It’s easy to get stuck in a design rut. We buy our homes and decorate, finely tuning everything until it’s just right. Then, the idea of changing it all becomes a distant memory. How many times have you walked into your grandmother’s home and thought, “this feels old”? Your eyes scan her room and with every corner, table and wall comes knick knacks and trinkets of varying shapes, sizes and colors. It can feel cluttered and make the home look like more of a museum than an actual living space. The truth is, it’s not just grandma’s house that can be afflicted in this way; we are all at risk if we’re not careful to do some refreshing every now and then. So how do we remedy this situation? It’s easier than you think. Follow these simple steps to avoid dating your space.
Tchotchkes & Baubles
We talked about the obsession some have with collecting and storing knick knacks in every nook and cranny in their home, and how it can detract from the beauty of a space. Some ask, “Is it best to do away with them all together?” The short answer? No. But let’s take a slightly closer look into why these types of items have a way of dating a space in the first place. Our parents and grandparents lived in a different time, and rules of design and decor were quite different. A lot of them bought knick knacks, put them on a shelf, and never discarded and re-bought them. The types of trinkets they were buying weren’t the ones we see in common discount stores today. Many of them were expensive and extremely well made. They spent a significant amount of money on them, which makes it easy to see why they’d keep them for so long. It was an era where you bought one house, one set of furniture for each room, and you kept it until the kids were grown. Today, interior design is much more transient. Retail outlets are following the trends and making it much easier for consumers to find what they want at prices that don’t require a lifelong commitment. If you like knick-knacky things and you fall in love with something in Ikea, you can purchase it knowing that when the trend tide changes, it will get replaced with something more fitting.
Here’s the takeaway: Align your decisions with your budget. If you’re itching to buy tchotchkes that are extremely trendy, don’t spend more than what will feel uncomfortable to replace in three years. After that amount of time, they’re probably going to look outdated.
The Infamous (& Unorganized) Wall ‘O’ Shame
We’ve all seen it. The room you walk in and your eye is immediately drawn to a wall completely covered in photos from every decade. There’s no rhyme or reason, and there are probably way too many. Frames are mismatched, and some are hung a bit crookedly. At best, it just feels messy. Let’s be clear: if you’re reading this blog, you know I’m an absolute lover of photos. I’m always taking them and finding cool things to do with the images. There’s nothing wrong with a wall of photographs; it’s all in how it’s executed. The first thing to do is think about arrangement. Consider a gorgeous gallery wall in a space that can be visually appreciated. Purchase frames that match or coordinate with one another. Framing used to be highly expensive, but today you can buy them at bargain prices, and they often come with their own mat. Do you adore that old photo of grandpa from WWII? You can keep it; just enlarge it to go along with the other photos, and have it framed nicely. The images don’t have to be new, just freshen up their presentation and sort them neatly on your wall in a way that is aesthetically pleasing. The difference in results will amaze you.
Admit it. We have all owned fake flowers at one point or another. You get bonus points if you’ve arranged your own in a vase with that goop that doubles as “fake water.” One way to risk seriously dating your space is with fake flowers done poorly. It may come as a surprise to readers that I do NOT shun faux plants and flowers altogether. There’s an art to it, and we’re going to tackle it! I’m a mom of two, and I don’t always do a great job of keeping flowers and plants alive; yet, my spaces need a little green life to them. In these instances, I opt for beautiful plants that don’t actually look fake. Palm trees are perfect for the person without a green thumb because their leaves naturally look a bit waxy. That means a fake version won’t appear too different from a real one! Be sure to keep it dusted if you want to keep up the facade! Another plant to consider is an orchid. Real orchids are sometimes a challenge to keep alive due to their finicky watering preferences; but the bright side is that they already look a bit perfect and fake, so again, a faux one will fool visitors! A great trick to incorporate is to sort of mess up the roots when you buy a fake one. It adds a more authentic look.
Getting trapped in a time warp is easy to do, but your beautiful home will eventually begin to show its age if you accumulate keepsake items that are strewn to and fro. A room will feel a bit like a museum that houses artifacts without a bit of rejuvenation from time to time. Don’t let it overwhelm you. Remember, sometimes it’s better to trash aging knick knacks than to buy new candles! Make an impact with your decor. Keep trendy purchases within your budget, and freshen up old designs. Your space will never look dated if you can manage these tasks every now and then!