Xmas Decor: Let’s keep it real, people!

I’ve been drooling over the gorgeous holiday decor on sites like Pinterest  and Houzz lately, but the reality in our house is a little more kitschy and haphazard and a little less “winter wonderland”.

Here’s our living room, warm and cozy.  But don’t be fooled by the Instagram filters!  There is not much going on here!

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We’re talking a Christmas tree my 4-year-old completely commandeered (more on that in a minute), a garland from Home Depot that I balanced on the mantel, and my one go-to Christmas decorating move which I call the annual “piling of the ornaments”:

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I scored those oversized ornaments at Costco.  Cool, right?

 

I also took approximately 3 minutes to wind a fake garland around the bannister.  Talk about speed decorating!

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Oh and the tree – our four-year-old completely took over the tree decorating process and decided Gallon-sized Ziploc bags would be a great core design element:

 

Every time I walk by I see new huge pieces of junk ornaments hanging from this tree!  He is like a human Christmas elf, churning out construction paper, scotch tape, and Ziploc decor on an hourly basis.
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Let’s just say I’ve lost all control.

Now, I don’t mean to complain!  But I have to admit I’m a little bashful when I have visitors over.

I guess because I’m in the business of decorating, I really do want to WOW people.  Magnolia branches!  Real evergreen garlands!  Angels singing!

But what visitors get instead is basically the Christmas clearance aisle.   And nifty new ideas for their Ziploc bags.

I will say, my kids look at our lights and our tree and they see magic.  There is just pure wonder on their little faces and it does give me pause.  I suppose I could just focus on what they see, and not worry about the rest!

Is anyone with me here?  Do you feel completely tapped out by the rest of your life and it leaves little creativity or time to decorate for the holidays??   Can we all make a pact to just keep it real this year??


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Chin Up! Wallpapering the Ceiling

I spotted this adorable idea in the last issue of HGTV magazine.  This creative mom wallpapered her three daughters’ ceilings – all the same wallpaper but in different colorways.  How great is that idea?!

 

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This wallpaper is called Daydream by Hygge & West – comes in a ton of different colors.

 

 

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I love, too, that she didn’t spend a fortune papering all four walls (just the “5th wall”).

 

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We don’t really see wallpaper on a ceiling very often, despite wallpaper’s raging comeback.  And when we do, it’s usually in a kid’s room.  (Why is that?  Maybe because it looks whimsical?).

star baby wallpaper

Via

How about this one? This yellow stripe is just about the cutest idea I have ever seen for a baby’s room.

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Wallpapered ceilings also work when a room is super small, like a powder room or a room with a low ceiling. It almost gives the effect of a jewel box:

 

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Via

 

 

See how this room is really small?  The dark walls and the pretty trellis wallpaper on the ceiling really draw your eye up.  Makes the room feel…roomier.

 

trellis wallpaper

Via

 

 

I think I’m way into this idea!  I can’t wait to use this on a future project.  What are your thoughts?  Yay or nay on wallpapering the ceiling?


For help creating a home that you love contact me about design services.

From Boring Bench…To BRAVO! Bench! New Lazy DIY Tutorial

I am a total sucker for nailhead trim.  Besides paint, nail heads are just about the easiest way to make almost any piece of furniture look better.   And what I LOVE about nailhead trim is that you can do it yourself in a few minutes and with a few bucks.

 

Here’s the latest in my Lazy DIY series: Nailed It!  Nail head trim Your Furniture.   Who doesn’t want a little Oomph and polish in their living spaces?  Here’s just one more little idea to help you get there…

 

 

 

By the way, my Lazy DIY series – which you can read more about here – is all about split-second perk ups for your home, that anyone can do!  Hope you enjoy.  Any comments and feedback are so welcome!

 

 


For help creating a home that you love contact me about design services.

How Much Does it (Really) Cost to Decorate?

Does this sound like you?

–  You finally made the move from the city to the ‘burbs and you suddenly have the luxury of space.  You can’t wait to fill those empty rooms with some furniture!

–  OR you are finally ready to get rid of your husband’s bachelor futon and officially enter “adulthood” by upgrading your entire family room.

–  OR you think “I don’t need to redo my entire living room.  Just a few pieces here and there to freshen things up.”

Can you relate?

