/ 2.6.11 / 15 Comments / interior decorating
Updating an ‘Out-of-Date’ Living Room with Inexpensive Pizzaz!
New curtains, pillows, and lampshade…really added some ‘pop’ to my vintage style home.
When it comes to ‘out-of-date’ style…well, I surely must be the expert! Style, as I’ve said before, does not come easily to an artsy, craftsy, nostalgia nut like myself. I’d rather sew, write, play guitar, or quilt than try to figure out that elusive thing called ‘style’..and it shows! Sigh..
Still need to change out the hangers here..but we’re working on it. :o)
For years I’ve longed for clean simple lines, fresh colors, and a light, airy feel in my home. But how to accomplish this always escaped me!I would tell my good friend Maria, over and over again, “Oh I love that room..and this one…and oh that one too!” These rooms were modern yet inviting and simple…and looked nothing like my home.
If I loved the simple styles and colors so much..why did I keep decorating exactly opposite of that?
In spite of my desire to modernize and simplify, my love for antiques and sentimental knick-knacks would de-rail me every time! Why am I so attracted to the gawdy, ornate, and well..honestly..just plain loud? Who knows..but it is a fact that I am. :o)
Of course, it doesn’t help that I’ve never had a budget for furniture or decor so our home was mostly a collection of mish-mash and thrift store bargains. But that really wasn’t the real problem.
It’s that the choices I made were not something I wanted to live with. In the end, there was just too much stimulation in our pretty, nostalgic home—too much dusting, cleaning, and re-arranging to do.
With our lives so very very busy, the added stimulation of so many ‘pretties’ and collectibles in a very small home, was really wearing on me. I needed a ‘rescue’!!
I didn’t have to quit hanging quilts..just use one that was a little less ‘busy’. This quilt is over a hundred years old and was quilted by my husband’s grandmother and great-grandmother in Kansas.
Living room before updating.
Thanks to Maria’s blog, Colour Me Happy, I began to get a vision for what elements go into making a home look ‘fresh’ and stylish. Things like new and trendier colors and accent pillows for the couch that really ‘pop’ are some of the ways to do this.
If you can’t paint a whole room in a new color, you can still add splashes of something fresh and bright with curtains or pillows. And that’s just what I did here with the curtains from Ross ($5.00 each!!) and the new pillows I sewed last month. I’m so in love with YELLOW!! I would have made it brighter but the kids begged me not to. LoL!
Maria has already picked out the colors for our home and the paint is purchased. The living room will be Bavarian Cream--I’m so excited! You can read about that here.
Our plan is to paint this summer..do or die. That is the surest cure for a home that is ‘out-of-date’…the perfect colors. For that, you will have to visit Maria. I could NEVER help you! LoL!
But one of the simplest and yet hardest things I did recently to update our ‘out-of-date’ home was to box up my precious knick-knacks…and start over. I pulled out only the BIGGEST decor items I had and very carefully added back to the room only the bare minimum.
My DIL, Ebeth, suggested I remove all the knick-knacks from the piano..and the wall above it. “Leave the lamps,” she said, “But replace all that stuff on the wall with something big…like a modern piece of art..or a giant clock or mirror.”
The plate is antique (grandmother’s) and the chicken was a gift from a friend. This is the piano and wall AFTER Ebeth’s suggestion was followed.
Part of me, the sentimental part, was cringing, but the practical, get-it-done part of me was desperate for change. So I did just that. Why was I so scared to let go of my stuff?
The whole family, it turns out, was thrilled at the idea of getting rid of my ‘antique’ or retro look. That was enough of a confirmation for me. Actually, I’ve saved some of my treasures but by adding some modern things, I was able to update the general look of the room.
We moved furniture out to the office for temporary storage (yes—more of it!), and boxed up the rest. I may Ebay or Craig’s list some of it, but for now, I don’t have to worry. My treasures are safely tucked away. :o)
We spent REAL money ($25.00) on a huge clock from Ross. It was a fraction of what the price would have been anywhere else. That clock was just perfect!! (This is a first for us by the way.)
Maria was right. You CAN mix the old with the new, if you just have a few really quality pieces in the collection. It makes the older things look more ‘updated’. It’s definitely worth a little splurge. :o)
Next purchase on the list?… According to my 16 yr.old son, it’s something to replace those lanterns on top of the shelves. Thanks to Ross (an outlet store), we can purchase some modern style glass bowls and/or vases for accent pieces. We want them to be a LOT more colorful than the rest of the room.
Both my daughter, Rebekah, and son, Christian have been a huge helping in making this transition, along with my DIL, Ebeth. Who would have thought my Toys-R-Us teen son would have decorating ideas? I’ve decided that I will never again go shopping without my teens in tow for advice.
I’m afraid I’m the ONLY one I know with this problem of being stuck with an old style habit. All my friends seem to ‘get it’. But hey..I know when to ask for help! :o)
I hope my experience helps any of you who are trying to update in spite of your natural inclinations. And if you need more help, just visit Maria. Her blog is a great resource. After a year of reading her advice, I think I’m finally making progress.
Decorating our homes is an ongoing process, I think. Are we ever really done? But with some new ideas, some de-cluttering, and fresh color, we can make our homes not only more beautiful, but more functional too.
Are you doing any re-decorating or home renovation this summer? I’d love to hear your ideas for updating your home. :o)
Labels: interior decorating