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Home decorating with a personal touch

Updated on August 14, 2016

Figure out your style

One of the most comforting feelings is coming home. Home is where we can take our shoes off and relax. Part of what makes a dwelling homey is our belongings. When we can look around and see our favorite chair and wall art and photos, we tend to feel safer, perhaps more secure. Being surrounded by things that are familiar and personal helps put us at ease.

If you just moved into a new place or want to redecorate your home, the best place to start is with a blank canvas. By canvas, I mean blank walls, counter tops and shelves. Out of necessity you may already have furniture in the rooms and that is fine. You do have the option of storing current furniture if you are planning on getting different pieces. Other than furniture, there should be nothing else adorning the spaces. The blank canvas allows you to envision what you want to see hanging on the walls and sitting on shelves. Perhaps you can see a different theme in each room or maybe a constant theme throughout the spaces.

This is your space, what do you want to see, feel and experience when you walk in the door? Are you a fan of modern design? Maybe country cottage is more your flavor. How about foreign influence like French Country or African art? Walk through each room and visualize what would look and feel appealing to you. You may want to take notes on ideas you come up with during your walk through.

If you are sharing your home with others, then you will want to go about the walk through a little bit differently. Everyone can figure out what they want in their personal spaces and walk through the rest of the rooms together. Talk openly about ideas, themes, jot these down and then sit and discuss it. Come up with a plan for each room that everyone can agree on.

Budgeting for the project

Money is always a factor when it comes to just about any decorating task. If you have the extra money already, then begin your search for those items that speak to you. There are many avenues to explore when it comes to décor. You could begin online by simply typing in key phrases like "French Country" or "Modern Design décor". You can go to local antique shops, box stores and any other stores that catch your eye.

If you do not have the extra money on hand, then you also have options. You can save up until you have enough to do it all at once. To utilize this option, it would be beneficial to know how much money to save. Do your window shopping first; locate the items you want and make a note of the prices. Tally up the list and that is your savings goal. You may have to be frugal while you are saving up for your decorating project. There is nothing wrong with cutting a few corners here and there to reach your goal.

Another option if you do not have the money on hand, is to pick up one or two items as you can afford them. You can store all of the items until you have everything on your list and then enjoy a weekend of decorating. Or you can place each item where you want it as you get it. In this manner, you will slowly watch your vision become reality and that can be exciting!

Decorating on the cheap

Money, or lack of, can certainly throw a wrench in the works when it comes to decorating. There is nothing worse than finding and falling in love with that perfect piece and then having to walk away from it due to lack of funds. This scenario can be extremely discouraging to say the least. Take heart friends. I have been through that experience more often than not. I discovered ways around that whole pesky money situation.

Yard sales-

You can find a ton of great things by attending local yard sales. Most people hosting the sale want to actually get rid of their stuff which means priced to sell. As they say, "One person's trash is another person's treasure". I have found everything from beautiful paintings to vinyl record album covers (makes great wall art for a media room).

Curb service-

What this means is that items on the curb, usually with a sign that reads "Free to good home". You just can't get better than free! You will want to thoroughly inspect items before taking them home. Some may require a good cleaning before use.

Dollar stores-

I have found some of the cutest décor items at my local dollar store. No worries, dollar store items may be priced cheaply, but seem to last forever when you are talking about figurines and wall art. One thing I have noticed about dollar stores is that they seem to get items that are unusual or exclusive to that particular chain of stores. This is a nice change from the run of the mill offerings at most big box stores.

Second hand shops-

Just like yard sales, second hand shops can house some wonderful items. You can find vintage items, nearly new and everything in between here. Sometimes they will give you a discount if you bring in donations. Although I like to donate anyway. These stores are a blessing to so many people.

Trade parties-

These can be a lot of fun. The idea is to get a bunch of people together and trade items straight across (no money involved). You can invite friends, family, the neighbors and anyone else who is interested. Trade parties are a fun way to clean out the garage, attic, basement or closet(s). Usually snacks and drinks are offered or people can bring their own. If you are wanting to redecorate, then a trade party might be a nice way of taking out the old and bringing in some new!

Get creative and have fun

Sometimes the hardest thing to remember about decorating is that it should be fun. It is so easy to get caught up in the stress of locating the perfect lamp or saving the money to buy that area rug, that we forget to enjoy the creative process. After all, you are creating a comfortable, happy home environment. Stress should not even come into the equation. I have a few tips for helping you stay focused on fun while decorating.

Think outside of the norm-

Repurpose items you already have or pick up along the way. For example: Glass food jars can be washed, filled with colored sand and used as candle holders. You can fill glass jars with beads, rocks, flowers and any other colorful items you can think of. They make great decorations.

Let your imagination take over and come up with ways to use nature as décor items. Leaves, twigs, pine cones and rocks can all be used to create decorations. They can be placed in baskets and set on a coffee table or on shelves. This brings a little of the outside to your living space.

The point to decorating is to let your creativity flow.

Ask for help-

Decorating alone can be a time of introspection and quite enjoyable. On the other hand, decorating can cheery and loads of fun with friends and family members helping. How much fun is painting a room by yourself? Probably not much fun, right? Ask for help with the bigger tasks like painting and moving furniture. You'll get those tasks done quicker and have some laughs in the process.

Take breaks-

Yes, I mean literally stop painting, art placement and furniture movement and relax for a moment. Take a walk around your block or sit/stand outside for a few minutes. The fresh air is good for you and when you go back inside, you will have a fresh perspective. Look around at what you have accomplished so far. Soak up the calming, homey atmosphere you are creating for yourself. Sure you will enjoy it all when you are finished, but allow yourself to enjoy the process as well.

© 2014 Tammy Cramblett


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    • profile image

      Tobi.Log 2 years ago

      I painted my walls red, yellow and violet. I like fire and my favourite color is violet thats why chose these colors. The best decor-invention was to play a video of a fireplace on my screen. This one is currently playing: I chose a dark one because its bad weather right now. Its amazing how much my home has changed and how much better and secure I feel.

    • Tammy Cramblett profile image

      Tammy Cramblett 3 years ago from United States

      Thank you WiccanSage! I got a crash course in budget home decorating with my first apartment right out of high school. It was fun. Bandannas made great wall art and throw blankets were the perfect accent for some really awful looking furniture. That was...some years ago. I still love recycling, reusing and repurposing anything I can.

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 3 years ago

      Great tips-- I'm a budget home decorator myself, and these are some great ideas here. Thanks for sharing, voted up.