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Posts Tagged ‘home design’

living-room-armchair-country-Country-Homes--InteriorsThis week has been unusually busy for me; I have felt like I was chasing the train, instead of sitting in a comfy seat traveling to my favorite destination. Not someone who thrives on feeling over-scheduled, I found myself dreaming of bed-time, or, at the very least, walking through the front door, and into my home.

I know I’ve said this before, but when you come home, it should be somewhere that makes you feel comfortable. It should welcome you in; your home should be your refuge, not a place that makes you roll your eyes as you turn the key.

One of the simplest ways to do this, is by placing some tangibles around your home that will make you feel happy straight away, with barely any effort at all.

When I come home, I look forward to seeing my pink geraniums, the daybed with my Union Jack pillow on it, and no dishes in the sink. These small things instantly remind me of life, family, and how grateful I am to have a dishwasher. (In my perfect life, there would also be dinner cooking, and a fire lit). Making sure I have these things,  is like giving myself a little bit of emotional insurance.

Have you ever wondered what would give you a bit of emotional insurance when you walk in the door? Would it be:

–   To see all the coats and scarves neatly hanging on hooks?
–   A clutter free entryway, with all coats and shoes hidden from view.
–   Seeing a favorite photograph before you even take off your coat?
–   A vase of flowers, or a plant, on the table?
–   A neat pile of books waiting to be read?
–   A big basket for whatever you wanted to put in it until later?
–   Having the coffee maker set, so all you have to do is press the button?
–   Knowing your favorite comfy chair is free of stuff, so that you can have a sit down?

Write to me, I’d love to know what is on your emotional insurance list…..

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

(Squishy, comfy, patchwork chair from: Couch in England)

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Have you seen the recent decorating shows that try to define a homeowner’s style? Apparently, we crave a label, and it is their job to come up with fancy names that tell us who we are, and how we should decorate. I was watching one the other day; after several minutes of very intense questions, the designer declared loudly (with a triumphant flourish) that the style was “Bohemian Classic Traditional with a hint of Asia”. Really? What they ended up with was a lovely room, but I am not quite sure if it will ever live up to its rather grand and obscure title.

Maybe we think that it makes decorating easier, and giving it a name helps us know where to begin when we are feeling a little lost. Whatever the reason, I think that style is a very elusive entity, something that can take a lifetime to grow. But, for those days when we just can’t wait, there are a few easy ways to figure it all out.

One of the simplest, is to take a look at your favorite clothes and accessories. Write down some words that  truly describe your personal style, and use the exact same words to find items for your home. eg. classic, eclectic, polished, comfortable, modern, simple, bright/shiny, fitted, vintage etc.

Another idea is to look around your home at what you already have; what do you enjoy, and what do you wish you didn’t have? Do you prefer easy-to-clean surfaces, copious collections, a large or small television, squishy or straight-backed sofa’s, familiar or original art, rustic or modern, carpets, tile, linoleum or hardwood, chandeliers, lamps or recessed lights. Be honest with yourself, keep what you love, and don’t worry about what other people may think.

If you’re still not sure, take a few moments to think about your ideal home, and how you would want it to feel. This isn’t a pipe-dream, and it may not be your current reality, but it will help you to create your own design inspiration.

Of course, how could I write about this without mentioning some of the fun on-line quizzes that will tell you your design style. Here are just a few for you to try…
http://my.hgtv.com/style-finder/stylefinder.esi
http://www.homegoods.com/hghq_quiz.asp
http://www.furniturefirst.com/furniturefirst/find_style.inc

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

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Someone asked me what was in my Junk Drawer. I told her I didn’t have one, and I could tell right away that she thought I was being a little smug; a ridiculously organized decorator, superior to the rest of the universe in her controlled lack of need to corral her chaos.  

As we chatted about the drawer that everyone has, I realized that I honestly didn’t have a junk drawer, but I had something far worse – Junk Bowls! Almost every room in my house has a decorative bowl filled with miscellaneous things that I don’t know where to put. It is my solution to the drawer, but it is round, decorative, and out for everyone to see; being open about it, doesn’t make it any less junky, I just pretend (in my mind) that it is an accessory.

So, to the person who thought I was superior in my organizing, I do hope that this makes you feel better; in fact, I probably have more junk than most people do. As I waited for my computer to warm up, I grabbed the nearest bowl (I actually have five in my house) and this is just some of what was in it:

An empty roller perfume bottle (to remind me what scent to buy next time, and, I admit, I sometimes hope that the perfume will magically reappear). A watch that doesn’t work. Lip balm that I bought for my car, but forgot to put in it. Eight earrings and three necklaces that need to be repaired. Several assorted nails and screws. An expired dog license tag. An American quarter and an English penny. A hair tie, a rubber band and a button from my jeans. A safety-pin. A ring. A necklace that a boy made for me in 1979…

The list goes on, and we all know I will probably never fix the jewelry (well, I might, someday), or put away the other things, but this is what I keep – just like everyone else.

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

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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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Here are six easy ideas to make any home feel comfortable the minute you step through the door.

 –   Have a doormat inside and out,   they make everyone feel welcome.

 –  Buy several large, white pillar candles. Light them, then blow them out. This automatically gives the impression of warmth, and makes a home feel that it is lived in (an unlit wick will have the opposite effect).

 – A blanket draped on a sofa always invites you to sit down, put your feet up and relax.

 – Piles of magazines, catalogs or books are just asking to be picked up and looked at. 

 – Get personal. Display something that you love, that reveals (or explains) who you are. A word, a painting, an object? 

 – Always have live plants and/or flowers in your home. Their natural energy helps to create a balanced, peaceful environment

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

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