January 18, 2011

Rotating your decor

I like moving things around.  I rotate furniture placement, lamps, and accessories.  I hang a lot of artwork with sticky strips so I can move it quickly without leaving holes in the walls.  If you are in the mood to decorate but don't want to spend a lot of money, moving things around can be the way to go.  These are the steps I use when rotating items:

Take some time to evaluate what you have.  To come up with new uses for what you already own, it helps to see items out of their current setting.  You can do this by grouping together similar items.  Make a pile of picture frames, put all the lamps on a table together, line up your throw pillows on the couch, etc.  Once you have removed an item from its current room, it's easier to envision it working in a different setting.  Another option is to take pictures of your possessions.  Walk around the house and snap photographs of everything that could move.  Then you can walk around the house and flick back through the pictures on your camera to see if anything you shot might have a new place in the room you're working on.

Before you start shoving the couch across the room, you may want to pull out a measuring tape and see whether the item you're thinking of moving will actually fit where you're envisioning it.  The same thing goes for accessories.  Measure your wall space and then see what frames you have that will fit there; check the height of your current lamps, and if they seem too short or tall, try to find a replacement in another room.

Once you have an idea of what is available and the measurements to know where it would work in your home, then you can start the fun part: "shopping" your own possessions!  Choose whether to 1) use an item in a new place, 2) store it for a later use, or 3) return it to its original setting.  (And while you're at it, now is a good time to pull out the dusting cloth and get everything clean!)  Having things grouped together by categories can also help you see similarities in what you own.  You may see several items that are the same color or finish, for instance.  Most items look better displayed as a grouping or collection, so instead of splitting up a group of like objects, consider displaying them together.  Put all the framed family photos together on one table in the living room, or arrange all your white accessories amongst books on a set of shelves.

A few other suggestions for rotating items in your house:

It helps if you have a cohesive color scheme for your house.  You don't have to use the same colors in every room, but you probably don't want to have one pink room, one neutral room, one green room, etc.  For example, if you have a lot of red in the dining room, using a couple red accessories in an adjoining living room will help tie the two spaces together.

Don't feel like you need to display everything you own at the same time.  Rotate your family photos and artwork, or change out accent pillows occasionally.  Move houseplants around based on how lighting conditions change with the seasons.

Think of how furniture could serve a different purpose in another room.  A small table could be used beside an armchair in the living room to hold a lamp, but in a corner of the sunroom it could be great for plants.  A beat up bookshelf, with a new coat of paint, could be perfect for a storing toys in a playroom, shoes in a closet, or backpacks and phone chargers in a mudroom.

{The white dresser in this picture served as a changing table and baby clothes storage in our old house, but it could easily hold table linens and serving pieces in a dining room or board games and DVDs in a family room}

Here is how I repurposed one set of items:

In our previous house, we had a set of three black-and-white prints in matching brushed silver frames.  When we moved, we changed color schemes, furniture, and room sizes, so I sold the prints in a garage sale and decided to split up the frames.

I used one of them to frame a photograph I had purchased in Israel (after I had a mat cut to fit the photo).

Then I used the other two in our son's room.  I made a simple "mat" out of posterboard and slipped in a couple of his drawings.

I am always moving things around in our house, trying to come up with a more functional room layout or even just a fresh color scheme.  Please tell me that I'm not the only one...  :)

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