Home Makeover

Maybe it’s the winter blahs but I’m at that time of the year where I hate every single thing about my house.  Every. Single. Thing.

I think it’s because it all looks so lovely when it’s decorated for the holidays.  But the snowmen that took the place of the Christmas decorations just aren’t cutting it for me this year.  I’m tired of them.  I’m tired of winter.  I’m tired of having no ideas for how to make things look better than they do.  Because, truthfully, I just do not have the decorating eye.

It’s a real thing.  Some people are able to visualize rooms in their minds.  They ‘see’ light and color and how things blend.  These are not people who cock their head doubtfully at a color swatch and a piece of carpet and ask, “Do these even match?”  They don’t have to ask.  They already know.  And they definitely are not people who spend months poring over wallpaper samples only to see two strips on the wall and say, “Take it down.  I hate it.”

It’s important to know one’s strengths, I always say.  I’m good at juggling fourteen schedules at once and fulfilling multiple obligations simultaneously.  I’m a decent cook (my favorite meal is appetizers!) and I am creative when it comes to dreaming up murderous suspense plots.  But I don’t have a creative home decorating bone in my body.

It’s sad when I have to come home after the cleaning lady has been there and see where she has moved things and tilt my head, before saying, “Huh.  Yep, it does look better there!”

I’ve got part of the knack down…the buying part 🙂  I am perfectly able to pick out things I like, things that will look good in my house.  But tying a room all together…paint, pillows, curtains, knickknacks, wall hangings…not so much.  There always seems to be something missing.  I need to be able to sign up for a service where the designers come and know exactly what look I’m going for (they’d arrive at this information intuitively since I’m unable to articulate it) and then they’d pinpoint exactly what the room is missing, show me books with lovely samples of each from which I can choose, and then they’d order it and put it all together for me since I really don’t like that part either.  Basically I need someone to just come in an do my house in my taste, one room at a time.

Is that so much to ask?

You’re probably going to tell me that these services do indeed exist for people who don’t live in the boonies.  Sigh.  But unless they make boonies house calls, I’m still gonna be out scrolling through new ideas for sprucing up the place, one piece at at a time.

Do you have the ‘eye’ or are you as adrift as I am when it comes to whipping up a new look for your home?  What’s your favorite place to get home decorating ideas?

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28 Responses to Home Makeover

  1. TrishJ says:

    I live in hodge podge city. I like this, I buy it — does it match everything else I have — um maybe I can make it work. Sigh, I guess I can live with it. Good luck with your project.

  2. kylie brant says:

    Hodge podge city…Love it, Trish! My house is full of things I like but don’t quite tie in. Then I go to my daughter-in-law’s houses and see all these cute ideas and feel inferior 🙂 Of course they can run down to several malls anytime they need something. Maybe I should just hire them 🙂

  3. The rooms in my house do not “match.” My dining room is totally oriental in the wall hanging, lamp, nick-nacks. The rest of my house is whatever I had
    BUT I want SO BAD to redo my house from top to bottom and side to side…knock out walls, rip up carpet, replace the tile with hardwood, etc. The only problem is the necessary $$$ to do it. Don’t have and doubt I ever will.
    I just HAVE to stop watching all those redesign shows that make me drool with envy.

    • kylie brant says:

      Cynthia, I know, $$$$! That is what is preventing me from getting that new kitchen I so desperately need. Redoing it will cost about a quarter of what the house is worth!

  4. I am constantly changing something in my house. I like to think of it as evolving. After all, it’s about the journey, right? The big makeovers only occur once every few years. In fact we’ve just begun one. My beautiful blue/grape walls with white and deep red accents must change. No eye-rolling or other negative judgments on the color. It may be something you have to see, but it truly is a beautiful and striking combination. So why blue/grape? What was my inspiration? Movies. Nanny McPhee to be exact.

    It’s not that I try to recreate all the aspects in a movie, but something will catch my eye – in this case the color of the interior of the house – and I go with it. I don’t change my core pieces like furniture, although I’ve been known to slap a color or two on some wooden articles to help tie in the new look. Texturing and faux finishes open up a world of possibilities too.

