Tuesday, July 21, 2015

83 Making the Most of Your Home Decor

Over the years I have had friends and family ask questions and make comments about our constantly changing and evolving home.  "You guys always have a million and one projects going on over there!" and "What are you painting now?" and "I swear that chair was in the guest room the last time I visited...".   Their inquiries are completely understandable; I am always tweaking things here and making updates there... It is something I have been doing for as long as I can remember.  I have so many memories of me sitting on the floor with a pillow propped between my back and a dresser and my feet pushing on the wall while I slowly inched that dresser around my room.  One day I would have my walls plastered in posters and pictures and the next I would be clearing all of the current clutter only to start over with a new plan.  My mind is always racing and flooded with ideas and I loved having the freedom and a personal canvas to try things out and to experiment with the impact that my surroundings had on my day-to-day life.

Fast forward fifteen years and now I have an entire home to play with.  I know so many people who have rooms that look exactly like they did fifteen years ago (cough, mom, cough), and that is totally OK.  Some people finish a space, love it and stick with it for the long haul.  Others might work on a space and end up settling because they become discouraged and afraid to move forward with it.  And then there are people like me that are constantly inspired by their surroundings, magazines, television, store displays, nature, the interiors of fellow friends, family and Internet strangers.  Every time I read a magazine I get the urge to go change out the items on a shelf and every time I return from a good friend's home I have the urge to clean something or swap out some pillows.  I am guessing many of you have picked up on most of this if you have been reading for awhile.  While I have cabinets and shelves that haven't changed in years, I also have pieces that have lived in almost every room in our home.  I remember when I first found blogs and saw that so many others also found excitement in moving around chairs, rugs, pillows, lamps, accessories... I felt this giant sigh of relief.  I had finally found my people. 


But this constant love of a changing and evolving home, can quickly cause a string of clutter and waste.  I know just as well as anyone that it can be painful letting go of items I thought I loved and that I invested in, but I just don't have the space or heart for them any longer.  Today, I thought I would touch on a question that I was asked during my recent "Wait-No-More" challenge, and offer a few tips that I am trying to use to allow myself to remain excited about our home without the need to constantly invest and purge home decor items.

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"I'm wondering what you do with the items you no longer need when you redecorate a space? Over the years I've started to accumulate wall art, shower curtains, old shelves..etc. Just wondering if you gather and sell or donate?"
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Such a great question, right?  There is no right or wrong answer either, but over the years as I have gone through room updates and organization projects, I have learned a few things along the way.  First, I will share a few of my tips for shopping my home which will all ultimately lead to those dreaded questions of what to do with the items you no longer need after you work on a space update.


CREATE AN ACCESSORY CLOSET

I remember the first time I stumbled across the Hunted Interior blog.  I was fascinated by Kristin's crazy amazing ability to revitalize her spaces time and time again.  She is able to consistently makeover rooms on a budget by using many of the same fabulous pieces and sprinkling in some new touches here and there.  Sometimes she would give her existing pieces new life, and other times they would become the new life in the room.

I don't recall her exact words, but when we chatted at an event, I inquired about her decor and finds and she told me she had an incredible accessory closet.  It may not have been organized and may have been packed to the brim, but it was a goldmine of her treasures and her secret to mixing up the decor throughout her home on a frequent basis.

At first I was feeling envious of this magical closet she spoke of, and then I realized that I essentially have created the same situation for myself, just on a smaller scale.  Although I don't store all of my home decor pieces in a single closet space, I do have specific accessory storage areas, and they are the very first places I go to "shop" for a room update.


So, my first tip is to give yourself a place to shop from, but keep it limited and specific.  How much space you deem necessary is up to you; whether it be an entire storage room or a single drawer.  The goal is to designate an area in your home that is able to hold your absolute favorite home accessory and decor items during their "off-season".  The real challenge is keeping your storage limited to the amount of space you have available, and being very strict about maintaining a "one in" and "one out" rule once you have hit your maximum capacity.


