New Year, New Decor


I’m BAAAAD at decor. I love the idea of decorating my house, and having things that help make it feel like home, but I don’t know where to start. Part of it is not knowing the style I like, and how to shop for items that fit my taste. Second, budget. There’s really no extra money at this point for lots of superfluous items in the budget. So it would be great to run through a store (Target, TJMaxx, I’m not highbrow) and buy everything for one room, and call it done, but probably too much money at once. BUT. When I think about piecing things together over time, the idea of finding pieces that “work”, changing my mind, coordinating fabrics, etc. makes my anxiety radar start beeping. I’m not expecting to ever have a house that looks anything like you’d find in a magazine spread, but I’ve made it a goal this year to have more than six things hanging on the wall in our 2300 square foot house. (One of those things? A whale poster in Vee’s room from our honeymoon to Maui. I told you it was bad).

The first room I plan on putting some effort into is our family room. We spend about 80% of our time here, so I think if I can make a few changes, and feel positive about them, it will give me more confidence to move forward with other changes and ideas.

The mantle is my first big hurdle. I plan on whitewashing the fireplace this spring, so it’s a more uniform color. I also desperately want to paint the walls. I’m a cool color person, so the desert mauve or whatever the crap is on my walls has got to go. Dreamily, I’d love to paint/replace the dated honey-oak woodwork. However, our house value is at the top of the market for comps in the area, so we don’t want to sink money into expensive items (woodwork, counter-tops) because we will get no return on them. Yes, it would be lovely to do them just for our happiness, but again, budget. I don’t think we are up for painting them, either. With little experience, kids, etc. I think this would put us squarely in the ‘tried a DIY task and now it looks crappy’ camp. Back to the mantle. I can’t decide if I should get a big, single focal piece to hang in the center, or find smaller, grouped items (frames, vases, knick-knacks) to just reside on the mantle.

Now for the pictures!

Super Boring Mantle

Super Boring Mantle

Wide view of family room

Wide view of family room

Reverse view of Family room

Reverse view of Family room

In the fist two pictures, I’m standing in the hallway area you can see in the third picture, and in the third picture I’m standing up against the hearth. We are pretty happy with the layout (and the current plastic child chic decor that is our overriding theme). It works for what we want out of the room-play area, TV viewing, child safe area. The area over by the bookcase and basketball goal is the door to our backyard.

I have thought lots about color and keep coming back to grey. I think it would help the room from being too dark, and would be a nice neutral to add lots of color accents in. I’d love to also replace the curtains, because beige carpet is enough beige for me. Living in the smack-dab middle of the country also prevents us from removing the ceiling fan. We need circulation in the summer, and pedestal fans are a no-go, (I don’t understand how bloggers remove fans and have ones that children can reach instead. Their kids are obviously more docile than mine.) but we might update it if we can find a good style and price.

If you’d like to come over and decorate my house for me, I’d love you forever and bake you lots of goodies. Oh, I’d also supply tasty beverages too.

If you have any suggestions, tips, or helpful websites to point me to, it would be much appreciated!

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One Response to New Year, New Decor

  1. april says:

    I think I have the exact same mantle, and I also hate the color. My plan (ignore the fact we’ve been in this house for six years) is to sand it down and stain it darker, rather than pay money on a new mantle. We have the brick fireplace too, but I love the brick.

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