Simple and Organized

Personifying myself through my fashion and the way I decorate my surroundings (i.e. apartment and work space) has always been a creative outlet that I continually seek to improve. When I was in high school, I declared to my parents that I wanted to paint the ceiling of my room purple. I also painted the inside of my closet the same color; hand-painting shooting stars throughout. I still have the birthday card that inspired me to do so.

Once moving into my own apartment, the decor became essential.  It's funny how the state of one's living space can greatly enhance one's happiness.  Going home after a long day to my own space that displays my interests, alway puts me at ease.  I grew up in a meticulously clean house and have been raised with that same instinctive desire to always have organization, along with an interesting decor.  

These are just a few of the several amazing websites that I utilize to help me keep my decor fresh and my organizational tools top-notch. In my following posts, I'm sure these will continue to pop up. 

I've found that one of the best ways to inspire new ideas for decorating is to physically go out and window shop. My favorite places to find hidden treasures are antique and thrift stores. With a keen eye and clever imagination, many "junk" items can be transformed into the focal point of a room. Not only do these items come with a pretty price tag, but they allow buyers to reuse and recycle high quality goods. Most older furniture I've come across is constructed with more solidarity than furniture of current, making a great bargain buy.  My preferred store to find unique refurbished items is Second Chance in Holland, MI or Estate Sales Warehouse in Grand Rapids, MI.  

With any urge to redecorate, my first task is to envision how I want the space to eventually appear.  Mood boards are a perfect way to start your visualization. Rip out pages of items that spark your interest in magazines or create a "Home Design" bookmark on your Internet browser for pages you want to save.  Let products from outside of the decor realm become inspiration for you; fashion, nature, food, architecture and industrial. Beauty is all around. Being able to pick up on that beauty and incorporating it into your decor has great potential for success. Another helpful tidbit to jump start your decorating journey is to find out what your "style" is. Knowing this can save you time deciding between what you like and do not like in terms of furniture and accessories.

Picking out one item that you want to be a focal point in each room is key.  Say your focal point is an inspiring  abstract painting in bright colors. Utilizing the colors and textures in this painting can be a starting point to picking other colors in that same color scheme that you'd like to incorporate into the rest of the room. Keep the room consistent.  If it helps to take a picture or color swatch of your focal point and bring it with you when shopping, then do so! I always carry a card with the color wheel on one side and my "color analysis" on the other in my wallet. These come in handy usually when I'm shopping for clothes and want to remember what colors look best on me, but also help when deciding what colors blend best for decorating. I'll talk more about colors in my next post.

Upon deciding your focal point and a color scheme, buying the items can actually be the easiest part. Take your time when buying items for your apartment/house. If you go without a lamp or chair for a couple of weeks, it won't be the end of the world. In that time, you can make sure you know exactly what you want and know that you did your research prior.  Try not to buy all your house fixings at the mall. Yes, it is convenient, but usually bland and not unique at all. There are so many awesome online resources and plenty of cool antique/thrift stores out there to quench any decorators thirst. Remember to remain true to yourself and to buy items that reflect your personal taste.

Try to use your space wisely, balancing between overcrowded and sparse.  Nothing leaves guest more uncomfortable than coming into a house that doesn't have enough seating or is so crammed that there is no room to move! When placing furniture in it's intended spots remember that you can always rearrange your furniture in the future, it does not have to permanently say there. This is a cheap and quick way to change the way a room looks.

More to come with helpful hints on decorating!

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