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Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday’s QUESTION Of The Day!!!

Today we have a really good question from a reader. This one is really going to make you think! I know it really made me think. It is something that I think all of us designer-types struggle with from time to time.
This reader wrote:
Hi Kathysue! I love your new series. I have a question...not sure if it is appropriate for your series, but it is something I really struggle with.  What do you do when you've spent so much time and money on your house, only to he sick of it a little while later? And adding fresh flowers or rearranging the furniture just doesn't do it. I have the remodel itch all the time....I tell my husband it is an occupational hazard, but really, it's going to put us in the poorhouse! I wonder of others experience this, and what they do about it?

I told you it was a good question!! Very thought provoking, isn’t it?
I was going to give my answer in this post, but I am going to start giving my answer on the Round up post that I will be posting on Sunday. I don’t want what I have to say to influence any of your answers.
I can not wait to read your answers in the comments!!



Anonymous said...

I change things up approximately every 5 years. I live in a townhouse and my mother told me my rooms must be smaller than everybody else's because there are so many layers of paint on them! I keep almost all of my furniture fabrics white and then just change out the paint color, pillows and window treatments. Fortunately I sew so I make just about everything. About 2 years ago I changed the former deep lilac and greens to grays and taupes. I love it, but for how long, who knows?

Lee said...

This is a dynamite question! I am very curious if this is a common situation for those of us interested in or engaged professionally in interior design and making a house a home. On the positive side, it's a good thing to see possibilities and to find ways to accomplish goals via sleuthing for the best price, lowering expectations for a certain product and finding a wanna-be, or taking on DIY projects to change out tired-of accessories, like spray painting a table. But if we get caught up in the total vision and really must finish the bedroom design and that leads to replacing everything, then it's a drain on the bank account. And rarely does our vision stop at the bedroom door. We are so over-exposed to good design now via blogs and online shopping and decor mags. It is a rich environment for those of us who want to learn and make the best choices for our homes. But that over-exposure could create too much desire or a feeling that we could improve x and y and it would make life so much better.

One suggestion is that we need to manage our desires better and make 'a plan' for purchases and projects. Maybe that 'delay' will help us manage our choices better and discover that we really don't need x and y and could probably make-do with z and maybe in two months buy an item on sale or at a better price point or save for the wanted item rather than charge it to our card.

Renovations of kitchen, bath, etc really need to be thoroughly planned out with a good eye to resale value and what we really need.

I think it is really hard to subscribe to the less is more philosophy but if I got better at it, what we do have might mean more because I carefully chose an item of beauty that will get more attn than 10 more items in a room that keep the eye too busy or even numb it.

I think we get tired of 'things' when we've accumulated too much or spent too much time thinking about "things."

Balanace and moderation. thank you for such a deep question that is so essential to our well being.

vignette design said...

Back "in the day" our parents purchased their furniture and it lasted their entire lifetime. Even the sofa. My mother-in-law had a white velvet sofa in her living room for 35 years!
It's different now. We are influenced by shelter magazines, blogs, HGTV, design books, etc., so even if a person is not the designer type, there is a lot of pressure to have our homes be an expression of who we are.
I am always changing things around. The reader shouldn't feel too bad about her desire to always be improving her home. It is an occupational hazard!
She just needs to learn to sew, or paint her own walls and generally become a DIY-er in order to not end up in the poorhouse! I thought the first comment from "anonymous" summed it up nicely. White fabrics for furniture, then change up with pillows and window treatments, and paint color. Less expensive that way....
This is a fantastic series Kathysue! You always make me think! ~Delores

Lee said...

Just wanted to second and third the advice above -- really helps to keep your grounding elements neutral so you can play a lot with color and make change-outs whenever you choose. I have a restless, creative streak in me and embrace change (even if it means shopping-at-home and switching things around from room to room). Also consider sources like Etsy.com for decor accessories (jewelry too!), incl art. Some amazing artisans on that website with reasonable prices for items that are not mass-produced. I just switched out my really boring pillows for some Etsy charmers and it made a huge difference. Even my husband said, "wow, these are works of art" and in his next sentence, "how much were they?" and then, "not bad, not bad at all."

laxsupermom said...

The trick of course is to only spend what you can afford. It's a different threshhold for everyone. I tend to do a lot of repurposing, and spray paint only costs a few dollars a can. Still it's hard not to want to completely overhaul every room all the time when I'm constantly looking at all the terrific design inspiration in magazines and blogs.

Room Service ~ Decorating 101 said...

I love to change things out each season. I find that is often enough without breaking the bank. I stay away from fads and trends, so I don't get tempted there.Only buy what you really love and you will not tire of it!

Decor & Harmony said...

Each one of us will have a different answer so here it goes... It's been my own personal experience to grow and learn from your decorating mishaps. In my twenties I bought a mint green striped couch why on earth? I paid too much for it and I had to keep it for far too long so I learned solid and neutral next time. I love my current couch, a few years later I paid $800 for a comforter set why on earth? Never again!! I enjoy decorating like the next guy and gal but I believe your core pieces should get a fair shelf life in your home. Pillows, vases, candles, hardware, throws and rugs come and go, I also have a sister who loves it when I'm tire of something because she knows that it will be hers next. Great question Kathysue, I hope my answer wasn't too long.

debra @ 5th and state said...

hire a good professional, in the long term they can save you tons. if they are good they will determine your wants/wishes/needs............

they can guide you to short term, mid and long term goals less being too trendy that you would tire of it quickly. they can also help you towards the future and how everything can be movable to embrace minor elements of new idea's that entice you


Mona Thompson Providence Ltd. said...

