At a Loss for Words

I’m not going to say that I’m putting this thing to bed as I’ve seen other bloggers do that in the past to find themselves quietly crawling back onto their soap box with a gentle, “ahem.”  At the very least I hoped to make it to mid-August, Mrs. Blandings’s five year anniversary, before taking a good long break.  But I find I have nothing to say.  What used to be pure joy, truly a giddy, gleeful release, is now something of a chore, like making your bed when you are a teenager.  “What’s the point?” lingering in the background.

I strolled into blogging and was stunned to find a community of people who could recognize designers’ work at a glance.  I was grateful to be welcomed into the conversation and thrilled that anyone besides my husband was interested in reading.  In the beginning I wrote as an exchange with a handful of bloggers: Courtney, Jennifer and Megan being of the first to be friends.  That anyone has stopped here and stayed to read these ramblings of home is nothing beyond remarkable.

I can’t possibly express how grateful I am to the designers and editors who have graciously answered my emails over the last few years; I am forever in your debt.

I may jump back in now and again – it may be best to subscribe by email if you are interested in future posts.

postscript: You will, of course, continue to be able to find me in Spaces Kansas City and

Image, above, the immensely talented Nick Olsen, featured in July/August Veranda; photography Melanie Acevedo, produced by Olga Naiman.  

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100 thoughts on “At a Loss for Words

  1. Heartbroken, selfishly.
    Envious of your courage.
    Jealous you don't have to "keep at it"..
    no overhead, no employees, no clients.
    Desperately going to miss my little infusion of wit, humor, astute observation, my near daily affirmation that someone special, in Kansas City, a place I have never been "gets it"
    I will save the posts, like favorite magazines, from
    "back in the day" and peruse them on rainy days….when I miss Mrs. Blandings (and her husband in absentia)
    and I will be brought back to the time that these marvelous posts filled me and my staff with a little EYE CANDY to look at and talk about and get fired up or inspired by.
    Blessings to you and your family Patricia.

  2. If this is true, you really shall be missed!
    But enjoy a well deserved rest, and a life of your own.
    Thanks for everything! I'll be here waiting to read whenever you appear.

  3. OH, I am so going to miss you my friend!! wow. can't say I am shocked, but….this has hit me hard.

  4. You certainly deserve to live your life and share as you like. No one needs to explain the silence or why they decided not to make their bed or blog less.
    We will of course respect your time off and be full of delight if there is mail. Especially from you.

  5. I so understand – and you have a family to take care! Not a small thing, ha, ha, that can sometimes feel like "chore enough." I did want to say though, that I don't read your blog because of design. . .I read because of your humor and especially love when you write about your "boys" including your significant other! Time off is well deserved – but maybe consider it isn't all about design. Perhaps you're off on another life journey. . .best regards.

  6. I think you know that of all people, I GET…I understand… the phenomenon of this thing going from joy to chore. And I think your strategy of "every so often" posting is a good one. I quit cold turkey and came back gradually and still find it hard to do something substantive even once per week. But I cherish the connections and will always post something now and again so that I can selfishly keep them.

    Enjoy your break!


  7. Hi Patricia, I am so saddened by your announcement. It is hard to change a relationship status, even a blogging relationship that has been ongoing for so many years.
    I'm sending you tons and tons of best wishes and more. xoxo Mary

  8. I totally understand your message. Do what is best for you now, and it will all work out. I looked at your blog at first for the style, and then got hooked on your clever writing. You have a talent there that you may not realize……..talking about everyday happenings, and making them real and funny, all at the same time. Kind of like the articles on the last page of Southern Living each month. The best to you!

  9. I know that you are Barbara (not Patricia) but it is very early in the morning and my fingers are not always good listeners. Mary

  10. I've been a quiet reader of your blog since 2/20/09 (I found the log-on e-mail from when I joined). It has been a pleasure to read your musings; your blog is always well written, informative and amusing and a real treat to find in my inbox. However, sometimes one just has to do something else. Best wishes to you and your family.

  11. I'll certainly subscribe. I always enjoyed your point of view, and I do understand the having to step away feeling. Thank you!