When it comes to what I am able to store, I have a spot for quite a few different types of decor pieces which all are easily swapped from room to room.  Picture frames, mirrors, small accents, baskets, votives, decorative papers, fabrics (including shower curtains) etc... all live within some drawers in my closet under the stairs.  Vases and dishes are organized in a cabinet in our dining area and pillow covers live in a drawer near our lower level sofa.  Whenever I am working on a space, I have a selection of pieces that have consistently made "the cut" and that I enjoy.


PICK YOUR PILLOW POISON 

Aside from smaller home decor pieces, textiles can completely control the overall feeling of a space.  Everything from window treatments to rugs to pillow covers, each play an important role in pulling a room together.  When it comes to rugs, I have learned that bigger is usually better.  After taking a quick measurement of each major living space in our home, I found that if I stick to a range of 6'x9' to 8'x10', I am able to perform a rug swap whenever the mood strikes.  If I hang my curtains at a common length in each space, it is easier to change them out without having to monkey with my sewing machine.  But throw pillows?  They are usually my "go to" seasonal update, but boy-oh-boy did I wait way too long to have a good pillow plan.


  • Down pillow inserts "fluff" to regain their shape, and last far longer than polyfilled options.  
  • It takes up much less space to store a pillow cover than an actual pillow.
  • Purchasing pillow covers, or sewing them yourself, is often times much less expensive than purchasing a fully finished and stuffed pillow (consider using spare fabrics, table cloths, shower curtains, blankets, sweaters, cloth napkins, etc... to whip up your own).
  • Create a pillow formula you love and stick with it!  Not too long ago I gathered every throw pillow we owned and took the covers off of each one.  I then placed the pillow forms on each seating/bedding surface based on size and shape of the pillow, to create a formula that I am happy about.  I then wrote down the pillow sizes for each surface (bed, sofa, sectional, chairs...) and now have a guide when swapping out covers.  I had a few extra down inserts that I ended up vacuum sealing flat and tucking under our guest bedroom bed.  Any polyfill pillows were placed in the sell/donate piles.  Quick Tip: If you love the polyfill pillow fabric, remove the polyfill and add a zipper, velcro or button closure to then create a reusable pillow cover to use with an insert.
  • Creating a consistent formula will help while sourcing/pillow shopping in the future.  Solid pillow covers are typically less expensive, so utilize those as the base in your formula first and then keep the patterned/colorful options for the smaller accent pillows.  I personally love Sarah's pillow pairing formulas here.
  • Once again, only store what you have room to store.  I have a single drawer in our family room available to hold all of my pillow cover options.  


And folding them in a smart way allows me to keep and store more!  Imagine my evil chuckle right about now!





KEEP A CONSISTENT COLOR STORY

By maintaining a color palette that flows from one room to the next, you are also able to maximize your ability to move accessories and decor from one room to the next.  That doesn't mean that every wall needs to be done in the same color or hue (if you have a navy lamp in one room, you can take that color and put it on the walls in the next room), just that there should be a similar theme as you move throughout your home. 



Over the years, the colors on our walls have evolved into a very soothing, sea-like palette.  I love that they still offer variety and dimension from space to space, yet they all feel like they belong together in one happy place.  That said, I am never afraid to look at colors that pair well with the ones above, as well as with the other common colors I use in our textiles and accessories, and give furniture, cabinets and walls a fresh coat of paint at a moment's notice.  Quick Tip: Find more tips for creating a consistent home color scheme here and here.


PRACTICE THE RULE OF THREE

The rule of three has been a long time practiced decorating rule (the eye typically prefers groupings done in odd numbers), but I have another rule of three that I try to follow any time I purchase new home decor pieces.  Although I am trying to be more and more intentional while selecting specific items, I have also learned that no matter how much I measure, plan, wait and love something, sometimes it just doesn't work out where I intended.  But quite often times those are my very favorite moments.  Prior to investing in something, I now challenge myself to name a minimum of three places that the item can work in our home.  This is simple with vases and candles, but more important for larger ticket pieces such as lamps, accent chairs and wall art/frames.  This was how I was able to recently perform a musical mirror update.  I have been searching for over a year for the right mirror for our main bathroom (our current one is broken but we are making due), and when I finally spotted one that fit every wish-list bullet point, I took the plunge.  I knew if it didn't work out, I had at least two other spots where it would.  And wouldn't you know it, it just didn't work the way I initially hoped.  But when I propped it up above our shoe cabinet, it was about the most magical home moment I have had in ages.  Where was this mirror two months ago I asked myself?  (Mirror purchased from Wayfair)