Before you move forward, I just want you to be aware of HOW MUCH this all costs.  I hate to burst anyone’s bubble, but I find my clients are routinely amazed at how much decorating costs, even if you are “going budget”.

I thought it would be interesting to look at three different scenarios for a living room, so you can see with your own eyes how much it really costs to outfit a whole room.

There are basically three possible routes you could go – Budget, Mid-Range and High-end.

 

The IKEA Route:  Going Budget

So let’s assume your Sofa is going to be from IKEA and all the other elements will be from somewhere similar (My “budget” resources tend to include Overstock.com, Wayfair.com, Pier One, Target, Home Goods, etc.).

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A Cheerful Living Room, brought to you by IKEA

 

Here’s the breakdown for a “Budget” Living Room:

Sofa $500
2 Arm Chairs $250
Coffee table $150
A wool flatweave rug (8×10) $300
1 end table for the chairs and 2 for the sofa $180
Lighting (2 table lamps and 1 floor lamp) $200
Throw pillows $150
Wall Art $60
Curtains + Hardware $200
Accessories $40
TOTAL $2000

This really is the budget route – you can definitely go north of this very very easily.  I mean, $200 on curtains and curtain hardware means we’re talking the clearance aisle at Target.  And probably some quality issues.  But it can be done!  Shocking, though, isn’t it?  To outfit your entire room at complete budget retailers and still be down $2,000?

I have to tell you, too, these prices DO NOT include shipping or tax.  That can increase each item by 10-20%!

 

The “Mid-Range” Living Room

Mid-range means any furniture or accessories that are a bit north of IKEA. Pottery Barn fits under Mid-Range in my mind, as would retailers like Wisteria, West Elm and even Etsy (I’ve bought furniture, curtains, art and pillows on Etsy, and while the prices aren’t like crazy high-end custom prices, it still can be quite expensive!).

 

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Welcome Home to your Pottery Barn Living Room!

Here’s the Breakdown for a “Mid-Range” Living Room:

Sofa $3500
2 Arm Chairs $1400
Coffee table $700
A wool flatweave rug (8×10) $800
1 end table for the chairs and 2 for the sofa $750
Lighting (2 table lamps and 1 floor lamp) $700
Throw pillows $400
Wall Art (including mirrors) $500
Curtains + Hardware $850
Accessories $400
TOTAL $10000

 

$10,000 is probably in the middle of a pretty big range if you’re buying at places like Pottery Barn.  As you probably already know, not all rugs are created equal, for instance, and some rugs from a place like Pottery Barn can run into the thousands of dollars.

By all measures, $10K is a lot of moolah!  But when it comes to decorating, you still have to be clever in your choices and probably try to mix in some lower-end elements to stay in your budget (for example, do you really need to spend $300 on a side table from Wisteria? Okay, probably not.  You could get that $100 chinese garden stool off of Amazon as I often do, or a $30 contemporary table from Target).

 

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Living Room Furnished entirely by Wisteria. Not bad, right?

The “High-End” Living Room

So, going “high end”.  What does that even mean?  Let’s just say the sky is really the limit!  But below is a sample of what it might cost to get chairs custom upholstered, to purchase some high-end art and fancy light fixtures from “trade only” retailers.

 

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My future home, c/o Architectural Digest

Here’s a sample budget for a high-end living room:

Sofa $3500+
2 Arm Chairs $4500+
Coffee table $3000+
A wool flatweave rug (8×10) $6000+
1 end table for the chairs and 2 for the sofa $4500+
Lighting (2 table lamps and 1 floor lamp) $1800+
Throw pillows $1500+
Wall Art (including mirrors) $3000+
Curtains + Hardware $3000+
Accessories $2000+
TOTAL $32800+

 

Remember I mentioned above that shipping and tax would add 10-20% on each item?  It’s true for high-end items as well, of course, sometimes even more.

And I didn’t even mention labor, like hiring an electrician to put in your new light fixture at $80-100 an hour.

 

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The “undecorated” look (but don’t be fooled!), via Elle Decor

 

So there you have it.  Decorating a living room will likely cost you:

Budget Mid-Range High-End
$2000 $10000 ~$33000+

 

I don’t mean to turn you off or depress you!  In fact, I really believe that information is power and the more you know, the more you can take matters into your own hands.

 

 


For help creating a home that you love contact me about design services.