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Sharing Basic Decorating Tips

January 09, 2014

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If you haven't already guessed, I really enjoy decorating my home.

I've always been artistic and I suppose my obsession with interior design stems from a need to create something beautiful to look at on a daily basis.

The Basics of Decorating

In high school, I painted and drew, during college I worked as a merchandiser in retail stores and after grad school, I taught in primary classrooms, where art is king.

When I left my job to raise my children, my home became my palette.

While I do love every room in my house, I've never considered myself a particularly outstanding decorator.

Cottage Style Kitchen Nook

I know what I like, I have a definitive style and I just go with what I love.

I am a perfectionist and obsess over every little detail, yes, but most of my friends have lovely homes and I just figured everyone decorated using the same process.

So I was always a little bit awed when people asked me for decorating advice.

And it happened a lot, but what surprised me even more was people's reactions when I shared my ideas.

More often than not, I found that when I said something that was screamingly obvious to me regarding the decorating process or a DIY project, most people acted as if they had never heard the information before.

It was like I had just shared this huge secret.

Roses In A Red Vintage Spongewear Pitcher

Common "rules" were all foreign ideas to so many.
  • Like those regarding furniture placement - all on or all off the carpet
  • The optimal number of items involved in grouping accessories -three is ideal, beyond that odd numbers are best 
  • What colors complement each other - usually it's opposites on the color wheel, but I always say go with your gut, or pair your favorite with white
  • Consideration of scale when choosing furniture
  • Rules about where to use or how to mix fabrics - um, there are none, create and mix away
Cottage Style Bathroom Vanity Makeover with green fabric

Even more outlandish to some, was the fact that quite a few items in my home were purchased at garage sales or worse, rescued from the curb and transformed.

I also enjoyed the laughs I got when I told people, "Well if you can't find it, you could always make it!"

Now, I'm sure that my art background, studies involving composition, color, construction, come into play in my designs, but most of what I do either looks and feels right to me.

Or it doesn't.

And again, I thought everyone operated like this.

It's been my experience though that this is not necessarily true.

So after many, many people asked me for the same kinds of tips over and over again, I decided to combine my love of d├ęcor and writing and the basic idea for this blog was born.

Red Coffee Table In Living Room

I wanted to share a few of the things I've learned over the years and empower people to make their spaces beautiful on their own and by their own definition.

I wanted to provide very easy, very inexpensive projects that could transform a room, motivating people who had perhaps never done it before.

However, during January, this month of reflection and new beginnings, I began to wonder about the value of my expertise.

In the home decor blogging community there are multitudes of very talented and seasoned interior designers, and to many of them and their own multitude of followers, I have wondered if my tips are too basic to be of any interest.

Quite a few of the projects and rooms I have encountered on these blogs are truly outstanding.

I found myself thinking that there's no audience for the basics here, everyone in this land of social media and armchair experts, already knows this stuff, it's too basic.

I started seriously doubting the idea that my help for beginners advice was helping anyone.

I kept imagining people reading my posts and thinking, "Really, is that all she's got?"

Yet, the comments continue to roll in both on the blog and via Facebook.

People are pinning my posts and following.

Screened In Porch Decorating

I'm realizing that, just like in my neighborhood, there are still people out there who have never heard the basics before and find very simple tips to be genuinely inspiring.

So at the risk of sounding like a broken record I will say it again...what other people think of me is none of my business.

I'm sticking with my original idea.

I'm going to continue to throw my basic decorating advice into the mix, mainly because I enjoy sharing it and if I can enlighten just a few friends along the way, I'm happy.

Of course, if you are a reader who is beyond the basics, I totally get it and please comment, maybe I can learn something from you,

But I hope you'll still come back from time to time whether it be for recipe (um...also basic), some pretty inspiration or a just a good laugh.

Why I Share The Basics text over pink peony flowers in a vase

Where do you stand on the basics?

Happy Decorating Friends!!
Kim Signature

Post a Comment | 19 Comments

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  1. No ma'am and I'm right there with you in thought and feeling.

    When I host something at my house for the neighborhood or family, people walk around in awe of the decor. Which Cracks Me Up!! My husband's cousin is just amazed at the idea of stacking books to make something taller on a table. Really? When I have had Bunko here they just stare and talk about how pretty and decorated everything is. Nothing that I do is out of the's just what I like and think is pretty. My style doesn't exactly match what a lot of people do here in Texas. There's a lot of metal, huge huge items, and dark walls. That's just not what I want.

    And like you, when somebody asks me for advice I feel sheepish and out of my league. I guess we should just take it as the compliment that it is. Please keep doing what you do. :) Faithful follower here.

  2. I had to come back and talk some more...there are some blogs now with giant followings. Not to talk bad about people because it's not meant that way but some are doing projects strictly for the purpose of blogging. That's never going to be my know? I'm here making my home and if something looks blog worthy I'll post it. It's kind of by accident.

    1. Stacey, thank you so much for your passionate comment! Your home is gorgeous and you do have a definite flair for interior design. It's easy to see why people would ask for your advice and input, as well. I guess because it's comes very naturally to us, it doesn't feel like anything special, when in reality, it is not intuitive for everyone. I think you're right, we should just take it as a compliment ~ which I am not usually very good at accepting!