I was then able to take the tray mirror that I also am completely gaga over, and move that to above the dresser in our master bedroom (the wood tone is so striking in there).  And that allowed me to ultimately move the beautiful carved wood option to our master bathroom.  I was able to refresh three spaces with one simple accessory change and now I love each one even more than I did before.  It doesn't always work out this way, but the longer we live in our home and the more we tie together our spaces, the more freedom we have.


KNOW WHAT YOU HAVE

I would love to someday create an organized book containing our paint colors, inspiration photos, room dimensions, fabric swatches, etc... but for now I just keep things scribbled down in a notebook or visit my blog for info (thank you home tour page!).  By keeping items paired down and knowing my paint colors, furniture options and important dimensions, I can be a lot more thoughtful about the items I am using throughout our home.  I write down rug sizes, pillow form sizes, frame sizes, etc... and keep it tucked in my planner.   That way when I am out contemplating things, or see something I think will work, I have something to reference to help me through the decision process.


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Although there were decisions we made during our kitchen renovation that created some new storage and furnishings, we really wanted to be able to reuse many of the items we had in our kitchen/dining/living room previously throughout the remainder of our home.  One of the first things I was asked is, "Where are your navy curtains going?".  We just hung a set in our boy's shared bedroom and they were such a welcomed change to a space that hasn't been touched in a few years.  I have quite a few options for the other set as well, which is a great feeling.  We were also able to reuse a portion of our media cabinets with the new fireplace built-in and find a new home for the majority of our furniture, only having to sell a single piece so far.  This all goes back to having a similar color scheme in each room to offer flexibility.

All that said, it is SO important to know when to let go, and to not let your home overflow with the cast-offs and items that no longer work.  Once you have laid the foundation to rotating your decor, you will most likely still find that you fall out of love with pieces, that they break or become worn and no longer serve a purpose for your changing and evolving home/style.   

When we did our master bathroom refresh, we were left with our original mirror and rug that we no longer wanted or needed, so I decided to let them go vs. attempting to add them to my storage areas.  Every item I touch during a refresh, I ask:

  • Do I really love it?  Does it bring me happiness?  Does it represent the home I am working to create?
  • Will I be able to give the item new life in another location of our home?  How versatile is the piece? 
  • Does the item still serve a purpose?  Is it still functional?  What is the overall condition/quality of the piece?
  • Do I have the necessary space to store this item?  It is important to be realistic about this and stick to those few storage areas you have designated.  I had a lamp shade that I moved around for two years because it was too big to store, so I grumbled and worked around it and tried to make excuses to keep it.  All that did is add annoyance and stress... it should have been let go of the moment I realized I didn't have the room to keep it.

Once I have made the decision to let go of something, then comes the next big question, what to do with it.

I typically try to sell anything that I think may have some sort of value (it has to be worth my time to manage the listing for the item I am selling as well).  Both Craigslist and eBay are a great place to sell home good items (especially Craigslist because it is free and doesn't require you to ship anything).  Because our renovation spurred an entire home purge and declutter session, we are going to try and hold a small thrift sale before the end of summer, paired with a giant listing of items on Craigslist simultaneously.  However, when it comes to everyday "one in" and "one out" and determining to do with the "one out", I set a date in my planner that it has to be sold by, and if it is not, I am forced to cut my losses by donating it.

With each item you decide to let go of, I would question the value of the item (if you don't know, a simple look on Craigslist, Google and eBay should help you out), and then decide if that value is worth the time and effort of selling it.  Sometimes it is just better to drop off a box at the Salvation Army and celebrate that instant relief of letting go.



