Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Note to Self

Oh the pressure.

Yesterday I casually mention we were going to spend the week experimenting with decorating tips from my unpretentious decorator friend, Andrea, and immediately tales of people moving in, moving out, and getting organized are shared. I'm thrilled our timing is so perfect and will count on all of you to help make sure my content is up to snuff.

In a way today's post is dedicated to Peggy. More than once Peggy has commented that reading Highlowaha is a little like having a life coach. I love that. Truth is there are at least 100 websites you could probably visit to get real expert advice on home decorating. We can't compete on content alone - especially since I've already admitted to being void of the decorating gene.

But here's how we can compete. What we can't provide in original home-decorating-content we can make up for in being a supportive yet challenging community.

Here's what I propose. For the next few days I will share a tip or suggestion, followed by a 15-minute application challenge. You read the tip and then apply it to a corner of your home. Come back later in the day (or the next day) and tell us how it went. We'll coach each other through the process and maybe by the end of the week we'll each have something to show for it. In fact, consider taking a before and after picture and maybe I will post them on Saturday.

Fifteen minutes. No more.

Here we go...

Andrea's Tip #1: Declutter
Create a notebook with a page per room and make a specific list of every area you want to declutter or improve. Break it into areas that can be tackled in 15-30 minute segments. For example - top right drawer or upper closet shelf. Then devote 15-30 minutes a day (no more) to tackle each item on the list and then cross it off. We all like crossing off items on lists! This way you do not have to wait for an entire day (that never comes) to declutter the whole house.
To me, "A page per room" is the most important part of her advice. A page per room means that your list can grown and change. It implies this is not a one-time deal and that you will be adding on (and crossing off ) your list for a long time to come.

Commit today to getting your notebook and, if nothing else, labeling each page a different room in your house or apartment. Then brainstorm - stream of consciousness things you would like to do in order to spruce up your space.

I'll start by sharing a page out of my notebook. Master bedroom. Bed: get new pillows, new throw pillows, and a comforter to fit our new king sized bed; get new night stands and lamps; find end table and lamp for couch area; hang pictures; consider an area rug and a some kind of window treatment for bedroom window; deal with bookshelf; find better space for trunk of blankets.

So serious am I about motivating you to work along with me, I am actually going to share pictures of our bedroom. Sharing these pictures ranks right up there with last year's Reaching for 5,000 campaign, when I was fighting tooth and nail not to have to post a picture of me wearing a bathing suit. Our bedroom is the one room in the house most people never see, so it's easy to make it the most neglected. Take a look and you'll see that's an understatement.

My purse and work schedule will prevent me from tending to our entire room this week, but I will identify a portion of it to work along with you. Tune in tomorrow to find out more.

Now tell me.... what small space will you commit to working on this week?

Signing off until tomorrow...


Chaotic said...

the desk area in corner of my bedroom... is supposed to be a meditation type area but it is so cluttered that I feel more upset than serene when I try to use it.

Katie K said...

My bedroom always seems to be the room that gets the least attention from me because I don't spend a ton of time in it, except to get ready in the morning and sleep at night. I think I will spend the week focusing on my bedroom.

eknoxuk said...

I love this! I think I might take it and adapt a bit. I think I'll organize one area of a room a day. As a stay at home mom, I can do that. Then I can feel a bit of accomplishment each day, which is great because the normal cleaning is just so repetitive it doesn't feel like much of an accomplishment. Today I'll tackle the pantry!
We had a big decorating milestone this weekend. After 2 years we no longer have a plain white bedroom! We painted it a rust, orange and reddish color. I love it!

eknoxuk said...

Claudia I think drapes and a picture over your bed are all you need! Decorators can sometimes make their own drapes from fabric. I suggest asking her about this, I can never find the perfect drapes, but love my mom's decorator drapes. Also, I suggest looking around your house for a picture that will work in the bedroom. It doesn't have to be perfect for now, but if you're not prepared to buy an expensive picture then it helps it look complete in the meantime. Also, watch for sales when furniture stores sell their decorative items. I got my favorite pictures really cheap that way! Or if you want to be really creative, buy a blank canvas and splatter paint it with the colors for your room.

eknoxuk said...

OK, last thing, you're right a new comforter to pull it all together and TJ Maxx is a great place to look!

Cheryl said...

Focus on one area for 15 minutes? That's going to be tough. I'm pretty sure I need hours- no, days to focus on areas. My biggest need is furniture and accessories but the AC will have to come first. And the junk room that needs teh most cleaning is in the "needing days" categories.

I've made my list of rooms so hopefully I will be inspired by all of you!!

Claudia said...

Erica.. you have a future in this! Thanks for all the fun ideas. Can we talk about art for a minute?

One of the reasons my room (actually house) is void of pictures is because I do not know the first thing about picking out art. I feel like there is something formal to know about picking out art. I love anything an artist friends makes for me (hint, hint) and it will automatically be assigned wall space. I know I like it because it is personal. I also like photographs - I also think because I am connected to them. That way I don't have to wonder if it is "wall worthy." I know it is because they are sentimental.

Is anyone following me?

As for the comforter... apparently the "rise" on our bed is higher than normal meaning we can't get a standard sized king comforter. Go figure. I have a plan for one, but it will take me through the summer.

Cheryl said...

Regarding art... I think as long as you love it that is all that matters. There are so many different types out there about different subjects the selection is endless. So much to love.

I have 5 pieces that were done by my son Drew when he was around 3. I just loved them. They're just crayon on white copy paper. I had them framed and they're grouped in my living room. They will be forever sentimental.

Cristine said...

It's my dining room aka the storage room. It's a big week in our house, so lets hope that I find the time. Luckily VVA is coming to pick up stuff tomorrow, which is added incentive to get off the computer and back to work.

My opinion about "wall art" if you like it than hang it. Art is subjective. I like the idea of kids drawings, I've seen lots of articles on framing and having a art gallery wall for their stuff. Various rooms in our house have different items - some from our honeymoon, large family photos, family heirlooms, and just decorative pieces. If it makes you smile when you see the item, I think that it's right for the space.

Good luck with your new bedroom makeover Claudia. I'm off to t-ball.

Kat said...

I also need to work on the master bedroom. Visitors never go in there so it often is neglected. I have been working on our kitchen this week, but I am losing motivation, so moving to a new area for a couple of days may do me some good. Here are a few fun ideas for wall art that I ran across the other day. I plan on implementing several of them!

Peggy said...

I'll be working in my craft room, putting things away, purging and tossing garbage!

Heather said...

Okay...I have my list of things...I only put the things I can do for less than $50 since our budget is tight these days...I think that is why I like putting up photos as well...you can print a nice photo in black and white, mat yourself and frame yourself and have a decent wall hanging for less than $15 or so...Now to see if I can persuade Laura to take a few good pictures of Lily while we are in Louisville next month then I'll definitely be hanging them.