Decorating your home is really not much more than organizing what you have and making purchases that best fit your home.
Many people will hire a contractor to design a look for their home or maybe they will research ideas on their own from magazines and online resources but living in a model home that you can never change can be pretty dramatic. You find your home has taken over your life instead of simply being a place where you live your life.
Lets look at some simple things that we all need to care about to make our homes more attractive and useable.
Organizing your Electronics Cables
If you are like most people you have quite a few electronic devices that don’t see much care. We add a computer and TV and some desk lamps and maybe a cable modem and after a while we have cables strung all over that are both unattractive and cause you problems while cleaning.
This is definitely something that most of us don’t take time to do and it can make it look like we are living in an electrical supply house rather than a nice home.
The most important thing you can do is size your cables correctly. If you need a 6 foot cord to plugin a TV or Lamp then buy a 6 foot cord. If you need 7 feet of Coax to put your Cable Modem near your computer then build the cable yourself or at least don’t buy a 25 foot cable and have it laying on the floor. Loop up cable and hid it behind dressers, desks or entertainment cabinets out of the way.
Themeing your home to match your fantasy land
Although it might be cute to come home to a house filled with unicorns with your own sailor moon costume waiting at the door its really not appealing for a 37 year old man. The same would be true if you decided to paint your walls black and live in the bat cave.
The styles don’t have to be that dramatic but to get the most out of your home for now and in the future you should really try to stick to a conventional style. Now if you are a dramatic person hey more power to you and your friends probably understand you. On the other hand these things can and do get out of hand.
You pick up that fake banana plant at the store because you can’t keep real ones alive and the next thing you know you’re living in a tropical wonderland with hot pink walls and Miami floral painted wicker chairs.
So, its a good idea to take it down a notch if you want a liveable home. Besides those things cost a lot of money so if you invest in classical straight forward designs you will thank yourself in 10 years. And your kids wont be embarrassed bringing friends over.
Following the Current Fad
Sometimes you can walk into a room and know exactly when it was last updated and the problem with that is the use of design in your home should make it timeless. Some things in your home might be older but they look good in any age.
I have a feeling 25 years from now people are going to be complaining about Travertine tile just as much as they do the vomit green bathrooms from the 1950’s or Shag Carpet of the 70’s or the bright red accent walls of the 2000’s.
If you lock yourself into something you may not have the money to change it so consider how much you really want to be current with your design picks and if its not that important or something that can last 30 to 50 years then think twice.
There are many different levels of bad lighting. In kitchens and bathrooms it might be there is not enough light and in other rooms it might be that the lights are not positioned correctly.
Sometimes bad lighting can make a room look unattractive and other times it can take away from its function. In a kitchen this is very important and lights must be positioned so you don’t have shadows that make it hard to prepare food safely.
If you have bad lighting you probably know it but if not maybe you should change things around .. use a floor lamp to cast light in different areas and then decide if you can make improvements.
Filling a room with Mismatched Furniture
If you are one of those people who collects things overtime then remember .. don’t just look at the individual item and think it looks nice.. consider how it will fit in your home.
Normally when picking a finish for your furniture you want to stick with one wood type and one stain or paint finish. Although nonconforming pieces can accent a room you don’t want to haphazardly select and arrange items.
The same is true for fabric choices, patterns, color tones (bright, muted) for your furniture, carpet and window coverings.
Pick a style and stick with it and if you just realized you are that person don’t worry you can always make adjustments like re-upholstery or refinishing wood items.
Hanging on to things you don’t like
You see decorating isn’t all about style without function and part of the function is making you happy.
If there is a chair or table or vase or something in your home that you just don’t like but you’ve had it so long that you don’t want to get rid of it.. that is exactly what you should do.
Now if its the kitchen table you should make sure you get one before you get rid of what you have but other than that .. don’t wait.. just get rid of it if its ticking you off and its something you can afford to replace.
Heck you can probably even sell it to someone and make a bit of money towards what you want.
Rooms that are messy because they are overfilled with items you never use are just as bad. Maybe you have things that you use to love but now they sit in a room collecting dust and there won’t be a time anytime soon that they will ever be used. Sell them, Donate them or just get rid of them.
Rooms that match just a little too much
Little Girls rooms are the perfect example of when things can match just too much .. have you ever walked into a pink bedroom that looks like it was hit with a pink paint cannon? With pink carpet, pink drapes, pink bed coverings… well its not so bad maybe other than you are putting your sweet little girl into a pink prison but people do grow up and sometimes they hang on to these style choices.
As much as anything in design choices you don’t want to make everything the same. Just like you don’t want a bright purple leather recliner in the center of your Victorian living room you can’t have everything match completely or you might as well just give up on life.
Forgetting Storage Management in your Designs
While we are on a similar topic to get the most out of your home you want to make the most out of your storage opportunities. Whether its your closets, garage, basement or throughout your home you should really consider updating your storage possibilities to reduce clutter and help you keep your sanity.
Closet organizers can double your storage and stacked tool boxes that professionals use are not that expensive and can let you get to things fast.
Take a good look at your pantry and utility rooms and if you have a lot of space between shelves consider adjusting them so you can add another.
Things like this are really easy and really help.
Furniture that is too large for a room
Maybe you bought that couch for your apartment or had one handed down from a family member.. or maybe you just don’t own a tape measure.
Whatever got you into this mess you really need to do something about it. Furniture that is too large for a room can make it difficult to navigate. This detracts from the livability of your home and your day to day happiness.
If you are making choices for new furniture then take into account pathways that will allow you to easily fit two people without waiting. If you need to rearrange items then do it. If you need to get rid of something so everything else fits then do it.
Window Coverings that look ugly
One of the largest areas in most rooms is your window openings. The way that you cover them with drapes and blinds has a lot to do with the look and feel of your room.
Some people even think its acceptable to have no blinds which is fine if you are an exhibitionist but it does place a burden on your guests.
The good thing is window coverings are very easy to change and for the most part don’t cost all that much.
Just because we make choices doesn’t mean we can’t change our minds. If you need to fix that upgrade or get rid of that chair or just make adjustments to make life a little easier well there is no time like now.
But its not like you have to do everything at once.
Just take notice of your home and when you are buying a new couch remember the tape measure and when you’re picking a style understand why and how it will effect you years down the line.