Sunday, March 27, 2011

How to Decorate with No Time and No Money #3

Now that you have chosen your color palette, and you've started to find inspiration clippings, I want to address what I think is the biggest issue for someone decorating their own home: EDITING! Anyone can put together a vision board with their favorite color and texture combo, but most people don't start from scratch on their own house. You have the dresser you picked up at a yard sale, the pillows you got for your wedding, the couch you bought the first year you were married, and then the chairs you got a few years later when your style changed. The trick to making your house a cohesive design is to edit the things that do not go. After you have your vision board ready, with your colors, perhaps some fabric swatches, and your inspiration pictures, start chucking the things that don't fit into the vision board. And the good news is that usually taking something to the dump is very cheap!

If you have items that are clashing with your mood, you need some editing. Let's say, for example, that you make your vision board and find you are really in love with a minimalistic, Swedish look, but you have some antique pieces that obviously don't work with it. You can either refinish these pieces (reupholster, paint, re-stain, etc.) to at least fit your color scheme, or just get rid of them. They might be beautiful pieces, but if they can't work then they can't work.

Obviously, you have certain large functional objects that have to be there. If you walk through my house you can probably make a list of items that don't fit the refrigerator, my carpet, my faux wood counter...I could go on. Which leads me back to my point - make a list of things you want to edit, and edit as you can. Most of us can't have beautiful homes immediately (and if you think my home is perfectly beautiful, please, please stop by and have a look for yourself. It's not.) but the point of editing is to gradually take out and replace those things that don't work. You want to work on training your eye to see what isn't working. Walk through your rooms, make lists, and get rid of whatever you can that is hindering the flow of your design.


Ashley said...

This is great! It's so easy to get discouraged, too. I remember thinking that I was the only one who had to deal with living furniture I didn't love and a tv console that is totally not my style. Designers make it look so easy! Editing is definitely an art - you have to prioritize and figure out what pieces are worth changing (refinishing, upholstery, etc.) and which should go. I'm trying to have fun with it!

Lindsey Tollefson said...

If it makes you feel any better, my house is currently a terrible mishmash of things that I am planning to refinish, things that I am planning to take to the dump, and things I love. It just takes time....and I have to say that to myself just about 15 times a day. :)

Hope said...

love this! I feel like it's a hard balance to know when to work with what you have and when to pitch something!

maybe you already covered this, Lindsey, but do you have tips on how to figure out what your vision is when you feel like you like a bunch of different styles and influences?