Ask A Woman: I roar, you roar, we all roar for nice decor!
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It’s January, the month that lasts F-O-R-E-V-E-R. I like using these bleak winter months to reimagine my living space–what could be neater, better organized, and more attractive? To assist you in doing the same, I’ve been sharing tips and tricks for making the most of a modest living situation (though truly, these ideas could work for anyone). In part one, we discussed the virtues of being thrifty, painting accent walls, using functional decor, and hiding unsightly electrical cords. Back with part two, I hope you’ll find these hints helpful:
1. Reuse items.
This trick allows you to decorate cheaply and add unique, personal touches to your home. My favorite tea is Harney & Sons. It comes in beautiful tins that I just hate to throw out, first because it’s wasteful, second because the tins are quite lovely. I started saving them and using them as containers for office items that aren’t so pretty. Binder clips, rubber bands, pens and pencils. The tins look great in a drawer, in a cupboard or on a lonely shelf. What else can you reuse in your home? An empty, washed wine or liquor bottle with the label removed makes a minimalist vase for a single flower.
2. Let an eclectic look work for you.
If you have a modest abode, you can’t afford to point to the Pottery Barn catalog, page 23, and say, “I’ll take all of that.” That is, two sofas and an armchair all upholstered in matching fabric, and a couple of coffee tables in the same style, with some accent vases and a perfectly paired floor lamp. A budget requires that you take your time acquiring furniture and decor, so it’s not going to match perfectly. But I prefer that look, regardless of budget. For instance, a mid-century navy blue loveseat you found at an estate sale paired with new light grey patterned pillows from Target next to a dark grey couch originally from Ikea that you bought off Craigslist, plus a mustard accent wall behind it all. Use colors and styles that complement each other instead of perfectly matching each other. (Photo credit courtesy of Houzz.com, my favorite place for decorating inspiration.)
3. Use cubbies.
We were on to something in kindergarten. Cubbies are practical for organization, they have an interesting minimalist aesthetic, and they’re cheap ’cause they’re, well, cubbies. Use them in your living room as bookcases. Use them in your closet to stack jeans and other foldables. These tend to be items that people are getting rid of on Craigslist and at rummage sales, so you can get them for a fraction of their already cheap cost (bonus, they’re easy to clean and repaint, if necessary).
4. Control your shoes.
Last time I showed you the insanity that lurked behind my TV–cords run amok. This time I share the shameful pile o’ shoes that is my front closet (I don’t know why I’m using this column to embarrass myself). This looks awful. Thankfully it’s in a small corner of my decently sized house, but if it were in a 650 square foot apartment, it would probably stand out even more. Like cords, shoes lend themselves to disorder. Keep them contained in racks or shelves. Better for your sanity.
Got something brewing in your life? Send me an email–style, etiquette, relationships–I answer it all: firstname.lastname@example.org