Blogger Burnout Is No Joke + My Favorite Home Furnishings!

freaking-out-over-your-paint-colors

 

Some of you may recall that I said the other day that I would be on vacay this week, for a few days.

Well, I am, but can I ever completely go away?

No. So, a vacay is only working 5 hours a day instead of 16+.

And yes, 16+ nearly every day of the week, is too much.

 

AND, I am fully aware of the dangers of blogger burnout.

 

In fact, I had a little taste of it last week.

Although I am not sure if what happened is related to the number of hours I put in or not.

But here’s the story.

 

Now, please don’t be (too) alarmed, but I checked myself into the ER last week. (eight days ago)

 

I was out and about feeling fine, going to my favorite health food store in Bronxville.

Well, it’s the only health food store in Bronxville. lol But the people are nice and I like going there.

My point in telling you that is that I was not in the least bit stressed out.

But the second I put my wallet back into my purse, I knew that something was wrong.

And it’s not an unfamiliar feeling. Light-headed, weak, nauseous, but this time, I could feel my heart pounding and I wasn’t even moving much. No pain whatsoever, but it was like trying to keep up with my 6′-3″ son when he’s in a hurry.

Yes, it was a hot, steamy day, but I had a big drink before I left the house.

Damn it. That store nearby that had a bench was closed and now, there was no bench. But my favorite bench at Houhlihan Lawrence was another 100 feet or so. It felt like forever to get there, but it was only one long block in total. I plopped into the bench as if it was metallic and there were magnets attached to my butt.

The sidewalk was moving at a brisk clip.

 

the garden and my bench at houhlihan lawrence bronxville new york

“My” bench at Houhlihan Lawrence in Bronxville, NY

 

SHIT!!! I felt like crap!

Do I need to call 911?

I figured that I better get some help and went to go inside the realtor. (you can see the door in the above image taken last summer)

They’re closed???

I sat back down on the bench.

And then, seconds later, God really had it in for me. Huge drops of summer-type rain started falling.

Did I need that?

So, I relocated to the door stoop where there is an overhang.

Things had calmed down somewhat, so, while waiting for the rain to stop, I drank some of the sparkling Poland Spring I had just purchased and had a few butternut squash corn chips. Those are really yummy, BTW.

Several minutes later, still feeling woozy, but better, with the sun back out, I decided to take the 3 minute trek to Lawrence Hospital.

Don’t be an idiot, I kept telling myself. Some of you know that I had a dear brother who died at 38 of a heart attack. And since then, naturally have been concerned that I have inherited the same awful genes.

You see… He had been feeling quite unwell in the days preceding his death and finally had made an appointment which was later on the day that he passed.

I’m not naturally the overly neurotic-type. But hearts beating abnormally are nothing to mess around with.

 

Lawrence Hospital - Bronxville, NY ER- Hospital beige yuck Blogger Burnout

My view from my room at Lawrence Hospital ER last week.

Uhhhh… hospital beige?

 

And seriously. Is that not the ugliest curtain you’ve ever seen?

I’m convinced that it’s a vast conspiracy to keep people from getting well so that they can make more money.

But, they couldn’t have been nicer or taken better care of me.

They jabbed me with a huge IV needle for fluids, anti-nausea meds and ran the usual tests, EKG, blood sugar… and the doc ordered a CT scan of my brain.

I haven’t been to the hospital for over 22 years since my second son was born.

 

Well, bottom-ish line.

 

They couldn’t find anything wrong in terms of anything to cause grave concern.

But when I got back home, I did some research because I have other symptoms too.

Like purple toes.

Does anyone else get purple toes?

It’s Reynaud’s Syndrome. Mine is relatively mild. But my vacay host did comment on it this morning.

Well… without going into a whole big thing…

It might be something having to do with low blood volume which can cause sharp changes in blood pressure. And it has a long scary sounding name, but it is perfectly treatable.

BTW, I’ve been to my doctor a few times about this and have seen three specialists including a cardiologist.

But if it’s this disease, part of the cure is actually to have a lot of salt and fluids. Weird, huh? But I do admit, that I seem to crave salty food at this stage of my life.

Or, it could be my thyroid. An auto-immune thing.

 

So, why am I going into great detail about my health?

 

Because something’s gotta give. (a little Hampton’s pun from the movie of the same name)

Make no mistake, I LOVE MY JOB!

I LOVE BEING A BLOGGER!!!

But blogger burnout is a very real possibility.

However, I am not going to let that happen.

Here’s the problem. It’s not just a matter of putting together the blog posts. Oh no. That’s not even the half of it and that right there is about 25 hours/week.

Could I spend less time on that?

Occasionally. But most posts take an average of 12 hours to produce.

And then there are comments to answer and emails.

NOW. Please hear this. I do not want you to stop commenting.

But, one thing I’ve done is to close comments on posts older than 30 days.

And I might not answer every single comment.

I definitely do read every one.

And I can’t always answer emails unless of course, you’re having a problem related to the blog or one of my products. (like you didn’t get your update)

In addition to all of that, there’s a ton of other stuff that I don’t need to go into.

Can I cut back the blogging schedule?

Sorry, no. That is not an option. It’s like saying, can I only work three days a week instead of five?

But, I definitely need to free up some time without sacrificing quality. Fatigue and not having enough down time never helped anything.

 

Here are some of my ideas.

 

Once or twice a month to have a guest poster. I hesitate to say this because, to be frank, even though I have a big sign that says no guest posters on my contact page, I am still solicited quite frequently. That’s because the cretins do not read my contact page. They got my info from a list they bought. They don’t even bother to address me by a name.

It’s always,

“Hi,”

Sometimes when I’m in an especially snarky mood, I’ll write back and say:

“just so you know… my name isn’t “Hi,”

[douchebag]

And trust me when I tell you that every single one of these so-called bloggers sucks, sucks, sucks!!! As bloggers, that is. They might be very nice people, otherwise. Well, probably not if they can’t be bothered to find out my name and they want me to do something for them.

This is what the world has devolved to. Unfortunately.

But you know and I know that this is not what we’re about here on the laurel home blog. We’re about authenticity, growth, learning and hopefully having a few laughs.

And… I do know that there are some massively talented people out there!!!

You Guys!!!

So, if any of you are possibly interested in being a guest blogger and getting a crap-load of exposure by some awesome readers, then please listen up.

 

Here Is What I’m Looking For in a Guest Blogger

 

  • Needs to bring something to the blog that will be of exceptional interest and most likely, but not necessarily something I don’t do or do well. (but wish I did) A great example is gardening. Or table top. Entertaining. Or maybe you have a home that should be in House Beautiful but it’s not.

 

  • Needs to understand blogging technique. Blogging requires certain skills that are easy to learn but are different than in other forms of writing.

 

  • Needs to provide, if possible, from 10-20 beautiful, clear, images. They don’t have to be huge files, but fine if they are. I can reduce them easily. But for a vertical, prefer that they are not less than 600 px wide and for horizontal, prefer that they be at least 800 px wide. You cannot increase the files size if it’s not already at that level.If you cannot provide images, it is not a deal breaker. But if you do provide them and they aren’t your intellectual property, I need to have attribution to the original source.You may send submissions to:

 

ADMIN  AT LAUREL BERN INTERIORS DOT COM

 

I put it in caps so that it would stand out. And it is written out so that the nefarious can’t easily find the address.

I realize that this may seem daunting or scary to some of you. Maybe some of you WERE bloggers and abandoned your blog and are looking for a way to get back in it. Well, here’s a great opportunity.

Potentially.

I say that because I have high standards but if you think that you have what it takes, then I will welcome your proposal(s). Please send to the admin address above.

Another idea I have to help prevent blogger burn-out is to give readers, a few times a year, a fairly broad topic and then let y’all write in your problems related to that topic.

There won’t necessarily be an answer, but it’ll give me a chance to write about that problem more in depth, especially if I see a pattern.

 

So, today, that is what I’m proposing as an experiment.

 

This time, however, I am not proposing a topic, but allowing y’all to write in any design-related problem you might be having.

If others would like to chime in with an answer, that is fine.

I am going to turn off the comment moderation. If there should happen to be a troll, the 99.999% of you who are kind, wonderful people have my express permission to kick them in their unkind troll-ass!

 

And now for the Part II of this post.

 

There’s a new tab in the menu called:

Favorite Home Furnishings.

 

I’ve mentioned once or twice that I am working on this. This page is going to be a work in progress and dynamic. It won’t change as much as the hot sales, but especially in the early weeks, will be growing and evolving.

 

This is different from the hot sales page because these items may or may not be on sale. These are classic pieces in a variety of styles and settings. And most are reasonably priced.

 

Some of the categories are rather broad now, but in time, might be broken down further.

There are four categories up so far.

 

Here is one of the categories which is about all kinds of tables except for dining tables.

 

 

Below are the other three categories. (so far)

The links to the pages are below the images

 

mark d sikes - blue and white living room in Montecito via instagram

Blue and White Home Furnishings

Image via Mark D. Sikes instagram. Don’t you just adore this vignette? Well, I do!

 

Upholstered Furniture – (sofas, loveseats, chairs)
 

Serena and Lily chairs – Love these!

Affordable dining and occasional chairs

The ones above are the most expensive of the lot.

I will still be around, just not as much as I usually am on a Wednesday evening and Thursday.

OH! And please, know that I am feeling absolutely fine right now. But I do have a tendency to get nauseous and dizzy and it’s starting to become a problem.

xo,

 

PS: More hot sales on Friday, but please don’t forget about early access at the Nordstrom once a year anniversary Sale. Full access begins this Friday, July 20th. Can’t wait!

