Free Style

Do you have a room or two that are a little bland or in need of a pick me up?  You may live an apartment and aren’t interested in buying anything new for a space that isn’t yours.  Maybe you’re finding that your grocery bill just keeps getting bigger every week so you don’t have a decorating budget.  No matter your reason, I can help.  All you need is an open mind, an hour and a laundry hamper.

Pick which room or rooms you’re interested in making over and clear them out.  Take everything off of every surface.  Pictures, lamps, plants, clocks, walls, even throw pillows off your couch or bed.  Toss it all into a hamper.  Then, go around to other rooms and grab things that you like.   Anything at all, even if it “belongs” in the room you’re removing it from.   After collecting things from around the house you already love and bring them into the room your working with.   Next,  make a mess.  Lay out all of the items you have collected and sit back and take a look at what you  have.    The next step is fun but can be hard, too.  Putting together the new things.   I think the easiest way to start is see if a new color scheme jumps out at you.  Or if an accent color to what you are already working with.    Then you get creative with it all.  Move the art into new configurations,  switch the throws from the couch and the bed.  Switch a lamp from a buffet with a bed side lamp, take the curtain panels from another room and swap.  You get the idea.  Also, don’t be afraid to try a new floor plan.  If the task of sliding a sofa around the room is unappealing, draw it out on paper first so you don’t do more scooting than necessary.  Once you are done with the bigger items re do your flat surfaces.  A good thing to keep in mind is you don’t have to use everything.  Maybe to freshen your room what it really needs is a make-under?  Cutting out some decorative clutter can be as appealing if not more so than a over decorated space.  You can use the original items from the room but move them around a little, pair them differently and add in a new item or two that made there way in the room via the hamper.  

Don’t forget to check in your closets and storage spaces.  Do you have a pair of old curtains  from a previous place, or a sweater that shrunk 2 sizes?  Look at these in a new way.  You can sew a throw pillow out of that sweater,  a pair of drapes can be use to reupholster the seats of your dining room chairs.   If you have any decorative wrapping paper you love you can use it to line the back of a book case or a dining room hutch.  Maybe you have a half full gallon of paint in a great color,  use it in a bland bathroom, or paint the inside of your coat closet.   Take your time and check your inventory.  You may be shocked at what you come up with.

The idea here is that you use what you have without spending a dime.  And, most likely your space(s) will look very different.   This can be a lot of fun to shop in your own house, and super rewarding to get a new look with what you already have.  Falling in love with forgotten things or letting go of something you never really liked to begin with.  Lastly,  if you have $5 to spare, pick up some cut flowers from the grocery store.   When all else fails, fresh color always adds additional life.


One thought on “Free Style

  1. I have a question: Do you have any tips for cleaning up and maintaining a house in three hours or less per day? I’m sure you have a few readers whose only free time during the day (or in the evenings, after work) is while the kids are asleep, either during naps or after bedtime. I’m slowly reclaiming my home in the 3 hour naps Charlotte takes every day, but any tips for streamlining the process would be greatly appreciated.

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