My home got a fresh look this year because I got bored with some of my decor and I rearranged almost the entire house. The goal was to change things around, purge and simplify. I wanted a fresher, cleaner look…..less decor with a bigger impact! But the reality of decorating or re-decorating when you have pennies to throw at the project can be somewhat challenging to my ODD (Obsessive Decorating Disorder), because I’m left with decor holes. Big, giant holes of nothingness in my rooms that I’m going to have to live with for awhile.
I can’t say I didn’t expect it because my aim was to downsize and freshen up my look. And I did that. But now I have all this free space….empty walls, cleared surfaces, missing furniture. Otherwise known as decor holes. Oh, how they make me flinch. I went from French Country using Oklahoma junk loaded with whimsy and charm to something approaching French Country Minimalism. So how do you live with decor holes? Well, for me it’s not easy. But there are some things you can do to lessen the impact while you’re waiting for the perfect decor to cross your path or garage sale season, whichever comes first.
Embrace The Minimalism
Embracing minimalism……yeah, I can’t do it. I admire anyone who can, but I feel it’s like giving my home a personality lobotomy. What I can live with is a simpler look. Simplistic decor is a beautiful buffet with ironstone pitchers of Gerber Daisies. Minimalism is the buffet against a blank wall, and that just trips my ODD switch!
Just look at the impact The Modern Cottage Company was able to make with a few simple flowers. And if I had those walls, I’d be golden, but I don’t. I live in a 1980’s ranch style home with the typical over textured painted walls. So I’m waiting to find the perfect piece to fill in my HUGE wall decor hole. But, I’m going to be much happier about living with it once I’ve added some ironstone pitchers from my collection to give that space some height.
Decor Holes 101
First, breath. It’s going to be okay! Purging and changing up your look is a good thing! Your home will feel new again, and some decor holes are simple to fill while you’re waiting. You want to become a marauder. Aggressively raid the other rooms in your house. Thin out the decor in other rooms to fill in those holes. Rearrange wall decor to steal frames, thin out bookcases, simplify your dresser decor. Bust up a collection. Look at your stuff with fresh eyes and with the goal of filling those decor holes.
Definitely steal from your china hutch! Place those glass pitchers on tables, with or without flowers. Hang plates or serving platters on the walls. Fill large bowls with fruit, pinecones or a collection like my alarm clocks. Fill a soup tureen with baby’s breath. And cake stands, ohhh use and stack your cake stands!
Spread out your library! Then add stacks of books in different areas of your home.
Look over all the decor you’ve already removed from the room to see if it can be upcycled back into your home before you sell it. Turn those picture frames into mini chalkboards, or just hang the empty frames. Spray paint that owl figurine a gold or glossy white. Can the lamp be updated with some spray paint and a little trim on the shade? Can you hang some trays on the wall, paint or stain baskets? How about turning a step stool into a plant stand. Pull some bottles out of recycling, remove the label and add some fresh flowers.
Could you group some candlesticks together to make a vignette? The point is, keep looking at what you have to fill those gaps. Sometimes what you do looks so good, you leave it alone and nothing more is ever needed.
I really purged this year, and I sold all sorts of furniture. But it left me with a couple of gaps and forced me to get creative to fill them. Instead of a table between two living room chairs, I now have an iron plant stand filled with magazines. So, could you stack two picnic baskets from your kitchen to make a new side table for your sofa? Come on! It would look great! Look at your stuff with a new purpose.
I’m currently on the lookout for a small table to put in front of my settee. But until then, I’ll just have to live with nothing being there at all. UPDATE. Ok, so I did that for 2 hours before I stacked a couple of large pillows on the floor and added an ironstone tray. But, hey! I lived with that hole for 2 solid hours. GO ME!
Minimalism Vs Me
I’m not a minimalist. I can appreciate the look because it’s totally clean and fresh. But it’s not a space I would be comfortable living in. Minimalism is about having only those things that have a function. Being an environmentalist, I love that thought, but just the thought. Because the reality for ME lies in the belief that the heart and soul of my home are the things I use to decorate it. It’s the pieces my husband brought with him when he moved here from England. It’s the things we collect, the items that tell people immediately who we are. The stuff that has a long history of having no benefit whatsoever other than being beautiful or fun. Their only function is to make me happy and they do it well.
Yes, I can see and appreciate the beauty in a Minimalist style. The functional, stress free simplicity. And I admire a beautiful room with clean lines, but I’m afraid that I would have some french chairs, a chandelier, mirrors, books, and a cast iron French poodle figurine out within minutes of moving in. Because that’s my version of minimalistic decor. Surrounding myself with the beautiful stuff I need to feel comfortable in my home, and I’m okay with that. So, when I have decor holes, I tend to fill them.
Thank goodness selling my downsized decor gave me some money to junk with. I have a short list of things that I’m looking for, but in the meantime a funny thing has started to happen. My unintentional journey into minimalism has had an impact. Dipping my pinky toe into minimalism has lead me to reevaluate my views of my home decor. I CAN survive without every surface in the house having something on it. Just Kidding!!! I can’t wait until garage sale season!