home ownership

Design star lessons you can actually live with

couch pillowsI’m a huge HGTV fan and love reading magazines like HGTV Magazine, Better Homes & Gardens, you name it. And while I do sometimes get some unrealistic ideas from them (I still have yet to reupholster that garage sale rocking chair I was so excited about when I bought it), for the most part, I’ve learned some surprisingly down to earth tips from the designers on these shows and in these magazines that are totally doable.

Some of my favorite design lessons you can actually live with?

Mixing Is Good

Old and new…high and low…patterns and textures. I used to think that “style” meant having everything all matchy-matchy and following one specific “look” (traditional, contemporary, etc.).

But some of the coolest rooms I’ve seen by the pros are the ones that don’t have any one style but are a mixmash of several different things. Vintage pieces and world travel finds combined with modern line furniture. Rough earthy fabrics combined with super feminine patterns. It gives a room a real personality and makes it totally one of a kind.

Decorate Over Time

Especially as a new homeowner, you want to get everything “just so” in time for your first house party and think that means your decorating is done. But real decorating evolves over time…you add a piece here, take out a piece there, move this item from one room to another.

Our lives don’t stay frozen in time, so our homes shouldn’t, either. They should grow with us. I’ve changed up parts of our home a dozen times since we first moved in, and every time I change something, I like it even better.

“Lived In” is OK

I am so guilty of the “make it looks like it does in a magazine” fantasy. I like to have all the pillows on my sofa lined up just so. I’d prefer the countertop never have any dirty dishes or mail on it and the furniture never have any scratches or scuffs. (Part of that is my neat freak OCD, hahaha.)

But so many designers lately are saying how important it is that a house look lived in. The Hubby and I still have a lot of hand-me-down furniture from relatives because we just didn’t have the money when we moved in to buy all new stuff…and we’ve made it work for us. Our living room may never look like a show room, but it looks comfortable and cozy and homey…and that’s what I really want to come home to at the end of the day, not a “perfect” generic show room

What about you? What design rules do you like because you can actually live with them? (And which do you think are ridiculous?) 🙂





photo credit: ooh_food

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