Monday, June 11, 2012

Home Decorating Tips

 As a mom living on a shoestring budget and constantly taking care of two little boys, my days are usually filled with simply trying to keep the house clean and picked up. On top of that, our house is a bit of a fixer upper. So for the first three years we lived in it, I hadn't put much thought into decorating. I mean, I just wanted some trim on the windows and doors for all my cupboards. Who cared about putting something on the wall?

But over the past year, our house has really started to come together, slowly getting a theme that encompasses both furniture and decorations. Here's three easy principles to follow:

1. Decide on a theme. 
We have a bit of a north woods  theme at our house, which only makes sense as we live in the middle of northern woods and my husband tries his hand at making rustic log furniture every once in a while. So when I spotted an area rug with some moose and fish and cabins and leaves on it for under $100 a year and a half ago, I got it. And then when I found a little rug with a moose on it to go in front of our sink a couple months later, you can bet I got that as well.

Anytime I acquire something for our house, I make sure it fits our theme. If it looks rustic and is reasonably priced, I pick it up. And after a couple years of slowly collecting rustic things, I'm starting to put together a theme for our house.

2. Stick to a few base colors.
My husband and I decided way back when we first got married that we both like tans and greens and other earth tones. (Can I just pause for a moment and recommend that you talk to your husband before you decide on a color scheme for your house? He has to live in it too, and he probably doesn't want pink and butter yellow in every room.) So in general, whenever we acquire a piece of furniture, we make sure it's earth-toned.

We bought our forest green couch long before I ever found our tan colored moose and cabin rug, but when I put two things together purchased three years apart from each other, they look as if they were bought together in a showroom.

3. Pick a couple basic wood types.

When you begin to pick out furniture, I suggest you pick one or two woods that you like and run with them. Now unless you build a completely new house, you probably won't be able to pick all the wood in your home. But work with the choices you can make, and then in a decade or so, as that hardwood floor wears out or the trim around your windows needs to be replaced, you can switch to your preferred wood type. My husband and I like white pine and white cedar. (If we need to use a hardwood, because sometimes you do, we choose hickory.) This gives everything a sense of continuity.

We have a cedar log bench in our entryway and a cedar log end table by our couch and a cedar log dinning table in our kitchen. And the cedar furniture matches the cedar trim along our windows and the knotty pine on our cupboards. Though we haven't gotten around to getting a bedroom set with a matching head and foot board and a dresser or two, when the time comes you can bet we'll be using some cedar logs, and probably some pine.

So there you have it, three principles that should help some of you moms out there. Now I'm curious about the rest of you. Does anyone have some simple decorating tips that have worked in your own homes?

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