  12. I will miss you, but I understand. Thank you for so many insightful posts, in which I truly recognized my own inclinations– whether laying the oriental rug while in heels or your fabulous lamp costume –or poignant reflections revealing your very core –and our greater connectedness. I loved seeing the beautiful images interspersed with your words and their interplay. They have served as inspiration for me on several occasions. So, again, thank you. Enjoy your family!

  13. I know exactly how you feel, which is why I gave up on my own blog. It was like a "job"–and my family would tell you that that has always been a dirty word to me!I was spending so much time creating posts and getting so few comments. I know you have to leave comments to receive comments, but that takes time, as well. There are only so many hours in a day, and I decided I wanted more of a life than just blogosphere. In addition, I became discouraged that my blog was not as "professional" as many of the other ones that I follow. That certainly isn't an issue with yours—it's gorgeous! Although I rarely commented,I've been a regular follower. I've enjoyed your posts and will miss you.Enjoy the rest of your summer!

  14. good morning: as someone who writes for a living, i understand your decision — it can be wearying and come to feel like an obligation to post/write regular pieces — but i am SO sorry to hear it. When you were posting daily, I looked forward to start my days with your posts and, although I knew a bit about today's designers and work I liked, I have learned a tremendous amount from you. I have ordered the books of designers you mentioned in posts and continue to enjoy them. Here's hoping that the break will refresh you, or that the energy you gain from NOT posting will go toward other projects. I'll miss you — and I know I'm not alone.

  15. I've always enjoyed reading your posts; beautifully written, not too much, just enough to make me think. Thank you!

  16. I'm saddened but grateful for the wonderful moments you've shared with us. Mrs. Blanding's was the first blog I ever read, she still inspires me with every post.

    You are loved and will be missed around these parts.

  17. Patricia
    I have enjoyed your blog so very much. Thank you for giving us all
    things to dwell on from your library of lovely photos and interesting places.
    I am not a designer just a person that loves nice things with a clear message.
    Thank you again for sharing your thoughts.
    Becky Roddenbery
    Columbus, Georgia

  18. Mrs. Blandings,
    Thank you.
    The time and energy and wit you've put into your posts have made them a pleasure for me.
    Although i would like you to continue to delight me — here! — for the rest of my life, I'm terrifically grateful for the delight that you have provided.
    May the time away from blogging be marked by more joy & less worry.
    I wish you all good things – Elliot in Minnesota

  19. I didn't follow your blog for the design material. No, I followed it for your writing, writing I hope to see one day in book form.

    My best to the Mister, your boys, Rosie and Dexter. I'll miss them all but mostly, I'll miss you. Thank you for all you have given.

  20. I will FOREVER remember the two armchairs you set in the shower of the new house; your handpainted dining room murals; your crossed-slippered-feet sendup of Maxminimus; the car accident you and your playmate witnessed from the verboten pathway. And so much more. Laugh/cry/laugh/cry with interior design. That's you to a tee: the double meaning of Interior Design, that's what you've accomplished here at Mrs. Blandings, interior design.

    It's been great to be your reader, thank you for so many indelible verbal, and pictorial, images!


  21. Oh Patricia I will of course miss your posts. You have been a friend from the moment I put my blog together…leading me in the right direction for which I will be forever grateful.

    Running into you about town and being in Eddie Ross's Workshop here in Kansas City was so much fun. I hope we can get together.

    I completely understand as going I am going in for a third major surgery in 6 months; and has me thinking of just how I can keep up and do justice to my followers.

    Art by Karena

  22. I am sorry to hear this, but I completely understand. When there ceases to be joy in something you once loved, looked forward to, got out of bed in the morning for, there's no point in beating the proverbial dead horse to try and bring him back to life. I just recently found your blog…don't know how I missed it up to that point…and was particularly intrigued because I, too, live in the Kansas City area (Did we work together in the Lyric Opera Circle?) and could therefore really relate to many of your posts. (David Jiminez, Creative Candle, Crestwood, Webster House, Zim Loy, Brookside, and everything else Kansas City.) We all must do what is best for our heart and soul. You will be missed, and I wish you peace and renewed joy in your hiatus!

