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Home decor for dummies?

post #1 of 51
Thread Starter 
For those who are expert declutterers/minimalists, what's your take on home decor? We hardly have anything on our walls. When we moved last year, I put a bunch of wall art and decorative touches out to stage the house, but haven't done a thing here. Frankly, I don't have the interior decorating "eye", don't have pieces that are meaningful to us, and don't like having more things to manage (dust/clean/care for).

What do you all do? Is anyone else out there with bare walls?
post #2 of 51
our style is very modern and pretty minimalist anyway, but we have very little on our walls. I would rather see nothing than meaningless junk.
post #3 of 51
In our old place, we had a lot of stuff on the walls and I found it to be distracting. Now, we have only a few pieces here and there. I like it. I would love it even more if we had painted walls (which will come in time I'm sure) but for now, I do like the minimalist look of it.
post #4 of 51
Basic rule of thumb with wall decor is go less and bigger. Meaning one large piece is going to be a lot nicer and more visually "heavy" than a mash of small and clustered pics.

Above a fireplace, I enjoy one big piece. Maybe one or two pieces on the mantel. I like things anchored (not "floating" or at "eye level", but anchored down no further than 8" over a stationary object).

As for decorating:

What's your style - traditional, modern, country, eclectic?

How formal/casual are you?

Do you entertain a lot?

How active is your lifestyle?

Kids? Pets?

What colors do you like?

Start with the basics to see what you do like and, just as importantly, what you don't like.

Do you have pics?

Decorating is what I LOVE to do (for fun)!
post #5 of 51
well, i'm an interior designer, so totally bare walls throughout a home drive me batty. LOL! however, it really doesn't take tons of "tchotchkes" to make a house feel like a home. paint is the single least expensive thing you can do to a room for the most impact. are your walls painted or are they white? because that alone may help it feel more "decorated" to you.

my personal style is more on the modern/contemporary side with a dash of traditional/eclectic thrown in for warmth. there is nothing in my home that isn't meaningful to me or my family.....and i think that this is a really important step in the design/decorating process. nothing reads "generic" to a designer like someone rushing off to the store and purchasing the exact same room set up like the showroom floor. true design is a collection of items you love, purchased over a long period of time......or atleast "looks" that way.

you want to stay away from buying stuff to just fill a space. live with your empty space or bare walls and let the perfect items find you.

you are welcome to take a look at my home (which was NOT done on a normal interior design client's budget! lol! and it is not a showplace.....i LIVE here. )....... here are some photos:

kitchen (which we just remodeled in january)

living room (which is one of the last rooms to get redone to a more contemporary look.....hopefully this year!)

dining room (was remodeled last summer) computer desk area (with old chandelier)

master bedroom (was completely remodeled from the end of 2007 into spring 2008)..... sorry there's a lot of these!
pic 1
pic 2
pic 3
pic 4
pic 5

my adjoining studio space (i have a design business and an etsy shop)
pic 1
pic 2
pic 3
pic 4

my 11 year old daughter's bedroom

okay, so if you got through all that then i applaud you! lol! please feel free to ask any questions as i'm always happy to help out in any way that i can!

ETA: i am a major "purger". i HATE clutter. there's a fine balance between stark and "homey" and you need to figure out what that balance is for you, as it's different for everyone.
post #6 of 51
I like to use blogs as inspiration. They are frequently updated and you can find some to suit no matter what style you like.
post #7 of 51
What I do is keep pictures of rooms that I admire. When I get the decorating bug I pull out my inspiration pictures and copy them. I am not a decorator either but my house does look nice.
Copycat, copycat!
post #8 of 51
vicki - your home is stunning. so so so inspirational. i think i'm gonna print out all your pictures.

man, if you lived anywhere near me i'd beg you to let me hire you and have you design every room in my house!