 

 

PPS: Gosh, guys! It’s Thursday morning! You are all so, so kind, but I would like to address some of your comments here.

 

First of all, the people who need to read this are none of you who are making these kind, supportive comments.

They are the scores of folks who write me long-winded paragraphs full of questions and seeking out FREE ADVICE as if all I have to do is sit here and answer them. And even if I could do that, I can’t see what they are talking about and IT IS NOT EASY. Decorating is damned difficult!

I have tried everything in my power to get them to stop, but they won’t. So, I guess what I need to do is ignore them? But it’s difficult when they start out saying such nice things and sound so desperate. I realize that they mean no harm, but have no idea that their queries are not appropriate.

I cannot blog less.

Why?

That WOULD be a source of great stress as this is my livelihood now and that would mess me up big time. (long, boring technical crap that the vast majority have no interest in knowing about)

However, this blog/website is my livelihood now and it’s one that I desperately need, not only for myself but other people in my family who for whatever the reason, cannot work and need or will need my help. No violins please. I LOVE MY JOB!!!

But, this is one reason why there are shopping links. And really and truly, if 99.75% of you don’t get anything, that is absolutely fine. Because .25% of you do and that is still 100s of readers a month. And then there are those who are grateful and would be upset if I did not provide this service.

BUT… I really hate being chastised for being commercial, or whatnot; it makes me feel badly. Again, it’s none of you because you’re ALL wonderful, kind and supportive.

The writing and producing posts is actually RELAXING for me. The only difficulty is the time involved, but shorter posts would help with that.  Why didn’t I think of that???

IF, if, if there are any guest posters, they will be here because they are BETTER THAN ME and will provide something of immense value and beauty. And it will not be more than once a month. But again, these are only thoughts at this point.

 

I am under excellent medical care– so please, please no more medical advice to me or anyone else who writes in. I did not ask for it! And I feel very strongly that even IF you are in the medical field that it’s highly inappropriate to offer any kind of medical advice to someone that is not under your care.

 

I have a superb internist who is helping me get to the bottom of this. Actually, these symptoms are NOT NEW. But they are a little more frequent now. It is one of the reasons that I’ve moved to becoming a full-time blogger. Being an interior designer for me, was immensely stressful and physically demanding. And what if I lose the ability to do my job? I’d be screwed.

It is not dehydration, vertigo, vitamin deficiency, diet-related or heart disease. These things have been checked, re-checked over and over and over. The symptoms are probably due to an auto-immune disorder which possibly involves the thyroid gland. Or not. Not sure.

About the PALEO DIET.

I had two dear friends who died way too young who were on that diet. In fact, hearing those words is a trigger that makes me want to projectile vomit into outer space. Again. Please no medical advice on this blog!

It is not stress.

When I was a teen-ager, I had the worst hives in the history of mankind. Huge sacks of liquid invaded my face in particular. Imagine going to school looking like the elephant man at the age of 15? I was frequently told that it was “stress.” Damn it all! Not stress, but it was certainly stressful when I had an attack!!! These types of hives are auto-immune related that researchers have come to realize in more recent years.

For those in the medical field, I test pos. and have for years and years for anti-nuclear antibodies. That is a marker for an auto-immune disease and most commonly lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. Don’t have the latter and I’ve been to see two different rheumies. They don’t believe that it’s Lupus either, except that I have a lot of the symptoms.

And finally. While I may not answer, I read all of your comments and appreciate every single one of you more than you can possibly know!

What has happened with this blog is something that I never dreamed was remotely possible. It is a true miracle. And I am hoping that this message is something that others can take and use to make their lives better.

And understand that it is never too late.

I always thought it was others who got all of the breaks and so forth. I went through my years of darkness when I didn’t even care.

Look. We all have “stuff.”

 

Even the “perfect” people have stuff. In fact, I’m convinced that the more perfect it all looks, the more “stuff” they have.

They’re just really, really good at hiding it because the illusion of perfection is far more important to them than letting others see who they really are.

And yes, it’s scary. It’s scary showing others who we really are.

But, it’s also where the greatest healing takes place.

In my view, there is no true happiness without authenticity.

However, I am going to continue to wear make-up and have my hair dyed.

And eat an eclair or a few bites of cheesecake if I feel like it.

Why?

Because it makes me feel better.

Thank you, thank you for your kind words and help in continuing to create what I hope is one of the best design blogs out there!

I love all of you dearly!!!

Please note that comments have now been turned off of this post.

  • Jeanne Hamburg - July 20, 2017 - 8:13 PM

    Please see Dr Robert Spiera in NYC.ReplyCancel

  • Anne DeCocco - July 20, 2017 - 7:27 PM

    I had what I call my “fake heart attack” several years ago (we didn’t know it was fake for quite a while) and then an attack of shingles last year. You may not have enough stress in your life to make you sick, but usually hard working creatives who love life and love being busy, working hard, trying new things, earning a living, etc. DO need to learn how to manage it all for the benefit of our health, especially as we hit certain age markers. In some ways it’s a bummer (c’mon body, KEEP UP!), but it’s really just more lessons along the fabulous journey.
    You’re in my prayers and I wish only wonderful things for you, you hard working, super talented, loving woman.ReplyCancel

  • Sasha Pey - July 20, 2017 - 4:50 PM

    Godspeed on your recovery Lauren! Sending you positive vibes! Don’t worry about new contents. I believe we as your reader will do just fine rereading your previous posts that are very informative and are always great reading materials.ReplyCancel

    • Abby - July 20, 2017 - 5:16 PM

      I most heartily agree, Sasha! I reread Laura’s posts frequently.ReplyCancel

  • Patricia de Vries - July 20, 2017 - 4:33 PM

    Laurel, I’m so sorry to hear of your health issues. Like everyone else who has commented, we love your blog and appreciate your hard work! Don’t burn out! Glad you are taking care of you! I love how your readers offer good suggestions on every topic, we can all learn from each others’ comments! Take care, your Canadian fans need you!
    xoxoReplyCancel

  • Lisa - July 20, 2017 - 3:53 PM

    Dearest Laurel,
    I know how frustrating it can be to have a medical condition that no one can identify. I’m very glad you are seeing an internist, who will hopefully put together all of the pieces. Best is to rest more, and reply less. I’m fine with that, just please don’t stop blogging all together!! Sending love, hugs, and prayers your way. Also praying that you don’t lose your sense of humor ( I’d miss that the most) 😉ReplyCancel

  • Claudia - July 20, 2017 - 3:26 PM

    Laurel,

    I’m glad you are ok and I hope that you are able to make the time to take care of yourself! I too deal with Raynaud’s and low blood pressure issues. Not fun at best and scary when you experience symptoms and have no idea what is happening. On multiple occasions, I almost passed out gardening! It brought images to my mind of the Godfather meeting his dimise amongst the tomato vines. But that may be the dramatic Italian in me talking. I’m glad that you otherwise got a clean bill of health.

    As an aside, I love your blog! As a newer designer, I find your posts invaluable. My style is similar to yours (although I can be more ecletic at times) so each blog post is like a little gift. 🙂 My Sunday morning routine is to grab a cup of espresso and read your blog. I’ve recommended it to several designer friends as well.

    Best wishes for good health!ReplyCancel

  • Pamela - July 20, 2017 - 3:23 PM

    wow! I am newish to your blog so I didn’t know about your brother. I’m so sorry you lost him. what a frightening experience you just had. your workload is nuts. Sometimes friends say I should start a blog and I laugh because I simply don’t ever want to work that hard or learn so much new stuff! after reading your requirements for possible guest posters I need a nap, exhausting. and you do this all the time. if it turns out you do have a chronic health problem I will have a lot to say about changes needed 7 acceptance of a new normal but for now it appears many of your readers have given you great advice. when we are doers by nature then the hardest person to say no to is ourself.guest bloggers is a good option if you can truly keep a relative hands off approach which may be super hard for you. if not, it may be too much work. professional and excellence are two words I’d use for you, also meticulous to detail. if you are able to acquiece to a less polished product then go for guests. my design issue is similar to others in attempting to marry my traditional/coastal/primitive design loves in an inviting, personal yet up to date way in our new home without it screaming Grandma. (even though I love being one) I’d like our main floor to have one main style, upscale island a la’ Bunny Williams House by the Sea, while the second floor is more casual cottagey, vintage and whimsical. you are at heart a teacher, a wonderful teacher because you are BEYOND generous with your expertise, experience and knowledge. I love design and decorating, thank you for all I have learned from you. May God bless your richly in your health and relationships.ReplyCancel

  • Naomk - July 20, 2017 - 3:00 PM

    Laurel, just take care of yourself. And re stress: when I was about forty I got an awful case of shingles. They say stress can be a factor but actually I had no stress and all was calm and well…but qnot so much after the onset of symptoms, as you point out! The body sometimes does its own thing and the job of the mind is to take care, care, care. All the best to you.ReplyCancel

  • Deb Lee - July 20, 2017 - 2:49 PM

    I agree with everyone who wishes you well, wants you to take care of yourself, and loves your blog and humor! There are very few writers I’ve read who are laugh out loud funny: are you sure you didn’t write for SNL in a previous life? The “Pin It” on the hospital curtain image: priceless. I admire your honesty and courage to reveal what’s really going on in your life. Healing thoughts are with you.ReplyCancel

  • Therese - July 20, 2017 - 2:14 PM

    Hi Laurel–so sorry to hear about your health issues. Hope you are on the mend soon!!

