Thursday, September 29, 2016

Your Decorating Personality

Sometimes, knowing where to start is the hardest part. It's that first move that paralyzes us, and we over-think what we imagine may happen, or worry about doing something in the exact right order. In life, that can lead to some tricky decisions, but in decorating it is rarely complicated at all; hopefully, no-one will freak out if you put the chair in a different spot, and the children will still find their way home if the door is painted yellow instead of red.

But, it's the starting that gets us. I think that we say so much about ourselves without speaking, and if we just trusted that instinct a little bit, we wouldn't find decorating so hard. Okay, yes, it might still not be fun or easy, but if we can see what we like, then we are more than halfway there, and it gives us a visual blueprint to start from.

There are a gazillion sites and apps out there that will help us design our home, but I tend to go back to basics; partly because I like to keep life simple, but also because I want the ability to change my mind whenever I want to, without spending a lot of unnecessary time and money. Sometimes, by the time we have waded through the User Id's and help button, it seems far simpler to tear bits out of a magazine, scribble a note on a piece of paper, and bookmark a favorite room into a computer file.

So, as an experiment, I pretended I was trying to figure out my own style.
I set my timer for five minutes, and scanned through my photographs. Without thinking about why I was choosing them, I clicked and grabbed the images that appealed to me at that moment.
From these images, you get a quick snapshot of what type of person I am, so, if you do the same, you will see what appeals to you as well, and it might help you to have a clearer direction when you go to decorate your home.

At the top of the post are my pictures, and based on the result, it would seem that I lean towards Fashion, Flowers, Elegance, Quirkiness, Simplicity, Comfort, Nostalgia, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Color, Character, Texture, Chandeliers and a good dose of Organized Chaos.
You should try it, because for a five minute experiment, it's pretty accurate.

*  By the way, I used PicMonkey, because I find it ridiculously easy, and there is never any sign up or passwords needed. I went to Design, then applied canvas color (I kept it white) then went to the butterfly image on the left (Overlays), added my own images from my computer, then saved.

Friday, September 23, 2016

For the Love of Realtors

I think that Realtors must be some of the most positive people on the planet. Their job is to steer you in the right direction, and help you fall in love with a home; they earn your trust, build a relationship, and hopefully complete the deal. Before they know it, they have become the unsuspecting Matchmaker's of the work force.

And, they have their own love language. We all watch the selling, flipping and goodness-knows-what-else shows that are saturating television right now, but my favorite's are the international one's. It seems easy to sell the attributes of a seven million dollar loft in New York City, but when faced with a small pied-à-terre in the back of a rather questionable alley, the challenge becomes a little more real.

Sometimes, it can require an almost fairytale kind of imagination (and a very positive attitude). So, with respect and love to Realtors everywhere, I wanted to share some of my favorite words from their dictionary:

OPEN PLAN - No privacy. Ever.

COZY - Much smaller than you think, and not suitable for anyone over six feet tall.

CHARMING - Has not been renovated, repaired or cleaned since 1973.

A VIEW - It has a window that you can look out of.

OUTSIDE SPACE - If you go out the door, from the inside of the house, you will be outside, in a space.

NEEDS SOME TLC - Watch your step, sign the insurance waiver, and don't forget to wear a helmet when you visit.

PRIVATE - You will never, ever get any visitors unless they have a GPS, an overnight bag and four wheel drive.

LOW MAINTENANCE BACK YARD - A slab of concrete with room for a small, potted geranium and a white plastic chair.

VERY SPACIOUS, WITH AN OPEN PLAN CONCEPT - Larger than anyone could possible need, and please don't ask me how you're supposed to arrange your furniture.

LOTS OF NATURAL LIGHT - Bring your own lamps, because there are no ceiling lights (anywhere).

BUILT IN HOME OFFICE - An open shelf in a corner of the kitchen.

AN EASY WALK TO ALL AMENITIES - No garage or parking space for your car.

UP AND COMING NEIGHBORHOOD - One day it will be safe, but for now don't go out after dark, and don't remove the bars from the windows.

PARTIALLY FURNISHED - The current owners don't want to pay to remove the pool table, the beds have bugs, and they can't be bothered to clean out the refrigerator.

