Decorating your home is as easy as A-B-C
A = Always allow your authentic self to be expressed in the home. What do I mean by authentic self? It’s your true self. What is most important to you? Spending time together as a family? If so, ensure there is ample space for the family to gather & play games together. What if your authentic self loves to socialize and to have friends over? Arrange your furniture to allow meaningful conversations. Avoid the temptation to arrange furniture to only face the television – “worship the box” arrangement. In fact, if you do not have a television in your living space, you’re on trend! Elle Décor reports that tech-less living spaces are trending. Wouldn’t it be nice if we went back to a time when families actually talked to each other after dinner? What a concept! Arrange your furniture so you actually face one another. Placing another sofa opposite, or two chairs opposite the sofa will do the trick, allowing you to have a conversation with friends & family. Allow the space to support how YOU live, to support your Authentic Self.
A also stands for allow only artwork and accessories that speak to YOUR spirit. If rustic farm chic does nothing for you, but antique glassware reminds you of your beloved grandmother, then display antique glassware. Or display grandmother's favorite candlesticks (pictured). If the design magazines encourage us to display some trend, only do so *if* it brings you joy. Your home is YOUR home and it must reflect what is important to YOU.
B = Ban Builders Beige. Last week I met with a great family that loves outdoor activities. Their family photos were filled with gorgeous greens and glories of nature. Yet, their walls were a sea of beige. That's where paint comes in! Painting your walls is the least expensive way to completely transform your home. A soft green – like Dunn Edwards’ Glisten Green - can warm up a room for less than $100. Or if you’re looking for a tranquil feeling in your bedroom try Behr’s Crystalline Falls or Sky Light View. You’ll feel like you’re living in a high end spa. Ban Builders Beige. If you need help choosing the right color for your space, I’m happy to help you. Contact me here.
B also stands for bringing in nature's beauty. I believe every room should have a touch of nature's beauty. A gorgeous crystal geode. Cuttings from your garden. A rustic side table made out of a log. God has made such beauty. Bring a touch of nature's beauty indoors.
C= Creativity. Create spaces to encourage your own creativity. Whether you’re a bookkeeper or a CEO, creativity is essential to succeed in what you do. Allocate space for the hobbies and activities that bring you joy. You know the joke – when you’re only in your left brain there’s nothing right and in your right brain there’s nothing left. Set up a space to do that woodworking you so loved when you were in school. Set aside a crafting corner for creating beautiful crafts. Last year the popularity of adult coloring books soared! Why is that, do you think? When you’re being creative, you lose track of time, and you open up to the Creator of the Universe. There is something so healing when you allow your creativity to flourish. Creativity.
C also stands for create cozy spaces in your home that are conducive to conversation. (Okay, I'm getting carried away with the "c" words.) Instead of ignoring your fireplace, pull up two chairs on either side of your fireplace. What a delightful place to sit and de-stress after a long day of work. Cultivate cozy spaces in all the rooms. I have a pair of chairs at the foot of my bed so we can read, or sit and chat. Very cozy spaces make your house a HOME.
A – Always allow your Authentic self to be reflected in your spaces, as well as keeping only artwork and accessories that feed your spirit.
B – Ban Builders’ Beige. Bring in color and nature's beauty to warm up your home.
C – Create cozy and creative spaces to allow your house to truly be a home.
If you want your home to look cleaner, feel fresher, bigger, better…. Three words: LESS is MORE.
TAKE THIS TEST: When you walk into a room in your home, listen to how your heart responds to that room. Does the room lift your spirits? Or do you avert your eyes, because there is too much stuff in there? Do your shelves and surfaces contain objects that are full of meaning to you? Great! If your eyes don’t know where to look because it’s a tchotchke explosion, I would gently encourage you to only keep out a few things that really make your heart sing. LESS IS MORE
LESSONS FROM STAGING HOUSES: I’ve staged many, many homes for sale over the years, and in fact teach how to stage your own home. Whether the property was a cozy 900 sq.’ manufactured home or a generously sized 3K sq.’ home, there is one thing that they ALL had in common. Stuff. Clutter. Tchotchkes. Bric-a-brac. Keepsakes. Trinkets. Whatever it's called, it’s amazing how much stuff we all tend to have in our homes! The longer we’re in a home, it seems every surface becomes jammed, crammed, and stuffed full of knickknacks, dust-catchers and remnants of days gone by. When preparing a house for sale, I’ll have the homeowners pack up at least 50% of their décor. That’s right, at least 50%, and sometimes 75%. Then we keep out only a select few pieces for display. Every single time the clients will say, “Wow – it looks so much better in here!” In fact, I’ve had clients decide NOT to sell their house after all. Why? “We didn’t know this place could look this good. We don’t need a new place...... This feels like a new home!” You too can achieve this sense of euphoria simply by storing the non-essentials out of sight. Viola!
BUT I LOVE MY COLLECTIONS: Please do not misunderstand me. I love collections too. We need to have décor items that have meaning to us – but sometimes we have too much of a good thing going on. Let’s say you collect dolls or action figures. (Yes, they are two of the most collected items.) You don’t just have one or two - you have a collection of 100's! If you have ALL of them on the counters and on top of the kitchen cupboards, on shelves around the great room, spilling out of closets and filling up every surface, you stop seeing them after a while. Unless you have a museum, here is a simple suggestion for you.
EASY 3: If this is you, I would encourage you to go through and choose your favorite three from your collection. And put the rest away for now. A simple grouping of three is more visually stunning. Can you just see that in the middle of your coffee table? Delightful. Or perhaps you could display those three treasured items at eye level on your bookshelf, surrounded by a curated stack of books on either side, essentially framing your three treasures. Keep just those three out for the rest of the month. Every time you walk into the room, you’ll appreciate those three so much more. Next month you can choose a different three to display. Using this method of rotation, displaying only a few at a time, you’ll eventually see all of them. When you have fewer on display, your appreciation for them is far greater. And your place will look amazing. Don't be surprised if your friends ask if you have new furniture, if you redecorated or hired a designer.
FOR MORE INSPIRATION: If you want to take it further and could use some help dejunking and decluttering, I recommend the informative and highly entertaining books “Clutter’s Last Stand” and “For Packrats Only” by Don Aslett. If you’re thinking about downsizing, I recommend the book “Downsizing the Family Home: What to Save, What to Let Go” by Marni Jameson. (Hint: the kids don’t want your stuff.)
Whatever you collect – when it comes to displaying your treasures, remember LESS is MORE. You'll feel like you have a new home.
The best part? It costs $0.