Bluebird Gardens - Decor
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Easy Ideas for Personalized Home Decor
There are a number of easy things you can do with home decor to quickly update a room, even without first painting!
Start with furniture with good bones but not necessarily high price tags.
The room in the photo is in my basement den. The sofa belonged to my mother. The table is rosewood veneer from a 1974 yard sale; I paid $10 for it. Oak table on left was a $6 auction find. The $2 little white table on the right folds out to make a nice working space. When not in use, it serves nicely as a side table.
The following are my recommended easy home decor steps to quickly and easily update a room without even painting!
Add A Dash of Green
If you do nothing else, add fresh flowers or a living plant. The colors will add instant splash and make the space look warm and lived in.
If you add a plant, don't forget to take the decorative wrapper off and place the plant in a basket or planter with a solid bottom so the plant doesn't leak on furniture. If flowers have an accident, use Howard Furniture Refinishing products to get rid of the stains.
Good, long-lasting flowers well worth the investment are moth orchids (photo) often available in grocery store floral areas. In indirect lighting areas with proper watering, the flowers can last for 4-6 months!
Warm Up A Room with a Quilt or Throw
Take a handmade quilt or throw and toss them over the back of a sofa, the arm of a chair, use as a table cloth or table centerpiece. Don't worry if it's an old quilt with tears in it; tears add character.
A bright throw or quilt will make any surface an instant focal point and bring texture and interest into a room.
You can also exchange throws throughout the year to easily add a new pop of color and theme to a room. Great way to have something to keep you warm handy, too!
Odd Collectibles Make Unique Home Decor
Unusual collectibles are nice conversation pieces, too but by "odd" I mean odd-numbered collectibles. Even inexpensive pieces like Made in Japan ceramics can add fun and whimsy to a room and can look elegant keeping each other company.
Don't scatter antiques and collectibles around a room. Group them together in odd numbered sets, just like plants in a flower bed. Pare them down and display only the best and favorites. Less means the eye can focus on particular items instead of being drawn in a dozen different directions.
If you can't decide which ones to retire, rotate them so you can enjoy them in their own good time
Add Favorite Books Anywhere You Can
Find a spot in a room for favorite books, either ones you're reading now or all-time favorites like recipe books. I prefer to use real books, as opposed to decorative ones. Having books in different spots encourages me to plop down in that spot to enjoy the book, especially collectible gardening books.
If you are not sure where to start, stack a couple of favorites on a table or in a basket, or leave a larger pile on the floor next to a chair. Don't turn them backwards or cover them in the same color paper, you want to see what they are. Books have a way of quickly warming up any corner of a room!
Toss Handmade Throw Pillows Around!
Go through your house, pick up all decorative pillows and place them in one area. Look at sizes, textures, finishes and color. You'll start to see complimentary patterns. Turn throw pillows around and look at how they look on the back. That's a quick way to instantly make a change without getting new throw pillows!
Then walk through rooms and re-think what throw pillows you have where. Use handmade throw pillows to add color to an unusual area. Handmade throw pillows easily add punch through contrast or favorite theme. My mother made the cat throw pillows in photo from embroidered panels originally destined to be framed as wall hangings. I like them better as pillows, don't you?
Changing the Carpet's Sheer Magic!
Rugs define an area. Handmade rugs can also instantly change the texture of a space. Highlight a wood floor with smaller rugs, or minimize a less than desirable carpet by adding a larger rug.
If you already have an area rug in the room, take it out. If you don't, add one. Again go through the house and see what you have in other rooms. Adding a rug, or taking one away, is another easy home decor idea that gives any room a quick face lift without making a dent in your pocket book.
Rugs with patterns are also an easy way to bring whimsy into an otherwise serious room. The design sneaks up on you without taking over the room.
Use Quilts and Throws as Quilted Wall Hangings
If you're trying this for the first time, start by taking anything off the wall that doesn't mean anything to you. Find things that do, such as family pictures, children's art, old movie poster that reminds you of when you first met or other good memories. Don't restrict yourself to only prints or original art work. Your handiwork makes lovely wall art such as embroidered samplers or paintings. Group them the same way you would collectibles, in odd numbers, or hang them alone.
Another easy splash of color can come from handmade quilts and throws. They also add extra insulation and can cover unsightly wall blemishes when you don't have time to fix them. Theme throws can also quickly update a room for Christmas or any other special season.
Be Kind To Your Wood Furniture!
When was the last time you checked your wood furniture for loose arms or legs, and treated the wood?
If you're not sure, determine first what kind of wood it is. You can also easily make basic furniture repairs. The easiest thing you can do to revitalize your furniture is to rehydrate wood furniture a couple of times a year.
I use Howard Feed 'n Wax to easily restore the vibrancy of original wood color, cover scratches, and bring a soft sheen back to my wood furniture.
If I want to brighten up a piece, Howard RestorAFinish will do the trick without refinishing.
Fur Is Always Fashionable
Old quilts and shams also make wonderful pet bed liners and basket liners. Vintage, interesting baskets found at yard sales and auctions make great versatile accents and can provide storage for toys. They also provide areas under windows where pets can nap in sunshine and watch birds.
Shop garage sales, re-sale shops, thrift stores, Goodwill and Salvation Army to find a nice variety of inexpensive, interesting baskets. Don't forget to plan comfortable sitting areas where both of you can easily spend time together.
When Are You Done?
I'm always sharing my latest "nesting" bouts with friends and family. I find I tend to change things around with the seasons, especially winter to spring and fall into winter.
I have also found it is sometimes good to "live" with the new arrangement for a few days before deciding if I like it. That's the best time to test traffic patterns and make sure the furniture layout is safe and practical, not to mention reminding me where I put that book I was reading!
After all of the changes, I take a cue from the cat and ask: Is It Nap Time Yet??