Thursday, February 9, 2012

Help! I'm Having a Decorating Emergency!

When I told one of my dear cousins that I was no longer buying the short sale house because the bank counter-offered for 20% more than the original asking price, she was appalled.

"Why not?  You have the money... you're obviously not spending it on clothes."

Ouch.

Then, when my offer was accepted on the other house and I texted her, positively giddy with excitement, she wrote back, "Good.  For god's sake, hire a decorator."

Double ouch.  

(Side note:  my cousin isn't a TOTAL bitch.  She is actually just extremely funny and she knows I'm not sensitive). (I think).

So, I can't hire a decorator because I am not currently appearing on "Real Housewives of Suburban Chicago."  The problem is that I am moving from my 800 square foot condo into a five bedroom house.  Not only that, I am the anti-hoarder and my tiny condo wasn't exactly filled to the brim with furniture.


My mom used to say that she had seen hotel rooms with more personality than my condo.  Actually I don't think she said that, but let's go with it.  It sounds very "Mommy Dearest."

So, basically, I've bought some new furniture, but I still need help.  How did you guys furnish your houses/apartments/dorms?  Where did you get stuff like rugs, side tables, and fancy stuff to sit on surfaces and look homey?  How did you figure out what to hang on all the walls?  Did I miss the day in high school where people learned how to coordinate stuff?  I bet it was the same day you guys all learned the Electric Slide.  

(Side note: remember how sick you guys got of me talking about my stupid hip?  You haven't seen ANYTHING yet.  Welcome to House Blog 2012).

The good news is that there are a lot of built-ins in this new house, which makes it a little easier for me.



I just wish the old owners would leave every single stick of furniture and all of their decorating crap behind because I'm overwhelmed.

So in summary, please comment with websites, stores, tips, tricks, links, Pinterest boards, etc etc.  I would appreciate it very much.  I don't want to have to call HGTV and have them send over that one chick who hangs chandeliers in laundry rooms and throws glitter at walls.  My cousin would definitely not approve.

17 comments:

  1. Take pictures (or keep pictures) of previous owner's habitat. Talk to my lovely wife. Establish an aesthetic and stick to it. Our house has elements of zen style and industrial. Also think of each room as having its own palette. Our bathroom is white with charcoal grey and golden accents. Our bedroom is blues of various sorts and grey. Rachel and I can totally help. She's better at it than I am because of art school but it's totally doable.

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  2. From the looks of it, I might go art deco styling in the bookcase room and probably change out the fireplace cover and throw in some yellow accent rug or art. Also, think about how you'll use each room and how traffic will flow - imagine big adult dinner parties where everyone brings an ingredient and a bottle of wine. How will drunken cooks get around?

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  3. Congratulations!

    Having only lived in small (or tiny) urban spots, I am not much help. Overstock.com is a great source for rugs.

    Those built-ins are dying for some musical DVDs...

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  4. why not actually hire a decorator? There are plenty of interior design bloggers who offer design services for a fairly low price (depends on the designer, but I'd say the average moodboard runs about $300-ish). You tell them your budget and what you like, they send you a moodboard of pictures and a source list of everything you need to buy.

    http://brynalexandra.com/services/design-boards/

    http://www.dwellingsbydevore.com/p/services.html

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  5. I've been doing a lot of browsing on Pinterest. Also, Apartment Therapy is great. (I realize this is a house, but I find it pretty inspirational in terms of style/decor for any room.)

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  6. Oohh, I've never heard of Apartment Therapy! I'm looking at Pinterest a lot, although the S'mores brownies and rainbow pancakes distract me an awful lot.

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  7. SCREAMING OUT for musical DVDs. If you'll remember my outfits at Ignatius, which mostly consisted of pajama bottoms, you'll know why I need this kind of help!

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  8. I'm gonna need it, fellow farmer. I was just thinking that we might have a problem with our crops since most of the yard is in the woods! That might affect our tomato growth.

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  9. Five bedrooms!? Okay, me and the cats are on our way.

    Overstock.com is good, Home Goods, TJ Maxx, Pier One, World Market, are also favorites of mine.

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  10. BTW, I think your condo looks lovely. I am a big fan of less is more. There's also Ikea and consignment shops.

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  11. Your cousin sounds horrid. I would reco plenty of room for Kombucha containers and a giant stuffed animal for the bathroom.

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  12. I will never forget when a friend came over to our new house, four years ago. I had just finished almost getting it into the shape I wanted. She looked around, paused, and said, "My, I like your style. It's so...sparse."

    So, yeah. Right there with you. I just hate clutter or too much stuff on counters or tables. Also (and this won't apply to you, in your darling new mansion, naturally), I like to think of it as Easy to Sell. Should I ever put it on the market, there will be so much less stuff to hide for open houses. Some may call this depressing; I prefer "forward-thinking."

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  13. Do you have any ideas for kitchen bunk beds?

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  14. We could live together easily, Kate. Bare surfaces make my brain feel soothed.

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  15. THANK YOU, KIM. I am forwarding this to my mother.

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  16. Well, they say five bedrooms but really only three have closets. The other two are random little rooms, perfect for cats ;)

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  17. Lisa, sorry this was marked as spam. If I get really desperate and hair pully outy, I'll think about a decorator. Thanks for the links!

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