork and community. As our daughters age throughout elementary school, middle school and up, I wish that they have memories of laughter, lessons from trials, and unconditional support we offered them. The home furnishings and accessories that surround them will provide milestones and markers, but will not define their feelings.

New move in design project, Rancho Santa Margarita by OCSIB (This is one of this client’s favorite corners, and I hand painted the black and white square pillows myself.) photo by Tiffany Nguyen 2019

It is a daily practice to look at the perpetual “mess” of life and breathe and not waste my energy cleaning up every pile (that I did not make!) to make sure my home is spotless. And I am proud that I can keep my Virgo, OCD, anxiety in check without yelling at everyone for making the house a mess. ONLY because I know each pile is an experience and a memory. And on top of that, I will not expect perfection when my 8 and 6 year old make an effort to clean up their mess.

It’s true, a well designed space can elevate your mood, confidence, and contentment. And it’s one of the most important things to me and brings me much joy to pull together the perfect paint combination, fabrics and wall treatments that elevate and rock a space, and lighting fixtures and stone that give a bath and kitchen sensuality. …

Yet above all, a perfect home includes you, your style, your family and most of all LOVE.

This concludes a blog on how to eliminate your fears of not being enough as a homemaker, human, parent, and homeowner.

Let’s shine the light on this culture flaw of showcasing false perfection. I’m showing up to the Instagram v. reality REEL trend to break this myth. Create your own and tag me @sanctuary.oc.interiors
I’d love to know in the comments below…
Do you find home inspiration on Instagram or Pinterest?

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