i think that's one of my biggest issues, the fact that i really hate the decor in our house. it's pretty bare except for some random crap that i don't really like. when we first moved in we didn't have much so i let my MIL sort of tchotchke it up with her very *country* tastes. which i hate. LMAO so i've since removed all of that stuff, but haven't replaced it with MY stuff yet. i hate the colors on our walls, i just look around and don't feel like it fits *us* even in any small way. it doesn't feel like home. and we've been here for almost 9 years!!!

wow, that's pathetic. *sigh*

anyway, i'm off to do some more decluttering. LOL
post #9 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by IncaMama View Post
vicki - your home is stunning. so so so inspirational. i think i'm gonna print out all your pictures.

man, if you lived anywhere near me i'd beg you to let me hire you and have you design every room in my house!

i think that's one of my biggest issues, the fact that i really hate the decor in our house. it's pretty bare except for some random crap that i don't really like. when we first moved in we didn't have much so i let my MIL sort of tchotchke it up with her very *country* tastes. which i hate. LMAO so i've since removed all of that stuff, but haven't replaced it with MY stuff yet. i hate the colors on our walls, i just look around and don't feel like it fits *us* even in any small way. it doesn't feel like home. and we've been here for almost 9 years!!!

wow, that's pathetic. *sigh*

anyway, i'm off to do some more decluttering. LOL
aww, thank you! i would totally design your house too!

believe it or not, you are in very good company with people that hate their home decor. i really don't think that people truly understand how life changing it is to live in a beautiful space. it always takes a backseat and termed a "luxury" when in reality, it's so so important to be in a space that inspires us every day. people just don't seem to think they deserve it.

and let me tell you, you can turn ANY space into a beautiful space to be! you just need to find your style and surround yourself with colors/textures/accessories that make you smile to be there. so paint and furniture and things like art, etc.

and 9 years is ENTIRELY too long to not love your house!
post #10 of 51
I LOVE your house!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by vm9799 View Post
well, i'm an interior designer, so totally bare walls throughout a home drive me batty. LOL! however, it really doesn't take tons of "tchotchkes" to make a house feel like a home. paint is the single least expensive thing you can do to a room for the most impact. are your walls painted or are they white? because that alone may help it feel more "decorated" to you.

my personal style is more on the modern/contemporary side with a dash of traditional/eclectic thrown in for warmth. there is nothing in my home that isn't meaningful to me or my family.....and i think that this is a really important step in the design/decorating process. nothing reads "generic" to a designer like someone rushing off to the store and purchasing the exact same room set up like the showroom floor. true design is a collection of items you love, purchased over a long period of time......or atleast "looks" that way.

you want to stay away from buying stuff to just fill a space. live with your empty space or bare walls and let the perfect items find you.

you are welcome to take a look at my home (which was NOT done on a normal interior design client's budget! lol! and it is not a showplace.....i LIVE here. )....... here are some photos:

kitchen (which we just remodeled in january)

living room (which is one of the last rooms to get redone to a more contemporary look.....hopefully this year!)

dining room (was remodeled last summer) computer desk area (with old chandelier)

master bedroom (was completely remodeled from the end of 2007 into spring 2008)..... sorry there's a lot of these!
pic 1
pic 2
pic 3
pic 4
pic 5

my adjoining studio space (i have a design business and an etsy shop)
pic 1
pic 2
pic 3
pic 4

my 11 year old daughter's bedroom

okay, so if you got through all that then i applaud you! lol! please feel free to ask any questions as i'm always happy to help out in any way that i can!

ETA: i am a major "purger". i HATE clutter. there's a fine balance between stark and "homey" and you need to figure out what that balance is for you, as it's different for everyone.
post #11 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by rainbowmoon View Post
I LOVE your house!!!
thank you!
post #12 of 51
I agree to paint.. it may take up a weekend, but then no more maintenence. And maybe some sort of creative painting.. do stripes or free-hand some leaves or shapes.. you don't have to be an artist to paint a wall.
I once did a room with nothing on the walls but paint, but visitors were always drawn to stare at the walls in that room. I did a solid color, then I took clear laquer (sp?) and did odd squares and rectangles that I created with painter's tape on the wall. From some angles, it looks solid, and other angles you start to see different shapes depending on how light hits it. Sorry no pic, I've since moved.
post #13 of 51
yeah, we picked out new paint (we're going more neutral b/c we hope to move w/in a year) and started but then stopped when morning sickness smacked me in the face. then every weekend was spent w/me working on my dissertation. now that that's over (finally) i'm about to give birth and have no energy anymore. that's basically 9 months gone.

oh well, onward and upward. LOL
post #14 of 51
I agree that paint changes a bare wall from being just 'bare' to a surface with life but that is still simple.

