Tuesday, October 30, 2018

8 Decorating Tips From a Gal Who Loves Color and Simplicity

I wanted to share a few tips on how I decorate my home and few ''rules'' that I've implemented to keep things minimal and tasteful. This post is a little long because there is no process that I follow. When I'm getting ready to decorate a room I like to start with a clean slate and make what I call my ''pile of things'' that I have in mind for that space. I then just start decorating from my pile. Sometimes I add things, sometimes I take things away- I just put the room together in a way that makes me happy and tweek it until I think it's perfect.

First things first...
1. Detach and de-clutter!! 
If you know me, you had to know I was going to lead with this. You can't make a cluttered, messy house look good no matter how much decorating you do. In fact, decorating a cluttered space is only going to make it more cluttered. I could do a whole separate post on de-cluttering and organizing. This is a process. Detaching yourself mentally and emotionally from your junk takes a while but once you start, you will be so glad you did. Start in your closets, drawers, shelves, etc. If you have not used an item in the past year and you do not love it- donate it! Invest in bins, boxes, baskets. Spend a little extra on decorative storage options, when needed. Remember you do not have to display everything you own all at once. Keep a couple of bins in a closet somewhere with items that you do not want to part with. You can swap things out seasonally or as you see fit. And y'all... clear off the front of your refrigerator. It will make a difference, I promise.

Do not own anything that you find not to be useful or beautiful. 
Personally, I prefer useful AND beautiful.

2. Keep a neutral shell.
Don't get me wrong- I love color. In fact, I need color in my life. But for larger ''commitment'' pieces, I like to keep it neutral and practical. For example, I'd never choose a patterned sectional or sofa. That is just way too much commitment. In my living room I chose a very neutral grey for the wall color and a grey/blue for my sectional. Sounds boring, I know.. but I've added color with my useful and/or beautiful decor items (blankets, pillows, famed art, etc.)

Of course there are always exceptions with paint. In our Kensington House, I painted the living room a neutral grey and the dining room a soft sage green. I then installed a grey subway tile back splash in the kitchen and plenty of green accents throughout the living room to tie it all together.

3. Bold is beautiful when paired with neutrals.
If I'm going to use a bolder color on a wall it's going to be in a smaller room (bathroom, laundry, bedroom) however, I wouldn't go bold in ALL of my smaller rooms and you want to make sure whatever color you chose blends with the rest of the house. When I use color, I basically do the opposite from my larger rooms by putting the color on the walls paired with neutral useful and/or beautiful decor. For example, in the master bathroom we just finished I used a beautiful blue/green on the walls paired with white and brown throughout. I have very little color in that room other than the wall color. You do not need to have blue walls, blue towels, blue soap holder, blue shower curtain. 

4. All the things white.
This sounds scary at first but trust me on this one. Most of my secondary anchor pieces are white. I have 3 dogs and a baby on the way and I stand by this! I have white bedding (sheets, pillows, bed skirt), white towels and wash clothes, white shower curtains (always), white curtains and/or blinds, even white rugs in low traffic areas.

Why we made the switch: The same reason hotels use white linens.. Simplicity and sanitation! It looks better and in my opinion is more sanitary. I love freshly bleached towels and bed sheets!

Imagine having all of those things named above in a different color or pattern for every room. That's a lot! Some people can pull off a multitude of patterns in one home- or even one room very very well. I can not. So I go with white and it works for me and my style.

5. Decorate with things you love
Do you know what I hate almost as much as clutter? Store bought everything. Y'all. Donate that stuff and display things that mean something. Things that came from somewhere with a story. Family heirlooms, souvenirs, etc. Display the things you love instead of packing them away in boxes.

Pictured below, I have one of my Grandmother's oil paintings and hooks from World Market mounted to a piece of ship lap siding from my cousin's house in Alabama.

We all have things that make our hearts pitter-patter. I recently unpacked and washed a couple of old quilts that were passed down from my great grandparents. I love the way they look thrown over the back of a chair and guess what- we use them, too! I also have a rather large collection of my grandmother's paintings that I pull from and rotate around the house- so store bought wall decor is minimal in my house. I also have a plethora of WHITE milk glass vases that I used in our wedding. I love old jars and crates and baskets. I find all of these things to be useful and/or beautiful.

6. Decorate with things you use. 
Earlier I said to invest in decorative storage options. Consider this- next time you're out shopping for a room, instead of buying trinkets and wall art and things of the such, buy clear jars/ canisters/ dispensers (IKEA is the best place I have found for this! They have so many options and sizes!). Take them home and put things from your room in them and display them. Think outside of the box on this one. Literally take your stuff out of the box it came in and put it in a canister.

Here are some everyday household items that I decorate with AND USE:

-Rice and noodles, y'all. Put them in a clear decorative mason jar and you've got instant neutral counter decor that is useful and beautiful!
-Q-tips and cotton balls in clear jars make white bathroom decor that's useful and beautiful! 
-Your bars of soap put in a clear jar. Put that crap on a shelf. Useful and beautiful! 
-As you can see below, I even ''display'' our toilet paper. It's a bathroom for Heaven's sake... I don't see the point in taking up a bunch of space in a closet when I can put it right there by the toilet... and BONUS! it's white and useful.
-Our white towels are rolled up in a basket beside the tub- beautiful and useful.

I personally will splurge on decorative bars of soaps for my bathrooms and here's something that's a foreign idea to most- I use my pretty soaps! Tuesday Morning is my go-to place for beautiful (and affordable) soaps that smell amazing.

You also will not catch me with a Dawn Dish Soap bottle on my kitchen counter. Or a Softsoap bottle on my bathroom sink. I bought decorative soap dispensers at Target and use them for all of my soaps- including bubble bath! If you're not into the idea of spending money on pretty soaps or pretty soap dispensers, consider this.. a pack of Dove soap bars is $3. Buy them in white or whatever color matches your bathroom. Or don't buy the blue Dawn Dish Soap, buy the one that's a pretty pearl color. Start thinking about the things you buy differently and you can make average everyday things that we need and use look great- or better. I even try to buy shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, etc that matches my bathroom! Yes. I'm a bit OCD.

It's all in the details, folks. 

7. Keep your collections together
If you have collections, keep them together. You do not have to have a globe in every corner of the house. You do not have to have pillar candle holders on every surface. Jars, vases, books.., you name it. Whatever it is that you have a lot of- find a place and put them all there together. It will probably look really cool (ex: see my perfumes pictured above on my medicine cabinet shelf.. beautiful and useful!)

8. Incorporate house plants 
My last bit of advice would be to incorporate house plants into every room. I have a mixture of fake and real house plants but I'm very picky about the fake plants that I bring in. Also a BONUS to having real house plants is that you can choose plants that will purify the air and remove allergens! 

Ok ladies and gents! That's all I've got for ya for now! 
Thanks for reading!


  1. I do the same with the soap. Love all your info!!

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