decorating disclaimer {i have no idea what i’m doing}

**A short pre-note to say I’m feeling a bit off my game right now.  We found out on Friday that a dear friend of ours from another time and place in our lives had suddenly and unexpectedly passed away.  I’m just feeling out of sorts.  It may be a little quiet around here this week.  Thanks so much for your understanding … and maybe take the extra time to call an old friend to see how they are and tell them you think of them often.**

karah-nancy-tamaya

Ok, my friends, we need to get serious here for a quick minute.

When we embarked on this little house renovation endeavor I wrote my first disclaimer in reference to my DIY home improvement techniques and tendencies.  You can get up to speed on that here if you missed it.

Now that we’re heading into the realm of furniture and accessories and decor I feel the need to whip out my disclaimer pen again to absolve myself from any dispute that might arise from any post I so choose to publish as it relates to home decorating.

***I have no idea what I’m doing.***

I think if we can all agree on that right up front we can continue on this merry journey hand-in-hand, without judgement or ill-will.

living room decorating

The desire may arise in you at some point to take my old, hand-me-down, oft thrifted or collected or gathered from the side of the street items and chuck them at my skull.  With force.

Because I am not arranging them correctly.

Or there’s too much asymmetry going on.

Or they just plain don’t work together.

living room decorating

And you KNOW it.

But, the thing is, I don’t know it yet.

I took an inventory of all of the furniture items we have brought into our living room and dining room so far …

… and only 2 were bought brand new, one specifically for this house.

dining room decorating

The majority were either gifted from my parents or purchased second-hand.  And the accessories … well, they most likely once lived in someone else’s house and found their way to a curb somewhere and it was just fate that I happened to find them on that day on that street in somewhere USA or Curacao.

So, please have patience with me.

I have made one single decor purchase specifically for this house so far.

I have visions for color schemes and sofa styles and fun appliqued accent pillows that I’d like.

living room decorating

But I don’t actually have any of those things.

And, truth be told, I don’t really care about those kinds of things that much to put too much concerted effort into it.

Don’t get me wrong.  I am definitely on the journey to make this space feel like home. But that’s the thing.

These things do feel like home.

To us.

They might not “go”.  Or be “in style”.  Trendy is definitely something I have never been accused of.

living room decorating

So with sweaty palms I am going to start sharing some of our decorating journey.  And it is going to evolve. And I don’t really envision any grand room reveals, because the minute I find something new on the side of the road I’ll be bringing it in and shifting things around a bit.

And I’d love your input. In the “Hey that thing is great but it might look better over there” vein and not really the “Geesh, you really do suck at decorating” vein.  :)

For some reason this whole deal has me a bit nervous.  It’s not really my thing.  Give me a sawzall and pry bar and I’m happy to tear some walls down and redesign the function of a space, but I really wish I had a twin sister named Genevieve Gorder to guide me along from here.

living room decorating

Hopefully I don’t screw things up too bad.

Now, let’s hug it out and love each other anyway, k?

Did you notice the “ingoing” sign on that roadside box?  Who says ingoing?  Anyone?

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About Karah

I'm Karah and I'm so glad you're here! I'm a small town girl from the North East who finds myself moving around with my husband and pups every few years and constantly on a journey to make the most of every space we find ourselves in. That little space between what has been and what will be. It'd be so cool if you'd like to join us for the ride.
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29 Responses to decorating disclaimer {i have no idea what i’m doing}

  1. Obviously, the Ingoing box lost its perceived value because of the lack of a matching Outgoing box. Some people just don’t know a treasure when they see one.

    Luckily, WE do.

    I’m loving following your journey EXACTLY because you aren’t afraid to put things together in a way someone else might not have thought of. Just because something doesn’t precisely fit RIGHT NOW, doesn’t mean we can’t love it. If you love it, it has its own perfection.

  2. Hanna Cage says:

    To be honest I love your style. It is miles above my own style, which is currently more like a “particle board, Walmart style.” :) Someday I will own nice things, I swear, just not today… or tomorrow… and that is okay. One site I found recently that I love is Flea Market Style. http://fleamarketstylemag.blogspot.com/

    I like the name because it gives me label I can stick on my furniture choices when I am talking to my mother, rather than just “stuff I found for free at the recycling center.” *grin*

  3. Karah I am so sorry to hear about your friend. Losing a friend, even if you have not seen them in a while, just knowing they are no longer here on this earth with us just can throw you for a major loop and knock you back for a while. Good that you are recognizing this and taking some time to process it. Now….as for the decor, this post could have been written by me 100 times over. I am looking forward to seeing your journey! Sharing this on my FB page today. I think this will resonate with so many people!

    • Karah says:

      Ugh! I knew you would have the right words, Karen. Sometimes it’s just hard to get your mind around things and you are right, it just knocks you back. Thank you for the comment, and the share!! Redouxers unite. :)

  4. Debbie says:

    Sorry for your loss.

    I love old furniture. Out house has family give-me-downs. In the past, whenever a family member got married, our family would donate something for the newly weds to use in their place.

    Old pieces have so much character. I embrace old, unmatched furniture.
    We were going “green” and didn’t even know it.

  5. I happen to think that you have some GREAT finds in your house. I may even go as far as being a little jealous. I love those wooden boxes! I also don’t know what I am doing here. I have a hard time committing to buying decor, and I think my husband secretly wishes I was more into buying than salvaging and making it myself. Heehee!