    As for your blog, I am astounded that you try to reply (or even read) every comment and so quickly too! Letting that go may free up a good amount of time. As a loyal reader, I certainly don’t expect you to read and respond to every comment. I can’t believe you sometimes research (e.g. Trying to find the name of a pattern) when responding too. This has got to be ungodly time consuming for you! And I don’t think the quality of your blog would suffer if you cut that back.

    As for topics you could have guest bloggers on–how about to address decorating problems that many of us have but you hate (I.e., the McMansion problem). For example, how to create something beautiful out of the God-awful “open concept” kitchen/family room? How to add beautiful art when you have no walls to speak of? How to turn a cavernous two-story foyer or living room into something cozy and homey? How to accessorize the brown kitchen cabinets and matching granite when you don’t have the cash to rip out the whole thing and start fresh?

    One of my favorite decorating books is the Perfectly Imperfect Home. I so enjoy her style and the entertaining and housekeeping tidbits she sprinkles throughout. Maybe those topics would be good for a guest to address too?ReplyCancel

  • Gloria - July 20, 2017 - 2:05 PM

    Lauren…A response needed/expected? Not in a million years but I can’t restrain myself from commenting by saying that I appreciate your transparency in sharing how you are feeling. That’s a good thing because it gives us – those so disposed – the impetus to pray specifically for your need, which I have done. Thank you for so generously sharing your expertise with us. May God bless and strengthen you!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa Allen - July 20, 2017 - 2:05 PM

    Dearest Laurel, I am so happy that you are talking a little vacation!! I completely understand your symptoms because this sounds exactly like what my mother experienced eight years ago when my forty one year old brother died. The shock sent her autoimmune disease into overdrive!! She had been to countless doctors and every one ignored her lupus erythematosus. Please know that you are in my thoughts, I hope you get some rest! ❤ReplyCancel

  • Michelle Minch - July 20, 2017 - 1:43 PM

    A couple of suggestions for dealing with burnout. 1) Once per month take a 3 or 4 day weekend. Plan to go someplace, even if it is a local luxury hotel. Don’t bring your laptop, don’t check your blog. We will all live if we don’t hear from you for a few days. 2)Hire an assistant. It can be a virtual assistant. You decide what skills would be most helpful to you. Some suggestions: researching photo references, combing the internet for interesting and useful informaion, ghost writing some blog posts. There are many very talented writers and photo editors who are available on a part-time basis. Delegating is something that all us control freaks and type A’s have trouble with. But once you figure it out, you won’t be able to understand how you functioned before. Good luck and good health!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - July 20, 2017 - 2:10 PM

      I’ve been trying to figure out the VA thing for at least a year. I really appreciate the advice, though Michelle.

      The ghost writer won’t work because I think that folks would see through that one.

      Research would be great if I were more organized and knew what I was going to be writing about. yuck.

      Going away by myself is depressing for me. It’s a reminder of what I’ve lost that I never had but thought I did until my nose was rubbed into the shit.

      Do you remember that show or maybe you are too young in the 60’s called “Occasional Wife?” LOLOLOL Well, I need an occasional husband. (with money, thank you) Just 2 or 3 days a month and then he can go and bugger off! haha!

      I think that would be very attractive to a lot of men.

      ReplyCancel

  • Penelope Walker - July 20, 2017 - 1:41 PM

    Laurel, I’m glad you had the wisdom to get the help you needed when you needed it. But it’s time to take a look at what you have been doing lately which may have added to your stress. I can think of one thing: the sales blog. Much as I enjoy it, you should consider letting it go. We can manage well enough without it. We don’t want to manage without you at all so a much reduced schedule makes sense. I’m not a fan of guest bloggers, to be honest. And I think it would prove to be a bigger burden for you. Heck, you should take a blogging break for the rest of the Summer and recharge your batteries. Your health is too important.
    I am enjoying the roundups of various categories of things. I enjoy a peek at other people’s houses as much as the next person. But my focus has recently shifted to planning for my next move to retirement land. My mind is actively furnishing the new condo or at least refining the possibilities even before I know where I am going or when. Mainly it is a winnowing of what doesn’t work or no longer works now. So if you have any thoughts on the process involved, and experience on what makes sense to take and what is more cost effective to buy at the “other end” would be most welcome.ReplyCancel

  • Maureen - July 20, 2017 - 1:24 PM

    SO happy you are planning ways to take better care of yourself and seeking the medical care you need. Your health is what is most important. I’m a new subscriber and I don’t want anything to happen to you!! Finding your blog/website was like finding a treasure. Your posts are so helpful and informative and they read like a letter from a best friend.There are already so many posts on your website that are enormously helpful that I think just an occasional post is all we need so we know you are doing well.
    Take care of yourself and thank you for all the advice and information you’ve already shared.ReplyCancel

  • Shelby - July 20, 2017 - 1:20 PM

    Laurel,

    As always, I love your transparency! Please take care of yourself! Your readers will survive if you take a real vacation 😉
    Hoping for a quick recovery and lighter work schedule!ReplyCancel

  • Abby - July 20, 2017 - 1:14 PM

    Glad you were able to obtain medical care. I fully understand the amount of work you do for the blogs to which we are not privy. How about cutting back to one blog a week? I would prefer to have less of you than a guest blogger! Take good care, sending positive thoughts your way!ReplyCancel

  • Carla Aston - July 20, 2017 - 12:54 PM

    So sorry to hear about your health issues, Laurel! We are getting of that age where things can go wrong in heartbeat if we don’t watch it. I’m having surgery next month, gallbladder has to go. 🙁 However, I’m grateful it is nothing worse! Take care of yourself! How about getting some help with fielding your inbox requests, etc. That can take so much time and it is not producing much content or getting you through work to do. Maybe a VA? Let’s chat soon!

    CarlaReplyCancel

  • Ramona - July 20, 2017 - 12:47 PM

    Dear Laurel,

    After scanning through all these posts, I have to reiterate what I didn’t say as well as I could have:

    Rest, do less. I have a motto I try to use from the Tao teh Ching: “Do less than you can, so you will always have a reserve.”

    I have had a chronic disease my whole life which limits what I can do. So the above motto really helped me.

    This means, no guest bloggers as some have mentioned above that this will only stress you out with worry.

    You are meticulous, as you should be, but this causes stress.

    We all could reread your blogs for a year and only be enriched by them.

    Keep yourself around for that 6’3″ son who will need you for a long, long time to come.ReplyCancel

  • Amy Dennison - July 20, 2017 - 12:16 PM

    Hi Lovely Laurel,
    You MUST take good care of yourself or all you readers who love you will be lost! I’m ALL for ANYTHING you need to do to make life a bit less stressful….add a tonnage of guest bloggers…we trust you one million percent….do what you need to do! Cheers to you and your good health and your fabulous creative self!ReplyCancel

  • Patti Smith - July 20, 2017 - 12:04 PM

    Dear Laurel, please please take it easy and take care of yourself first!!!!! I love everything you post and as long as I can read even a small blurb I am happy, your snarky reminds me of my BFF (who moved to Charleston from Charlotte a year ago and miss her terribly) Honestly you speak my language and I couldn’t agree with your decorating style more!! I can read things over and over again and still find enjoyment from your blogs. Any change you make to this blog site will be great to me. You are such a visionary that it will be both healthy to you and informative to us!! Again take care of you FIRST!! If you can’t respond, no worries, I just want you to know how great and wonderful you are!!!! Hugs!!ReplyCancel

  • Ellen Shook - July 20, 2017 - 11:51 AM

    Thinking of you, and wishing you all the best.ReplyCancel

  • Diane - July 20, 2017 - 11:29 AM

    Dearest Laurel,whom I love,but have never met….please take care of yourself….and did you have an angiogram to make sure your coronary arteries are fine? Am praying for you friend…..we will always follow you…even if you post every 6 months!ReplyCancel

  • Maggie S - July 20, 2017 - 11:19 AM

    Laurel, Please take care of yourself–I already had one favorite blogger stop blogging from burnout–and I don’t want to have another!!!
    You need to dial it back!! Now that you are a ‘professional’ blogger you keep adding things to your already wonderful blog!! Here in this post you talk about trying to do less by having a guest post (GREAT idea BTW) and they you are also adding another page of items in your Favorite Things page–STOP!!
    We are happy with what you have been doing you don’t NEED to keep adding –just yourself is what we come here for!!
    I think you need to put a time limit on what you are doing– maybe 3 days a week. And that is it!!
    We would be happy with one of your funny posts on Sunday–and maybe on Wednesday you could have a different kind of post each week –guest post, a ‘hot sale’ page, a link list of favorite articles…you get the idea! I have a small blog about my Home Staging business and I KNOW how you can get sucked in to spending large amounts of time researching on the internet!!
    Please be kind to your self!! You don’t need to think that you have to work all the time available to make this blog worthwhile to us!!ReplyCancel

  • Anne Scott - July 20, 2017 - 11:18 AM

    I had this happen when I was incredibly dehydrated one hot summer day and had no idea that drinking a coke was exactly wrong. My best friend gave me cucumbers which was genius- water as food along with water. I feel like an old lady now because I have to make sure I drink and eat regularly (lots of water in food!) to keep even, and then you know, lay out all routes related to restroom facility availability. Good luck. Horrible scary feeling. Proud that you went to ER. I should have but did the usual woman thing. Did go to smart friend thoughReplyCancel

  • Eleanor Hatcher - July 20, 2017 - 10:57 AM

    I have to echo everyone else, Laurel. PLEASE take care of yourself. Reduce the schedule. Your proposed solutions sound great but I strongly suspect that they will take you just as long (sifting through potential guests, editing reader questions and thoughts). You give us so much amazing content that we could use some time top go execute! Do one post a week. Start there. Nothing else. If another solution presents itself, then do it. But holy cow, you are incredible, give yourself a break.ReplyCancel

  • Cathlin Sentz - July 20, 2017 - 10:39 AM

    Praying for you!ReplyCancel

  • Téa - July 20, 2017 - 10:16 AM

    Dear Laurel, PLEASE – take care of your health. Scale back, out source, maybe an intern?? whatever it takes. I had a health scare in December: ER trip and then admitted overnight…poked, prodded, tests…results – PANIC ATTACK – that was a warning sigh…we are not invincible, even though we are capable amazing women. Be Better!! xoxoReplyCancel

  • Libby - July 20, 2017 - 10:00 AM

    I’m sorry you are encountering this health problem and I hope the physicians explore it thoroughly and provide a complete and thorough treatment AND management program/tools so you feel your best! I think that working (sitting) for long periods and any plane travel(dehydrating/sedentary) is particularly challenging for your health.

