January 15, 2012

Simplify Your Life Series: What Meets the Eye

If you're looking to simplify a little bit of your life or achieve a major overhaul then join me for our ten part series as we work along side Country Living's Simple Country Wisdom: 501 Old-Fashioned Ideas to Simplify Your Life by Susan Waggoner.  I touch base on a few points in each chapter, expound upon them and share some of my own tips.  Grab your favorite cuppa and join along!  (Start at the beginning HERE.)

The Home That Welcomes
What Meets the Eye

The easiest, quickest, and least expensive way to perk up our home's decor is with paint!  The hardest part is choosing your colors!  I am the worst at picking paint colors.  I see something in a magazine and think it would look good in my home then I second guess my decision over and over.  A good trick is to buy a small can of the colors you are debating, paint them on a large piece of cardboard (after priming) then hold it up around different areas of your room.  

The author suggests (and we do this, too) to buy metal paint trays.  They are durable and you can purchase inexpensive plastic liners that are disposable so clean up is a cinch!  

With that cardboard piece you painted write the manufacturer, paint number, and name of the shade on it.  Take the swatch with you when you go shopping for accessories to be sure they will coordinate.  

If you have left over paint store it in a baby food or small mayonnaise jar for touch ups and ditch the rest.  After all, if you need more than that to touch up you will have to buy a new can anyway.  Just be sure to label the jar with manufacturing information and as to which room the paint belongs.  Use a cotton swab to touch up a scratch or blemish on the wall.  

Decorating. It's my favorite part to a room makeover!  I wholeheartedly agree with the author when she says that "it's best to stick with a style you love, whether it's English cottage, mid-century modern, or farmhouse style, leave the trend setting to others.  Your personal style will always be classic for you, and the only reason you'll end up with green shag is because you love it."

Keep a folder or notebook of ideas you like.  I do this for home decor as well as items I might like to craft some day.  If you see a room you really love, copy it!  I am such a copy cat decorator and crafter!  If I see something I like I figure out how I can do it, and it's often a fraction of the cost!  In your notebook of ideas keep copies of receipts of major furniture purchases, care labels, paint swatches, etc. Anything you need to remember about how and what you decorated with.

Make things you love part of your decor.  What fun is it to collect vintage quilts and toys if you're just going to squirrel them away and not enjoy them?  

If you haven't found the major piece of art work to put above the sofa then do what I do and make a grouping of smaller, thematically related pictures and items.  Above our sofa I have two 10x13 pictures, three 5x7 pictures (all in black frames) along with some black wrought iron word art.  Simple!  

Dress your rooms for the seasons! Spring and summer call for lighter curtains, brighter pillows, slipcovers and throws.  Fall and winter call for thicker curtains, warm cuddly pillows, and heavy quilts.  Don't forget to pack away any decor that's out of season so your home isn't cluttered.

Try growing a few potted plants inside.  Arrange them in baskets and containers deep enough to conceal the pots. I have to confess that even though I can grow all sorts of things outside I have an indoor brown thumb.  All I can seem to manage is keeping a vase of flowers alive.  Let me know how you do with that! *smile*

Don't forget the senses!  Burn high-quality scented candles to sweeten the smell of your home.  If you don't like to burn candles you can melt potpourri tarts in a burner (my Hubby makes one that I sell HERE). Make your own potpourri by adding citrus rinds, apple peels, and cinnamon sticks!  Or soak cotton balls in concentrated extracts such as vanilla, lemon, or orange (Be sure to keep them out of reach of pets and children!).

Want to learn more about how to paint, how to stage a room (something not just for resale value), or getting a guest room ready?  Hop on over to my Amazon store and purchase HERE.

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Join me in the coming weeks as we unwrap the present that is our lives.  The next step in our series is cleaning our homes.  Please share this series by placing the button in the side bar of your blog or share on Facebook by clicking the button at the very bottom of this post.

* photos courtesy of Country Living

This post is part of the Homestead Barn Hop.


Pam said...

I love that book! It is full of so many wonderful ideas.

Ann at eightacresofeden said...

We chose to paint our all the walls, doors and windows throughout our home the same shade - Dulux antique white USA. We also have white tiles throughout but the overhead beams are sage green. In such a warm climate it does make the house cooler and it is very light and airy. It is a great blank canvas especially for our timber furniture. I need to find something for the wall above our sofa in the formal living room that was renovated a year or so ago but I am waiting until I find the right wall lights and then I will choose wall decor to coordinate. I love pinterest for organizing my ideas.
BTW sold some of our stuff at the garage sale and donated the rest to the charity shop. Would you believe a lady at my husband's work gave him a big box of toys the day before - most of it went in the garage sale. I am cleaning and organizing the office/library today.

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