It doesn't take much, in my opinion, to decorate a space. It certainly doesn't take much money. The above is a collection of odd things: framed pictures from my siblings; a well-loved, limited edition run of Ethan Frome that I found in an antique store for three dollars; inherited candlesticks; old books from library sales; junk sale platters and candle holders from Target. It's a mish-mash, but it works for me.
I know my style wouldn't work for most everyone. I have friends who wouldn't be caught dead with a framed feather from one of their chickens... or my "moldy oldy" Plato books... on their shelves. But if you want to create a home that speaks to you... that greets you at the door with a solace hug each time you come home, try this:
- Put away everything you aren't currently using or getting benefit from. Here's where to start to get a room you love: take everything out of it. Or, if that isn't do-able, take everything off a book shelf. Or off one wall. Then take a hard look at the stuff you've removed. That project you started two months ago but haven't gotten back to? Make a plan to finish it soon or chunk it. Seriously. Get it out of your room. It's dragging you down and giving you anxious/guilt trip-ish feelings every time you see it, right? Or how about that stack of mail? Same thing. Ugh. Sort, shred and file that mess. The endless coats/shoes/bags? Find a designated space to hang or store them when not in use, and get them where they belong. That picture you've never liked? Donate it. The chair that doesn't work anymore? Donate it, too. Think blank canvas- I don't care if you moved in last month or have lived there 30 years. Start by emptying the room of everything you don't like or need right now, then begin to...
- Add things to your space that mean something and speak to you. Maybe it's a throw from your Grandma. Or a vase you found on your travels. Maybe it's a rug that makes your feet happy or a picture that reminds you of a time you loved. Corral the things you love right now. Once you have them- even if it's just a few things- begin displaying them where you can enjoy them. Get out the nice dishes. Frame the letters from your grandkids. Hang that picture you painted but are afraid no one will like. You can always take it down if it doesn't work for you. Put things out and really enjoy them.
- Know that it's okay if your room isn't "finished" or others don't get it. Hint: good rooms are never finished, and some spaces are meant for only you. Don't feel pressured to hurry and decorate a space just because it's empty-ish, or people come over and ask when you're going to decorate. Shoot. This is your space... and home is meant to be sweet and solace- to you. If it looks empty and you like it, good. If it looks crazy and colorful and it brings you joy each moment you spend in there, perfect. If it's monochromatic but you find it soothing, stay with it. Don't rush the process of creating or updating a space to suit you, and certainly don't go with things (or keep them!) just because someone else thinks you should. You live there; they don't. Create spaces that mean something... and say something... to and about you.
Anyhow. I still have the other twin alcove, to the left side of the front room fireplace, to decorate. I'm going for that solace hug here. It's beginning to get fun in the old house now, just in time for my favorite time of year! A tiny circle of light is visible from the end of the tunnel, finally.
Happy Friday. -Brin
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