So there is my very long winded answer to a commonly asked question (I must have missed chatting with y'all while I was traveling last week).  Hopefully it provides a few ideas for refreshing nooks and crannies of your home when inspiration strikes, vs. heading to your nearest HomeGoods or Target for more items.  And while I am sure many organizers would caution you to just get rid of everything and not create accessory cabinets/closets, I find it much more resourceful to pull out a vase or frame I haven't seen in six months than spending money on something new each time seasons change or I work on room.  In fact, having a place to tuck away my favorite home items allows me to fall back in love with them over and over again.

Also, don't forget the power of paint, gold leaf, Rub n' Buff, fabric, decorative papers and embellishments.  Simple and inexpensive items allow you to revive, upcycle and repurpose your favorite decor pieces over and over again.

Let's keep the discussion going.  Fellow friends that love to keep things interesting around your home, share your additional tips for doing so without breaking the bank.  Also, I would love to hear from design professionals that make over full rooms for clients on a frequent basis.  What other suggestions do you have for those looking to get out of the 15 year rut?

83 comments:

  1. That bathroom mirror is gorgeous!

    Her Heartland Soul
    http://herheartlandsoul.com

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  2. I have never been great at design or decorating, but reading this post made something *click* for me! It's such a great idea to have an accessory closet. Thank you for sharing!

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  3. I love this post! SUPER informative! I just looked through all your kitchen reno posts trying to find your paint color and here it is! May I ask what brand? I'm positive you have it in a post somewhere but I couldn't find it.

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    1. Hi Shelly!

      The brand is Benjamin Moore (quiet moments).

      Jen

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  4. Jen - please know that I am one of your people. When I was a teen living at home I would get a piece of graph paper and draw where my door and window was then draw in my furniture. Once I had it all planned out I would start moving things around. As an adult I move things all over my house too. We have lived in our home for 11 years and I am dying to paint the walls but am dreading the large job. I know it's the cheapest change I can make, I just need to do it! I love reading your blog because I love to see what changes you are making to your home. I also LOVE seeing rows and shelves and drawers, etc. all neat and organized. {Should we seek therapy??}. You have inspired me to do a few things in my home and I have lists and lists of things I still want to do. So I am your people. I totally get it. Thank you for sharing.
    xoxo
    Rachel

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    1. So great to hear from you Rachel! Thank you for checking in over the years! I love that you are a fellow mover and home lover. :) And I grinned about the graph paper... I never had any on hand so I would make my own with a ruler before doing floor plans, lol.

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    2. You can also cut out appropriate sized furniture from a second sheet of graph paper. It's like paper dolls, but with room layouts!

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    3. I really thought I was the only one who graph papered my bedroom layout over and over and over again as a girl! Hello, my people!

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  5. Amazing tips, Jen! And I seriously covet your pillow cover collection. Thanks for sharing.

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  6. This is great! I am feeling quite proud of myself that I can attest to following nearly all these wonderful steps...whoo hoo!

    Strive to thrive,
    Em

    www.thriving-wives.com

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  7. GIRLFRIEND! I'm so glad that I'm not the only one who has an accessory closet, or a "closet full of old décor that I will eventually reuse" as I like to call it. I seriously thought that I was the only one, and that made me feel like such a hoarder! I'm so glad to know that there are others out there who do the same!

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  8. Wonderful tips! I too am always changing things around in our home and this post is such a help! Thanks for your wonderful blog! I look forward to each new post!

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  9. Jen, I love your style of decorating! It's absolutely stunning! Everytime I organize or do a project I always go to your blog for help. Thanks sooo much for being an inspiration!

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  10. thanks for the folding idea!!! love it :)

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  11. Awesome tips Jen. My favorite is to work with similar size rugs and window treatments so you can move them around. I call it musical chairs for your decor. I also think it starts with finding things you truly love and will want to keep and reuse no matter how many times you redecorate, which is the theme of my book "Free Decorating." Pinning this to my Free Decorating board :)

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  12. Great post. The work you share is wonderfully helpful & happy! As a professional organizer, I totally condone an accessories cabinet. If you're going to keep it, then it MUST have a home, right? Down to every picture frame, napkin ring, and candle votive ;)

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  13. Without having to completely redecorate my entire home and start fresh, how do I change or transition my color story, i.e. going from a warm-based color palette to a cool-based palette? I'm currently in a beige and reds rut and want to move to lighter/brighter feel.

