Interior Decorating Information

You Know Your Home Décor is Frumpy and Stale when?.


As a decorator, I have gone into many different homes and met homeowners with questionable taste. One thing I am shocked about is people living in a time warp. I recently had a client who hired me because they had an "ah- ha moment" seeing their living room style on a circa 1980's sit-com rerun. Yes, their living room had not been restyled in 25 years. Sometimes people just decorate like their mother did because that is all they have ever known. Let's not be frumpy and stale.

So how can you tell if you are living in a time warp and need to freshen up your home's look? Here are just a few of the telltale signs:

  • Look up. What do you see? If you see a popcorn ceiling or glitter mixed with ceiling paint, you have an outdated look.
  • Now, look down. Do you see dark carpeting? over 10 years old? Do you see wall to wall plush carpeting? The trend is most definitely hardwood floors with gorgeous area rugs
  • Look to the side. Do you see any fake wood paneling whatsoever? The darker and shinier it is, the worse it is. No paneling!
  • What do you see on the wall? Please don't tell me that you see white paint. The trend is color, color, and color. Don't be bland! A rich complex color can bring your room up to the new
  • If you removed a picture from the wall, will there be a telltale sign that it hung in that exact spot too long? Paint fades over the years, ya know. Be sure to change the accessories around every few years. I bet that picture is hung way too high also. Is it hung more than 6 inches from the top of the sofa? See told ya.
  • Do you have over 5 photographs of children who are now grown? Subtract points if the frames are all different types and sizes.
  • How about the furniture? Is it lumpy and bumpy (formally known as cascade back style)? It reminds me of rolls of fat. Yuck! The updated look it smooth sleek lines with classic styling. Toss it to the curb with its buddy, the extra large lazy-people recliner.
  • Speaking of the couch, please don't let me see a knitted afghan folded over the back of the sofa. I love things made by Grandma too but it doesn't need to be the focal point. It is no longer fashionable to place a folded blanket of any kind over the back of the couch.
  • How about the accent pillows? The old style of placing matching pillows at each end of the couch is dated too - just because they came with the couch doesn't mean you have to use them. Spice it up with pillows of contrasting colors, unique motifs, and hip textures.
  • Let's check out the kitchen. This is an easy room to tell if is out of date. On the floor, do you have bold geometric vinyl? Are your appliances harvest gold or avocado? Do your cupboards lack character? Do they have their original knobs and pulls? Are the counters a color like 70's Brady Bunch orange or even 80's country blue? It really pays to redo a kitchen but if you can't right now, update the knobs, get a rug, and gallons of paint. And the bonus question:

    11. On your bathroom counter, is there a grouping of lotions and potions? The big pump bottle of everyday moisturizer? On your bedroom dresser, you don't have your collection of perfume bottles of scents you haven't worn in several years, do you? Don't you remember your mother doing this? Let's not decorate how mom did.

    Now you know if your décor is frumpy and stale. You also know a few ways to make it fresh. Next, how about those pleated slacks?

    Julie Dana is a professional Interior Redesigner and Accredited Staging Professional. Her company, The Home Stylist, offers online decorating consultations, do-it-yourself decorating plans and real-estate staging. Visit http://www.thehomestylist.com to take a fun style quiz, vote on a color poll, and sign up for free decorating e-newsletter.


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