    Movies are great for ideas in creating atmosphere. Even action thrillers can be an inspiration, especially if they’re in exotic places. I prefer movies with quirky characters though. Their choices of surroundings are far more interesting to me. Remember the movie Casper with Christina Ricci? Loved that house. Loved all the curves and color combinations. Loved all the hidden rooms, but that’s another story!

    I keep a folder and a sketch book. When I see something I love, I sketch it and make notes. Most of the things I write down will never see the light of day in my house and that’s okay. Just like with writing, those first steps on the journey may not make it to the final cut, but they were necessary in getting to that next destination and particularly stunning decor.

    • kylie brant says:

      Machelle, no eye rolling here! I admire people who use deep vibrant colors in their homes. I think I’m sort of afraid of color…like I know I won’t be able to tie everything in. But I love it. Last year I went clear out on a limb and had one wall in a bedroom painted navy blue to match the carpet 🙂 That was a real stretch for me. I like it better than anyone else does but hey, at least it isn’t beige!

      • Yea Kylie! Take another step. “Go Kylie, Go Kylie” The beauty of color is that as long as the tonal quality is similar, most any color works together. Just take a look outside and see the colors Mother Nature uses together.

  5. Leanne says:

    Kylie, the decorating thing really isn’t my area. Plus, I’m not really that interested in it. We got professional assistance with two rooms of our house, and I’m pleased with those two rooms. So pleased I want to nail the furniture to the floor and have recovered the sofa in the same material so we don’t have to change custom window-coverings, etc…:) Good luck!:)

    • kylie brant says:

      I hear ya, Leanne. One couch I had for 11 years. It was a flexsteel and lasted for ever. I *still* look for one exactly like it whenever we’re furniture shopping. When I have something I like I want to keep it forever.

  6. michelehauf says:

    I buy what I like. Nothing matches in my house. My walls are pink and purple, and no furniture belongs to a ‘set’. I would love to have a picture-perfect decor, but I think I’m better off being amongst things that make me happy. Yes, even that boat of a big brown couch is comfy, and I don’t mind it too terribly much.

    • kylie brant says:

      Michele, how I wish I’d gone for comfy on the last couch instead of something I thought would match so well. I’ve hated the thing since we bought it! And it’s not comfortable at all. Thank goodness for my chaise lounge.

  7. loisgreiman says:

    I can’t seem to find time to care, but when I do I enjoy putting things together. And don’t let Hauf fool you. She has an adorable house.

    Kylie, it might be worth knocking out a few walls if you can get the guy in the picture. 🙂

  8. kylie brant says:

    LOL, Lois 🙂 He can just hang out at my place with his, er, hammer 🙂

  9. Cindy Gerard says:

    I hear you Kylie. I vacillate for months before I finally decide on colors or art work or furniture. Then I’m CERTAIN it’s just right when I finally buy it. Only trouble is, when I get it all together it doesn’t look anything like I’d hoped.

    • kylie brant says:

      I’m with you, Cindy. I like the individual pieces I pick out. I just feel like there should be *something* that ties it all together. I recognize it when I see it all linked in someone else’s house. Just can’t come up with it on my own!

  10. christieridgway says:

    Kylie: I think decorating takes a lot of the same energy as writing (think about it, we decorate everything in our stories!) so when I’m working on a home project I usually have to do that exclusively. Deadlines make that hard!

    I want to remodel my kitchen/fam room/dining room. My b-i-l who is into home building is always offering up ideas. I have a friends who’s an interior decorator. But Surfer Guy would prefer things to stay the way they are, as would Son1 and Son2, so no help there. I think it’s going to be a slow process of being looking through magazines and finally coming up with a vision.

