The Secrets to Decorating

Learn how to decorate with knick-knacks

Decorating :: To make (something) look more attractive by adding extra items or images to it.

It can be such a hassle or the best thing in the world! We have been in our home eight months and we finally can say one room is finished: our living room. And boy could I not be more excited!! It’s the first room you see when you enter the home and just makes everything so much more inviting and uplifting. Today I’m going to share with you some of the secrets I learned through this process of making a room feel complete.

First, you need to find items to decorate with.

Start with a clean slate.
I like to always start with a clean slate and then choose some pop pieces that I know I want to incorporate. If possible completely clean out the room and start fresh. This is what we had to start with after building our built so we didn’t have much to clear out.

Decide what feel and mood you want in the new space. A great way to do this is dedicate a Pinterest board to your new space and go all out. Here’s an example of a board dedicated to mr g’s future office. It’s a joint board so we both can pin things we love for the office and once we’re ready to find furniture to fit the space and decorate, we’ll have a great idea of where to start. For example, if you’re redecorating your living room, search for living rooms and anything that gives you butterflies, pin it. Only pin the ones that make you crazy though. The head over heels in love rooms. Once you have a good collection, decide what similarities the rooms have and if that fits the style you’re going for in your new space. From there decide the overarching theme and this will be your style type for the room. Now, this doesn’t have to be a technical phrase, it just needs to mean something to you. For our living room we went with modern with a vintage flair. Now everything you purchase, make, or bring in to this new space must fit in that category.

Now becomes the fun part of finding items to decorate your new space. 

Be patient.
Don’t rush finding the perfect thing to fit in the corner in front of the lamp. Or whatever it is you’re decorating. I’ve learned that the perfect item will jump out at you at the perfect time and you’ll know that it belongs in your space. Just be patient!
Become best friends with the clearance section.
Over the last few months, I’ve been in Goodwill more times than ever before. But boy have I learned how to find a good find. Don’t be afraid to frequent your favorite stores. Every time I pass Target, Ross, JoAnn’s, or Michael’s, I’ll stop in and check their clearance section. You can find some pretty great things just be frequenting the clearance aisle and therefore knowing what the good deals are. For example, my Target puts Home Decor items on clearance on Tuesdays. For large furniture, check Goodwill Sunday or Monday early morning right when they open. By frequenting these places, you’ll learn their discount patterns and when something is a good deal or not.

Don’t be afraid to change brand new items.
Half of the items bought from the store I had plans to change even before they made it home. If something doesn’t match just right but it is an awesome deal and you love the bones of the object, can you change it? Then get it. It’s like buying a house. You need to look beyond the finishing touches and get to the structure of the home. With a little diy and TLC, can this item be awesome?! Can you do it within your scope of greatness? Is it a fantastic deal? Does it meet your room theme and style? Then buy it and have at it!! I know my biggest battle is always why would I buy something if I know it isn’t perfect just to take it home and change it right away? But that’s a lot of the fun in finding knick-knacks and decorating. I buy things straight from the store and imagine what their greatest potential is and make it even more great!

Shop your home. 
You’d be surprised at what you find that you already have that fits your room theme. Wander the rooms of your home and maybe ask your husband or kids to do the same thing. If a piece fits the style of your new room think about which space does it fit better? If it fits the new space, borrow it for now and decide you can always give it back to the old room later if it’s really missed…more than likely it won’t be or you’ll find something else in the old space to take its place. 
Create triangles of similarity.

Once you have found an assortment of knick-knacks that have the ‘WOW’ factor or things you just really love, gather them all together and go to town. Having pinterested and diy’ed for years now, I have read my fair share of “how to decorate” articles. The one thing that has always stuck though, is how much the rule of threes is important. This translates into decorating as well. If you have three similar things creating a triangle(ish) shape, it should look pleasing and wonderful to the eye. Of course, there are always exceptions, but it is a good place to start.

As you can see above, the blue line shows three white objects. Red line connects the three animal figurines. Pink line connects three circle shapes. And the green line connects the three green items.

Start by placing similar items in a triangle type shape on your shelves. As you can see, triangle is a loose term but you get the idea. The triangles help provide a base for the eye to focus on and gives it the strength to carry other items that don’t necessarily fit in with the rule of three but are awesome so you couldn’t pass it up.

Most importantly, just don’t give up and keep doing what makes you (and your family) happy. I’m sure whatever you come up with will look awesome!

The Breakdown
For those that want the details, here’s the breakdown of what’s on these shelves.

Small clock – Ross 3.99
Hardback books – mainly from Goodwill, some from shopping my home
Lamp base – One of the many bonuses of working at a retirement community is that on occasion residents leave belongings when they move out (or family leaves it when they pass away) so we auction off items or take them to Goodwill. Some items though staff can go through and take what they want. I snagged this antique lamp last week and then bought a more modern shade.
Lamp shade – Goodwill 2.99
Ampersand – Ross 9.99
Giraffe – Ross 9.99
Column – Goodwill 2.99
Star mirror – Goodwill 2.99
Owl – Ross 9.99
Tall Clock – Goodwill 9.99 at 50% off
Lantern – Ross 7.99
Bird – Target clearance 6.50
Twine G – Cardboard form from JoAnn’s, $1.99 and then spent an evening with twine from my stash and hot glue gun
Twine Balls – Made with twine, glue mixture, and a balloon a few years ago, spray painted to match

Learn how to decorate with knick-knacks

I’m so excited to share with you our full living room makeover so stay tuned for all the details coming later next week! 

{Update: See the fence board sign reveal here.}

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