Saturday, September 14, 2013

Collecting a room

I recently read a quote from interior designer Suzanne Kasler "A room should feel collected, not decorated".

While I have the ability to put together a cozy room, and take beautiful pictures....I do not have the ability to form coherent thoughts on most days.  And certainly not the ability to put into words what's going on in my mind.  Suzanne summed up exactly how I've approached putting together our home.  A mix of old and new, shabby and chic.

Most recently in the office/den/guest we've been working on?  Our recent changes I wrote about here
Well - since its big overhaul in the spring, I feIt like the room still needed some love, some it wouldn't feel like the ugly step child.  Most of all, I wanted it to become a room I actually wanted to spend time in.

So I started culling through our stuff in storage.  And came upon this nugget - 
An old wooden box that was built to hold record albums.  Now it is storing all those big jar candles inside, and is the perfect landing spot for all the library books I bring home each week...with the intention of reading but don't always get to. The box is originally from my grandparent's house...a piece of their history and mine.  

And I pulled out this....
The baby quilt from Thomas' crib.  The $90 Pottery Barn Kids-over the top-"it is so perfect"-extravagance I just had to have, but of course was drastically underutilized.

While I was searching for something for the blank wall in the office, I thought of this quilt.  Because I still love it, and all that represents to our family - our miracle boy's first bed - the nursery in our home - the fulfillment of our dream.  It came to mind when a friend gave me these clips that she was done using in her home
And now we've now hung the quilt in the office/den.  And it makes me smile every time I glance at it.
I threw in some new too, like my pouf!!  
I've been wanting one of these for a while, since they became popular, but man, they can be expensive.  So I held out and waited (which was very hard to do), until I finally found one - the right one - on sale and I had a coupon!!  What I love most about this piece is the softness it brings to the room - both with its shape (round in a room of all straight lines and sharp corners) and the cozy faux fur material.

And just one more newbie - a throw pillow.  This room's sad little futon was already crying out "save me" because I kept giving it the outcast throw pillows while I prettied up all the other seating in the house with new pillows.  So when I saw this baby (that just so happens to match the wall quilt beautifully thank you very much), I snatched it up for just $7.79 from Kohl's - on sale, with 40% off coupons and a $5 off.  Score!  (I'm so getting the hang of this Kohl's game)
There you have it - more updates in the office/den.  I'm finally calling it done!   I feel like a have an extra room in the house now because we actually spend time in there now.....I actually enjoy being in this room.

So - here are my tips:

1) Re-Purpose and Re-Imagine: Capitalize on original investment (the quilt), or take advantage of something free (the clips).  And don't just limit items to their original purpose - bedding on the wall rather than just the bed, a record album box as a table, a wooden crate as a desk organizer, mason jars as pen holders, on and on.  Visitors in our home often comment on the unique items all around - re-purposing is one key to achieve "uniqueness".

2) Balance: this room has so many hard lines (desk, bookcases, file cabinet, wooden futon frame), it really needed something soft.  I was looking for art, but when I considered more frames of photos or art, it was just more hard lines and hard materials - glass, wood, metal.  This adds a nice softness to the room...not to mention a big pop of color to punch up the  main colors of the room - tan, white, brown, black and blue.  Art doesn't have to match - its an accent.

3) Wait for it: literally....wait for it.  The right thing.  Don't settle just to fill in. Its okay to do that with some items - a photo in an inexpensive frame or a piece borrowed from another room (or storage).  But don't buy the first thing you see if its not the color, size, fit, price you really want.  This has been the hardest lesson for me....but its proven itself time and again.  Case in point - when I first started looking at poufs, they were $70+....which just wasn't what I wanted to pay for that specific piece.  In the end, I got ours for $12!!  And because I stayed on budget with that item, that left more money in the budget for all the other accessories I wanted. 

4) Appealing to emotion: When I look at this quilt, I am transported back in time, in my memory and in my heart, to its place in our home - on the first little bed of our miracle baby.  If you can look at something in your home and really connect with it - not just in your intellectual mind, but in your heart....deep in your soul....then you know its perfect.

So there you have it - some interior design insight from me.  I'm not an expert....but I love my home, and that's what I want for anyone.

"Your home should be a hug when you enter it"

I hope I've inspired you to try something new to make your home a hug for you! 

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