Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Steps and Advice to “Make it Work”

As I’m doing this whole house décor overhaul I’ve had a certain thought consistently permeate my mind.


Sure, I know it would be so much easier to just unpack everything I owned and put it up in my new house and call it good. But, I know what I want, and what I want is a fresh new look. That of course takes time and patience. The latter is a virtue I hear, and one I don’t exactly possess. (Just ask Jake and the kids. Or the dog, he could tell you too.)

This past weekend as I was unpacking decoration boxes from the kitchen and living room I had this moment of panic.

As I looked at the items that had been in our old house and part of our décor I felt I HAD to put this or that in our new house. So I spent an agonizing 30 minutes trying to figure out where certain things should go and started to question my sanity and why I couldn’t get this ONE thing to fit in with my new look. I got crazy overwhelmed and wondered for the umpteenth time... “WHAT AM I DOING?!”

But then, as the feelings went away and I calmed back down, I realized what had just happened.

I am so eager to have things done NOW (even though I keep telling myself to take my time) that I resorted to extremes, like almost completely ignoring the color palate I’ve come up with, to make something work. Ladies, you know as well as I do Tim Gunn would say, “Make it work.” But I felt like nothing was going to help the hot mess I was making in my own house except for me to…well, make it work, but in my own way.


So, as I sat in a chair in my garage and literally watched spray paint dry (that’s another project post) I contemplated what I could do in this situation. Results are only tested by me. Try at your own risk.

Kandi’s Steps and Advice to “Make it Work”

1. Go back to your vision: Find the images you loved that inspired you to make the change. Know the look you want to achieve and see if it fits in with that look. If not, see rule #2. If you think you can make it work, go to step 3.
2. If it doesn’t “work” with your current or new décor, let it go. Or at least leave it in a box until you know for sure you don’t want it. Get it out of your head, and sight, for a few weeks. Possibly months. After you’ve made some big changes and significant strides in your overhaul/redesign, see if it has a place among all your new treasures. Think you can use it but not in it’s current state? See rule #3.

3. Spray paint, spray paint, spray paint. I’m not much of a DIY girl really, I just paint and spray paint stuff. A $3 can of spray paint is a whole lot cheaper than retail therapy. Plus, you’ll get that perfect color you’ve been searching for and you get to keep something you like. Still not a fit? You know the drill, see below.

4. Try it in another room. You love it, you know you want it in your house somewhere…see if there are any other rooms those décor pieces could work in. Things that were in my old living room surprisingly worked well in my new kitchen. Don’t be afraid to mix it up. Think bathrooms too. They can always use a little sprucing up right? Still not a fit…?

5. Give it a trial run. Ok, so you aren’t sold on it claiming a spot in your vision, but it’s not like you’re gluing it down to make it a permanent fixture, and you’re not cementing it in stone. Unless you are, and then that’s a totally different story. Test it out. Leave the item in question in a spot for a week. Does it bother you or make you happy? If you’re still not sold, consider #2, or #3 or #4 until you’re sure you don’t want it/need it/love it. At that point, part ways, you’ll feel better.

Here is a quick example, and one of the small steps I took, in taking my own advice.

I wanted to add some more color to my basket below and I had some brown/cream wicker balls from my old house that had been in another type of wire basket. I tried them in there, but it just didn’t work. The counter tops may have brown in them, but it’s not a color I’m wanting to add in the kitchen palette. Yellow, aqua and gray with complementing black and white are my choice colors and what I’m basing the décor on. (There will be a little green from plants, etc. but that’s it.)


So, I walked myself through my rules…

1. Yes, the orbs fit with the theme and vision, they just didn’t look right with the color.

2. I knew I could “make it work” so skipped this step.

3. Perfect! White and aqua spray paint to the rescue!

All I did was take three of those wicker orbs and spray painted them, but that was all they needed. Not only did I save myself some money by buying all new decorative orbs, but I was able to get them in the exact colors I wanted. I can’t tell you how long I’ve been trying to find the perfect find aqua orbs. I’m sure I’ll stumble upon them any day now. ;)


I’m putting myself through this with each thing I unpack. Some items are perfect and I don’t even question it. Others, well, others are staying in boxes. I went all the way through my steps and ended up back at #2 where I just had to put it back in the box and decide later what to do with it.

Overall though, I’m enjoying “shopping my house” for new finds in different rooms, or finding things to repurpose with spray paint (which is a ton). I hope this helps anyone else that is going through a redesign and isn’t quite sure what to do with their “stuff” and can’t quite make it work. We’ll see what other progress I make over the next few months!

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