{home} what you bring in

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Going along with this week's happiness challenge, "make do with what you have", I thought I'd share my favorite home decorating advice for creating a beautiful and inviting home without overextending your time and resources. This is of course an ongoing project in my house and only happens little by little, but that is most of the fun, creating that wonderful feeling for yourself.

And the first step to making do with what you have is about selecting what you have. So here are mantras I live by when deciding what to keep/purchase for my home. (p.s. love pinterest for all the inspiration and wonderful visuals).

1. Only bring things in that add VALUE to your home.

 I love this quote from William Morris. Evaluating every item that you pass in the store or on the street to determine it's value helps you make wise decisions. I personalize Morris's advise by adding price into the equation:

(Usefulness + Beauty) % Price = VALUE

This formula allows me to be decisive about all the wonderful enticing things that just scream "take me home!" It makes it easy to pass things by, no matter how good of a deal they are if they don't add something to my home. If something is dirt cheap, but isn't useful or beautiful, then it's not a good deal. It's just dirt. Likewise even if something is incredibly useful and the prettiest thing you've ever seen, if the price is too high then you'd be better off spending that money elsewhere to get a lot more use and beauty from something else. Also, even if something is useful but real ugly, I usually pass it up. Good things, even useful things, are worth waiting for the right one.

2. Only bring things in that fit your grand vision. 

A while ago, in my early twenties singledom, I got tired of living in an apartment that looked like a thrift store showroom; mismatched, crazy, and ill fitting. Now, I love love love "eclectic" collections, but you can't just slap that work on a mishmash and make it work. So here is what I did: I imagined my dream home, every room, every wall, paying attention to the color scheme and design theme for each room, down to the last detail. Then I stopped bringing anything in that didn't match that style. In a little while I began to notice things beginning to come together as the mishmash was slowly replaced by carefully cultivated and intentional pieces. When BH and I moved into our first home we only had the basics, but I loved everything we had and didn't need to buy anything to make our house feel like home. So go ahead....

Dream Big and Stick to your Vision!

3. Collect Love, not Junk!

"People who collect out of love are exempt from the dictates that govern traditional design, for there are no rules for true lovers." - Rose Tarlow

Collections are am important way you can express your style and personality. Feel free to hold onto things you love if they add value to your home and have a home in your grand vision. But don't hold on to things you don't love, don't feel to beautiful, or don't have some use.

But most importantly, don't collect junk. It's easy to hang on to items that you'll use one day, but remember to balance what you might use one day with the living you do everyday. Don't let clutter keep you from utilizing space or time in your home in a way that will increase your standard of living. It's also easy to collect items that have great potential. Maybe they just need a repair or a coat of paint to make them look wonderful. Just remember to weigh the time and resources it would take to help the item reach it's full potential with what you'll have in the outcome. If you're like me you easily end up with too many projects and not enough time. Consider not letting yourself collect any new projects until you finish one you already have. That way you can collect finished projects instead of unfinished ones!

So there you have it, the three matras that keep my budget in line while still allowing me to build a dream home!  Remember, the first step to making do with what you have is to make sure what you have is excellent! 

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  1. all great ideas - we just moved into a new home a few months ago and I'm still trying to balance out the unpacking with trying to create order and beauty!

  2. @Eliza, I was the same way! Once I got one room set up I banished all boxes from it so we could at least have one room that was pretty. Don't tell anyone, but I still have boxes in my baby girl's closet that haven't been unpacked after a year!


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