you say you don’t care about decorating….

But did you know that the wrong colors or patterns  can induce nausea and migraines, raise stress levels and make you feel uncomfortable? All this without you even being able to put your thumb on the problem!

A lot of people came in telling me they liked the article about IKEA’s greenwashing. I was like “Wow people read this blog!”, so thank you for reading this. I wanted to go over a few odd statements I hear from people that are probably really limiting their satisfaction and comfort at home. You DO want to feel comfortable and satisfied at home, don’t you? Well read on to learn if you or someone you love carries one of these home design and decorating misconceptions with them like a bad habit.

“I don’t care about decorating.”

What if your entire living room was made of bricks and your furniture was just a bunch of hay bales? Would you like that? How about a bedroom with lime green walls and a red and green plaid bedspread? If you said no to either or both of these, then you DO care about decorating. You may just appreciate or be able to afford very casual decor, or you may be saying you’re a down-home style kind of person.

haybale

Shopping for furniture will never be easier than this! (By Hazeltine, BM, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

Decorating and design can be as simple as choosing wood floors over carpeting, or making sure there are enough seats in the living room for all of the people it’s supposed to host, as well as a place to put your coffee mug. It doesn’t need to be a big deal about French Roccoco versus Mid Century Modern, or whether or not you can paint your bonus room walls purple and yellow for Huskies parties. (Don’t listen to them, you can.)

Comfort is and always will be an essential aspect of interior decorating and design. This is important to note because people who say they don’t care about decorating are really saying they don’t feel they have strong reactions to color. Or, they might be saying “I don’t have time for that frivolous stuff.” There is a lot to know about form, layout and spatial relationships in decorating that do not have anything to do with colors and prints. It’s also extremely simple to change a few things about a space without going whole hog into decorating mode.

“Decorating is too expensive”

Trust me. Your room does not have too look like a palace to be comfortable and appealing. (Queen's Bedroom in the Wilanów Palace By BurgererSF) (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

Trust me. Your room does not have too look like a palace to be comfortable and appealing. (Queen’s Bedroom in the Wilanów Palace By BurgererSF) (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

It used to be that decorating was the domain of the very rich, or at least the well off, so nobody was doing very much of it. Furniture was not widely available and people made do with what they had. Now everyone who has even the tiniest of living spaces and the smallest of budgets wants to make their place more comfortable, and as a society we’re experimenting with fantastic new ideas and reinventing old ones. It doesn’t need to be very expensive. I’m the kind of person who used to think HGTV’s Design on a Dime’s ideas were often ridiculously expensive. The downtown Olympia area is home to some of the cheapest antique, thrift and flea markets in the I-5 corridor. Here’s a list of some faboo finds for under $100 we currently have on hand here at Furniture Works. They’ll be gone soon but they’re replaced everyday by similar deals!

Island Style Side Chairs $85 Each

Island Style Side Chairs $85 Each

 

Spinning Glass Ultramodern Coffee Table, $60

Spinning Glass Ultramodern Coffee Table, $60

designer glass and brass hexagonal coffee table with goat hoof feet, $100

Hollywood Regency Chinoiserie Mirror $80

Hollywood Regency Chinoiserie Mirror $80

You say your budget is much lower than this, and your furniture came from craigslist. Well, in that case spray paint is also your friend when it comes to design. Work with what you have already! Today, using new techniques, you can paint upholstery and leather! That’s right, you heard me right. Grannies old couch getting you down? Paint the trim white and the cushions black! See more at this tutorial on Design Sponge here:

http://www.designsponge.com/2012/02/before-after-painted-sofa.html

Please remember that accessories are even easier to find and just as important as the furniture. You can spray paint cheap plastic animals to make them look as luscious as a Nate Berkus accessory. Check out the article at Handmade Charlotte:

http://www.handmadecharlotte.com/7-diy-projects-gilded-table/

 

 “I don’t know how to decorate”

The real purpose of interior decorating and design is to make your space more effective – usually more comfortable, but sometimes you want to make the space more impressive to guests, more exciting to social affairs, or even just reminiscent of your favorite place – be it a bed and breakfast, restaurant or the home you grew up in. I am not at all convinced someone can be completely inept at all decorating and design techniques, especially the one that requires the least thinking – copying!

Do this – take a photo of the perfect space you saw – be it a restaurant, gallery or someone else’s decorated room, and one by one, find copies of each item in the space you love, and get a bead on how to do anything special in the room, like architectural details, wall treatments or fabric treatments. Put your own twist on it if you like but it doesn’t take much effort to copy someone’s elses perfect room and it is a very acceptable practice for laymen to do this in the decorating. In fact Copy Cat Chic does exactly that:

http://www.copycatchic.com/

It’s up to you to decide what you want a space to do for you. I’ve discussed before how important color is to our brains and how each of us have a different reaction to colors – some people find white cold and unfriendly – others clean and calming. It all depends on your mind.

Try to make sure your furniture is well built and sturdy – that way you don’t have to replace it again anytime soon. I believe almost any old piece can be updated to be trend forward.