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    1. Hi Brandi! I would look for beige wall colors that have a grey undertone (I was always a fan of Glidden's Smooth Stone). That would allow you to change the tone in the room, yet I would imagine many of your pieces would still work while you gradually swap things out. We had a lot of beige, burgundy and hunter green when we moved in and it definitely took time to make updates over the years. Best of luck!

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    2. Brandi, I think you might find this post on another blog helpful: http://www.thenester.com/2010/09/how-to-change-the-theme-of-your-decor-without-breaking-the-bank.html

      I happened to read it recently and found it very interesting.

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    3. Excellent question...and advice!

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  14. This is the best post!! I love your tips and use them myself! When you are constantly changing things around your house you need a strategy. The pillow case trick was the best thing I have ever done. Changing pillows is something I do more than twice a year and storing all of those toss pillows would be a nightmare.
    -Kristen
    www.pugsandpearls.com

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  15. Thank you for this great post!!! I love your paint color palette, which brand?

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    1. Hi Kellee,
      Most of the colors are Behr brand but you can get more room by room wall color specifics and brands on our Home Tour page.

      xoxo!

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  16. I adore the closet that you put your home décor in and how you "shop" it whenever you like to change your decorations. You are such an inspire.

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  17. I forgot to tell you that I also put my all extra jars, candles, vases, decoration flowers and all beautiful serving plates in my dining room buffet and I "shop' it whenever I feel there's an empty area in my home.

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  18. I've just realized recently that I should go to a pillow cover system! We had a sofa where I could store pillows in it, but recently got rid of the sofa (ie I lost my hidden pillow storage). Now all these throws are floating around - homeless. I have lots of cute throws without zippers. Do you have any tips - for the sewing impaired --on how I can remove the outer fabric of the pillows so I can reuse it on form pillows?! This would save me so much space! And I guess if they are all different sizes then I might have to pick and choose because the form pillow wouldn't work on all of them? Any tips appreciated. :)

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    1. I am also sewing impaired, I can only do basic straight line sewing so I have a neighbor help me out with some of those quick changes. Maybe check out some of the tips on Pinterest for tips: https://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=adding%20a%20zipper%20to%20a%20pillow

      xoxo!

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    2. If you are not comfortable sewing and you don't have a friend you can beg, go to a tailor and ask how much for them to do it. It might not cost as much as you think and the work will be professional.

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    3. Thank you so much for your replies! Exactly the kind of ideas I was hoping for. I had tried searching the web with no success so this Pinterest page was perfect. Getting some back up from the local tailor is also a fantastic idea! I will check both of these things out. Thank you!

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  19. PS.
    Since I am trying to convert to using pillow covers versus buying new throw pillows - - where do you like to find your pillow covers?

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    1. I personally love searching Etsy, Tonic Living, Caitlin Wilson, Joss & Main and even eBay UK for covers.


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  20. I love this post! I am always changing things and wanting something different. I think it drives my husband crazy, but he deals with it.

    Kristi | Be Loverly

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  21. Great post! I have been wondering what happened to your aqua painted hutch - did you sell that during the kitchen renovation?

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    1. Oh no, I still have it and love it and hope to make it work in another room down the road (it is temporarily being stored in the guest room). ♥

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  22. I fold my pillow cases the same way however yours looks much neater than mine. LOL!

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  23. Love this post! Such a great idea, I need to do this for sure because it has taken me a long time to decide on my decor style. And now I can rotate items so the decor is fresh!

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  24. Love this!! Pinning to keep me on track for sure!!

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  25. Eeek that new mirror is gorgeous!! Where did you find it?

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    1. Hi Julie! The mirror is from Wayfair: http://www.wayfair.com/Uttermost-Braden-Petite-Mirror-12906-UM14422.html

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    2. Thank you! You have impeccable taste :)

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  26. Where is your new mirror from? It's GORGEOUS!!!!

