Monday, March 29, 2010

Assembling Your Dream Home

The truth is, no matter how small your budget is you can still put together a beautiful space you love.  Inversely, no matter how much you have to work with, you can still manage to blow it all on items that don’t really express your taste.  Just like essentially everything else in life, money helps but it’s not everything.  And while it’s always interesting to hear about “trends” (and we hope to show you many) at the end of the day, choosing a design theme that expresses, inspires and accommodates you and your family is the ultimate goal.   Is everyone that comes into your home going to love it as much as you do?  Maybe not.  But anything done tastefully can, at the very least, be appreciated by most people. Although you might think that understanding your own taste and applying it to your decorating should be a simple activity, it can easily become a frustrating and discouraging task.  Our best advice? 

Take the time to make a plan

How would you describe your house’s decorating style?  Is it Victorian?  Maybe it has more of a French Country feel?  Or perhaps it’s totally modern?  Chances are you may have always dreamed of a house that fell into one of the above categories, but in reality your home is more of a storage space for the items (decorative or otherwise) you’ve accumulated.  It doesn’t have to be that way.  Whether you want it to or not, your home says something about you…so figure out what you want yours to say.  If you never make a plan your space will always feel disjointed, or worse- the next time you need a lamp you’ll find yourself buying one you don’t really like to match the drapes you barely tolerate that came with the house.   Take the time to determine what décor you have that you really like, what is so-so, what you hate, and what direction you want to go.  You may not be able to act on your plan immediately, but everyone needs a starting point.

Ask yourself lots of questions

Once you’ve decided you want to make a change you need to invest time to determine what style you favor.  For a real challenge, try boiling it down to a sentence.  My description has words like “Art Nouveau” and “vintage glamour”, my Mom’s includes adjectives such as “Tuscan” and “tufted”.  Because we’re intentional and know what we’re looking for, chances are we can find it…and at a price point we’re comfortable with, too.  You may need to do some research to determine the best way to summarize your ideal look, but it’s worth it!  Buy design magazines, look through books that showcase different styles, watch shows about interior design, subscribe to a Design Blog (hint, hint) .  No matter where you look for ideas, the best way to clearly define your sense of style is by forcing yourself to be more observant about what catches your eye, and to take note of your observations.  Here are some other factors to consider:

What are your Favorite Color Palates?

Do you like brights?  Neutrals?  Earth tones?  Jewel tones?  Is there one certain color you’re consistently attracted to?  When you see a color you like, take a picture…even if it’s just on your phone!  In fact, if you have an iPhone you may want to look into downloading the free Ben Moore “Color Capture” app.  With the tap of a key, you’re able to snap a picture of any color inspiration and instantly match it to one of the more than 3,300 hues that comprise Benjamin Moore’s color system.  Pretty impressive.  

Who is your Favorite Artist? 

I’m a big believer in the benefits of a working knowledge of Art History, but even if you couldn’t name five artists to save your life you can still identify what you do and do not like.  A museum is a great place to discover more about your taste, regardless of whether you even want art in your home.  Take an afternoon to mosey around and take note of what artists you’re drawn to.  How does the museum classify their work?  What does ‘google’ have to say about them?  This is a great way to find a buzz word like contemporary, romantic, etc.

If money was irrelevant, what would your Favorite Clothing Store be?

Although your sense of style is a huge factor to consider, don’t just think about the clothes in your favorite store…think about the store itself.  Stores are decorated to reflect the product they’re selling, if you love the clothes chances are good you may love the design elements as well.  Everything from their window display to the color of their dressing room walls is designed to attract you, so take a closer look next time you’re there.  You always suspected your favorite designer knew you better than you knew yourself, give him or her a chance to do some of your “research” for you.  And while you’re there, you might as well hit the sale rack.  

Of course, there are a million other places to look.  Your favorite movies, TV shows, restaurants, hotels…all of these tell you a lot about yourself.  The more time you’re willing to put into determining what you love, the more confident you’ll be investing in a new look for your home.

Don’t get discouraged

It doesn’t matter what stage of life you’re in- it’s never too early to start planning and never too late to make a change in your home’s décor.  You may not be able to transform your house overnight, but the small changes you make today and tomorrow will add up before you know it.  If you’re just moving into your first apartment, you have the advantage that you’re just starting out.  Stick to the essentials so you’re able to only buy things you genuinely like.  You CAN stay within your budget and avoid ugly nonsense.  Try Ikea,HomegoodsWalmartTarget or any number of online stores (we love introducing you to some of the best) .  DO NOT buy something just because it’s on sale.  And carefully consider when things are truly worth saving up and spending a little more on.  If your house is already full of furniture and décor you wish you could throw straight in the trash, than refer to the plan we discussed making earlier.  You’ve got lots of responsible options for disposing of items you don’t want- have a yard sale, see if you can sell some on eBay orCraigslist, or donate them to a local church or Goodwill.  Slow and steady wins the race.  You’ll be surprised how a few changes at a time (beautiful paint job one week, new decorative pillows the next) can make a big difference.  


Mary said...

I really like rustic decor. They really look elegant and stunning. They also look sophisticated.

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