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Home Decor #MAYkeover How-To!

I think you guys might be convinced that doing your own makeovers is hard. and expensive. 
and that perhaps it's just tooooooo much for you to try. 
I really want to dispel those doubts, and show you how to get started -
because it's all about USING WHAT YOU ALREADY HAVE!

in May, 2014, there was this #MAYkeovers hashtag 'thing' going on all over social media,
so I used it on my blog posts back then (see my #MAYkeover post round-up hereand 
you've made those posts some of the most popular here on homewardFOUND - let's revisit them!

continue reading for my 'how to' tips for your OWN free makeover...
I bet you've looked at your rooms and thought to yourself
 'I'd love to redecorate, but I just can't afford it'. Or maybe 'I just don't know where to START!'

 Start with a 'search and recover' mission!

Look in EVERY drawer, cupboard, cabinet, and closet in your home. 
Dig through EVERY bin, box, shelf, and bag in the garage, attic, basement, and in storage.

Pull out all of those wonderful items you bought to use in your decor.
The art that your kids made in school. The gifts people have given you.
The stuff you bought on sale and hid in the hall closet. (WHaaaaaa? Who, ME?!)
You need to know EXACTLY what you have on hand before you start decorating.

I did this one Summer at my brother and sister in law's home. 
Like my sister in law, I bet you have purchased things you loved and wanted to put in your house.
And then you shoved them into drawers and closets and bins in the garage  
and promptly forgot all about them.

So, let's 'Shop Your House' and FIND all of that stuff!
As you unearth it,  put what you find on a table in the garage, or a non-busy area in your home.
You'll be creating a motherlode of supplies and elements here
that you will work with when you get to the decorating phase.
[don't use a box - you need to be able to SEE what you're gathering up]

 As you go through your house searching, you'll be amazed at what you find...
your favorite colors and themes will become apparent as you go along.

 The photos shown here are of the goods I unearthed in my brother's house,
and then piled on the dining room table (no one was there but me so I could do that).
It's clear evidence that his wife has EXQUISITE taste and knows EXACTLY what she likes
[and better yet, she loves a good bargain as much as I do!]
The color palette of these 'found' items [ I live the HOMEWARDfound philosophy!]
is consistent with some of the items already visible in the rooms, as well as the existing wall color. 
[That wall color is Glidden 'Gentle Tide', btw]
From brown and tan to sand, robins egg blue to aqua, and pure crisp white,
this palette is evocative of the sea - a place my brother and his family love to spend time -
 and is comprised of my sis in law's fave colors.
This is a great example 
of something that I see happen ALL THE TIME:
We buy items that speak to our hearts and souls, and evoke memories of places we love.
We all do this, whether we shop at Neimans or a thrift store.
We're just not sure what to do with it once we get it HOME.

We love what we love.  
And that is what we should be decorating with, and living with

So, my friends, get busy! Start hauling out the things you love,
and you'll start seeing just how amazing your home can be.
 And don't think literally about objects you find...
a tablecloth doesn't have to be USED as a tablecloth - it can be fabric.
Trust me. Just add it to your pile of elements to be used.
These are the raw materials that you have to work with, and they didn't cost you a CENT!

Take your cues from what you've unearthed, and you'll see:
color palette
lifestyle (casual or formal ; cluttered or sparse)
theme (beach, cityscape, mountains, old Hollywood glam)
the details (items that revive memories and tell stories to make you smile)

We're only looking at this for a quick summertime update right now, so don't panic...
you're not painting walls or buying new stuff. Unless of course, you WANT to!
Now take everything that does NOT fit the look you've created OUT of your rooms.
Pack up the colors that clash, the materials that are out of season,
and the accessories that are meaningless.
Remember, you are creating space in your home to express your newfound style.

What to do with the old stuff?
If it's a precious family piece, very expensive, or you use it every winter,
then pack it safely away. stack it in a closet, or the garage, or attic.

If it's NOT one of those things, then think about another way to use it, or how to make it over:
Can you paint it? Take it apart and use the pieces to create something else?
If it's something you just don't know why you're keeping, donate it or toss it.
Next, look at your furniture in a new way...
Dressers do not have to hold clothes. They can be servers in a dining room, holding linens and silver.
Benches can be tables. Chairs can hang on walls as shelves, or hold a stack of books.
Loveseats can nestle at the foot of a bed in the master bedroom, creating a private reading nook.
Beach umbrellas can work on your patio. Canvas dropcloths can be slipcovers - or curtains.
Maybe the three extension leaves don't need to be in the dining table all year long.
( I turned one into a bar top!)

Rearrange the position of your sofa and chairs, or dining table. 
Swap a piece from another room that will provide better storage - or a better traffic pattern.
In most cases, you will be opening up the space,
because rooms get clogged with furniture, and then there's no room for people.
And summer means more people are around!

Consider your windows...
Do you really need draperies in the living & dining room? 
Could you replace them with thin white sheers or colorful pareo wraps,
to provide privacy while allowing the light in?
Light curtains that blow in the breeze all summer long make rooms feel twenty degrees cooler!

Along the same lines, look at the lamps.
Replace heavy, dark shades with white ones for summer.
If you have a bunch of mis-matched metal bases, paint them all white or nickel-finish silver.
Make sure the bulbs are bright - or pretty, in the case of chandeliers.
(I love faceted flame-shaped ones on chandies).

If you've come this far, you're at what I consider to be 'the fun part':
Take all that awesome stuff you unearthed in closets and drawers and bins,
and find ways to display it in your newly-freshened rooms:
Stack some books on a shelf or mantel, and place a perfect shell on top.
Use the woven beach tote to hold magazines by the sofa.
Put the kids' art into all-white frames, and create a gallery wall in the entry or hallway.
Use a set of cut crystal glasses to hold votive candles on the dining room table.
Put a flag in a Coke bottle, or a candle in a wine bottle.

If you need great inspiration to kick-start your creativity,
look at Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware catalogs, 
and Pinterest boards from major magazines and bloggers.

Now, add one final touch:
A plant, sculptural leaves cut from a plant, roadside grasses, flowers from the yard or market...
anything that will bring a touch of nature and life into your room.
Simple is best, honestly:
  Even a jelly jar with some daisies on your mantel will make a huge impact.
Then pour yourself something cool to drink,
put some relaxing tunes on, settle yourself in a chair or on the sofa, and look around.
Your house just went into vacation mode - and so did you!

Is there ANYTHING better?!
LOL... I guess my sister in law and my Mom would say  
"YES! Having Deb come over to do it FOR you while you are on vacation!"


  1. Hi Debi- This is a really great post. It is so true that we accumulate stuff and then file it away to use "someday" and that day never comes it seems. You have put together some great ideas for people that won't cost them an arm and a leg or much work (unless they end up painting)...lol xo Diana

    1. thank you so much for your very kind comment, Miss Diana! i really love helping people see what they already have in a fresh new way, and i hope this provides inspiration and tools that everyone can use to make their home a place they LOVE! <3