  23. I discovered your blog last year, when I was up to my neck in home/decorating magazines, trying to make my new house look presentable.

    I've enjoyed reading it ever since and will sorely miss your wonderful posts. However, as someone who has tried (unsuccessfully, a number of times) to start her own blog, I definitely can appreciate that feeling of blogging = chore.

    Thank you again for all the time and care you put into crafting your posts.

    All the best, Mary

  24. Say it ain't so! I'll miss your writing so much but look forward to my next visit from the Woman Behind the Dream House. Honored that you chose this photo for your farewell.

  25. So sorry to hear this. You have been such a great encouragement to me as a non designer reader. I would love to just see pictures of your "new" home as you complete project. you have such great ideas to share.

  26. Say it isn't so….your blog is one of the very first I subscribed to…Your wit, humor, and style will be missed by all.

  27. well, you know I totally get it. I'm glad you'll jump back in. When it becomes more of a burden, than a way to release excitement – you need to stop. This should be a source of enjoyment.

    I think that there are design blogs out there that provide something from which to learn. Not all are well written,even if very informative, but that's the beauty of blogging, they don't have to be.

    However, you not only have provided informative posts, but some of the most poignant and touching. Like Meg said, we know where we can find you.


  28. Feeling sad at this news, but please jump back in whenever the spirit moves, promise? Enjoy your summer and all of your house projects. It's been a treat following you and hope your emails reappear from time to time! Your wonderful writing was a pleasure to read. M.

  29. OH so sad. Your writing will be missed. I love your decor style and great eye but most of all your writing. Come back when you are refreshed after a summer cool off. Cant imagine blog reading without your site.

  30. Add me to those who read this blog for the wit and lovely, succinct writing. Thanks for sharing you talents with us!

    Have a lovely summer.

  31. As a mostly silent reader, but faithful reader all the same, I'll miss your intelligent observations. I've subscribed so that if you should change your mind I can be delighted once again. Also, as a fellow blogger, I have recently been feeling much the same, but I've attributed it to summer doldrums…maybe you have them too?
    Have a wonderful summer and I hope to read you again sooner than later.

  32. I've been starting my day with you for years, and I'm really going to miss you! There are many fun design blogs out there, but no one can write like you.

  33. I have enjoyed reading your blog and enjoy even more that you are doing what feels right to you. Hope that you enjoy the rest of you summer!
    kayce hughes

  34. When something that was a joy becomes a chore, it's time for a change. Life is too short for too many chores and not enough joy. All the best. Jealously, I hope this means a book is on the way.

  35. As someone has already said, it was never totally about design with your blog, but about making a home. That's quite a difference and that's what made your site so special. You are gifted at subtlety and it defines everything you do which is much of your appeal. I appreciate that you love being in tune with trends, but not a slave to them as we see in some many other blogs. Best of Luck to you as you continue to put your talents to work for your family.

  36. Mrs Blandings, you have brought so much joy and life to us all, as well as beauty–thank you. I still find some of your posts help me think about the person I want to be–like "Notes from the Carpool Line"–considerate, thoughtful, and taking nothing for granted. I hope that your break is rejuvenating, and I hope even more that your find other outlets for your creativity that you will share with us.

  37. These things have lifespans. I'm finding most decorating blogs are starting to repeat themselves, or show signs of wear and tear. The era is over.

  38. As a regular visitor(thank you google reader), I am sorry to hear that you're hanging it up for the moment. Although I came for the design, I stayed for the writing. Perfection. I wish that you were my neighbor so that we could chat over the fence and so that — from time to time — I could encourage you to hop over and push some furniture around with me. (Oh, and I have lelac drapes, too. See? We would have been great neighbors.)

    You will be missed.

  39. So bummed to read this… yours was always my first go to of the day as I tick through the blogs I love to read. Please don't be too much of a stranger. Best- Mike Cole

  40. I have been silently reading every sigle post of yours for years. I love your writing. You shine as a lovely, witty, smart, creative and mature voice in blogland. As a fellow midwesterner, I also love the view from Kansas City. Best wishes and I will miss you.

