Thursday, August 20, 2009

New house means new decor....ugh

Give me a set of financial statements and I can analyze them to death, balance them at the speed of light and provide useful feedback and guidance for my clients on what to do.

Give me a new house to paint and decorate and I am LOST. Completely and utterly in no man's land...begging for a lifeline to help me find my way out.

When I moved into the condo with Tim after our wedding, we had NO money, so decor was mostly IKEA, wedding gifts and cheap picture frames. Tim's idea of decor was placing a Mountain Dew frisbee on a hook on the wall..... yeah that came down pretty quickly..

House #2. We moved onto Glenbrook after 2 years in the condo. 1000 square feet to 1700 square feet meant more rooms to decorate. I was slowly realizing that decor takes money, and CA students make NO money. I would watch Trading Spaces for ideas and I even tried a checkerboard type paint design in one of the bedrooms and a suede like paint in another room (it was 2002, give me some slack!)

House #3. Off to Calgary we went and found a home pretty much complete EXCEPT for the finishings...I flew out and in 4 hours we had chosen paint, counter tops, flooring, fixtures etc... I honestly did not care and just went all neutral. Blah blah bland..My cousin graciously gave me a beautiful house warming gift with some color in to help me...she also helped me shop for some decor in our 4th home (thank you Laura, if you lived here you would be booked for some shopping nesxt week!)

House #4. Current home in Winnipeg. Our time in Calgary proved profitable and the first thing I did when we moved back was hire a designer to come and choose my paint and show me where to hang my art etc... I told you I am a complete failure at this stuff... He was well worth the money (although he did show up to the house in a BMW and then took his shoes off and the toes had big holes in odd...) He gave me ideas of what to buy for my empty walls and in 3 years I managed to buy NOTHING...... we renovated the bathroom and the walls are bare. Our bedroom walls are bare...a cozy, peaceful sanctuary it is NOT!

House #5. Ok more space to decorate. I am in a panic......I kid you not! I HATE making decisions like this. I have hired a new designer...she seems to have appropriate dress attire from what I have seen, hopefully no holey socks...Tim has hired a painter (thank god!) and he is meeting us tonight. A quick call to the designer and she is meeting me tomorrow! Double thank you....

Baby steps right? Paint first, decor next...I need suggestions...any favorite stores, great finds, tips on how to decorate? I am really trying to make this house feel like a home...we want to stay put for longer than 3 years..


  1. Oh I wish I was there to help...I LOVE LOVE LOVE to decorate. Some tips:

    - Buy some decor magazines for some ideas.
    *** Go to showhomes, lots of them, and get great colour and decoration ideas! Don't be afraid to ask them the name of the paint colour.
    - Ikea can be good for large prints, cheap and full of colour!
    - Furniture stores can also be a great find for artwork.
    - I try to concentrate on one area at a time instead of thinking about the ENTIRE house. For example, focus on the high traffic areas, family room, entry. You will be overwhelmed if you try to conquer the whole house at once.
    - Take your time. It takes a while to find just the right decor.
    - Find an inspiration piece such as a painting or a colourful vase and pull colours from that to decorate so your colours will remain consistent.

    Hope this helps! Good luck!

  2. Hi Cheryl

    You are too cute! I would be all over helping you decorate as you know I thrive on that sort of thing.

    Some of my favorite places to get ideas are design magazines and showhomes. For stores, check out Winners, Home Sense, Urban Barn, and Walmart. It's surprising how many pics I have found at Wal-Mart for cheap.

    Usually the best thing to do is look at one room at a time. Otherwise it is overwhelming.

    One thing you could get the designer to do is create a storyboard for you. This is a board that will give you a few different ideas for the different rooms and includes ideas for colors, furniture and even accessories. Then you will have a board to work from and take with you when you shop.

    Don't be afraid of color. Having a feature wall or two in a darker shade can look great. Let me know if you need any help. I can do my best from afar :)


  3. I unfortunately have no advice. We hired an interior decorator as well. I'm in the same boat as you - give me some financial statements and I'm good to go. I think it took me three hours to determine that I really like the colors green and brown and the designer went from there.

  4. nice. I love decorating...and look forward to it in my new place...HOWEVER...I totally love what I've done in my house most likely I will be mimicking it in my not so new decorating but decorating new just the same...

    crap, I think I need sleep.

  5. oh. and.
    when I picked out my colors for the house we are in now (sold) I was preggers and I went with all chocolate brown colors....hmmm. LOL.

  6. Oh yeah, I totally understand what you mean. Decorating a new home certainly is tough. By the way, was living in a condo much worse than in a house? (I assume you like houses better, since you have lived in 5 and only in 1 condo:)

    Regards, Elli.