Around the House

Home Decorating – Part 3

My overall experience, theory, POV.

I had the thought that is the basis for this article during a comment conversation with Farmhouse Vernacular.

A home, be it an apartment, loft, one room flat, house or mansion, is a space that, in many ways, defines the way you, the occupant, uses it.

In my living room, for example, the two windows are on opposite walls – the east and west walls. This means that in the morning the sun comes in full barrel and flows across the walls for a considerable period of time. That same sun shows up in the late afternoon/evening from the opposite wall and repeats the morning visit. Both visits, however, dictate where the TV is placed, where the chairs are placed. This dictates traffic flow patterns – how do you get to the library? Where do you put a side table? Can you fit a fireplace in the room?

I’ve lived in my home for 20 years. I’ve tried various window treatments that do, to some degree, corral the problem, but never really resolve it. I could board up the windows, but I’m rather fond of them. 🙂

All of this is in addition to determining room color(s), decorations and all the other odds and ends that combine to make a home comfortable and functional.

We all move into a space with an idea of how it will work. Many times, however, things are added to rooms that were never designed to include them, which alters the way the rooms work.

I’m thinking of the mid-century craftsman home that was cozy and comfortable until the 50 inch flat screen arrived. Where do you put it? How do you put it? What do you do about seating? How do you accommodate the sound system?

I’m thinking about the 10 ft square bedroom that barely accommodates the king sized bed and headboard. Translate: A bed with a room around it -vs- a room with a bed in it. And, no, there really was no room for storage pieces.

There is a lot to living in a space and paying attention to what it needs. I know that may sound silly, but if you think about it, it is the natural experience of living in that space. You may not even realize you are doing it.

I’ve been watching a lot of home decor and DIY providers lately and I admit I’m impressed not only with the skills provided, but the way their choices have expanded the esthetic I want in my home.

My “intention” with my home was/is to create an eclectic place that, in my mind at least, was reminiscent of the family lake cottage. That place where the furniture didn’t always match, where it was comfortable and relaxed and easy to live in, not fussy and constantly keep clean.

In my mind, it was the place where the cast offs were taken when they were no longer wanted in the ‘regular’ home.

Considering many of the pieces I brought with me when I moved did not come close to “matchy-matchy”, it was the natural starting point.

The only issue I encountered with this was the decor of the home itself. My home was carefully designed by the builder to work with a woodland/garden theme. This means that each color or wall covering, and even the doors, worked within the theme. They also were along the lines of jewel tones. Everything works together and there are enough neutrals to add bold colors where I want.

I actually like the design, even if my preference for warmer earth tones is sublimated by the cool jewel tones in the home. And the best part? I didn’t have to spend time and money (I did not have) to redecorate.

This was an enormous plus having lived for decades in apartments with plain white walls with brown carpet. Can we say ‘generic’?

While there are tons of decorating ideas all over the place, I find myself reverting to what makes me comfortable and happy; color and comfort.

I encourage you to take the time to figure out what makes you comfortable in the space you inhabit. Don’t be afraid to experiment. It is an essential part of making a house a home. And, possibly most importantly, don’t be afraid of listening to your home. You will find your house telling you what it needs to become the home you want to live in.

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