  41. I want to add one additional thought to a comment which I posted above, and that unlike so many design blogs which your readers probably read daily or at least weekly, you had something important to say and underneath your love of design was a strong sense of self that came through your writing – not to be confused with arrogance, but real confidence in who you are and in what you love. Wish we had more of that in the world of blogging.

  42. I've been dreading this day, but purely for selfish reasons. For you, though, it's freedom to do a new thing without worrying about what we're all up to. Besides, it's not like you're really gone. Charles Dickens may not be wrting anymore but he's still speaking, and as long as you leave your archives up so that we can visit & hear your voice again, we'll get by.

    Meanwhile, though, the next time you're in Chicago–say, maybe to sign something one of these days–do call me up so we can go to dinner again. Till then, see you in AD! Magnaverde.

  43. Your blog has been lots of fun to visit. Thanks for letting us know. Now at least when I wonder what you are doing I won't worry about you like I do about Christina from Fashion's Most Wanted. She disappeared without a word and now I am worried about her! In your case I will just be happy picturing you doing something else that is rewarding to you. All the best wishes!

  44. I will miss you. Of all the great pieces you've written over the years my very favorite is: "Undone". I have saved it and read it and get a little emotional each and every time I read it. I will wait patiently (if I have to)for your next story. Enjoy your summer and Thank you.

  45. Dear Patricia,
    Trust your instincts and do what feels right. Take a long vacation from blogging. And then, if you feel like it, post occasionally when you really have something to say. We will be happy to wait.

    For what it's worth, Mrs. Blandings was one of the first blogs I opened whenever I saw a post. I knew that it would be worth my time!

    Warm regards,
    Jan Jessup
    Calico Corners

  46. Each posting was pure adventure! Your decorating projects, your look back into childhood, your covering Brookside and Corinth and many other neighborhoods once so familiar to me. Thanks for your beautiful words and photos. Linda Litzinger

  47. You've been a joy to read on any subject. I hope a break will recharge your batteries so we can visit here in the fall.

  48. Hang in their, sister. We, your lucky and most fortunate readers, look forward to when you muster a return, and gladly wait for when you do, batteries recharged. I"m amazed you've kept it going for five years, an accomplishment, indeed. Thnk you for being one of my very earliest supporters and encouragers, nay, champions. I salute you. Reggie

  49. i shall miss you – I look forward to your blog and save it to read when I have the time to read your wonderful lines. You deserve a break but please come back soon. We shall all miss you.

  50. Boo hoo.

    I am probably shortly behind, I have loved blogging…it is so much fun to share… takes an enormous effort..I have a lot of fun. but who knows?

    You have made an enormous difference……thank you for your efforts…….and I hope to see you somewhere in the world…… have a marvelous voice!

    boo hoo!!!


  51. Mrs. Blandings was one of the first blogs that I discovered on my way to becoming a blogaholic. You are a beautiful writer, and I hope that you will keep us posted when you are published elsewhere. Enjoy your boys and your adventures, big and small, through the intense teenage years, and know that your voice will be missed.

  52. I don't visit often but I am sad to hear you might be saying goodbye…hopefully its temporary as many have been:) I relate to the "giddiness" of a newbie, and now a year and a half later, though it does not feel like a chore and is still a weclomed outlet, the honeymoon stage is over and its work and takes a commitment to be sure. Hope you enjoy your hiatus and hopefully you will pop back in to say hello!

  53. Thank you for every thought considered and beautifully written word you've shared with us – you will be missed!

  54. You pointed the way when I reached out to you and I am forever grateful for all the wonderful friends I have made over the last three years. Thank you and have a well deserved rest.

  55. Oh, the Places You'll Go!

    Today is your day.
    You're off to Great Places!
    You're off and away!

    You have brains in your head.
    You have feet in your shoes
    You can steer yourself
    any direction you choose.
    You're on your own. And you know what you know.
    And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go.

