Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Fickle Decorator’s Guide to Serial Redecorating

I like seeing the environment around me change. No, not the weather, I don’t like that. If it were perpetually 80-degrees outside I would be a happy cracker. Except for December 25th. Must. Have. Snow. But anyway, I digress. I like to mix things up every now and then and try new things. I am an avid home decorating magazine reader and every chance I get I pour over magazines with all their shiny, glossy, colorful shots of inspiration.  And then I like to bring it home. Now obviously, I do not have a money tree in my backyard, so here are 5 little tricks I’ve learned over the years that keep me sane (you say tomato, I say tahmato.)

1.       Paint. The power of paint cannot be denied. There is no cheaper way of switching up a room’s mood than changing the color of the walls. Professional decorators always say you should never start with paint, but rather have one central piece that your room will revolve around and then pick the paint from that. Usually the room’s fabric determines the paint direction: the rug, curtains, sofa or chair fabric. And this is true. Too many times I’ve selected a paint color and slapped it on the walls, and planned to buy the accessories and furniture to match it… and too soon I’ve become bored of that scheme and moved on before I saw it all the way through. So start with something , then add paint.

2.       Keep the big-ticket items neutral. I will be the first to admit that my favorite inspiration shots are rooms where the couch is upholstered in a gorgeous, vibrant raspberry, teal or green. But there is no quicker way to lock yourself into a color scheme than buying your biggest item of furniture in a bold color. Keep the sofa in a white, taupe or gray color and you can jazz the room up with bold colors in the smaller furniture items and accessories.

3.       Pillows.  Pillows are relatively cheap (as compared to a new sofa or chair!), and they can take a room in an entirely new direction. They’re also super-easy to switch out and store. Invest in a lot of pillow covers in a variety of patterns and colors and you’ll have the easiest switch-up ever.  

4.       Colorful accessories are a girl’s best friend. Buy your accessories in colors you love—and don’t limit yourself to one palette. Even if your house is currently rocking teal, and you see an orange lamp you love, buy it—it may not work with your current color scheme, but some day it may. For whatever color scheme you commit to, make sure you have at least 3 accessories in that color. Repeating the color 3 times in a room helps unify the pieces. Another thing to do is to rotate your accessories through your house—switch up the rooms they are in and you can change the vibe based on the accessories in that room.

5.       Keep it eclectic. Don’t lock yourself into one style. If you buy all of your furniture and accessories in one style, even when you rotate or move them between rooms, you won’t feel a big change. If everything you own is traditional, when you have a hankering to go modern, you’ll have to buy a lot more, and it may mean replacing everything to get the change you want. So buy pieces that can fit more than one style and rely on the accessories to get the style you want.
Obviously, these are not new decorating tips, but rather tried-and-true ways to change up your style when the whim strikes without investing in an entirely new house of furniture!

Now about that money tree....

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