Renewing with Color
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Look at Change as an Adventure!
I live in the country, out in the West. Life as we all know can be spontaneous and full of surprise visitors, so keeping my home warm, comfortable and inviting is a priority. I welcome change, particularly in my home, and since I run Two by Two Rescue, Inc, friends and clients often visit my home for a meal or an overnight stay.
I like to imagine my home as a bed and breakfast would be, giving each guest a choice of guest rooms where they think they would be comfortable. Each room has a personality of it's own, and I let them choose where they think they would be the most comfortable. My home is separated into two wings, which provides the privacy guests would like to have, as well as my own private space, which I offer when there are couples coming to stay for a week or longer..
I take interest in keeping my house tidy, and I often give myself a break from writing by cooking or gardening on our 10 acres. I focus on making it clean enough to be healthy, but I have also learned to make it adaptable. My breakable items reside in curio cabinets and furniture designed to look but not touch for the little ones, and my glass vases are arranged on an overhead ledge to be enjoyed but not in the way.
During the spring and summer, I make an effort to think ahead, plan big meals, and always have enough for whoever drops by, something I derive great joy from. A full house, feeding people and a full life makes little room for selfishness and self-absorption.
When the busy summer season is over and winter arrives, everything seems to come to a sudden standstill. As I make the transition to indoor living, I focus on reorganizing and renewing my home. My goal is to create a vibrant space that we can enjoy. My hope is that others who are willing to venture out here will also be comfortable here and enjoy the hospitality.
For some of us in cold climates, settling into a routine in the winter months can be a challenge . Projects that need addressing may include organization, cleaning and possibly changing tired color schemes and preparation for the holidays. Motivation can be an issue, but once I get started, and envision the outcome, life is good, and I can complete projects.
DIY might seem overwhelming at first glance if you have never done the work yourself. I approach one room at a time to ensure manageable results, and to avoid burnout. I also make it my goal complete each room I start before I start another. I have discovered that the energy fueled by one successful activity usually paves its way to the next.
Life while doing this work becomes more interesting than just planning for my own enjoyment. I imagine myself serving a large Italian feast at the table, and how I would like that to look. Then when the weather is inclement, I search for ideas, recipes and pictures online to stir up my creativity.
Rather than pattern rooms exactly as I find them in magazines or articles online in Pinterest, I think about how to make the room a unique expression of interests, such as the sea, or Americana as one of my current guest rooms display. Before I shop, I set my mind on that theme, and it helps me keep my eye on that as I look through stores and gather accessories.
When I am shopping, I don't limit myself to a specific number of accessories, but I do make sure that I don't purchase things that are unreturnable, in case the size is wrong or they don't match the color shades already present in the décor.
Here are a few great tips to motivate yourself for future interior design change:
1. Take detailed pictures of the interior rooms of your home and put them on your computer in a folder. You will see objectively what needs to be done. Loook them over carefully, choosing what looks great and what need improvement or change. This step is important, trying to keep images in your mind doesn't work for most people once they start shopping. it is a recipe for confusion, and frustration in your project vision.
2. Have a list of what you want to change. You don't have to do it all at once, but it's important to make the list so you stay on track with your expenditures. Mine served as a diary of what I accomplished each day so I could measure time frames and progress.
3. Evaluate what needs to go. We collect some great pieces, but too many creates clutter, or just don't work. Once you start this process you will find it liberating and enlightening. I think one less thing to dust or clean is reasonable and it never hurts to give something away!
I also hunt for hidden, unuseable things like old cords, plugs, materials, electronics containers I have saved, etc. I am not a hoarder, I am a practical person, I try to figure out how to reuse items that seem recycleable. The problem is when they don't work, I replace them with something more practical, yet hesitate to dispose of the old? Must have learned that from parents who lived through the Great Depression.
Find a place where you can give good useable items gracefully. I prefer a place that will help make a job or profit someone in dire need, like a local Rescue Mission or homeless shelter which makes it easier for me to part with the items.
Don't dump them on people who don't want them or you might insult them. Once I begin, I find myself thinking deeper about other things that could be more useful elsewhere, like books I will never read or enjoy.
4. Select your changes. Think about your home as a palette and think outside the box. Change doesn't have to be expensive, and often designers are over-priced and not the right match for your tastes. Trust your instinct, but make a plan that is able to be done in stages if your budget requires it. Using color effectively can change the entire look of a room or home as well as rearranging the furniture. ! I have had the same furniture in some rooms since I have been married, but it is because I love it, not because it looks tired. The main reason that DIY projects fail is not because you aren't capable, it's because of impulsive plans that aren't thought out and organized.
5. Go to Home Depot or Lowe's or whatever home improvement store you like. Take adequate time to walk through the entire store (just to dream). Familiarize yourself with the areas you will be in while you pick up color samples and brochures.
6. Check the "Oops" returned paint bin at most any large home improvement store which contains paint returned for color incompatibility. You can ask them to add color to it (free) and make it what you need. I have saved by getting quality paints at $5.00 per gallon. Plan realistically if you have to paint in stages, but don't leave painting incomplete. It just takes too long to clean up and start again, and sometimes the color doesn't blend well in different weather conditions, even indoors
7. When you get home, make a file or get a little box to put anything you have collected and separate them by store. I use a cardboard boxtop and paste my colors so I can take it anywher and choose accessories that match.
8. Take a few days to consider your options. Narrow them down to what's in your budget, and then purchase the materials. Don't be in a hurry, it tends to make us impulsive and buy things we don't need, or have to take back. I try to imagine myself buying things for someone else, and I tend to make better choices, which was an interesting experiment for me that worked.
9. If you have friends that are gifted in areas you need help in, ask them. If they agree to help, and come to my home, I plan a crockpot meal, that is fills my home with wonderful aromas while we work. You won't believe what you can learn about them while you are together, and how it can bond you on different levels. I made a lifetime friend in this process; I now offer to do the same for others because it is so much fun!
10. When finished with the painting, I reward myself with a trip to TJ Maxx for some new accessories. My last addition was a vase collection for the ledge in my living room. I have 12 vases of different colors styles and textures, and floral arrangements for which I paid a total of $122.38. I can usually find items $10.00 to $20.00, quite a contrast from the more expensive home decorating stores.
11. Thrift stores provided the opportunity to purchase a large 9 x 12 woven red rug for $20.00 and paid $35.00 to have cleaned, just for sanitary reasons. It was absolutely spotless and tied the room colors together perfectly. The coffee canisters on my china cabinet (as well as most of the items inside) were also purchased in thrift stores. My fine china was acquired at a storage unit that someone had abandoned, and was free!
12. Take new pictures, and celebrate with a housewarming holiday party with family and friends. I'll bet you will be finding all kinds of reasons to have people come and visit now! You completed your goal, now you get to be proud of finishing what you started and enjoy the benefits! It might just change your life!