    You'll look up and down streets. Look 'em over with care.
    About some you will say, "I don't choose to go there."
    With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
    you're too smart to go down any not-so-good street.

    And you may not find any
    you'll want to go down.
    In that case, of course,
    you'll head straight out of town.

  56. Understandable but sad. I'm one of your silent fans, and I've really enjoyed, learned from and anticipated your posts. You're a terrific writer and I hope to read you elsewhere, or back at the blog if your enthusiasm revives.

  57. I have written and rewritten about a dozen things, but none of them can satisfactorily capture my thoughts. I too am a summer of 2007 blogger, so I relate to your sentiments. I have been largely absent from the blog world over the past year, but I still pop in now and again when I feel inspired to write on a certain topic. Perhaps if you take away the pressure to constantly grind out a post, it will return to that feeling of a 'gleeful release' when there is a topic that you want to cover.

    That's the great thing about the email subscription – when you feel like posting, there will be those who are ready to read your thoughts, who have chosen to stick with you. I find the email subscribers to be the most loyal readers, especially the ones who respond back to the subscription email with words of encouragement (I suspect that many of these email subscribers don't even remember there is a blog behind the email).

    Enjoy your summer, and I look forward to your future thoughts and inspirations!

    – Holly

  58. Loved your blog for glimpses at your impeccable style and at KC. Thank you ever so much for providing this portal for the past few years.

  59. You will be so missed here. You're one of the few I still read. Thank you for the time and effort you put into mrs blandings. And… Happy summer!

  60. Thanks for your words in the past few years and especially thanks for letting us know this this absence is planned. Several bloggers, that I was devoted to, simply stopped leaving me to wonder if something awful happened or they merely were bored or too busy or…The fact that you've thoughtfully told us is indicative of the courtesy you've shown us by sharing your knowledge, skill, and life. I'll miss you.

  61. I was under the impression that the "point" of this blog
    was to connect with people who might share your
    interests and take an interest in your projects, or become enriched by your highly individual tone of
    voice. If the workload is overwhelming, why not just
    admit it flatly? The terseness of this post borders on
    petulance. So very much "not" our Mrs Blandings!

  62. Patricia,

    As a midwestern transplant to the northwest, your blog has always been like a little dose of home and your musings have brought me another creative viewpoint, one I could count on to inspire me to be a better designer and shopkeeper.

    But your piece "Undone" touched me more than I can ever say.

    Thank you so much for all you've shared with us. You will be missed in this venue!

  63. Ah, I will really miss your posts in my in-box. I thought of you as a kind of distant relative, a chic older cousin I wish I knew better. I really loved your wit and personality, and the design bit was the cherry on top. Thank you for these years of insight and ideas and fun. I hope you will post with updates as your career evolves, for those of us who would like to know where to find you. Best wishes!

  64. I'm just now signing on to the blogosphere after a week's break, so I'm only now learning of this. If anyone understands your decision, it is your fellow bloggers. It takes a tremendous amount of time and effort. You are immensely creative, so perhaps it's time for you to channel it in a different direction.

    You will be missed!!


  65. I've always enjoyed reading your thoughts. I love seeing what has interested you from a design point of view, but what I've really come back for is the connection to Kansas City. Kansas City has always been one of my favorite places, mainly because of happy times spent there with my grandparents. It's been wonderful to have a source for wonderful things going on a city that's special to me, but that I seldom have an occasion to visit. Thank you so much for the glimpse into your life there!

    I also certainly understand your need to take a break. I've always loved needlepoint, but when my children were small it seemed like such a burden to have one more thing to do. I put my canvasses in a drawer and didn't pick them up for a decade. Last summer, someone persuaded me to stitch a project for our school gala. I remembered how much I enjoyed my hobby and now I'm back in full force. I hope your break — however long it is — either leads you back to something you loved or takes you someplace new.

    And it looks like I'm going to need to go looking for Spaces Kansas City . . .

  66. Patricia, it is no wonder you seek a respite. One only
    needed to read a post or two to see that you poured your
    mind, heart and soul into Mrs. Blandings. You just did it
    SO right!

