Unfortunately, I learn the hard way through many mistakes and decorating disasters. This is why I have nearly forbid myself to spend money decorating these days. I’m okay with rearranging, re-purposing, and using materials I already have i.e. paint, fabric. But as far as the spending and buying new stuff to decorate with, I’m grounded. Maybe forever.
I find that I thrive on limitations. And I’m usually happier with the finished product because 1) I had to pull all my creative energies together to make it happen and 2) there is little to no money lost if I hate it.
A few things I’ve been working on lately… I rearranged kids rooms in preparation for the oldest two children to share a room come December. I painted our kitchen with paint I had leftover from painting our bathroom. I re-purposed a children’s table to use a bedside table. I painted it blue (and I did spend a little money for the paint). Pictured below is a window valance I made from an old maternity top. I paid $2.79 for the tension rod to hang it with. I know your thinking bless her heart…she thinks she’s decorating, she made a curtain out of a maternity top — ha. Remember I’m not claiming to be a talented designer. I just enjoy decorating, especially when I can make the most of what I’ve got. And this curtain makes me laugh (hard). And when I laugh I’m happy. Captain Steve was very enthusiastic and supportive of the curtain. He said it looked very Betty Draper. And I said “that’s exactly what I was going for!” I consider it a win.
The blog that sort of inspired me to not spend but work on the projects I already have the materials for is Small Notebook. She writes often on this subject.
I enjoy not running a hundred errands looking for the perfect this or that. I enjoy not throwing away $40 here, $50 there. In my maturity I have learned that I’d much rather spend that money on something quality like a nice lamp or a custom frame. In maturity I’ve learned patience in decorating and that your house is always a work in progress.
Pinterest has really helped me find my personal style. I pin what I like and discover the common themes. I would say my style is casual, rustic, colorful, and eclectic. I’m also drawn to all things vintage. My all time favorite look is white walls with pops of color.
I find that I’m gaining more confidence as a “decorator”. And the reason is – after observing dozens of rooms I find that there is so much out there I don’t like. There are homes decked to the nines and I care nothing for them. We are all different. Of course my style is not going to appeal to everyone and vice versa. This fact gives me freedom – freedom to be tacky in the eyes of others.
I like decor to be personal. I like the look to be born of the individual who lives in the space. Of course a little help and validation is nice. But the end product should reflect and represent the home dweller.
I think decor should also be practical. Once when dealing with the challenge of a tricky room and a weird window layout, a decorator friend suggested I hang a drape on the wall to give the appearance of symmetrical windows. Heavens to Betsey No! I would never create a faux window.
I don’t like flowery decor just for the sake of decor. I like a room to be real, even with its problems.
Lastly, the most valuable truth I’ve learned about decorating is – when you’re down about a space, when you feel a certain room needs work but it’s not a reality for you to go spend $500 on a new ____. GET RID OF TEN THINGS, big or small. Less is more. Sometimes it’s not about bringing things in but getting stuff out.