Heh. Just the title of this post makes my inner voices giggle.
I don’t decorate. I’ve been living with bachelor pad furniture for the last 9 years. (Still am!)
But I got so many emails asking “HOW DID YOU DO IT?” in regards to the before and afters of my dining room that I’m now writing this. To prove that I am flying by these, the seat of my pants.
1. I got lucky with the referral of a darn good contractor. His company deals mostly with high end renovations so “crappy” to him was “fancy” for our budget. He was able to suggest things that I would have never thought of. If you’re renovating or remodeling in Indianapolis? Call Gene at Indiana Renovations. Guy is a miracle worker. And he won’t even judge you when you cry. Or call him at 9pm on a Saturday freaking out. (But still, you probably shouldn’t do that…)
2. I’ve always subscribed to Better Homes and Gardens. For the last five years or so I have ripped out all the pretty houses that I liked and filed them away folder named “someday.” There was a definite pattern to what I liked. Lots of delicious textures and colors that could be named with food, like “chocolate” or “carmel” or “brulee.”
(somersaulting preschooler optional)
3. I stick to one color scheme in everything I do. It is both safer and cheaper this way. For example. 90% of the time I wear warm browns and/or deep jewel tones. This does two things, A) everything goes with everything else and B) It keeps me from buying that hot pink sweater no matter how cute it is because it won’t go with anything. I did this with everything I picked for my house. Everything is a warm neutral so everything goes with everything else no matter what room it is in.
(I picked out the carpet, wood, paint, vanities, fixtures, lighting and the tile all separate from each other without a sample of any to refer to when picking out the other. Keeping it all “warm” and “in my vision” has caused it all to come together very nicely at the end.)
4. Steal from the rich and make it your own. Pottery Barn. Restoration Hardware. Williams-Sonoma Home. Crate and Barrel. Nothing like a $3,000 couch to get the renovation blood lust flowing. Dude, just take what you like and find it cheaper. Big deal. Buy me something pretty with what you have left over. You wonder why I was so bent on getting my curtains from JCPenney? It’s because they have these perfectly wonderful faux silk insulated drapes for $26 (on sale) when Pottery Barn wants to charge you $119 for the same thing (only real silk, and not insulated, whatever.)
-Stole the sheer in the back/drape in the front look from my friend Megan, who stole it from Pottery Barn. Double drape rod from PB? $200. IKEA? $16.99.
-LED candles in the fireplace? THANKS FOR THE IDEA RESTORATION HARDWARE! About $20 each at their store, Kohls? $4 each. The mirror on the mantle? Williams Sonoma Home $1,295. Overstock sale at University Loft? $15.
-Chandelier and Kitchen lighting? IKEA, less than $50 each. If you’ve ever priced lighting? Then you know what I’m talking about. Also? The chandelier I picked out was black steel. $4 can of spray paint and it’s now brushed nickel. Somewhere an interior designer just died.
Is this all stuff people already know? Eh, if so, sorry. Maybe one person will find it handy. Because let me tell you, trying to pick out stuff you have to live with and someday maybe have to sell to other people? Kinda tricky. But whoo. Fun.
(Also? Our Christmas tree is upstairs. The last of the carpet downstairs was just laid today and we were too impatient to wait. Also? Did you notice that the first thing Cody moved into the living room was Monstro the TV? Yeah. Talk about bargaining. Also, let’s talk about what paint colors go well with a 60″ TV. Exactly none. So you just make do. Also? This is my last also.)