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Posts Tagged ‘home decorating’

Driving around my town the other day, I noticed a lot of houses needed painting.With the price of everything going up, many people are putting home improvements to the bottom of the list. Of course, some are still doing repairs, but many are waiting until they can afford to replace the item, or get it fixed perfectly.

Right now, perfect may not be an option. Gas and groceries are taking up the main bulk of our budget, and buying new “stuff” makes us pause far more than it used to. I, also need my house painted, but knowing that I want to go beyond the traditional white, I am waiting until the Spring, because I know that the cost will be far more than normal.

However, I still want the front to look nice, in the meantime. So, armed with a small paintbrush, duct-taped to a really long stick (yes, really) I touched up the little bit where the paint had peeled off. No, it wasn’t perfect, but it was just enough to hide (and protect) the wood underneath. This got me thinking, were there other short cuts that we could take, while we waited for the perfect solution?

– Peeling or chipped Paint: If you don’t think you have enough paint to touch up the front of the house, add a tiny bit of water to the can to stretch it. Or, paint a bit of the color onto a paper plate, let it dry and take it to the hardware/paint store to get it copied. Buy a sample pot (less than $5-). It might be all you need.
– Linoleum Tiles lifting up: An all purpose epoxy, or floor adhesive, will stick it down. Clean the area under the tile as best as you can. Smoosh the glue underneath (be liberal), wipe away the excess, tape down the tile with painters tape, and cover with a brick for 24 hours.  Contine reading here…

Wendy E. Wrzos www.thebluegiraffe.com Photograph courtesy of Good Housekeeping magazine.

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Where do you put your clothes? When I lived in England, many of us had wardrobes instead of closets. Tall, free-standing, ominous-looking structures, that threatened to fall on us when we were asleep; their height seemed disproportionate to their width, leaning slightly towards the middle of the room. Now that I am older, I love these gigantic pieces of history, their Narnia-like depth filled with old fur coats and boxes of secrets.
Here, where I live now, I have a small closet. A built in cupboard that is tiny; barely two feet wide, it does the job, but in a far less romantic way. I also have a chest of drawers for all things that lay flat. I found it at a flea market years ago, and I like that it is has an old label on the back from a furniture shop decades ago.
If I was in a really large house, I think I would love gigantic closets with lots and lots of shelves. A shoe and boot rack to keep things standing up, and small boxes with fancy labels that told me what was inside. Large, decadent coat hooks for scarves and necklaces and padded, black hangers for fancy dresses. A drawer for jeans, and one for cardigans – lots of each, folded perfectly, (magically) always in the right size………..

I think, that where we store our clothes is a personal thing, but maybe we should talk about it now and again.

Wendy E. Wrzos http://wendyandthebluegiraffe.blogspot.com/ With thanks to the Sex and the City movie for the closet image.

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“It’s all very well being all “designery”, and living a Polly-Perfect life, but what about the rest of us? Those of us with four children, two jobs and a home that wasn’t our first choice. Never mind telling us to spray paint the brass chandelier with chalk-board paint, what are we supposed to do?”

That’s a really good question, and, honestly, it’s not easy. None of us have charmed lives filled with matching doodads and champagne coming out of the faucet. Decorating a home isn’t about that. As our grandparents used to say, it’s about making do, but I prefer to call it “pretending as if”.

“What Not To Wear” is one of my favorite shows, and having a home, to me, follows the same principles that they teach. Their credo is that you have to accept the body you have right now. Even if you hate every nook and cranny of it, it’s yours, and that’s what you have to work with. If you dress that body as if you love it, then you will get nice clothes that fit, you will look better and, gradually, feel kinder towards yourself.  Maybe you will never, ever be the size you wish you were, but if you enjoy what you have, and take pride in it, you may begin to fall in love with it. 

Your home is exactly the same!  Even if you are not happy about where you are, you could still pretend as if it is the most perfect place in the world to be.  Make some changes as if you really do care; fix things that bother you on a daily basis, don’t cost a lot and can be done in an hour or two.

Here are some quick fixes for “the rest of us”:

  • Change ugly, dated lampshades or light covers (check out local Hardware and Retail stores for cheap, but classic, options). 
  • Declutter your kitchen. It’s often the most used room in the house;   keep the surfaces clean and remove what shouldn’t be there. This will make it a much happier place to be in (and it might be bigger than you think).
  • Place a decorative bin somewhere for each of your children (and yourself). Toss in everything that should be put away. When the bin is full, empty it.
  • Check your front door;  remove dead plants and fix anything that is broken (doorbell?). Coming home should be a good experience.
  • Buy everyday items (dishwashing soap, laundry powder and liquid soap) in colors, designs and scents that you like. Making daily decisions that please you will sneak into your well-being.

See, nothing wrong with a little pretending….

Wendy E. Wrzos http://wendyandthebluegiraffe.blogspot.com/

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