Even though our beach house will not be move in ready until March of this year I started furnishing and decorating it a year ago. Why? Because I love shopping for bargains. It’s like digging for treasure; however to have a successful decorating treasure hunt it’s necessary to establish a few rules and guidelines.
Purchase some decorating magazines and look through them for ideas. Cut out pictures of color schemes, furniture, artwork, floral arrangements etc. I put all the pictures in a folder so I could refer to them as I made decisions about my decorating schemes.
Decide on a color palette. I find it’s best to choose two or three basic colors. I chose navy, yellow and white.
Pick out some fabric swatches with two, three or maybe even four different patterns that complement each other. I chose a narrow navy and white striped pattern, a yellow and navy floral pattern, a wide navy, yellow and white pattern.
Select a solid color couch and love seat and solid colored walls. I chose my couch and love seat in a creamy yellow. The great room, kitchen, dining room and hallway are Divine Design Maple (cream with yellow cast) and the bedrooms and bathrooms are Ralph Lauren Sail Cloth (taupe). I use to be a wall paper junkie; however, I found that a lot of pattern on my walls really limited my choices of furniture and accent pieces. Now I prefer treating my furniture, walls and floor coverings as almost a blank canvas on which to create by room design.
If you’re blessed by having a friend like Fancy Nancy who has wonderful taste, treat her to a free lunch and then drag her from shop to shop explaining what you like and getting her input. When I was in Dallas a few months ago I took along my fabric and paint swatches and asked Fancy Nancy to visit Crate & Barrel and some other expensive shops with me. When I showed her the couch and love seat I wanted she explained that their dimensions were way too large for the space I wanted to put them in. Now, remember Fancy Nancy has special super hero powers when it comes to her spacial senses while Joanie Baloney is….well let’s just say she’s spacially challenged.
When decorating your home make Stein Mart, Target, Home Goods, Ross, Marshalls and yes…..the Goodwill your new best friends. While I think it’s important to browse the expensive boutique type shops to discover the kind of look I want in a particular room I very seldom purchase items in those shops. Instead I go on a treasure hunt at the bargain stores and believe it or not I often find the exact same items I fell in love with at the hoytie toytie stores AND for a fraction of the cost. Here are some examples: