Monday, January 18, 2010

a motto to live {and decorate} by...

about a month ago i came across this saying from theodore roosevelt:

"do what you can, with what you have, where you are."

this isn't the first time i've mentioned it.

i think about it a lot. in relationships. grocery shopping. areas of faith. and of course. decorating.

so what are some simple ways to make the most with what you have? the answer may surprise you...

1. pick up! seriously. an organized house = a happier house. got piles of junk that don't go away? buy some baskets. throw away stuff. move it into a room that you don't have to go into often. just get it out of your main spaces!

2. declutterize. minimize nick knacks. {is that half burnt candle from a friend at your 5th grade birthday party really that important?} clean off the fridge and put those photos into frames. put those frames on top of the fridge. trust me. it will look better!

3. organize the stuff that you do have to keep out. again, i recommend baskets. consider putting a dresser in your living room to manage the clutter. blankets. toys. shoes. scarves. mail. kitchen gadgets. cereal boxes. anything that has to be out, hide it in a basket. it will look better.

4. photo storage boxes also help with clutter. you can label them. you can pick from a variety of colors. they can fit many things. dvds. cds. mittens. recipes. mail. to do piles. {and often are half price at hobby lobby!} i used to have some in my kitchen: coupons, to do, file, pictures, recipes. all great uses for photo boxes.

5. for photo crazy people {like myself!} here are some simple suggestions: pick one wall to hang pictures. a bigger room, maybe two walls. standardize your frames. paint them all one color. consider black and white photography - more artistic and more neutral. rotate out your pictures. i do for each season. that way i can bring out some older pictures that are great memories for me.

6. make one wall your statement wall. maybe this is where you have your photography display. maybe a big piece of art. maybe a collection of plates. if every wall is a statement it is hard to know where to focus your attention and it doesn't feel as peaceful. so pick one.

7. make sure every room has textiles. something that softens the room. drapes. kitchen towels. table runners. bath towels rolled up in a basket. blankets folded up on a couch. something soft. something with texture.

8. lighting. ohhhh... touchy subject for me. i almost lost a college room mate because of our inability to agree on lighting. a lamp in each room. a lamp on each side of the bed. at least a candle in each room, but not too many candles {see the declutterize suggestion.}

9. layer. just like with fashion, home decor follows the same guideline. things look better when you layer. rugs over wood floors. blankets and pillows on a couch. drapes over blinds on a window. quilts on the bottom of your bed. a few pillows on the top of your bed. {not too many, hubbys usually don't like that...} one suggestion is to think about different textures. for example, i have a creamy white quilt on my bed with a creamy white down comforter folded on the bottom. the look makes you want to jump into bed - it feels so cozy! the two textures are what make it so cozy!

10. when in doubt, go neutral. i've never regretted registering for white pitchers, platters and plates at my wedding. or for all the cream colored bedding i have. {because of layering, cream on cream works!} white blankets for my couch. black frames go with just about everything {some designers say that every room needs a touch of black. i tend to agree.} i have black lamps that i can trade in and out of rooms. that is another advantage of going neutral. you can switch things from room to room and they will still match! another reason i've painted so many things in my house white. you never know where the pieces of furniture will end up!

so do the most with what you have. shop your own house. move things around. declutter. experiment. shop goodwills and garage sales before you go to department stores.

hopefully these tips will work for you wherever you are.


Leia Brown said...

Great tips Stacy! I like them all... now if I could just keep things organized...

Kalia said...

OMG... if I had discovered your house blog a long time ago!!! I think I'm addicted to it now. I should be sleeping, but man, could not STOP reading and looking at your pictures. Darn you Stacy! ;o)