    1)An expiration date for adding comments is a great idea. You have been very generous to keep doing it for so long.

    2)From some of the comments that I read on the blog over time, it seems there are readers who believe you blog once a week anyway.

    3)I’ve often wondered if a way to cope with your workload was to just have some written posts with few to no images. You are a wonderful writer with a unique voice. However, it seems having a lot of images to pin is crucial to your Pinterest presence/analytics…. Yes, I listened to the *entire* conversation with Clare! Even though I am not a blogger or “influencer”😁!
    4)Yes to reruns!ReplyCancel

  • Kelly - July 20, 2017 - 9:28 AM

    Oh my Laurel! I’m so glad you took care of yourself by going to the ER and hope you continue to do what’s best for you. Your blog is like no other, with all the content and images you provide to educate us, peppered with your sense of humor! Best to you.ReplyCancel

  • cretee nemmer - July 20, 2017 - 9:10 AM

    Your health is paramount! The blog is wonderful but you need to focus on a full recovery.ReplyCancel

  • Diane - July 20, 2017 - 9:01 AM

    Hey, I’m really very sorry you haven’t felt well. Please take good care of yourself. I enjoy your humor too much for you not to take care of yourself. I know if I need a pick me up, I can read your blog. For me, it’s your humor first and home decor second. Sorry bout that. If I could help you with your blog, I would do in a second. But alas I’m not a blogger. I’m a wannabe blogger. I really want to blog but haven’t as yet. I thought it would help me reduce my stress but maybe not after reading your post today. Anyway, take very good care of yourself. I know you love your job as a blogger, it’s seems it’s your figurative heart and soul. But remember you have physical part of yourself that maybe can’t always keep up with that figurative heart and soul. Give your physical self at least half your attention for awhile. Til you are feeling like your regular self. take care and all the best!ReplyCancel

  • Mariah22 - July 20, 2017 - 8:56 AM

    Please take care of yourself first. Your health is more important than my decorating. You asked that topics be proposed. I don’t know if this is worth discussion, but I have wondered about it.

    Is it proper to use the same fabric multiple times in a room, such as several table runners or runners & pillow covers? Or does it just appear to be using left over fabric?ReplyCancel

  • Valerie Muenger - July 20, 2017 - 8:40 AM

    Put your health first and we will be waiting for you whenever you decide to Write! It’s YOUR writing and ideas that I look forward to and a guest blogger just won’t cut it. You are that unique. If it means writing just once a month, or as you see fit, so be it. Having a guest blogger would actually only add to your stress as a previous commenter said. Better to write infrequently in good health than to mix things up with someone else’s style. You have plenty of previous articles that we can re-read and digest in between. Take care of yourself and we will wait for you, we are that loyal!ReplyCancel

  • Melissa Dietz - July 20, 2017 - 8:06 AM

    Laurel, My dear woman take care of yourself. If you don’t who will. Never apologize for doing what you need to do for you. Our first confrontation with a health scare leaves us scrambling but take time to listen quietly to what your body is telling you. Seek advice from professionals, consider what they have to say, and then act. We all love you and like to think of you as that cool together friend who sails through life living in the perfect house, goes to the ballet with her gorgeous sons, and generally has a stress free existence. The reality is you are just like us. Make decisions that fit for you. We will follow. My whole life I have been searching for another person as eaten up over blue and white as I am. Thank you for all you have given me this last year as I battled cancer and needed distraction that was not complex or medical. Your ER curtain could have been mauve, moss, and cream so life isn’t that bad. Cheers, MReplyCancel

  • Mari - July 20, 2017 - 7:33 AM

    You are adored and rightly so. The best mix of style and humor ( not a common mix). I’m glad you have realized you need to TAB (take a break). But what is the need for a guest blogger? Just post once a week. We love you and only you. I’ve whittled my design subscriptions down to three and you are “on the list” because you are so wickedly funny. And even though you’re a little bit Mark Sikes and I’m a little bit Craigslist dammit I can’t quit you Lauren.ReplyCancel

    • Jenny - July 20, 2017 - 1:52 PM

      ” And even though you’re a little bit Mark Sikes and I’m a little bit Craigslist dammit I can’t quit you Lauren.”-yes:)

      It’s great though because almost everybody else I seem to quit.

      Can’t give much advice on how to run it..I’m sure there are different considerations and all, that we’ve no idea about.

      But we’ll stay faithful whether it will be throwing us a topic to discuss, once in a while, bringing somebody once in a while (I’m sure you won’t let any bloggercretins through.:).it just might be an additional effort rather than help, at least in the beginning, so consider that too), or you just posting less.ReplyCancel

  • Gigi - July 20, 2017 - 7:32 AM

    Laurel,
    Please know you have the support of your loyal readers! I know you’ll figure out the balance you need, so next time you sit on your bench, you’ll be able to enjoy the roses instead of nearly keeling into them!
    My best!ReplyCancel

  • Rose Boccella - July 20, 2017 - 6:56 AM

    Laurel, you are one talented, creative lady. I hope you will take some of that creative energy and turn it toward healing and wellness. I have enjoyed readimg Suzan Somers’s books and have found a wealth of health related info. You are on a quest and I know you will find your answers. God bless you!ReplyCancel

  • Dolores - July 20, 2017 - 6:34 AM

    Dear Laurel,
    Hearing about your health scare this morning felt as personal as if it came from one of my closest friends- my heart just dropped a bit- and I feel the need to do something, or support you in some way -anything- to make you it better for you. What a shame you aren’t close enough to get some personal R&R – I know that all of your friends would rush to your aid, including your internet friends!
    All I can do is to tell you that no matter what changes you need to make to regain some sense of balance to your personal life, even at the expense of having to change the format, or the frequency of your posts- it’s all fine!
    Please be well!!!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Jane alspach - July 20, 2017 - 6:21 AM

    Dear Laurel, Everyone of us who love you, your Laurel’s Brigade, wish you a quick return to good health. May your vacation help toward that goal. For what it’s worth, I’d rather fewer of your blogs than guest bloggers. I do like the idea of sharing design problems and seeking group participation in how best to solve them. Above all, be well and live with a happy heart.ReplyCancel

  • Anna - July 20, 2017 - 5:56 AM

    Dear Laurel,
    I love your blog and, while reading it, I always marvel at the consistent effort that you put into creating your beautiful and informative posts.
    I join everyone in encouraging you to take good care of yourself so you may stay strong and healthy.
    Your faithful reader,
    Anna
    P.S. I kind of like that hospital curtain 😉
    xoxoxoReplyCancel

  • GL - July 20, 2017 - 5:43 AM

    Dear Laurel, I can only concur with what several other readers have said: you must look after yourself and if that means less frequent blog posts, that’s the way it is. Nobody on here will complain — love your blog, but we want you to stay in the world too! Best, GLReplyCancel

  • Ellaine Feferman - July 20, 2017 - 5:42 AM

    Dear Laurel
    Firstly, I hope you rest and get to the bottom of this and feel better. I love your blog and I appreciate your sharing your health problems. I also have experienced some of these symptoms and usually try to ignore them. I am not a blogger, but like yourself, I am a small business owner. I have been producing Personalized Cotton knit baby blankets for over 35 years and I have to admit that I am also a bit of a workaholic. I take great pride in my products and customer service and strive to make every item to perfection and in record time…nobody wants to receive a baby gift when the child is almost a year old, so I try to get every blanket out within a week. This often means very long days for me and missing other personal events that I should be enjoying. Family members are always telling me to slow down ( or retire, as I a now 65 )..and I don’t listen, but after reading your post…I am thinking that some changes need to happen for me as well…I also have to think of my health..your blog was a real eye opener…
    I think that whatever decision you make whether it be guest bloggers or cutting back the number of posts…you will make the right decision…all the decisions that you have made thus far about your blog have been great.
    One idea for a guest blogger or even other readers writing in comments is preparing your house for sale. My home is a traditional Colonial Georgian on 10 acres in the country, decorated with traditional pieces, Persian rugs, vintage quilts etc….lots of nice accessories….now I am finding that this not the look ” buyers ” like….my agent is telling me to rid the house of so many of the things that I really love ! and I am still living here and enjoying it…how to find a balance between buyers who might prefer a ” cleaner ” look and me, who loves all the beautiful timeless accessories ! I am even thinking of changing the exterior look of the house…as nobody is building Colonial Georgian homes…people think the home is ” old fashioned “…maybe others with the experience of ” changing” the way they live to try to sell their homes and downsize might make for some good blogging !
    Anyway…thank you for your honesty and humour and doing this wonderful blog….and feel better.ReplyCancel

    • Jenny - July 20, 2017 - 1:39 PM

      this country’s real estate market thinking never ceases to amaze me..:)
      leave your beautiful exterior as is.please, please. there are enough people who appreciate different architectural styles and older homes(that are usually built better too than 90% of what we see nowadays)

      and declutter some, if you feel that’s needed, when time to sell comes. repair, refresh, clean.
      Really, most people are totally able to appreciate houses without them being neutralized and whatnot..they were able to do so before, and able to do so everywhere but here. Give some credit to people. well at least to some lol
      if they don’t like the architectural style they will get the clue from the listing, and won’t take their or yours time. The ones who’ll come will be the already interested ones.

