My fall decorations are out. I love when the seasons/holidays change and the place takes on a slightly different look due to the decor of the season.
I am not a natural at decorating. I learned it from a friend.
My friend Carmen is one of the most creative gals I know when it comes to decorating a home. She has an eye for color. How else can I explain the fact that she talked me, Miss Nice and Neutral, into painting my cathedral-high living room walls a bold shade of “gum leaf” green? When she showed me the swatch, I wasn’t quite sure I could make the leap. But Carmen has tried many daring hues on her own walls, always with great success.
In fact, I never quite know what color her kitchen walls will be. She seems to paint them to achieve a different look often.(She talks her husband into letting her paint every few years because she tells him it is cheaper than therapy!)
She also has a way with so many other components of decorating: seasonal centerpieces, creative displays of photographs, painting techniques, nontraditional candle holders, and the list just goes on.
I asked her one day how she ever came to be so skilled at styling her home. “Let me show you,” she said as she took an old-style photo album off of her shelf—the kind with pieces of clear film to be peeled back in order to place the photographs on the page.
Carmen had used this album to collect magazine clippings of decorating and centerpiece ideas, painting techniques, and must-try recipes. She had them arranged by category for ease in locating. If she saw anything that struck her fancy or an idea she thought might be fun to try out when hosting a party, into the album it went.
You see, my friend has never taken a formal class in decorating. She doesn’t hold a degree in design. She has gotten her education the old-fashioned way, by observing, studying, and making a point to remember what she has seen.
Most of these magazines she obtains from her mother or others who are getting ready to toss them. You can do the same. Doctor’s offices, hospital waiting rooms, and public libraries get rid of their magazines on a regular basis. Check with them to see if they have any titles you would be interested in taking from them. Many garage sales have boxes of magazines for a dime a piece or less. Thumb through a few to see if they can inspire you in your quest to spruce your place up a bit.
Then, you can start your own idea book too.