So after a year of pouring over catalogs, countless hours of reading home improvement blogs, and numerous hot glue gun burns- I think I am beginning to figure it out. To me the secret of creating a unique home that you truly love comes down to a few simple details.
1. Find Your Style: Decorating is overwhelming! Walk into any home store and you are bombarded by knickknacks, prints, and furniture. It is hard to imagine how it will look in your house or how it will even all go together. So before you begin, spend some time thinking about the big picture. Websites like HGTV, House Beautiful, and countless blogs are loaded with images of homes. Start a file of what you like. Flip through magazines and tear out photos. Then look at all the images together- what are the common themes in each photo? Are you drawn to white cabinets, bold paint colors, or modern furniture? What do you want the feel of your home to be? Once you have decided- decorating will become much easier.
In My Case: Every time I browsed home photos I was drawn to whites, khakis, and black. But everything I owned was flooded with reds and yellow accents. By removing those colors in throw pillows and such- and replacing them with neutrals, I instantly loved my home more.
|My home became 'new' again with neutrals: thrift store finds and painted furniture combined with a few pops of color|
2. Venture Outside the Chain Stores: It seems easy to walk into a furniture store and buy ‘the room’. But homes that are the most appealing to the eye are layered. Not everything is matchy-matchy. So don’t be afraid to go to local antique stores, second hand stores, and boutiques. Some of the items you find may need a new coat of paint or a bit of reupholstery work, but that is what will make them unique. These items take a little more time to find, but they are worth it.
In My Case: I have turned in to a collector of old things. Not really fancy, expensive antiques, but items with great design and a bit of history. I have vowed not purchase any more quick fixes made with particle wood because the prices are low. Instead I spend a bit of time each month combing through stores like Goodwill. Recently I found a beautiful dresser with great lines at an antique store. It needed a bit of work and some paint. But it was real wood and it only cost $40. After a little TLC, that dresser has become one of my favorite pieces. It adds so much interest to my home.
4. Use What You Have: It’s the whole idea of shopping your home. Look around at what you already have. Does the furniture you own have great shape, but is just in need of new paint or fabric? Try using pieces in unexpected ways. Move a dresser to the foyer or try a wingback chair in the kitchen. Moving around itmes that you have always had can be a great way to feel like you are getting something new.
In My Case: I had a white wooden tea table that had been used outside as plant stand. When I was looking for a side table in my dining room, I kept shopping but couldn’t find the ‘right’ thing. Then on a whim I moved the table inside. It was a perfect fit!
3. It’s a Marathon, not a Sprint: Decorating your home is a process and it is constantly evolving. It is impossible to do it all at once. If you rush it, you will end up with regret and items you don’t want. Take the time to make a plan, look at lots of pictures, and don’t go shopping without a ‘big picture’. You will never regret taking your time and making good decisions.
In My Case: I bought a red couch. Yes, a micro-fiber, red couch. At the time, the price was good and it seemed quirky/cool. I didn’t think about the fact that when I got tired of red, I would have a very large piece of furniture that was bright red. And now that I am on a mission to rid my house of this color, I still have this couch. It is ‘hidden’ in my hubby’s office. But every time I look at it, I am reminded of that fact that you should never rush into big home decisions.
4. Final Thoughts: In general, go with neutrals for large, expensive items. Save bright and trendy colors/patterns for throw pillows and accessories- they are much easier and cheaper to change out year after year. Include lots of personal details in your home- photos and mementos will make your home more interesting and unique. And lastly, it’s a hobby- have fun with it. There is no right or wrong way to decorate your home. It needs be comfortable and enjoyable for you and your family. The most beautiful homes are those with happy people inside it!