View Full Version : How Do You Find What "Works" in Your House?
07-19-2005, 01:03 PM
We will be moving soon to a much older and bigger house that has beautiful woodwork, hardwood floors throughout, even a sweeping staircase and non working fireplace. The problem is that I don't think I have a good eye when it comes to decor. I love Target and looking at Pottery Barn (I would never be able to justify spending that much on decor!) I don't know where to start and then I end up with items that I'm not crazy about! I tend to go more toward the country look while DH likes the modern look and I want to tie things we both like without it looking too mismatched. How do you find what works for you? If your style differs from your DH, how do you find pieces that you both can live with or even like?! And where do you start?! Help! I want a house that has a classy, not cluttered look!
07-19-2005, 06:30 PM
In my house, (and I don't claim to be any great decorator) I always start with one thing. In my family room, I started with a marroon and gold quilt and pillow set that MIL made us, and decorated from it. I chose curtains, wall colors and accent peices that went with it.
For our my bedroom, DH had a green blanket that he was in love with, so I used that as my inspiration. In the dining room, I had two antique maps that I used as the pallete.
So, instead of trying to attack a whole room, find a few inspiration peices (a pillow, a picture, a knick-knack) and use those as your jumping off point.
07-19-2005, 06:38 PM
I didn't have a problem decorating ..My FH was not picky about what I did....
I would say go Eclectic!
Meaning mixing styles yours: country, his: Modern. The key is to stay in the same color schemes.
Also, have him claim a room to dedicate to his style and you do the same.
07-19-2005, 06:51 PM
I like clipping ads, catalog pages, and even printing photos off websites to show DH so we can try to both agree on styles. And, there are general guidelines we both agree on so I know what to clip:
- we only want comfortable, cozy furniture, so no "harsh" modern stuff with glass or metal or "living room guests only" type stuff
- reasonably good quality stuff (so nothing made of just laminate pressboard or anything too flimsy)
- pet- and kid-friendly materials (so no white fabrics or velvet/silk/dry clean only stuff)
- nothing red (DH is a die-hard Cal fan and hates Stanford, whose school color is red)
- if not choosing earth tone colors, then I consider something blue (again, DH is a die-hard Cal fan and loves blue)
And I totally agree with Georgiana about choosing an eclectic style. Do what YOU and your DH love, not just copying a magazine spread of someone else's taste.
Hope this might help!
07-19-2005, 07:23 PM
In addition, Make the major pieces in your room a reflection of the both of you: Example: The sofa -Contemporary syle w/ a county pattern or visa versa.. Or keep that piece neutral -something you both like. I think a contemporary sofa with denim or ultra suede -in a country color perhaps, would work, or a contemporary sofa with throw pillows in country pattern would work as well.
07-19-2005, 09:28 PM
you said it's an older house, what style? i live in a 1920's spanish and the style of the house kind of dictated the decor. almost all our furniture is from the 20's, mostly spanish style with some mexican furniture/accents, it all goes perfectly with the style of our house.
since you like country and your dh likes modern, maybe get some funky antique tables and put them with simple, streamlined sofas, you can totally mix the two and have it look good. i know i've seen some decorating books with this type of decor, maybe try the bookstore.
07-20-2005, 06:27 AM
I'm not sure of the style of the house, we live in the Northeast and the house is believed to be 90 years old. I think the antique look would look awesome with the house. We have black leather furniture (DH's pick), but I like the idea of using pillows or other accents to soften it. I would just have to see when we get it in the room, what color I would want. The living room in the house is red now, but I think I am going to paint it a lighter color as it is a small room. I am going to look online and see if I can get some pictures for inspiration :) Thanks!
07-20-2005, 12:57 PM
Definately use pictures for inspiration (or steal some off the home thread here - hint hint). :)
I agree with everyone about picking a certain item - be it a piece of furniture or a beloved quilt - and go from there.
I started the kitchen off by just a few trinkets and curtains. It exploded all on it's own. The den is DH's domain, it's done in a modge-podge of fishing and sailing items now, but once we focus on that room, we'll tie it in together (the brown shag carpet and brown panel walls aren't helping much). I just finished our guest room using our wedding (beach theme) as inspiration. Next I'll be moving on to our bedroom which will be decorated to complement our new bedding.
Once you pick a focus...or theme...or feel for a room, the rest comes pretty easy. My hardest thing so far is what to color paint the walls since there are soooooo many beautiful choices!
Smiles-- Now THAT'S a funny reason to hate red. When I went to Cal I hated Stanford too...I totally forgot my school colors by now, though! :p
07-21-2005, 03:58 PM
I also like to go to model homes for inspiration. I've been "caught" a few times by the salesperson, but they tell me that a lot of people do that. Then, when I get back in the car, I make notes of things I liked and would like to do myself. I've even found some candlesticks or vases and picked them up and saw the sticker of where they bought the item on the bottom. :p
For me, it's largely been trial and error, though. We painted the living room a number of times before we found the color that worked for us. We've also taken it slow and had to try hard to be patient in buying furniture. Then eventually I found pieces I love, but it took a lot of patience to find some of those things!
07-21-2005, 04:19 PM
Since part of your problem of finding a balance between what you and your husband like, maybe you could check out HGTV's Designing for the Sexes (http://www.hgtv.com/hgtv/shows_dsx) (or heck, apply to be on the show!). DH and I have some differences in style, and by watching the show & seeing how different couples are able to find things they can agree on, it's really helped us in agreeing on certain things.
07-25-2005, 09:19 AM
One rule I made for myself (in both home decorating and in buying clothing, actually) is that if I don't yearn for something, if it doesn't jump off the shelf and SCREAM at me, I don't buy it. I refuse to go home and anguish between two lamps. I just keep looking until I see something I know I can't live without.
It can be a pain in the butt, but I think in the end it's worth it. For two years DH and I slept in a bedroom with a mattress thrown on a frame, TV trays for bedside tables, and my ratty old childhood dresser. I finally found the bedroom suite we love on WC (courtesy of anneg, God bless her) and it was delivered this past week. Every day I wake up smiling at my beautiful furniture and I haven't once second-guessed it.
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