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    1. Thank you and I agree, it is a stunner! It is from Wayfair: http://www.wayfair.com/Uttermost-Braden-Petite-Mirror-12906-UM14422.html

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  27. Hi, great post! I have to ask - where is that gorgeous mirror above your shoe cabinet from? (3rd photo from the bottom with the pink flowers.)

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    1. Hello! The mirror is from Wayfair: http://www.wayfair.com/Uttermost-Braden-Petite-Mirror-12906-UM14422.html

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  28. This is a post packed with so many great tips! I'm jotting down the pillow cover plan - so smart! And I've learned the hard way, that sticking with more neutral paints allows for more freedom and creativity with room changes. I'm just like you, always moving things around, I just can't help myself! :)

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  29. Glad to know I'm not the only one with a decorating closet!! That took me a few years to figure out, but it's like faux retail therapy to be able to "shop" when I want. :)

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  30. I love this post! I have a cupboard full of vases and trays (we don't have built-in closets here in Europe a lot, and I don't have any in my home) and will definitely follow your advice about the pillow covers!!! I love the photo of your pillow cover drawer and will go and fold my ones like that RIGHT NOW! ;) I love your blog and read it a lot, but this post was especially motivating and helpful. Thank you so much!
    Jule

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  31. Hello! Here is a reply from the Netherlands :) I really like reading your posts and you give me good inspiration. I am only 23 and i just bought my first home. It is adorable, has only one bedroom but a really nice garden and I am in love with it.
    But I was hoping you can help me. I still had my old room at my parents house, and I had a lot of stuff from the studio I lived in when I was still a student. So i sold a lot of big furniture that had no use anymore, but I don't know what to do with all the different small stuff. Because i had a pink phase, a blue phase and a black-and-white with metallic (like aluminum) phase. And i bought this cute house with a lot of wood (dark wooden floors for instance). Now all of this makes no sense together. How can I combine all of this? Can you help me? Thank you in advance!

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    1. Hi Marjan!

      First, it will probably take quite some time to rebuild a consistent flow from room to room using a combination of things you had and new pieces. I would look at any of the pieces that you love due to size, shape and purpose, and see if any of them can be modified to fit your new color scheme. As I mentioned in the post, so much can be done with a new coat of paint, embellishing things with pretty fabrics and papers or whipping out a little gold gilding (think things like frames, vases, lamps, etc...) There may be some things that you will just have to let go of and slowly re-build your inventory one thoughtful piece at a time.

      Best of luck as you work to create a home you love!

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    2. Hi Marjan...congratulations on your home purchase and at age 23, you must be so proud! One suggestion I would make for you is to go through all of your items and select only those that you love, spark joy or as Jen suggests, could be used in 3 different areas. Then look at those items remaining and decide if you would like them if they were a different color since spray paint can be your friend here. Does it matter that you have pink, blue, or black/white (w/metal) around you home...not at all if they reflect who you are. And, if you truly love something but don't know where to put it, create a small area to store decorating items for later use. I've made a ton of mistakes over the years mad grabbing items that I "loved" in the store but when I got them home, they lost some of their appeal to me. This is a great time to slowly find out what your style is in your home and make some decisions about what you want to see. There is nothing like walking into your home at the end of the day and smiling as you walk room to room because it feels fresh, inviting and welcomes you home. The dark floors sound great so perhaps think about keeping your wall color lighter...there are some great tips in the comments so read below if you haven't already!

      Peggy ;-)

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    3. Thanks so much for adding such great advice Peggy! I love seeing all of the discussion happening here today. :)

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  32. Loved this post! I can relate so much to 'shopping my home' for a number of 'refresh' projects I have done. I have not, however, done the same with pillows (though I had been contemplating making my own covers), so your drawer of pillow covers has inspired me! Do you purchase your material online or at a nearby fabric store? Do you have a recommendation?

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    1. Hi Jelica!

      I find material online or locally, I typically search Onlinefabricstore.net, Fabric.com and Tonicliving.com. I am lucky to have a neighbor pal that is a wiz with the sewing machine and she has helped me out quite a few times. :)

      xo!