      I agree that’d make a good topic for discussion.ReplyCancel

    • Pamela - July 20, 2017 - 12:02 PM

      don’t change your home’s exterior. many shoppers have no taste! but not everyone is so concerned with what happens to be currently ‘in’ that they can’t appreciate quality architecture. we recently moved from a large waterfront home that was basically a nod to colonial exterior but really a wide open floorplan mid century ranch inside with lots of outdoor living just off the FL Intracoastal. Talk about personality confusion plus my style in Coastal, Colonial, Traditional, Federal and British Colonial. it really does work though. Gp ahead and pack up a lot of the extra stuff and fluff. you will have to pack them anyway so it will be easier in the end.let the architecture shine and eventually a buyer will see past your furnishings. it took us 2 years to sell to a young family with VERY minimal, current tastes.ReplyCancel

    • Téa - July 20, 2017 - 9:52 AM

      Please do not change the exterior of your beautiful house. It sounds spectacular and people looking at that caliber of home might need a bit more imagination. A professional “stager” might help to neutralize your home, but live and love it until you move. Sometimes, realtors don’t know everything.ReplyCancel

  • Kim - July 20, 2017 - 3:50 AM

    Dear Laurel, it’s been said many, many times, and that’s because it’s the absolute truth- Nothing is more important than your health- when you have your health, you always have possibilities, you have power. Please take care of yourself, we’ll be here!!! We love ya 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Anne Waddington - July 20, 2017 - 3:17 AM

    Dear Laurel, I have only read the early- and distressing- passages of today’s blog. Now it’s time for me to give back a little of the joy that I have received from reading your blog.
    Like others, I know what burnout is. (I’m a reformed lawyer turned creative.) In spite of a complete change of life and pace- hence why I have time to savour your blog- I recently had a blip and too many occurrences similar to your warning bells. Hallelujah that you’re addressing it!
    I’ll be enjoying the content of your blog and the details later today, but suffice to say that I have discovered the very real part that ‘lectins’ have been playing in my every illness and exhaustion. Out have gone the chia and pumpkin smoothies and life is already rosier.
    Just look after yourself- your readers will now inundate you with submissions!
    I do hope you have a great footstool- or your comfy bed to peruse it all at your own pace.
    Take care, and thank you as always for all your hard work and inspiration.
    From the UK with LoveReplyCancel

  • Travis - July 20, 2017 - 2:37 AM

    Rest up and feel better Laurel–best wishes for a speedy recovery. It must feel amazing to see the outpouring of concern and support from your readers. You really do a wonderful job and are really the only design blog that I faithfully read. I also appreciate that you share so much of yourself in your posts and you really do put yourself out there which is not easy to do week after week. I am hoping your symptoms maybe were just a vasovagal syncope (light headedness, dizziness, nausea)–which can even lead to fainting and often happens when it is very hot and you are fluid deprived. Regardless it sounds like you are doing the right thing and letting the professionals take care of you and ruling out the possible causes. Having a family member pass away so young can definitely get your mind working overtime and that nagging worry in the back of your mind can also take it’s toll and you were brave and made the right decision to go in and have them do a workup. Feel better and don’t worry, your readers are a loyal group and they will continuing coming back regardless if you write once a week, once a month or even less!ReplyCancel

  • joanna - July 20, 2017 - 1:56 AM

    Laurel, Strangely I am rather drawn ( no pun intended) to that hospital curtain….

    Love the idea of guest bloggers & whatever works for you is fine by me/us.

    You are obviously as wise as you are funny, so, as long as you don’t vanish, please dip in & out of our lives as you see fit & how your health dictates.

    You have a lot of friends out here…even one in England.

    xxxxxx

    Jo.ReplyCancel

  • Jane Robertson - July 20, 2017 - 1:30 AM

    Hi Laurel, love your blog. I hope you feel better soon. It’s not only okay to have some time off – it’s necessary! And look at all the great ideas from your readers – your blog is definitely a two-way conversation.ReplyCancel

  • alison alison - July 20, 2017 - 12:59 AM

    lauren,
    i don’t have a solution to your dilemma, but i’d like to offer an emphatic NO to the idea of guest bloggercretins, and a YES to you giving yourself a freakin’ break. i have no idea how that would work for you financially, but i have no interest in hearing from other folks.
    do take care.
    a2ReplyCancel

  • Dale - July 20, 2017 - 12:58 AM

    I am new to your blog (love it) but felt I had to respond to your health issue. You probably have Dysautonomia or POTS. It’s when your nervous system sort of flips out and causes the dizziness, nausea, exhaustion, pounding heart – I have this, plus I get tinnitus and a few other nasty symptoms. I also have Reynaud’s, hypothyroid and more. You may want to get tested for celiac disease, and make sure you do the genetic tests as the antibody tests are not reliable. For me undiagnosed celiac disease was the root cause of all the other autoimmune stuff that I have. You may also be having some hypoglycemia as well. If your stomach is at all irritated (even if you don’t feel pain) it can set off dysautonomia like wildfire, as can getting upset. In my experience most doctors are very bad at recognizing these things so you have to be persistent. You may find that going to a functional medicine doctor is way more helpful. What helps me: eating a “modified paleo” diet – no gluten or grains, and focus on grass-fed meat, clean fish, pastured eggs, small amounts of organic nuts,lots of organic fruits and vegetables including root veggies, but no legumes or nightshades. Plus very moderate exercise. And yes, water and sea salt. Never ever: gluten, corn, soy, dairy. You WILL feel better. The other never never: any type of stomach acid reducer like Prilosec. Pure poison. Email if you need help finding a functional medicine doctor – I used to live in NY metro, and can recommend a good one. It’s taken years for me to figure this out, and if I can help another not suffer, well, that’s a good thing.ReplyCancel

    • Susan - July 20, 2017 - 11:08 AM

      Dale, great input.ReplyCancel

    • Lorrie - July 20, 2017 - 10:27 AM

      Yes! This is what I have done and it works! The modified diet, testing and seeing a functional medicine doctor was the answer for me too. There’s a lot of support out there once you know what you’re dealing with. I have found that Amy Meyers, MD, and Izabella Wentz have been very helpful. Visit their websites or read their books.ReplyCancel

      • Laurel Bern - July 20, 2017 - 11:13 PM

        I realize that you are trying to help except that I don’t recall asking for it. That diet sounds horrifying!

        It is fine if it works for you and others, but just reading about it makes me feel ill!

        ReplyCancel

    • Valerie - July 20, 2017 - 8:04 AM

      I absolutely agree with everything Dale has written. Find a good Functional Medicine doctor and get to the root cause of all your symptoms!ReplyCancel

  • Eleanor Clark - July 20, 2017 - 12:04 AM

    Laurel,
    So glad you are well and contemplating ways to reduce stress. Sometimes, I have found, to accomplish extraordinary things (like your amazing blog!), we have to push ourselves..but you can only do it for so long without needing to find a better balance. I was diagnosed with Raynaud’s in my 20s. High intake of both salt and water is very helpful to me as well as stress reduction. God bless you! Be well!ReplyCancel

  • Brooke - July 20, 2017 - 12:02 AM

    I hope you are feeling better Laurel. Scary, I am sorry. That spot looks a bit too remote for a sit when you are not feeling well. My dad was an MD and when he saw someone rush to the bathroom and look unwell he would follow and check on them because ppl go to quiet places when they should seek others when feeling very ill. So, if this happens again, find people.
    I have Reynaud’s Syndrome, had it forever. It is very odd. It can be -10 out and it won’t happen but if I am in the freezer section of a grocery store in July it can happen. I run my hands under warm water and always have mittens on starting in the fall. I don’t think it is dangerous in itself but it is an autoimmune and really, these days who doesn’t have an autoimmune thing?
    As far as your blog. I would like guest bloggers because maybe my style is very different from what you post but I hang around because you are funny and teach me things. Now if a blogger that is quite minimalist comes along that will hook me way in and I would stay engaged for months. Theoretically speaking of course.

    Also, do you really have to blog so often? That is so much work. Could you shorten your blogs so they are not so long and time consuming? Or how about featuring one paint color every 2 blogs? That would be quite less work.

    Take care xoReplyCancel

  • Susan - July 19, 2017 - 11:59 PM

    Hi Laurel, I also suffer from Reynaud’s. I really struggled until my auto immune doctor gave me some pretty common sense advice. She told me to keep the core of my body warm. Doing that helps to keep me from getting a chill thus triggering the circulation to my extremities to shut down. I also keep fingerless gloves handy. I feel silly wearing them, but they really help to prevent episodes.

