Thursday, February 10, 2011

Decorating 101

Having a well appointed home is a dream most of us have.

I can remember back to my college days when I shared a house with a group of my friends and I would dream of the day when I had a home of my own.

In movies, a young couple will graduate from college, each get a high paying job, and then move into a beautifully decorated HUGE house.

Sadly that is not real life. In reality it takes many years to put together the home of your dreams. Unless you do so on credit, but I think we all know that living beyond our means in a slippery slope that we don't want to get on.

When I was 26 I left London and moved to the US. We did not sell our flat in London so needed to start from scratch when we got here. The best decision I made was that I didn't decorate for the life I had at the time, but for the life I wanted in the future. My reality at that time was that we were living in a two bedroom, two bathroom apartment, but I had dreams of living in a large house in a country club. I knew that as I got older I wanted to live in a home from the pages of Traditional Home magazine so that is how I made my design decisions.

As the years passed we gradually moved up the housing ladder. It took 8 years from the time we arrived here until we bought that dream home, and I have now lived in it for another 8 years. It does look like it stepped out of the pages of my favorite magazine, but I still have pieces from my apartment, along with pieces from my first two houses prior to owning this one.

My homes are my passion and my hobby. I feel that they reflect who I am, and I put as much care and effort into running them as I do raising my children, and believe me there is nothing more important to me than that job.

I enjoy sharing my finds with you, and I hope to introduce you to some things that you love, but when it comes to making your own dream home I hope that you build it from your heart.

My decorating 101 advice is to figure out what your dream home looks like and start building it piece by piece. If you don't yet know what your dream is then try looking around some model homes, or look at different design magazines. There are lots of different styles out there, but one will speak to you. Think of it as a hobby and a passion, and you'll be surprised where it takes you. Great design is not about how much you spend, but about how much you love the items around you.


  1. I recall doing this same thing when Hubby and I moved into base housing as newlyweds. I bought a Craftsman style dinner table that stretched out for a great big family or at least lots of friends and a towering china cabinet to fit in our little space. Now as it sits in an actually dining room it looks quite at home. We are not done though. Still in the process of finding the right home. Traditional Home really is a great magazine. I'm a Coastal Living addict. :0

  2. Oh me too! I had subscriptions to both of those for years, although once we decided to build at the lake instead of the beach then I didn't renew my subscription for Coastal Living. When I was building my bunk rooms, I was inspired by 3 sets of bunk beds from Coastal Living to come up with my design.
    I hope you are enjoying the process as much as I did. It is a fabulous feeling when you find each piece. I can't wait to see more pictures over the years.

  3. "Great design is not about how much you spend, but about how much you love the items around you"

    I really really like what you are saying and it is soooo true. You are very right, it's not the money that you spend on decor and accents or how you decorate your home, it's all about the decor items itself. Why would I add something to a room, only because it's expensive and impressive, if I actually do not really care for it? I have moved 4 times and my current home is my personal dream home. Nothing extravagant, just the home I like the best and I am not planning to move another time if I do not really have to.
    I always tried to make my home reflecting my own personality and style and never really orientated on what was just fashion and in. I'm a "Country Girl" and so it's not surprisingly, my home is decorated in a rustic style mixed with American country charm.

  4. Great advice. A slightly older friend advised me to buy everything with versatility in mind. An old blanket chest might be a coffee table in your first apartment and a great toy box in a child's room later.


The musings of a Town and Country friend...