    I have been a silent reader for years but must add my
    comments to the others. For indeed, you will be missed,
    your archives will be re-read and treasured. I will continue
    to look for your humor, wit, passion, and your eye
    for design and good living whenever and where-ever
    you again find yourself refreshed and inspired enough to
    share. Au revoir!

  67. You will be missed. I'm one of the people who enjoy your design commentary, humor and personal observations. Wish you well.

  68. I have read your posts and have enjoyed each and every one. When I read the post about your mom, I was so moved by your feelings and courage. I could completely relate. Enjoy your home,family and friends.
    TTFN friend.

  69. You will be so missed. You have given so much to the blogosphere and I love that it has led you to new endeavors.

    Thank you for setting the bar high and for entertaining as well as informing us.

    All the best!
    xoxo Elizabeth

  70. You have given us 5 years…..that in itself is pretty incredible….hopefully you will pop in from time to time you keep us updated:)

  71. It's not bad to take a break now and then. Look at your sheer volume of output! Mrs. B is no weekly column, after all.

    Refresh yourself. Your loyal fans will always be here when you dip a toe back in.


  72. Dear Mrs. Blandings,

    I'll miss your blog a lot! Why not take however long as you need to recharge your blogging batteries, and then come back when you're fresh?

    Have a great summer,

  73. I've enjoyed reading your blog. I am not generally interested in interior design, but like others, I appreciate your insights and wonderful writing. Thanks.

  74. Thank you so much for all of the insight and inspiration that you have given us for so many years.

    I think you are a very gifted writer.

    Have you ever considered Instagram?

    Many, many thanks.

  75. As usual I seem to be late to this party (if one could call it that…….hardly!!!!) Although I will miss your distinctive voice I totally understand how you are feeling. All are lucky to have had Mrs. Blandings, I for one am smitten. I will continue to watch for your musings. Enjoy your rest, am sure you will be back…….in one form or another.

  76. I think we all get bored….or bogged down with the process, at times….I took a good part of the summer off and have again found my voice….hope you do too….smiles

  77. I used to write a sewing blog, and it was so fun at first, but it became a chore after a while (especially when I had no time to sew and thus had nothing to write about!). Then interests change (I find myself more interested in design than apparel sewing now), life circumstances change, work becomes busier, volunteer activities increase… This is all to say that having a blog is wonderfully fulfilling… until it ceases to be. I will miss your writing, but I truly understand.

  78. Oh dear : ( That was sad news but can't say it is unexpected.

    As others will no doubt echo, your blog was the first that introduced me to this exciting new world, and then to other blogs that also became firm favourites. You introduced me to Miles Redd, Scott Meacham-Wood, Vioncente Wolfe, even Madelaine Castaine, and Amanda Nisbett's crazy Positano silk, to design and decorating folks, some of whose work I can now recognise intstantly.

    You also wrote about humanity, not just the material world of shiny possessions. The piece you called Undone should have received medals.

    Anyway, I am now a recovering blog addict. Pinterest is my new poison. But I will always miss the writing, especially yours.

    Wishing you all the very best in your new chapter
    Cherill W,
    Adelaide, South Australia

  79. Going to miss "visiting" and getting daily/weekly inspiration! Best to you and I'll keep you on the blogroll…just in case! 🙂

  80. Sad to lose you but I COMPLETELY understand. You're a genuine talent, which your blog helped to hone and we, your fans, have been the grateful beneficiaries. Thanks for the memories.

  81. Just checking to see if you've made it back. Miss you! Hope you're well. It's natural to rest, restore, and regroup.

    Elizabeth Fischer

  82. I'm amazed at how the initial rush of blogging can even think to disappear on us. I know the creative blogging spirit needs to regroup and recharge every now and then, but it seems to do so without our consent, and that is most unkind.
    Thankfully, your creative spirit and intelligent voice will still be heard at AD, and here as well…even if it's only once in a while.
    All the best to you Patricia, and thank you for the enormous amount of inspiration you've given to us over the past five years…the Blanding's would be very proud!
    xo J~

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