    On a different note, I would love if you would go into fabrics and which ones are good where and anything else that would be handy to know about fabrics.ReplyCancel

  • Mary Jane - July 19, 2017 - 11:08 PM

    Laurel, I love your possible solutions to bringing more balance into your work/life! You always make me laugh, even when you’re talking about having to walk to the hospital dizzy with purple toes. If it’s auto-immune, focus on eating half way decent and getting REST.ReplyCancel

  • Margie Anthony - July 19, 2017 - 11:00 PM

    Laurel,

    I hope you can slow down a little and take care of yourself. It is a tough thing to do – slowing down. Please take care of yourself. Your readers will understand if your posts are fewer and still follow you.

    I have been following you for sometime, and started a blog because of you. I will launch my site end of August, but have been posting weekly updates since June,(I wanted some content – before releasing to friends and family) My blog is certainly different from yours, as it entertaining and holiday decorations. I would like to submit a Halloween piece to you and should have it ready at end of September. I will share my site with you as soon as I launch, so that you can see the quality of my pictures.

    Is this acceptable or did you want an established blogger?

    Thank you for your consideration.
    MargieReplyCancel

  • Beth - July 19, 2017 - 11:00 PM

    Take care, dear one!ReplyCancel

  • Jenny - July 19, 2017 - 10:58 PM

    Laurel, I’m glad you’re feeling better..and please keep it this way as much as you can..everything in this world requires health and energy, especially-giving to other people..and they need us and love us and feeling useless is pretty shitty.

    So yes, something’s gotta give. I’ll miss your answers, I enjoyed them so so much..but I’ll live. Some things are just more important.

    And yes-since you’ve asked, I get these very blue-purple fingers and lips! Since I was a little girl.Fascinating to others lol. Actually would be pretty color if to translate it into something else not human tissue..:) But I never knew it had a name.

    And as a (partially) funny story-I once had an attack that felt as heart attack. I was scared to death. Was going for hours
    Long story short-after many tests they diagnosed me with asthma. I never had asthma before so caught me unprepared.
    So now I have this inhaler that helps. And cigarettes that don’t. (yes, I know I’m an idiot.
    And one of the most idiotic things I ever did, by the way, was going to work when my doctor prohibited it.
    It didn’t end exactly as I planned lol.
    So fools learn on their own mistakes.
    But provide great reference for smarter guys I guess:)

    Since it was a lot to digest..I can’t think right away of a design-related problem I have right now..except for lack of funds lol. Well, and energy. I have dreams though. I think that’s the most imprtant thing to have. Means you’re alive and kicking. Yet.
    But afterwards maybe I’ll think of something specific?..
    Wishing you the best of health!
    It’s a pity I can’t be a guest blogger, but it’ll be fun to read others?..ReplyCancel

  • Celeste Breen - July 19, 2017 - 10:56 PM

    Take care Laurel. Your health is more important than anything.
    My design issue is combining a home office with sample pillows and valances with a kid friendly place for the grand babies to spend the night.ReplyCancel

  • Catherine - July 19, 2017 - 10:56 PM

    Laurel,
    Please take care of yourself. If you are feeling nauseous and dizzy, I am concerned that you aren’t ‘absolutely fine’ yet. Please consider taking a real (i.e. 100% not working) vacation for at least a couple of weeks. You will bounce back a lot faster if you take a real break. I only found your blog a few weeks ago, but I’m already a dedicated fan. I’m sure your legions of followers are like me, and will wait patiently for when you’re feeling better.

    I think you’ve got a good idea about not answering every comment. I thought it was amazing that you did answer every comment…I don’t know of any other blogger who does. But clearly the workload to do that is too great…which explains why I don’t see other bloggers doing it. So I would propose that you only occasionally reply to comments.

    As for a design-related problem I’m having…hmmm…there are lots, but they don’t seem like ‘hot topics’. Let’s see what others come up with!

    Wishing you a speedy recovery Laurel!ReplyCancel

  • Lorrie Nies Shinol - July 19, 2017 - 10:44 PM

    Take care of yourself, dear Laurel. We all hope that you’ll figure out what’s up with your health and rest and do whatever you need to do to feel better. I finally figured out that I had an autoimmune condition and am feeling much better. My advice is to not only do what your doctor tells you to do, but read blogs from people who also have the same condition. Doctors don’t believe that food is medicine, but I can tell you that I feel a lot better after cutting out certain foods. Good luck! I hope you find some answers and feel better very soon.ReplyCancel

  • Krista Pettit - July 19, 2017 - 10:43 PM

    Dear Laurel, I want to start by saying I’m a loyal fan and completely addicted to your blog. I think I have read every post 10 times. I purchased your paint color guides and I’ve read those dozens of times as well. Now, as a nurse I need to tell you that you need to start taking better care of yourself! What would all your loyal readers do without you??!! So take a freaking real vacation already. And then cut down the number of posts a week. I PROMISE we will survive. Stress will kill you.

    Now on to my decorating dilemma. I live in a 1979 Tudor? home that we bought 3 summers ago. The entire place was brown when we bought it. Brown walls, brown ceilings, brown stained trim, brown cabinets. Didn’t realize how much brown until we started painting it all. In the main living room, I purchased no less than 40 paint samples before deciding on BM ivory white for the walls and simply white for the ceilings and trim. And THEN I discovered your blog and paint palettes. 🙁

    So now I’m completely at a standstill with my decorating. I love my paint choices. The house is so much brighter and updated. However, I am completely torn between two worlds and I have no idea how to move forward. On the one hand, I’ve always wanted white slipcovered sofas and chairs, neutral rugs, and lots of blue and white accessories. My other love is deep rich colors like navy, dark green, and red, in velvets, silks and Persian rugs. I don’t know how to proceed. It feels like any purchase I make now sets me down a path with no return. We don’t have limitless amounts of money for decorating. My dear sweet husband is very patient with my buying things and then returning them and having many empty rooms. I did just buy 8 panels of navy silk curtains from the Serena and lily sale you mentioned a couple of weeks ago. They were an amazing bargain. I think I got all 8 for $625! I plan to add pleating and maybe trim to them. 4 went in our bedroom and 4 are in the dining room. But i don’t know what’s next. Please help me decide! Will one style be more enduring? Is there any way to combine the two without looking like a schizophrenic decorator? Much love!!ReplyCancel

    • Catherine - July 20, 2017 - 12:44 AM

      Hi Krista,

      I have the same affliction. Maybe we can form a support group :). I like many different styles, and have been paralyzed by indecision on choosing a direction. In Laurel’s June 4th blog titled ‘The Trick To Mixing Modern and Traditional Furniture’ in the comments I explained my dilemma & asked Laurel for her guidance. Her advice was: “I think that the best rooms always have a mix of styles. How that mix comes about is not something one can create a formula for. But I think that eventually, one’s eye becomes trained for what looks good together and what doesn’t. Or at least, that’s the goal.” So, potentially Laurel would suggest creating a mix of the 2 styles you love.

      A common denominator in the two styles you described is the color blue, and it sounds like your only commitment so far is to navy silk drapes. So blue could be the common thread that runs throughout.

      A combination that I can visualize to start with is white (or maybe cream) cotton slipcovered upholstered pieces, paired with a Persian rug, and velvet toss cushions that pick up colors that are in the rug. This skews a bit towards the casual side….do you have a family room as well as a living room? Maybe the emphasis could shift to more velvets & silks in the living room & dining room?

      Happy to brainstorm further…just post a reply. In any event, I hope you feel better that you’re not alone in your dilemma. It was reasurring to me to know there are others out there!ReplyCancel

      • GL - July 20, 2017 - 5:38 AM

        For Krista and Catherine: if you don’t know it yet, I suggest having a look at the home tour of Joan’s blog, “for the love of a house”. You will find a mix of white slipcovers AND rich colours of old tapestry, velvets, and so on. The mix manages to be light and in a way sparse, but dense and multi-layered as well. Ok, that doesn’t make much sense — best to have a look! GLReplyCancel

        • Téa - July 20, 2017 - 10:10 AM

          For Krista and Catherine – another suggestion is start listening to “how to decorate” podcast – it’s produced by 3 gals at Ballard Design…they are having terrific guests from all arenas of home decor, specifically, the 2 gents from Mad Cap Cottage. Very good ideas…I’d love to help you pull your look together, following the ideas I’ve learned from Laurel. Perhaps she can put us in touch? I’m not a pro, just have great taste, love to learn and share my knowledge. I’m a teacher through and through and a fan of Laurel.ReplyCancel

          • Laurel Bern - July 20, 2017 - 10:59 PM

            I’m sorry Tea, as much as I’d like to wade through the 200 emails I received today, of which half are in the trash already, to find yours and the other people, I can’t. I hope that you will understand. I haven’t even had a chance to read everything. :[

  • Michele - July 19, 2017 - 10:38 PM

    Hi Laurel, So glad you are feeling better. I was actually concerned about burnout as you produce so much… and top quality. You give so much to us… personal and thoughtful responses. But we would much rather have you be happy and healthy than get individual attention. No one can write the way that you do, but I will read a guest column and I do like your idea about addressing problems people write in about. Please, take some time to do some self care. 💝ReplyCancel

  • Sabina - July 19, 2017 - 10:36 PM

    I would rather read less of you than none of you. So do what ever you have to do to take care of yourself!ReplyCancel

  • sandy mccune - July 19, 2017 - 10:36 PM

    Sorry to hear you are not feeling well. Please listen to your body and take good care of yourself. My husband went upstairs one morning to dress for the day and when he came down he couldn’t remember things. He now has vascular dementia. I would hate it if you couldn’t write your blog. Several alternatives you mentioned sounded good.I know you will come up with good ideas that will lessen your stress.
    P.S. If you need time off I would love to see reruns of old columns.
    Good luck
    SandyReplyCancel

    • Hollie @ Stuck on Hue - July 20, 2017 - 10:38 AM

      Oh, I like the idea of reposting some of Laurel’s best posts. For those of us who discovered you later in the game, there are surely tons of great posts hidden away in the blog that we haven’t come across yet. Maybe on a certain day of the week, you repost one.

