Personal Style

starts with things we love.

How to Tell Your Life’s Story with Your Home Decor

I love to watch all the popular shows on HGTV.  I especially enjoy anything that involves the makeover of an old house. They just don’t make homes the way they did a long time ago.  It’s especially inspiring when these projects involve “personalizing” the outcome to the new homeowner.  Is that experience just for people getting a total renovation?

Since you’re hanging around here, I take it that you have at least a mild interest in genealogy.  The question is, would you like to make use of your interest to pull your home together in a way that makes some kind of a statement about you? It doesn’t even have to be a big one, maybe it’s just a practical way to manage life.

How do we end up with so much stuff?

After cleaning out closets, basements and drawers for the hundredth time I’ve decided I don’t like storing a bunch of stuff. Nostalgia and a practical nature seems to be at the root of these hidey-holes filled to the brim with things I can’t find when I need them. What good does it do to keep all this stuff if you only see it when it comes time for the Spring or Fall clean-out?  The other thing to consider is spending our hard-earned money on things we buy at a retail store to hang on the wall in an effort to convey our own personal style.  Here’s how to start the process of minimizing the clutter while you create your very own modern, personal, style.

  1. Realize it is a process and you probably won’t get very far very fast. If you are talented enough to have your style all figured out I doubt you’d be here reading this.  You aren’t going to find your personal style in a department store aisle if you’re nostalgic. Instead, you’ll find it scattered around your house in your favorite storage silos.
  2. Sort things out with an eye for quality.  What do you have squirreled away that might be turned into a decorative piece or even be used if it were out somewhere you could find it.  I found that I had quite a few things around here that I kept holding onto just because I liked them.  I put them into a designated storage spot and as I work my way through my house I’m assigning these pieces to a role out in the open where I can enjoy them.  It’s a little tough to do when you’re not a decorator but between all the tv shows and Pinterest you’d be surprised how far  your imagination and willingness to suffer through a little trial and error can take you.
  3. Buy everyday household items with more of a planned purpose for keeping them out of the closet. Dishes and linens are great examples of things you can put to work serving as part of your decor.  I stopped buying decorative colors for my bath towels and now stick to high quality white ones. I fold and stack them on open shelves in the bathroom.  The fabric adds warmth to the room and they’re much more handy this way.  Kitchen gadgets are another good opportunity for clearing out cluttered areas. Toss the junky stuff and slowly replace things like rolling pins, wooden spoons and other utensils with high quality ones that can go in baskets, jars and containers out where they can be seen and help add to the charm of your kitchen.
  4. Accent pieces are a great purpose to make use of those keepsakes you’ve been hoarding.  Don’t limit yourself to framing old pictures and children’s artwork. Opt for some more dimension with things like shadow boxes to display bulkier treasures. Take that concept horizontal and make small side tables that serve a dual purpose of operating like you’re own family history display cases.  It’s a great way to pull color and texture into a room.
  5. Use Pinterest for ideas.  Take the things you like and pop them into the search function – using the most basic name for the item and then adding additional words like “decor” – and see what pops up.  You will be surprised at the things you don’t know, you don’t know and because you didn’t know to even look for it you never found out about it. Crazy logic, huh? So many creative ideas for using a lot of the artifacts we just can’t seem to bring ourselves to throw away are lurking all over the Internet and Pinterest is a great tool for finding them.

This should get your mind going in the right direction toward making some new habits.  Once you get a handle on what can go into each of your rooms you can start taking a harder look at the furniture and gradually add in pieces that serve both form and function.  I like to aim for displaying a few things I love and also attractively storing the less than attractive things.  Deep baskets are good for this and so are small, accessory sized cabinets that can serve a dual role as a side table.

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