I'm in agreement with Debra. Wise choices and short and long range plans always help. We all tire of things particularly those of us that are over exposed. However, I have found that quality upholstery and timeless accessories rather than trends are things I want to keep forever. There are going to be a lot of very unhappy people in a few years that have ordered complete rooms from catalogs.

Mona Thompson Providence Ltd. said...

I'm in agreement with Debra. Wise choices and short and long range plans always help. We all tire of things particularly those of us that are over exposed. However, I have found that quality upholstery and timeless accessories rather than trends are things I want to keep forever. There are going to be a lot of very unhappy people in a few years that have ordered complete rooms from catalogs.

quintessence said...

I don't change things up very often. I am extremely slow to make decisions - I have to be very sure I love it. I had no furniture in my living for 3 years until I could afford what I really wanted. That was over 10 years ago and I still love it. I have since moved and things are just in different rooms now with different combinations and it still all works. So my suggestion is to buy what you REALLY love - chances are it all works and mixes together and you will have it long enough to make it worth while.

Marcus Design said...

I definitely get this feeling! I wish money grew on trees but around here I usually have to stick with what I've got or I'll drive my poor hubby crazy. I am trying soooo hard only to buy classic pieces, and take a lot of time and thought into my purchases because I know that I will be stuck with them for potentially a long time!! This is why my dining room still does not have chairs 4 years later (crazy I know)!! Hugs to you Kathysue, happy weekend :)
Nancy xo

Karena said...

I love this question Kathysue! I think it is so individual.

One thing that I have decided though is that the next time I recover, or slipcover my focal pieces they will all be in the same neutral.

Then the pillows, wall cover/color and art can make it pop and change with taste and seasons.


Art by Karena

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Oh Kathy Sue this is so marvelous! I have never seen anything like this in Blogland! First of all dearest, thank you for visiting me! I will not be going anywhere, but rather I was thinking of not posting for a while. HOWEVER, after much thought, I have peace with my decision to continue my weekly posts while I dedicate a separate place ( a journal) to practice my poetry. I got a bit frustrated yesterday when I was unable to apply some new-found techniques for poetry to my idea for this week's post! I got so frustrated that I just found inspirational poetry and left it at that! But here I am, to thank you.

NOW FOR AN ANSWER...well, teeeheeee.....to me, the answer is quite simple. Be happy with what you have! MWAHHHHHH....I know that may not be what this person wants to hear! But be happy with whatcha got, take your time to figure out what you really want and then slowly take the steps towards the goal. That is what we did.....


Linda@ Lime in the Coconut said...

Ha! Good question! Maybe, if you are able to sell some of the castoffs, you could put that $ towards a new look. I agree with someone above who said buy neutral large furnishings...cause pillows and throws and art (sometimes) is cheap!

Tricia Rose Rough Linen said...

I tweak and change constantly, but I realise I have my Supporto chairs from the eighties, my big white sofas are twelve years old, and I have some things from the Dawn of Time. My biggest temptation is structural things - however I am so busy working now that when I stop I am so happy with things which are, that I am less concerned with wanting different. As my wise old mother said in another context, you can never get enough of what you don't really want (food instead of love anyone?)

Splendid Sass said...

I buy quality furniture that last for years. I change accessories from time to time, and I have my furniture recovered every five years.
My problem is controlling how many times I paint. If I get the paint bug, I can change the look of almost everything. I find that it is the least expensive way to shake things up. Oh, and pillows. If I see a great fabric, it becomes a pillow.
Hope that all is well with you, Kathysue.

Linda @ theLENNOXX said...

Fantastic question! I love traditional design, and usually go for neutral colors on larger surfaces like walls, rugs and upholstered furniture. I change the smaller decor elements like pillows, votives and even the "art" on my walls, regularly. Most of which I buy from flea markets. All investment pieces MUST be traditional =)

xox Linda

Stacy CUrran said...

Kathysue, you know how great I think this idea is, and h results are even better! Such great responses....xo

Karen said...

Cherie's answer said exactly what I was thinking. Before I started reading blogs I was much more content with my choices. Now I see something that looks great in someone's room and all of the sudden I want to burn my house down and start over from scratch.

Having a plan and sticking to it could be the answer.

Pinky at Designs by Pinky said...

I am very fortunate in thsat I have inherited many beautiful things and just LOVE them and would never want to part with them! I have a white sofa as well and can chage the whole look and feel of the room with different pillows....and I have ALOT of pillows:):) I do need a NEW sofa however as the one I have is 25 years old! Hopeing to fit that into the budget soon!!!! GREAT series, sorry I am LATE!!!! XO, Pinky

Anonymous said...

Keeping something 5 years or so may put you in the poor house and leave you feeling guilty.
I suggest... don't spend a lot if you are pretty sure you will change it up soon That could relieve a lot for both you and you hubby. Also, consider resealing your items to recoup some of the money. That usually makes the man happy : )