      As a reader, it’s totally cool with me whether you post once a month or every day, but I assume you don’t want to cut down your number of posts due to your blog being an income source for you.

      I also like the idea of shorter posts where you answer a reader-submitted question. Your long posts are great and informative, but maybe some shorter posts are in order to give you a break.

      Whatever you choose, know that your readers will be here! In the mean time, sending good vibes your way for better health.ReplyCancel

      • Jenny - July 20, 2017 - 3:36 PM

        I’d totally love re-reading old posts too..and I read all your archives when I found your blog, Laurel, so believe me -they’re that good. I can re-read them. I love re-reading when it’s something great-each time you dind something new for yourself. Because one also never stays exactly the same. So new questions and answers and revelations and enlightments can be found when reading old, sometimes as much as when reading new..ReplyCancel

  • Judith Graham - July 19, 2017 - 10:26 PM

    You don’t need a guest blogger.

    Just post an idea and those of us who follow you, will give our two cents. It would be fun and, Laurel, you may be surprised at what we can come up with…

    P S..were you checked for A-Fib?ReplyCancel

  • Beth L - July 19, 2017 - 10:23 PM

    Hi Laurel,
    No blog is worth risking your health for. No one out here will die from lack of a long and lovely note from you every week. Every other week? Once a month? I would encourage you not to rule them out completely.

    Love your work….but I’d rather have you in the world!ReplyCancel

  • Andrea Viel - July 19, 2017 - 10:20 PM

    Rest, Laurel! Speedy recovery.ReplyCancel

  • Robin Nandyal - July 19, 2017 - 10:19 PM

    Dear Laurel,
    So very sorry to hear that you haven’t been feeling well. You were smart to check into the nearby ER. I can only imagine how many hours you are working for the blog every week and on top of those hours so many other projects. We all love you, your sense of humor and of course your expertise and shopping tips! Do take time for yourself, we aren’t going anywhere! We will still be waiting for every post.
    Do think about a cardiac consult at a top hospital, just for peace of mind. You’re in my prayers.
    RobinReplyCancel

  • Maggie - July 19, 2017 - 10:16 PM

    Dear Laurel,

    I was so afraid when I started reading this but fortunately you have things under control. Continue to good care of your dear self and to get the medical care you need. It’s just a little bump in the road. Very best wishes to you 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Ginger - July 19, 2017 - 10:15 PM

    Laurel,

    I feel bad you got sick and glad you received help. Take care of yourself first like they say on the plane before takeoff, attend to yourself first, then you can help for someone else. Thanks for your blog. I enjoy it and get my coffee like reading a great book but here I’m not a book reader. Take care.

    GingerReplyCancel

  • Cath young - July 19, 2017 - 10:15 PM

    Glad you took care of self. I do an 18 hour day but take a two hour nap in there. I had to work at getting body into that regiment. Always hated naps. Made me hung over. But when caretaking my late mother I split each day into Two for her and found I could only do if I got more sleep. Forced myself into schedhule and it’s been working very wellReplyCancel

  • Beth - July 19, 2017 - 10:12 PM

    Dear Laurel, It is so generous of you to share your story. I hope that you are feeling better and taking good care of yourself!

    I love your suggestions for mitigating burnout!

    I read your blog and swoon over the incredible pictures you post. Thank you for educating me and brightening my day.

    Rest!! Please!

    Warmly, BethReplyCancel

  • Cynthia Lambert - July 19, 2017 - 10:09 PM

    So glad you are all right. Sounds like an inner ear problem. I had vertigo and it is no picnic. The nausea was horrendous. See what an ENT doctor says about it.ReplyCancel

  • Ellen O'Brien - July 19, 2017 - 10:04 PM

    Laurel I love this blog, and I love your ideas, comments etc. Please take good care of yourself.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa Purcell - July 19, 2017 - 9:59 PM

    I think you are so talented, clever and funny. I am glad you are taking the opportunity to rework anything that will lighten your load. Hope you are feeling better soon! LisaReplyCancel

  • Irina Shlakov - July 19, 2017 - 9:55 PM

    Hi Laurel, take good care of yourself, sending positive vibes!!!ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth Scruggs - July 19, 2017 - 9:44 PM

    Oh Laurel! I’m SO happy that you are acknowledging you need to rest and take care of yourself! Most women neglet our health and think we don’t have “time” for it. Well, we don’t NOT have time for it. Blessing on you and your health!
    ElizabethReplyCancel

  • Alissa - July 19, 2017 - 9:44 PM

    Hello Laurel! I am a fairly new subscriber after discovering your blog a few months ago and this is my first time commenting on any of your blogs. Like so many other commenters I have seen mentioned, I am obsessed and could easily find myself abandoning any and all daily duties while getting lost in your website. I adore your style and your humor and unlike other design blogs I have seen in the past, you include a crazy huge amount of substance! I just wanted to say I wish you a speedy solution for your health! I, too, have Reynaud’s (a byproduct of the rheumatoid arthritis I was diagnosed with at age 7) and though it took me a bit to figure out what worked best for me, it has become very manageable and I wish the same for you. Take good care of yourself and thank you so much for heart and soul you put into your beautifully done site.ReplyCancel

  • Tricia Heliker - July 19, 2017 - 9:37 PM

    Your episode of feeling terrible and having to do what it took to get some help sounds familiar to me, and I can sympathize. I was on a walk in the park and had to keep putting one foot in front of the other and telling myself somehow I was going to make it home without passing out, and somehow I did. (that was 10 yrs ago, BTW) Anyway, so glad you got checked out and are taking steps to avoid future issues. Your ideas for throwing a little variety into the blog sound great from a reader’s perspective. I know you have high standards and that’s why you have the following you do. So don’t let this create more stress.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa D. - July 19, 2017 - 9:36 PM

    Laurel, I have never heard of Reynaud’s Syndrome, but I do have a third idea for you – for Heaven’s sake, please take care of yourself. When you are a one woman show, and this blog is your baby, you can wear yourself out trying to do too much.ReplyCancel

  • Stacy McMillan - July 19, 2017 - 9:35 PM

    Glad you’re taking care of yourself, Laurel. Love your blog!ReplyCancel

  • Karen Smithson - July 19, 2017 - 9:34 PM

    Laurel, God bless you. You will be in my prayers. You are fabulous but your health come first. Please take care of yourself. You feel like a friend and I love reading your blog.ReplyCancel

  • Francesca - July 19, 2017 - 9:31 PM

    Thank you for your candor. We all benefit from you’re willingness to share you’re health scare. A good reminder that our health comes first and best not to delay seeking help – medical or otherwise. ‘best -FReplyCancel

  • Jon - July 19, 2017 - 9:28 PM

    Hi Laurel, sorry to hear about everything that has been going on with your health. Please take care. Just an idea for guest posts, how about something about great local museums. People could write about places to visit that we might otherwise not be aware of. One example is Ladew Topiary Gardens in Maryland. The home and gardens are beautiful. Just a thought, you do not need to respond. Thanks, JonReplyCancel

  • Ramona - July 19, 2017 - 9:27 PM

    Dear Laurel,

    Your health is always the most important thing. Feel free to do whatever you need to do to lighten your load. I’d rather see fewer posts and know you are fine.

    I have an ongoing problem but don’t know if it would be of interest.

    I can write well and think I understand blogging.

    In any case, slow down. Life is short.

    Perhaps a few of your readers could get together in a group and work on projects/blogs together.

    RamonaReplyCancel

  • Melissa Tardiff - July 19, 2017 - 9:23 PM

    Hi Laurel, I hope you are feeling better! Scary story, stay well, please! I’m a huge fan of your blog.

    Here is a design problem I’d like to hear more about: What design choices to make if you own a dog (or two, or other animals). And getting rid of my pup is not an option 🙂

    When my dog is going to puke, she heads for a rug. When I leave her at home alone, I know she will be on the sofa, squished in the back pillows. And then the hair, every where. I need to get a new sofa because when my pup was new she had a nervous breakdown and chewed through the arm and corner of down pillows of a sofa. What kind of fabric to select?

    I see so many photos of designers with dogs all over their furniture, how do they do it and keep it all looking so nice?

    Thanks so much, MelissaReplyCancel

    • Marianne - July 20, 2017 - 11:36 AM

      I second this suggestion! “Squished in the back pillows” sounds exactly like my two pugs – I’ve given over the back cushions to them because resistance is futile. 🙂 I finally bought a leather, tight-back, no-tufting-on-seats sofa which seems to be the solution for the back-cushion squishies and the fur-depositing. They tried to climb on the back, but slid right off again so gave up pretty quickly. Not sure what to do about comfy chairs because leather overkill sounds yukky. Also, some types of area rugs hang on to fur more than others – still trying to find good options there.

