I was in a woman’s home a few months ago. It was quite beautiful in a way that most people would find beautiful. I found it overwhelming and felt my senses overloaded. Massive scale and boldness emanated from every corner. I liked many of the items; but not all together. It felt perhaps a bit like a shop rather than a home. Do we need all this stuff? And, is lots of stuff artfully displayed equal to good design?
As a designer, my job is to make sure room layouts are maximized, traffic flows in a space, colors work ,harmony is achieved in the overall design aesthetics….and….arranging “stuff”. We all like stuff and buying stuff feeds the consumerism of our country. I enjoy it too. I freely admit this but I have a rule; if stuff comes into my modest home, then stuff goes out. Whether knick knacks or clothing, everything is replaced not added ….and then I donate what I do not want to charities that can make it available to be reused by someone else. This is my easy way of recycling.
I have a beef with the crap peddled at market that is mass produced, overseas products that is simply junk to occupy space. Yep, that is how I feel. I have a ton of the catalogs on my desk at this very moment and I may discover one or two cool “finds” but most is just junk to add to your clutter and detract from good design. And good design, despite what some people may think does not mean overly styled rooms with enough cheap accessories to start a thrift store with!
MY GAWD! DID SHE REALLY JUST SAY THAT?
I have likened the Atlanta Merchandise Mart to one big Kirklands…stacked on top of each other over and over. PLEASE folks, do not buy the crap at Kirklands. (For those of you who do not know Kirklands, it is a shop full of useless knick knacks made in China) Maybe a thingy or two might be “ok” but do not outfit your home in Kirklands..it will sure as heck look like it and there is nothing worse.
Just say NO to Kirklands!
SAVE the accessory budget and use it purchase art that is useful or decorative. Go to local or regional fairs where artists will sell beautiful pottery or vases made by their own hands. Often these unknown artists can have affordable and stunning artwork. Trust me, your space will telegraph the artistry and the handmade persona will resonate throughout your house.
Put your kid’s art in a gorgeous frame, matte it well and hang it on the wall. This is art. Not the 29.99 paintings they sell at Kirklands…or wose those awful Holiday Inn sales. (My sister in law went with me to market and saw a beautiful painting she coveted…but decided she could achieve the same look….herself. I only saw the painting half done but so far, it is as gorgeous as it’s inspiration.)
Take your own photos and enlarge them and hang them on the wall…even if they are not ideal,they are better than mass produced poo foo. And, they can be art “place holders” until you can afford something you like better that you will live with for a long time. And remember good art can be affordable too. Try a superb site called UGallery for up and coming artists displaying their work for sale. (This gallery was started by 3 guys who attended a great school, the University of Arizona which happens to be my alma mater as well! )The site is rich with awesome pieces. And affordable as well.
From U Gallery
You can try local vendors and art fairs too and online sites like Etsy for some unique finds that are handmade or just repurposed vintage. Visit garage sales one Saturday morning and look for an unloved piece you can bring to life…furniture can be painted and reupholstered. Small knick knacks can be spray painted with some cool color and used in a different manner than originally intended. Like, hung on the wall or grouped with similiar objects to form a unique tableau.
Mixed Media for 20.00 on Etsy website. if Framed well it could be fun for a funky living room, bedroom or a powder bath! Whimsies Folksies
The ideas are endless. Don’t get me wrong. Like I said, I like “stuff” as much as the next person but I am picky about the quality and the quanity of my “stuff” and I like pieces to have a provenance…even it is a made up one I just bestowed upon it:)
Do you have a favorite piece you have rescued or repurposed? Share it with me and I will post the ideas!