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  33. Hey Jen! Great question and awesome answer! The idea of only purchasing things that can go in 3 places in the home, and keeping a consistent color pallet from room to room is great - I'm proud to say that I did the same thing when I moved recently and was re-positioning furniture and redecorating. And I was one of those people using graph paper to see how things fit and pushing furniture around the room too! Never thought about the "accessory closet" but after combining mine and my boyfriends things, I think we will definitely be starting one of those up. ;)

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  34. Where is that gorgeous mirror above your shoe cabinet from?! Love it!!

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    1. Hello! The mirror is from Wayfair: http://www.wayfair.com/Uttermost-Braden-Petite-Mirror-12906-UM14422.html

      xo!

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  35. We recently started the process of moving an hour away and wrapping and boxing all of my accessories has really had me falling back in love with some and instantly purging the "Ew, why?!" category!!! Id have to say my biggest tip is spray paint. Im not in love with the brown bedside lamps anymore... Oh wait theyre white now?! Keep, keep, keep!!!

    For me the hardest thing is items given by family and friends. They all discovered I like owls...now I have tons. It was hard to whittle them down, "My mother in law gave me that! Yes, but you don't actually like it! Toss!
    I think sometimes you have to get over the fear factor of someone noticing you arent displaying a gift item... So far they never have.

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    1. Completely agree Nicole! It was the process of packing up our kitchen, and then later unpacking the "keep" boxes a few weeks ago, that I realized how much I really don't like, use, need. Sometimes a little separation can help when you are struggling letting go of things. And I completely agree, it can be harder to let go of a gift, but if it is always tucked away because there isn't a strong love for it, it isn't doing anyone any good.

      Good luck with your move!

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  36. Hi Jen! Can you recommend a brand of pillows and pillow cases? All I know of are IKEA, but I'm sure there are some others out there. I would like to invest in some good ones, but I need to figure out where to start first.

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    1. Hi Heather!

      I personally love the inserts from West Elm (they are a bit fuller and I don't have many feather issues). But I believe most home/interior stores that also sell pillow covers have inserts.

      As far as covers go, I love searching Etsy, Tonic Living, Caitlin Wilson, Joss & Main and even eBay UK.

      xoxo!

      Delete
  37. Love this post! I have transitioned to all feather pillow inserts but mine always have feathers poking through and coming out...is this normal? Is there anything I can do to stop this? Thanks

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    Replies
    1. I have some older inserts that also do that and I have found a thin layer of batting can help block the feathers from poking through the cover. They also make pillow protectors that can block the feathers as well.

      xo!

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  38. Jen!! Where did you find that fabulous mirror that is now over your shoe cabinet?!

    I must admit.. I have a very large walk in accessory closet in my lower level bonus room. :( And a huge walk in Holiday closet. :( And 3 linen closets throughout my home, 2 sets of built ins with lower cabinets, and 5 bedroom closets (4 of which are just used for storage, only one is the master bedroom closet and we have no children yet!) I truly am spoiled with too many closets/storage areas that actually leave me holding too many items, I feel. I have been reading and appreciating many articles lately on living more simply. My goal for end of this summer is to purge, purge, purge, and have a great yard sale! Wish me luck! I am enlisting help ;) I also reread a post in which you talked about essentially banning yourself from Target and Ikea for a period of time and really being purposeful and thoughtful about the pieces you bring into your home. Over the next year, that is also my goal! You know..after I just asked you where you purchased that awesome mirror.. lol 

    Kassie

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    Replies
    1. Hi Kassie!

      Ha! Good news, the mirror is from Wayfair: http://www.wayfair.com/Uttermost-Braden-Petite-Mirror-12906-UM14422.html

      I still don't allow myself to go into the Home department at Target any longer unless something has been on my list for quite some time. It really has made a difference!

      Best of luck to you! Less definitely is more! ♥

      Delete
  39. How do you get your paint colors on the paint palette? I would love to do for our home as a visual reference but can't seem to get copy and paste to work on most sites?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Shelly! I Google image searched for each shade and saved the swatch to my computer. I put them into a collage using Ribbet (http://www.ribbet.com/).

      xoxo!