      Laurel, I’m so sorry you’re unwell, but glad it’s not your heart, and that you’re working to figure it out and deal with it. Best wishes!!ReplyCancel

  • Cindy - July 19, 2017 - 9:20 PM

    Hi Laurel,
    I just read your post the other day about it was your brother’s birthday and that he had died and left you money and you used it to go to school. I believe it was on lighting.
    When I read it I had a weird feeling but I sometimes have premonitions not saying that is what is happening to you but I did feel odd about it.
    I hope you will be fine, sometimes we need a little respite to see us thru. You will be in my prayers.
    No need to reply, just rest and relax.
    Sincerely,
    CindyReplyCancel

  • Suzanne - July 19, 2017 - 9:13 PM

    Check your iron levels while your at it.. I was in the low but normal range. Felt like C$#@. I couldn’t catch my breath. The ER doctor blew it off. His PA said doesn’t matter the numbers but how you feel. It took what seemed a long while to get my #’s up. Symptoms are similar. Good health to you and you did the right thing by taking this seriously.ReplyCancel

  • DutchessofDennis - July 19, 2017 - 9:04 PM

    Dear Laurel, So sorry to hear about your medical issues! Have they checked you for vertigo? Same symptoms, except for the purple part, but Nausea and Dizziness definitely part of the issue. Best wishes, love the blog, and although I cannot write or blog worth a damn, I would like to suggest a guest post of Designer vs Decorator vs on-line decor vs in store help pros and cons from a customer point of view. I would be happy to tell my story to someone to save readers a boatload of $$ that they might not be able to afford or want.ReplyCancel

  • Caroline Harris - July 19, 2017 - 9:03 PM

    Laurel,
    I’ve just started reading your blog so am a relative newbie. That said, I am not a newcomer to the need for self care. It’s taken me years to learn not to run myself straight into the ground & unless you are ready to permanently get “planted”, there is NOTHING more important than your own health & taking care of it.

    As a nurse, we’re always telling patients this, & then NOT doing it ourselves. We will not die from fewer of your blog posts. We will get along just fine & it will make us savor the ones that come, when they do come.

    Take care of you. Your the only you you have.ReplyCancel

  • Em Dirr - July 19, 2017 - 9:00 PM

    How I know you’re a blogger….you remembered to take a picture in the ER. LOL!

    (Someone said something similar to me a few weeks ago.) Posted a Summer Bucket list, broke my knee two hours later. (In fact, my hospital view was nearly identical to yours…hahaha)

    SO very sorry you are not feeling well!

    (I am not looking to be a guest poster, btw. I have no qualifications other than how to feel my way around in the dark, and instead bump into things. I come to your site to learn and be inspired, then take it home to our budget/priorties and jam that square peg into our round hole. Though Ironically, my last post, errrr, mentioned you… with reverence…really.)

    I was always afraid to admit I blogged, because I was worried my pics would show up on your DONT lists.

    HOWEVER…I DO indeed have purple toes, which looked horrible with this years’ trending flesh tone pinky nail polish. And Reynaud’s as well… can nearly take a cookie sheet out of the oven without mitts, but fingers burn picking out a bag of frozen veggies for dinner.

    My reason for commenting… GOOD FOR YOU FOR GETTING HELP!!!

    Never be afraid to find out there was not any conclusion to your tests. Instead, be glad your 6’3″ doesn’t have to do without his mom!

    Very happy you are okay!!! (And please feel free to NOT post this in your comments section..it’s really more for you than for anyone else.)

    Kindest admiration and regards!ReplyCancel

  • Adrienne - July 19, 2017 - 8:59 PM

    Laurel – just a note to say: take care of yourself and know that things will work out well.
    I really enjoy your blog and have learned so much from it. Often it gives me a laugh that brings me up out of a funk that I wasn’t even aware of.
    love love love aReplyCancel

  • [email protected] Uhl Interiors - July 19, 2017 - 8:56 PM

    Laurel, oh my goodness!! I’m so happy to hear that you’re doing better and that you checked yourself into an ER just in case. Absolutely time off and cutting back sounds essential. We absolutely all love your work and want you to enjoy it and be healthy, and happy. Take all the break you need! We’ll still be here even if you don’t reply to every single comment. Spend some of that time eating cake instead (at least that’s what I would do)!ReplyCancel

  • Laura - July 19, 2017 - 8:52 PM

    Hi Laurel,
    I hope you feel better soon and they get to the bottom of it! No reply necessary!
    Bw LauraReplyCancel

  • Lyn C. - July 19, 2017 - 8:49 PM

    P.S. I forgot to mention that I contribute to a couple of your Pinterest boards- may you find some peace of mind and relaxation on Pinterest, my go to place to escape some of life’s harsh realities. Or wherever works!ReplyCancel

  • Barbara Chalsma - July 19, 2017 - 8:48 PM

    I often have wondered how you could do such a blog every week, given that you aren’t jabbering about nothing from you head as some (many) bloggers do. You offer so much information and images that you need to research and consider.

    Even though I look forward to your blog weekly, I suggest you do one every other week and forget the guest bloggers. If you had guest bloggers, you know you would be involved with them–worrying if the blog is going to be good enough, then proofreading and copy editing, judging that the images are not good enough. You will not have a moment’s relief from the work.ReplyCancel

    • Jenny - July 20, 2017 - 1:27 PM

      that’s an interesting perspective(never blogged so I wouldn’t know)..yes, something to consider. New responsibility-takes time until one can fully delegate. first figuring it all out..might be great, but maybe not when you’re feeling you need to take some break?
      Something to think aboutReplyCancel

  • Martha - July 19, 2017 - 8:48 PM

    I am so glad you didn’t think it silly to go to the ER. Take care of your self and I know you will have many takers on the guest blogger invite. I am also thankful you are picky about finding folks to fill this position. I enjoy your blog and look forward to future posts.ReplyCancel

  • K - July 19, 2017 - 8:42 PM

    Pls take care and slow down. Love your blog but health comes first! Smart gal listening to your body & intuition. Be well 😉ReplyCancel

  • Lyn - July 19, 2017 - 8:41 PM

    Dear Laurel,
    The fact you were writing this post meant at least you were well enough to put it out there but it sure was worrying getting through it. We’ve never met but I’ve come to so enjoy visiting with you on your posts, laughing and learning, as well. I did think you were leading up to revealing a major panic attack as they can manifest with heart issues. I have a daughter who has had a panic disorder for many years and my other daughter has Reynaud’s Syndrome. You’d be surprised how many have the Syndrome and don’t know it. Anyway, whatever issue you’re dealing with, you’ve gotta look after yourself, girl, first and foremost!! Everything else can wait. I think I speak for so many, wishing you well, and sending healing hugs!ReplyCancel

  • Marilyn Bamford - July 19, 2017 - 8:39 PM

    Glad to hear you are ok! LOVE your blog – and enjoy the Bronxville references. My husband grew up there in the fifties – his dad was a psychiatrist at Lawrence Memorial…. Hope you feel better. None of those changes to the blog sound too dramatic to me – trust you will find talented folks …..take care!ReplyCancel

  • Gerry Sims - July 19, 2017 - 8:37 PM

    Hi Laurel,
    If you think you need a rest, then by all means take a break! We’ll all be here when you return.
    Speedy recovery!
    We love your blog, but you rest and get refreshed, rebooted, reset.
    Gerry SimsReplyCancel

  • Mary Balagia - July 19, 2017 - 8:35 PM

    I’m grateful that you are taking care of yourself. I appreciate you!
    MaryReplyCancel

  • Rachel - July 19, 2017 - 8:30 PM

    I am not your guest blogger but I just want to wish you well, Laurel. I come back to your blog time and time again. I hope you figure out what it is and sorry you had to go through that. Take good care of yourself! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Elena Picado - July 19, 2017 - 8:28 PM

    I am so sorry to hear of your health problems, please take good care of yourself!!!
    A big hug (These Latino Southerners with their damn hugs)
    ElenaReplyCancel

  • Terry - July 19, 2017 - 8:27 PM

    Please, PLEASE take care of yourself – ’cause I LOVE your Blogs – even if there ‘might’ be LESS of them! A LITTLE of YOU is so much better – than NO you!

    Blessings from South Ga.
    TerryReplyCancel

  • Sue Taylor - July 19, 2017 - 8:27 PM

    Hi Laurel,
    First I hope you’re feeling better. It’s difficult to feel “off” and not know the cause.
    Second, my biggest decorating problem. I read blogs and look at instagram and I see more and more bloggers who decorate by buying new stuff on an almost daily basis. I’d love advice on creating a home that stays relatively current without constantly buying new stuff. I want my house to stand up to the test of time. I would be happy to purchase smaller decorative items from time to time to keep things fresh but a lot of what I’m seeing is out of control. I know you have the talent to decorate timelessly. I’d love your help. Take care of your health. Thanks.ReplyCancel

  • Janice Daines - July 19, 2017 - 8:23 PM

    Please take care of yourself, wishing you all the very best.
    Your blog has been so helpful to me, especially during this crazy remodel I’m in the middle of. You helped me to find BM Cotton Balls….. cue Angels singingReplyCancel

  • Vinita Phillips - July 19, 2017 - 8:22 PM

    Laurel, Please take it easy. I enjoy every email
    I receive from you! I would rather see less or a partner to fill in. You must take the best care you can give yourself. Don’t respond. The best to you!ReplyCancel