  6. I hope you find some comfort in all the wonderful memories you created with your friend. The sorrow you’re feeling honors her and the friendship you shared. Be kind to yourself during this sad time.

  7. laura says:

    You just be who you are and decorate with what you love. That’s the true trend setter in decorating!

  8. Nancy Carr says:

    Karah, you are wonderful and a blessing to me and many others. You have a light that comes through in your posts. I could not do most of the things you do, so I am along for the entertainment and amazement at what you accomplish. There are times in our lives when we need to be quiet or take more time for ourselves. In the big picture nothing has to match or be perfect. Your house is a home, and it is a wonderful home. Your life is important, so do what fulfills you. Love you so much!

  9. Decorating isn’t permanent and can always be redone. It’s so much easier (and wiser) to just change your mind about a thrift or curb rescue than it is to do so with something you paid serious $$ for. Tastes evolve. Things that have sentimental value, whether they “go” or not are keepers, so much so that we’ll have to leave or add on to accommodate all. My house is definitely changing most of the time.
    Janet

  10. JolieAnne says:

    I think when you live in a space that is being remodeled you have to have time to
    make choices and down the road you may not like anything in your house-it happens! Or you may know just where it works in your house after you live with it for awhile. I like how you have “collected” things over the years from all over. I think a mix of old, new and found works best in my house. Two things I never buy used are sofas and mattresses, (and shoes)-but most everything else for the house I can deal with. As long as I can wash it or dry clean it then it works! The items from your parents are keepers! you have handed down pieces-love that! Keep doing what you are doing it will all work out!

  11. Sheryl Gunapati says:

    Karah, so sorry about your friend.

    I believe that only the couch in my house is new… everything what is curb side finds, craigslist deals, and freecycle freebies. I love it!

  12. When you have shared fun, silly, sad, and life’s every days with a friend it is unbelievably painful when they depart from this world; more so, when unexpected. Do not rush yourself – you are mourning, and that is okay. Be kind to yourself.

    My house looks like yours – we have purchased of all two items new. I am sharing your journey and looking forward to learning. And, you do have some great pieces with real character.

  13. Carole says:

    To Karah – Losing someone is never easy and reminds us all of how precious life is and that we need to be thankful for every day. Take care of yourself and give yourself some space to think and reflect.
    Karah, you have a special knack for using and re-purposing things you find that some of us – like me – would not see the beauty or usefulness in. I admire you so much for that and know you will make your house a home with the things you love.

  14. Karah..I am so sorry about the loss of your dear friend!!..I lost my dear friend since Jr. High several months ago…it is not easy…So take time for yourself and honor your friend…and I am confident that you will have the perfect decor for your home…you are a talented lady!

  15. chris aka monkey says:

    aww karah so sorry for your loss…. i look at mags and the pics of the perfectly decorated rooms and laugh like a hyena no one i know lives like that..my friends all have at least one old ratty thing we won’t give up so just make your home comfortable for you and hub…and put all the negative things in your ingoing box oh my did that make me laugh xx

  16. txvoodoo says:

    So very sorry for your loss, and hope the memories of your friend bring you peace.

    My only things that match are my living room set that I bought in 99, and I’m so horribly BORED by it. We got it because our other sofa and chairs were damaged in a move. I’m going to do slipcovers to make them feel more me. Everything else in my house is a collection of things acquired via inheritance, or just…through life! I’m 51 and I have the baggage, and I love it. :D

    The other thing about a house, is, well, it’s a home. It’s not a museum, with a set vignette, or a display. I’m always changing things around as needed, either by function or just “what will that look like over *there*?” Or, my need to have half-height ottomans or similar in all the rooms for the aging dachshund. Etc!

    I also want my house to be livable. I think you do too, because yours look like a place one could just relax in!

  17. Carmen says:

    Hi Karah

    I’m very sorry about the loss of your dear friend. As for your decorating style, as long as you’re happy with it, then that’s all that really matters. I see nothing wrong with used furniture or even clothes.

  18. Jenny Ballard says:

    Sorry to hear of the loss of your friend.
    There’s only one rule to decorating, and that is, if you love it and it works for you, then it’s right.
    In my house, we avoid buying anything new (mattresses are the exception) if there is a perfectly good pre-loved one out there. Last year I had to combine our eclectic style with my mother-in-laws mid-century style when we all moved in together. It’s been a fun journey. I’m sure the decorating experts would find a lot of faults, but it works for us and I still get that ‘I’m loving that’ feeling, when I look at particular things.

  19. Traci says:

    I think that you have a sense of style that you are not giving yourself credit for. I love the mismatched chairs, table and bench. Yes, the scale is a bit off but you have the mad skills necessary to shorten the bench or lengthen the table. Color is the best way to unite various furniture pieces. You can paint furniture or use gel stain on wood pieces. You can also use pillows or cushions to unite your mismatched dining set. I would love to see somethings in your family room in a shade of navy or royal blue since it has an ocean feel and it can work as a neutral but would look better than black in your home.

    I am finally making the switch over the wordpress but I can’t find the name of the plugin you use for commenting. I wrote it down but I can’t find it now that I need it.

    It sounds like you are having a wonderful holiday and you have my wishes for a Merry Christmas as well.
    Traci

    • Karah says:

      I love the Navy idea!! And the plug in is comment reply notification, that enables me to reply in the comments so everyone can see but you will get an email with the reply as well. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

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