      Delete
  40. This garage sale you speak of...please advertise it on your blog or instagram or something so us localish people can come!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  41. You'll have to post a picture of how the tray mirror looks in its new spot, because I thought it looked awesome here!

    Antonella | www.loveyourhomeblog.blogspot.ca

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    Replies
    1. I agree! Please do Jen!

      xeladc

      Delete
  42. Brilliant! I'm now on an accessory closet mission.

    P.S. I'm swooning over your pillow covers! Love!

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  43. These are lovely tips! When I get rid of something I usually try to sell it or I give it. I love the consistent color idea! Thanks for sharing!

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  44. Hi Jen. Great post. Thank you! I love the tip about the curtains. Such a simple idea really but I would never have thought of it! The pillow formula I will definitely be using! Just last week I was looking at my tired and worn out throw pillows wondering how I would replace them. I am so tired of the ones I have (after 4 years!) that I'm excited about trying your tips and having few choices to go between. I really liked the principle of three but I know I would find that harder to implement. It's certainly something I would like to be more mindful of as we finish decorating our home. (We are progressing at a snails pace!) I don't comment often but I love your blog. Congrats on the great and transformative work you have done over the past few months. You guys are great and so dedicated to take on such big projects on your own. The place looks great! PS I was so happy to read that you held onto the hutch from the kitchen. Love that piece!

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  45. Thank you... you've helped me be okay with storing currently-unused home items! I was feeling slightly guilty, wondering if I was just being a packrat with this stuff (also being an obsessive purger ;-). I keep my items in plastic totes in our home storage, with a number on each box, and a corresponding Word doc on my computer with what exactly is inside for easy reference. I also love the idea of paints, contact paper, etc. to bring new life to an item!

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  46. Oh my, Jen, you are so smart! I love the pillow forms tip!

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  47. This is amazing and what is even more amazing is that I was doing this but without a real plan. I have organized and reorganized my project closet and I have added a storage bin of different glass and craft ware that I use seasonally. Just the other night I was thinking of finishing my attic so I can spread out and put everything in one place...thank you for helping me to realize I am not nutso. :)

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  48. Thanks so much for the link! :) Love all of your tips!!

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  49. I've had an home dec storage area/closet in every home we have lived in. Not only do I rotate items we redo/update our homes constantly while living in them for eventual resale so our Christmas tree is in a different place almost every single year! If I got rid of my stuff I would just need it after reinventing a space so I keep things stored not only cause I love it but because I don't need to spend needlessly. I also stage and decorate professionally occasionally so when others offer me their great cast offs I take them even if they don't fit my personal style. That said, I am a regular donater at Salvation Army and never view it as a "fail" because I think every woman deserves a beautiful home so if her budget only allows thrift store shopping I am happy to pass on things to her. It's all God's stuff so I just enjoy seeing it passed around to His women. 😊

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  50. Want to share that like my grandmother did we store cotton rugs and quilts/blankets between our mattress and box springs. Adds lumbar support as well 😉

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  51. Hi! Can you please share where you found your font that you used on the paint collage? All of your posts are so inspiring!

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  52. Hi Jen, I have been reading your blog for ages (years probably!) and I totally love it. You have some great ideas and excellent creativity, but I especially love this post because you have really hit a chord with me here on the subject of "being able to keep stuff and not feel guilty that I'm not using it"!! What a fab idea to have your very own "home store" - that had not crossed my mind but it is genius! I am now inspired to gather all my bits and pieces and be serious about what I keep, and to give them the dignity of their own space!! Thank you x

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  53. Great post! I am exactly the same way and have been since I can remember, so that accessory closet is an amazing idea and when I have space this is happening.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Lauren Baxter | LB Designs
    xx

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  54. Such a fantastic post, Jen. So many gems here! Thank you! Also I can relate to moving things around... I used to rearrange my friend's rooms when I was a kid. Am I the only weirdo that did that? I loved cleaning up, organizing, and moving furniture in my friend's rooms... like, I would come over and we would start cleaning and moving furniture. lol! Maybe I should have become a decorator?! :D

    ReplyDelete

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