We can't paint our walls, so in our master brm we've hung some textiles that my parents brought back from India and Kenya. They are meaningful to us, though. We have a lot of artwork on our walls. All are originals and have significant meaning to us. I find them comforting for that reason, rather than distracting. If you come across something meaningful, then, I would recommend you put it up. But otherwise, I think paint is the best way to go.
post #15 of 51
I wanted to expand on Vicki's "don't run out and buy it" thought. Never buy something now just to have it now. Don't buy inferior junk just to fill a void. Save your money, plan, shop around until you find something perfect. It will actually save money in the long run.

What I stay away from:
  • Cheap/fake wood
  • Plastic anything
  • Pictures with fake matting
  • Fake plants (unless it's a necessity and they look real)
  • Inferior paint (price is NOT a distinguishing factor, Ralph Lauren paint is some of the crappiest out there)
  • Skimpy window treatments (I like at least 2x the width in fabric for fullness)
  • Low-quality rugs, any textile for that matter
  • small knick-knacks (again, I prefer one or two larger pieces to many smaller ones)

Here's what NOT to do!

Oh! And you should join in our monthly room challenges. They're great for ideas, inspiration and support!
post #16 of 51
One thing I've started to notice, I don't know if this is helpful at all (and, oh my goodness I'm checking out that link SAHDS shared and those are truly horrible, yikes!), but it seems that the people I know that always seem to just have really nicely decorated homes versus those that don't is that it seems like the ones that do all seem to have some sort of 'theme'. Like one gal I'm always amazed by has always had a sort of a beach theme... the pictures and knick knacks all seem to be shells and water, fish, etc... and the colors all remind me of sand and the colors of a sunset on the beach. Over the years as I've seen old stuff leave and new stuff come in, it always looks good all together... even with people I know that have a theme I really don't like (one is a rustic farm look) I still find it beautiful, and then others will have stuff I love, but because they have such a mumble jumble it all looks chaotic and unpleasant. It really hit me when I noticed my girls seemed to stick to a basic color pattern and had very strong interests that they've kept over the years so people would buy them items that color or that theme and all their stuff just seems to work together and look nice.

My trouble is, I just don't know what I like... but I've tried recently to just pick a few colors for my wardrobe (starting simple) and so I weaned everything down to that and now I find it seems things just almost fall into my lap that I love and fit into that color scheme and my closet looks so nice and put together... so I'm really thinking if I just had a theme I could make the same happen in my home.
post #17 of 51
we have a very small house with many windows and it is sort or rural here so we have no need for curtains. the onlt wall decorations we have is drawing my son does. i need to get some nice frames for the drawings. we only have space for a few drawings at a time but he is only 16 months old and has not done many drawings yet

i really like having very little decoration and i like having white walls so that when i do put something up the color pops out!
post #18 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by SAHDS View Post


OMG that link is HORRIBLE! LOL! i just sat here laughing out loud and my family looked at me like i was nuts!
post #19 of 51
Ygle - even if you don't pick a 'theme' (which, tbh, doesn't thrill me to have one), colors will work just as well.

In my house, I picked navy blue with cranberry accents (and, obviously, there are whites, black and browns). That way, like you said, everything flows and feels cohesive. I can take something from one room and pull it into another and it still works. It feels peaceful to me.

And Vicki, isn't it atrocious? I feel so bad to laugh, but how can I not?
post #20 of 51
LMAO my favorite is the room with the creepy ho' doll!! HAHA
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