HAS POTENTIAL - Not for the faint of heart - contractors only, please.

MOVE IN READY - We are desperate, we've done all we can, and we have to leave.

UNIQUE HOME - Dad retired early, and decided to fix the place up; he bought a bunch of tools, a sledgehammer, a circular saw, a packet of 8-penny nails, and industrial strength duct tape (just in case).

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Fall Fashion - Fixing the Faux (Boots)

Not a design post I know, but still a DIY one.

This was the scene on my kitchen counter this morning - boots, shoe polish, glue and industrial strength clamps. I was fixing my Winter boots, and only one pair is leather.
The rest are fake; not plastic looking fake, but definitely disposable by design, and not really built to last. But they are comfortable, and I have had them for almost five years now.

There are a lot of articles on how to winterize your boots, but most of them are on how to preserve and care for leather, not the cheap one's that I have. So, I thought I would share a few things that I do to keep my beloved, inexpensive faux boots lasting as long as possible.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Feather Talk

Have we talked about feathers yet?

A few years ago, my friend gave me her lime green, feather wreath as a surprise gift. Maybe it was because I couldn't stop petting it, or maybe she had a secret pile of back-up wreaths in the cupboard, but when I discovered what she had done I almost cried with happiness.
I hung it front and center in the living room window, and kept it up for way longer than I should have. Seeing it every day was the most welcome of sights, and I never wanted to take it down.
As Spring started to arrive, the outside colors took over, and the green started to fade into the background; gone was the vivid contrast with the sharp, white snow outside, and I knew it was finally time to put it away.

The next year, all I wanted for Christmas was my feather wreath. Carefully placed in my office closet, I never gave it a second thought, but when I tried to bring it out in November, it didn't even come out in one piece. The foam was eaten, and the feathers were neatly piled into the corner, behind my paint swatches, surrounded by mice poo. Five hundred and seventy five million paper paint swatches, and they didn't even taste one; they chose to seek and destroy the wreath instead. Like me, they couldn't resist the soft feathers, and I am sure it made their Winter the most coziest one ever.

This year, I might buy a new one, but it probably won't be lime green, and it definitely won't feel the same, but I still find myself googling feather wreaths as I sip my morning coffee. I honestly never thought I was a wreath person, but this unexpected gift really changed my mind, and now I can't wait to find another one to hang in my front window...

A more subdued feather wreath from West Elm.
This is for the elegant, the quiet nod to controlled eccentricity
(and perhaps even for use year round?)

This Acorn wreath from Duncraft is so unexpected,
and would easily last quite happily from Fall to Spring on your Front door. 

(p.s. don't store this where the mice can get it)

Such a small and simple wreath deserves to be noticed.
Beautiful in its simplicity, this was handmade by Liz over at I Heart Naptime

Often used for decorating fancy parties and weddings, this boxwood wreath will last for months, and cheer up every cold, dark Winter's day. 

Is there anything that we can't buy over at Etsy?
(This birch twig wreath, decorated with natural cotton blossoms, is worth every penny!).

I don't know if I have favorite, but this one from Dried Decor comes pretty close.
I wouldn't put it outside (but then again, it is made of bird feathers,
and birds do live outside) but wherever you hang it, it will get noticed
(and your friends won't be able to resist petting it...). 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

DIY = Do It Yourself (as best as you can)

With Fall sprinkling the first yellow leaves onto my garden, I suddenly see a million things that need to be done. Some days, my attention bounces from one thing to another, imagining what I should be doing, while also getting lost in the moment (like being distracted by a small, red salamander, or wondering why I have a leak in my ceiling when the sun is shining down so brightly).

Today is one of those days; I walked the dog, dug up some weeds, threw down some flower seeds (then realized I should have waited until Spring), cleaned the garage, dragged some branches as far as I could, moved an outdoor table until the leg fell off, watched the red salamander, painted the back door, cleaned the grill, then came inside to work. All before noon.

Wait a moment, before you stop reading, don't be too impressed; none of them were done well, and most weren't completed, but my jumbled approach satisfied that urgent need to feel the cool change in the weather, get my hands dirty, and move a few things around.