Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Free-decorating

I'm one of those "eclectic" girls.  Which is a polite way of saying that none of my belongings technically go together, being pulled from different eras, color palettes, and genres.  And this is due mostly to the fact that the vast majority of what I own has been collected over the years from thrift stores, resale shops, and garage sales.  I never really consider whether something is going to "go" with my existing decor before I snatch it up, I just buy what I like, and I typically like oddball little pieces.

A couple of days ago, after taking down all of my Christmas decorations, I got the serious itch to start all over with all of my bookshelves, entertainment center, couch/entry table, and piano top.  I mean, I had already removed almost everything from them already to decorate for Christmas, so why not just take everything else off, too, and start fresh?  Rather than go out and buy more stuff, I just pulled down the boxes of randomness from the attic, and raked every single thing from aforementioned surfaces, creating massive piles all over my living room floor from which to "shop."

Off to Wyatt's room with this mess.  No more kid storage in the living room...he's seven now, it's time for his stuff to be in his room.

I've got a lot of "smalls," as Mike and Frank would say (The American Pickers).

I'll read them all...someday.  I buy a lot of books at thrift stores and garage sales...
Once the shelves were totally empty, I started with the built-in first because it's one of the main focal points of the living room.  I have a couple of oil paintings that I bought for a dollar apiece that I really love to featured there, and I recently found an antique geometric terrarium, for which I plan to buy some succulents.  Because I've developed the bad habit of using the basket as a catch-all for random junk, I got rid of it.  And with all of Wyatt's junk gone, I could actually put a great deal of books on the shelves...imagine that, a bookshelf full of books.  Sprinkled throughout are little chunks of rocks we've found on excursions, antler sheds, sea shells, etc. that remind us of time spent together.  Yeah, it's still cluttered, and it's not going to be featured in Better Homes and Gardens, but I like it!  I'm toying with the idea of using my Cricut to make a decal for some of the negative space in the uppermost shelf...perhaps, "Love lives here."

Once done with the built-in, I moved to the couch/entry table.  The front half of my house is one huge gaping room.  If I'm honest, I kinda hate that.  I personally love the old Victorian and craftsman homes which have many smaller rooms that each have a distinct identity and purpose.  The hubby and I are considering having a contractor out to slap up a few walls to remedy the situation.  Anyhoo...back to what we were talking about:  the couch/entry table that greets everyone.  It was a total blank slate after removing my Christmas decor, so I just kept it super simple and as unclutterered as I could manage.  A couple of my favorite pics, our daily scripture flipcard, and some crazy eucalyptus...which I don't particularly like, and may replace with willow branches soon.
You can barely see it here, but one of my favorite things around our house are the little soap dishes...this one is a pheasant...that hold tiny little rocks, shells, or acorns that Wyatt discovers.
Next I moved over to the "office," which is in quotations because of the whole it's-in-my-living-room-so-is-it-really-an-office dilemma.  I need those extra walls, and the sooner, the better.  Now, before I share these next few pics, please don't judge the mess on the desk, nor the whole Sci-Fi action we've got going on...my husband lives here, too, so he needs some representin'.  I love it because he loves it, and I love him.
Oy.  This is the ultimate catch-all shelf.  All of my photography office stuff gets shoved here, along with any new trinkets or books.  Don't know why I do that.  It cleaned up nice, though!

Didn't change much.  But it's been dusted now, which is a small victory.  Now, to convince the Mister to throw away the sea of papers (read: trash) on the top that I'm not allowed to touch (because I throw away "important" stuff, apparently).

So, still super geek, but tidier.  This particular shelf is set in the corner, and it's behind the desk, so it isn't as easily seen unless you're deliberately trying to see it...hence all of the ugly little paperbacks made their way here.  I'll probably layer a few picture frames in front of them later to further hide the rainbow nightmare.

Lastly, I put the mantle back to pretty much what it was before, and added the leftover picture frames to the piano top and entertainment center.  I don't know who started it, but a million picture frames just belong on top of pianos.  I didn't snap a pic of the piano or entertainment center...it's not inspiring in the least...just a plain ol' arrangement of frames. I think I'm going to beef both up this spring when garage sales start popping up again.  But, here's my mantle, in case you're interested:
I need to order an updated family portrait for the frame..this was last year's.

Well, I hope that didn't bore you to tears!  I just wanted to show how rearranging elements you already own, along with tidying up a bit, can really change things up!  I keep adding to my collection of odds and ends, so I have to do this periodically (at least once a year) as new things are acquired.  I've also opted for a much more minimal approach at times, storing a huge percentage of stuff in my attic long enough to forget about it, which is really great because it's like getting all new stuff!  Without spending a dime!

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