    • kylie brant says:

      You are sooo right Christie–men are no help 🙂 My dh is actually an impediment. They don’t want anything to change. You wouldn’t believe the arguing it took to convince my husband that yes, 20 years was plenty long for a shelf to hang on the wall and putting a picture there instead was going to be ok. Really. Of course he’s fine with it when it’s done but how can just hanging a picture be such a major? And forget about asking for opinions, LOL. If I do…he gives one. And it’s the opposite of the direction I’m going!

  11. Like you Kylie, I do not have the decorating gene. My mother does so every so often I bite the bullet and ask for help. Some how she takes what I have, moves it around and it looks 100% better, sigh. He does fight me on my horses, dogs and cowboy art but after 50 years she is coming to accept it! LOL


    • kylie brant says:

      Lucky you, Diana 🙂 At least you have a place to go for help! I think I inherited my lack of decorating genes from my mom. And when she was alive she just did not understand where I got my love for antiques. She kept thinking I’d outgrow it, LOL. I never did.

  12. Pam Stack says:

    I’m fairly good at pulling together a “look”. I get lots of compliments on my home. I used the 4 seasons as my inspiration! It works….. 🙂

  13. Oh, my. I am so eclectic it’s pathetic. I want meaningful stuff around me. Meaningful stuff doesn’t match anything. I want furniture that’s sturdy and comfortable. Easy care fabrics, simple lines, wood, leather, earthy colors. But I also like old stuff. Vintage stuff. Shabby chic, accent on the shabby. I like to imagine where it started out and with whom.

    I have no eye for style, so a few years back when I had some money to play with (or thought I did) we knocked out a wall and redid the family room. Since I was buying all new furniture, Dayton’s (Macy’s today, who knows what tomorrow) furnished me with a professional decorator. She had some good ideas, but I balked at spending $300 on a throw pillow and using her highest-end brand of paint when the painter we hired assured us it wasn’t necessary. What’s interesting to me now is that the things I like best about the room are the things I chose–like the colors and the old slag glass lamps. We kept the prints we love and the artifacts I could tell decorator lady didn’t care for. It’s a comfortable room, but the sofa didn’t hold up well. Special order fabric we waited months for is a loose weave–threads have pulled in places.

    Interesting experience. Grist for the story mill.

    • kylie brant says:

      Kathy, buying furniture…blech 😦 After the wonderful flexsteel couch that lasted forever, I couldn’t find another one and ‘settled’. The new one snagged and pilled within six weeks and I discovered the warranty didn’t cover the material. I was not happy. So next couch I held out for a flexsteel again. But of course I couldn’t find the one I liked in the material I liked anywhere and ended up buying online. The couch is horribly uncomfortable 😦 Yet another expensive lesson learned. It’s just hard for me to find things I really like enough to spend that kind of money on them.

  14. Love the blog today. Every time I paint, I bring home a basketful of color chips. No matter what I put on the walls, the color looks totally different–even between night and day! The furniture pieces end up too big, too small, too light, too dark….I’m never happy with the result!

  15. kylie brant says:

    Rox, I love what you did with your place when you remodeled! I think it looks fabulous.

  16. NL Gassert says:

    Military spouse here. We rearrange the furniture ever three years or so 🙂 Once I had a kitchen I loved. There was so much space, I actually had empty cupboard space. Once we had French doors to the master bedroom and once we had an awesome bathroom. You get the idea. This time we have an oddly laid-out house and no carpet in the living room (but in the rest of the house). I don’t like buying purely decorative things – they’re the first to break in a move and take up space/weight. Two decades later, I can’t wait to get a place where I can paint the walls, not that the husband and I would EVER agree on the same color.

    • kylie brant says:

      NL, you have an even greater challenge–making a new place your own every few years. Whew. You’ve had a lot of practice it sounds like. I’ll bet you’re a master at packing by now, too!

  17. C.J. Miller says:

    I’m always impressed when I visit someone for the first time and their home looks ripped from the pages of Home and Garden magazine. My place? Not so much. Whenever I decorate, I buy one thing at a time, which can be tricky to find matching pierces to make the room look “put together.” Since having my son though, my favorite room accessory is a stack of toys. Bright colors and music makers. Fun!

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