10 January, 2007

Resuscitating Your Home Decor (Post Christmas)

You’ll all be happy to know that aside from a few stray pine needles that the Hoover probably overlooked, all the Christmas garb is officially out of the house. Does anyone know why it seems to go up so easy and effortlessly but taking it all down and putting it away is anything but? Well, we’ll just chalk it up to one of life’s great mysteries.

But now that everything's gone, the house feels so empty and drab and un-cheery. Do you know what I mean? So the past few days I've been taking stock around here and figuring out what I can do to liven the house back up and bring back that warm festive feeling again. NO, I'm not going to go crazy and start leaving ornaments around here all year long, but it just means I need to incorporate a few changes to help liven up the family room and well, liven me bakc up as well now that the holiday's are over.

Pillow Toss You’d be surprised how you can really change the look and feel of a room by adding (and sometimes, subtracting) a few pillows. I’m doing this myself this week and yesterday, totally scored a gorgeous gold and brown silk dupioni long rectangular pillow for the center of the couch in the family room. The khaki chenille sofa was just calling this pillows name and I’m so excited by its perfect placement. I’m still hunting for pillows for my chairs in the same room, because that will really help me change my look a little more as well. And while you’re at it, pick up some large floor pillows. You know the ones I’m talking about. They can be large and boxy or soft and overstuffed (again on a large scale) and make a great addition to any room. The really invite people to sit down and break out the Scrabble game with you and stay a while.

Mantle Truthfully? I really stink at doing my mantle. I had it done once by someone and I’m too scared to change it so I just take the design from one home to another. This is such a difficult part of a room and you never want to junk it up with too much stuff and I am not one for picture frames on the mantle. But yes, you can help kick the look of your room up a notch by changing your mantle décor as well (at a few readers request, I will do a whole post on mantle décor on another day). Heck, even take a few of those overstuffed floor pillows I just mentioned and place a few on each side of the fireplace on the floor. Or get a beautiful oversized urn and place it on the hearth. No, technically it’s not decorating the mantle, but it is adding interest and change to the area that typically draws people too. I realized I needed to add a little interest to my mantle as well, so yesterday I purchased a new fireplace screen. And all I can say is the little bit of change must have worked because it’s the first thing Mr. Monogram commented on when he walked in the door last night (and he typically doesn’t pick up on any of the things I do around here).

Color One thing you might have been able to pick up about me, is that I really don't care for white barren walls in a house. It’s very stark to me, personally. If it’s your thing, then more power to you (no, I'm not judging). But if you are wanting to warm up and change the feel of a room, then that can be done easily and inexpensively with a gallon or two of paint. Most higher end paint stores (Benjamin Moore, Pratt & Lambert) will often keep a decorator on staff. So take a few sofa and pillow cushions and swatches of your other fabrics in the room with you, and ask their advice on helping you pick out that perfect color. After all, there is nothing worse than painting an entire room and then deciding you hate the color after all. *sigh*

Furniture Relocation This year at Christmas, I tried something new (and for this anti-change girl, that is saying a lot). I put my tree in a new spot in my family room and rearranged my furniture a little. And you know what? It was really great! And as a bonus I even lived through the whole change ordeal to tell about it. But don’t just wait for the holidays and the addition of an 8’ tree to force you to move the furniture around. Tell your significant other to strap on that his back brace and just start moving your furniture around until you find a new placement that suits you. The rearrangement might be exactly what your room needs to give it a fresh approach. I used to do this all the time early in our marriage and it really drove Mr. Monogram crazy. He’d come home from work and the furniture would be all over the place. But when you’re stuck in a decorating rut so to speak, giving the furniture new placement will help jolt you out of that rut and give you a new lease on your room.

Green Acres I realize we can’t all afford to have fresh flowers brought in our home (and professionally arranged) every single day as Oprah does, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find some really good faux plants and bushes and dried floral arrangements. If real houseplants aren’t your thing, it doesn’t mean you have to miss out on bringing some foliage and flowers inside to help brighten and liven up your home. With the absence of the Christmas tree now, the room starts to feel bare and let’s face it, unwelcoming. But adding a few houseplants will make a big difference. And no, I’m not suggesting you hang a fern from a macramé do-dad that your mother-in-law made for you. But hit up your garden center (or local craft shop w/ a large faux floral department) and try to find some unique and pretty low-maintenance indoor plants. The bigger the better! Pick up a Fichus tree and a few other container plants and put them in pretty urns. This works on bookshelves, stepstools, ottoman’s, and on the floor even under end tables. Play around with what you’ve got and you’ll be amazed at what a difference a little greenery can make in your room.

Built-Ins & Bookcases When we bought this house, it should be said that I had a lot of work done and changes made before we even moved in (okay, so technically, I have a problem with just buying a house and moving in because I have done this with every house we’ve bought so far. But that’s beside the point.). And one of the things I had done in this house, was that I had built-in’s custom designed and installed on each side of the mantle, covering the wall. Don’t worry. I’m not suggesting you go and do this unless you happen to have your Christmas money burning a hole in your pocket. But as important as the placement of these built-ins, is how everything is decorated on the actual shelves. My point? Don’t fall under the false illusion that bookshelves and built-ins are only for books. Looking at mine now, I’ve got some photo’s sporadically placed up there (in coordinating frames so they don’t distract), a few book ends that I love, a statue, some small votives in glass containers (all the same size and color and again, very very low and small), and even my ring bearer’s pillow from our wedding and my headpiece as well.

Speaking of my headpiece, after assembling this ginormous Hot Wheels structure this morning for the mini monograms (yes, in case you’re wondering a PHD in Toy Assembly is actually required for parenting because had I had this PHD I probably would not have taken the blow to the head with the large flying-yes, FLYING-pterodactyl thingie.), I’m feeling a bit like the queen of the hill, so what do you think? Should I wear it around town today? Hmmmm…..


suburban mom said...

You have killer mouldings.

And I almost always have fresh flowers in the house...probably one of the advantages of living in CA.

KK said...

I'm so glad I'm not the only one who has problems with the mantle. It's beautiful at Christmas, but all of the other months it looks horrible!

Thanks for this post. I'm trying to get into renovating and redecorating my house post holiday.

libby r said...

The colors flow very well. Do you think it is a little too symetrical? Everything seems paired and it isn't creating as much interest. If you put the throw laying across the back of the right side of the sofa it would create more depth to the room. So far...looks good.

Monogram Momma said...

Yes, it's symetrical because I don't like things out of order and messy looking. Typically the green chenille throw is laying accross the ottomon (when you can also see it's monogrammed) but all I did to the sofa was add a pillow. I'm not changing colors or anything in here. Just adding and changing pillows b/c I'm sort of stuck with my furniture placement due to how my house was designed, where our tv is, etc...

deb said...

Well that's a great idea! I have noticed that it's a bit drab with all Christmas decorations gone. You've inspired me to do a little decorating this weekend! Can't wait. :)

Anonymous said...

Things do seam to become unglamorized after Christmas.. here is a site to check out that I found....

Really good home decor site for finding unique and modern home decor for your home. Also great photography provided by nicole evans photography that may just inspire your home decor design tips! Check it out, the site www.randomhousegifts.com will be available for viewing at the end of February 2007.