"...I don't really like it"
Your home should be filled with only
the things you need and love or at least like. Otherwise, it's a
waste of space and money!
There are two main reasons why you buy
things-want and need. In decorating these two often converge which makes
the decision making process easier. Price can narrow the field even more.
Eventually you'll choose the item that appeals to you the most and fits
your "needs", "wants" and "likes" requirements.
The problem is that
many people get worn out or worn down when decorating. They want an
attractive home and get off to a good start, then the decisions start to
wear them down. They get to a point where they just want it to be
finished. That's where costly mistakes are made-and can be avoided.
Here is where my Five Rules of Shopping can
Rule #1: Don't Settle
If you like it, but it's not
the right color, size, price, etc, then it's not a good buy but a
Rule # 2: The Three L's
This is the flip
side of Rule #1. It may be the perfect color, size, price, etc, but do you
Love, Like or Loathe it? "Love" is best and "like" is
acceptable, but "sort of like" or obviously "dislike" or "loathe" is your
signal to keep looking. So the Three L's could also be thought of as
Love, Like or keep Looking".
Rule #3 Can it
be Used in More Than One Way?
The more ways an item can be
repurposed, the more likely it will be a good buy.
Rule #4 The S
- Is it too similar to your other furnishings?
- Is it too safe and possibly bland?
- Is it seen and sold everywhere?
- Are you settling?
Finally, Rule #5: Does it Have
an Expiration Date?
Is is a Fad or a Trend? A design style that's
Hot Hot Hot can fizzle out faster than you might expect. Some trends never
really catch on. If the item you are considering passes the four previous
rules then adding it could be the zip your decor update needs. Even if it
doesn't have longevity, you have enjoyed it in it's original form and you
can always repurpose it or pass it along.More about the Anne
Taintor illustration used above can be found by clicking on the image or
reading more about her products below.
Decorating with Mirrors|
Mirrors are some of the most versatile wall decor choices. They can
transition between different styles and decorate a wall without being yet
another piece of framed art. They can call attention to themselves by
their shape or framing, giving the room some architectural interest. They
can be nearly invisible without a frame when visual space is at a premium.
A mirror's basic function, to reflect, can be employed to create
the illusion of openness and help move light as needed into darkened
areas. That reflective quality needs to be considered when choosing a
location for a mirror.
A mirror over a fireplace is often so high
that what it reflects is the ceiling, a blank area or the top of people's
heads. This is can be countered by placing objects in front of it on the
mantel such as a clock, a floral arrangement, wreath or sculpture. When
choosing the accessories, be aware that a mirror can multiply those
pieces, so limit the number to avoid a cluttered look.
placement before you hang your mirror to see what it will reflect.
Locating it across from a window will, of course, reflect the light but
will also reflect what may be seen outside. Is it a lovely view or a
seasonal eyesore? In a hallway, is it reflecting a blank wall? Sometimes
moving it a few feet can make a difference, but if not, a mirror may not
be the right choice for the space.
Rather than one large mirror,
multiples of smaller mirrors can be used to create more interest and
impact. The cost can be about the same as the cost of one large mirror,
and sometimes less.
No matter how you use it, safety first when
locating and hanging a mirror. It may sound obvious, but avoid walls
directly over stairs where it can be bumped or fall on someone. (I've seen
this on small landings, apparently trying to enlarge and lighten the
space.) Avoid using them in narrow hallways for the same reason. Keep in
mind how vibrations from exercise equipment, dryers, and even garage doors
may cause the mirror to "creep" over time, possibly putting strain on the
hanger. Finally, use the proper hardware for hanging. Know the weight of
your mirror and select the best hanger for the job. ( Don't guess
here-it's easy to be off by quite a bit.)
For more on the mirror
shown, please click on the link below.
and Beverage Cooler|
Many people love the idea of having a dedicated wine and beverage
chiller. It can free up space in the refrigerator and can be located away
from the main food prepping area, allowing better traffic flow through the
space. (Especially important when entertaining.) The drawback is that it
is difficult to retro fit these into existing kitchens or bar areas
without sacrificing valuable storage space. They may not be practical if
only a few bottles need to be kept chilled.
Now there are smaller
units that can be added to just about any kitchen when undermounted to
wall cabinets or even under some open counter tops. They may be just the
thing for a butler's pantry or a basement entertaining area.
another use, please continue to the next article. For more about the unit
featured, please click on the link below.
People are switching to flat screen TV's which leaves them with the old
media cabinet, often still attractive and potentially useful, without a
An Entertainment Center becomes an Entertaining
The example shows how large the interior of some of
these pieces can be. They are vented and some have outlets that could
power blenders, ice machines, small microwave ovens and more.
pieces can be adapted with various wine racks and shelves to hold bottles
along with glasses and serving accessories. Smaller wine chilling units
like the one featured above can be added or a mini fridge if space allows.
Even small bar sinks can be retro-fitted in some cases.
furniture pieces can be substantial investments. Before you eliminate such
a piece, consider the following:
- Do you like the design?
- Can it be changed to adapt to the decor in any areas of your home?
- Does it have enough useable space to store or showcase items?
- Would the cost or effort to restore/repurpose it outweigh the
usefulness of the piece?
Repurposing allows you to be green,
save money and gives you a chance to use your imagination and creativity.
Have you repurposed your old media cabinet? Email me your ideas and photos
and you may be featured in this newsletter!
||Fun and Practical
The illustration used with my Five Rules of Shopping is from a
collection by Anne Taintor. I was introduced to the witty merchandise a
few years ago when a friend gave me a set of the postcards. The vintage
photos and their captions are clever, sassy and funny. The line includes
notepads, totes postcards, magnets, luggage tags, coasters and more. You
can even get iPhone wallpaper. A visit to the web site will have you
smiling in minutes if not laughing out loud. Just click on the link below.
The inspiration: Textured glass plates that looked like bubbling
water and a wedding near the sea were the inspirations for this ocean
fantasy centerpiece. White shells, star fish, and faux branch coral in
aquamarine and sea foam green are nestled into glass rocks. A white
"pearl" tea light sits in an open shell and tall, glittering sea grass
sways in the breeze.
The challenge: I needed to create
eight centerpieces, disassemble them, package so that they could be
reassembled by the groom's family in less than a half hour and
survive a 6 hour trip!
The bad news is that a storm and heavy
traffic drastically delayed the family's arrival and consequently, the set
The good news is that even though arriving guests were
surprised to find a live demonstration of how to construct a traveling
centerpiece unfolding in front of them, they apparently found it quite
interesting and entertaining. (Just like being on an HGTV design show!)
Best wishes to the bride and groom and kudos to the mother of the
groom for grace under pressure and keeping a sense of humor under the most
||Are You Ready for a
Have you been promising yourself that you are going to make decorating
changes in your home but Planning Paralysis has stopped you? Did you know
that even small redesign changes in your rooms can make an amazing
difference quickly, easily and affordably?
aren't always about re-doing entire rooms and they aren't major upheavals
in a household. Often during consultations I show how effective quick
changes can be. The result is easy to live with changes that can
jump-start your decorating projects.
Are you ready for a redesign?
Contact me and we can talk about your ideas and needs.