      As far as your second comment goes, I totally understand. I think that there are many reasons people choose to blog and content will generally be dictated by that reason. At the moment, my reasons sound very similar to yours...and I am truly grateful for your "faithful follow"~ your visits and comments always make my day! :)

  3. I love your decorating ideas! I think simple is wonderful. My most simple recipes are the ones people love best. I think it's because people CAN actually do them, they don't have to be a professional to make it...especially when it comes to decorating, it can be very intimidating for some of us.

    1. I agree with you 100%, your analogy is perfect, because I am not a natural cook! The simpler the recipe, the more likely I am to try it. I may like to look at some incredibly pretty cake, but I would NEVER attempt it! :) Thanks for the comment!

  4. Kim, my dear - You're kidding, right???? YOU show up in my email, and YOU are the one blogging-land email that I READ, INTENTIONALLY, every single time! I LOVE your blog!! It's something that everyone can wrap their heads around. Simple stuff that makes a difference. And people seem to think I am some kind of decorator. I, personally, don't. I just do what feels right to me. And what YOU do feels right to me!
    If I had to keep only one decoratinig blog, yours would be it! As a matter of fact, your living room is my desktop background, reminding me to simplify and get/recover some basic cream-colored furniture (because I change decor with the seasons, and what better furniture to do that with!?) ...speaking of which, where is that JCP order that 'is on the way'???
    You're the best of the best. Thanks for being here!

    1. Nancy, you have just made my day and made me blush in one fell swoop! Man, you're good! I am glad to know that you have found some inspiration here and I am totally and completely flattered by your following. Really. I'm also glad I ditched the red plaid couches in the living room before I started blogging...not sure they would've made for a pretty screen saver! ;)

  5. I completely agree with you, and I love your ideas. I am amazed that I get any comments because my stuff seems very basic to me, but I honestly think this is what so many people in real life are looking for. I don't have much of a "decorating" budget, so I've learned to DIY as much as I can, and this is what I look for on other blogs. I hope someone didn't make a rude comment on one of your posts!

    1. Haha ~ Dee! No, no rude comments, I have to say that everyone in blogland has been nothing but extremely complimentary. I was just reevaluating my blog, since it's January, a new year, time for new beginnings and all that jazz and I started wondering whether or not my posts were really adding any value among the so many others out there....just thinking out loud I guess! Thanks for weighing in! :)

  6. Hey Kim,

    Amazing post! Your writing is always so fluid and clear that I find myself just gliding right through all the wonderful and wise information. I can totally relate to what you're saying, on every level. And like Stacey said, I could never JUST do a new project for the sake of having something to blog about! First of all, because I don't have the funds and secondly, I need to be inspired. If I have nothing interesting happening in my home or in my thoughts, I simply won't post for the sake of posting. That's just me. And, even though I could really use the extra cash, I have chosen not to advertise. My little blog is my haven, where like-minded people drop by and have a chat or simply stop to say hello, and that's perfectly fine, for me!

    Thanks for sharing!


    1. Hello Poppy! Thanks for taking the time to weigh in...and here I thought that this post would just sort of sink way below the radar! Ha! I entered the world of blogs very blindly. I really just wanted to write, as that is where my true passion lies. I had no idea what an enormously creative community I would become involved in. I think that along the way, seeing all these fabulous projects and makeovers, I wondered sponsored or not, were my words reaching anyone? Were they adding any value, when so many readers were bloggers themselves. What could I possibly offer them? I'm still not sure I have anything new to offer, but I am having fun writing and interacting with others. At this point I am going to stick with my original plan and see where it takes me! :)

    2. Okay, Kim, I don't think I have anything to say that hasn't already been said by these lovely ladies before me. I agree with everything they wrote, and they all said it very well. So I'll just say I love you, girl. You're so real, and Lord knows we need more of that in this crazy world. Keep doing what you're doing, and evolve naturally. Don't let anyone else define you or your blog. One other thought (did I say I couldn't add anything else? Oh, yeah. Well, forget that), there are many visitors who appreciate what you share, but will never leave a comment because they're just too shy. They'll keep up with your blog because you speak to them and give them something they're looking for. I know people who read my blog regularly, but they're just not people who publicly follow or comment. They'll say something on Facebook, or if I see them on the street or whatever they'll mention that they read my blog. So just know that we can't always tell the value of our blogs by the number of followers or the number of comments, or by comparing ourselves to the next blog. I blog because it's a heck of a lot of fun and I've met some awesome people like you who inspire me, encourage me and make me want to do better. For me, all good reasons to keep on keepin' on. Soooo...go get 'em, Tiger! :)

    3. Thanks Nancy! I am enjoying what I am putting out there and I am going to stick with it!

  7. I am horrible at decorating and because of that my house is blah! Bring on the basics, baby! And more than that there is no point in doing a blog if you don't love it. Write what you love. That's my focus this year.

    1. I'm with you Carla, I'm sticking with my original plan...with what I love! :)

  8. Oh are GREAT!!!!! and your "original plan" is right up my alley!
    Please, please keep on keeping on! I love coming to see what you have done, and that is always a blessing to me!

    1. J, thanks so much! It really is what I know best and enjoy sharing...and apparently there are a lot of people who enjoy it as well! Happy New Year to you and thanks for the comment! :)

  9. All I can say is YAY!!!! You go girl!!! Love all you do and how you do it~~with laughs and humor along the way. You ARE inspiring!! Give me someone who can pull off a beautiful high end look on a low end budget any day and you can keep the hoity toity experts (far away from me).

    I have commented before, so I'm really not Anonymous, but don't have a blog. Hhhmm, perhaps my name should be Anne Onimas~what do you think?? Keep being you!

    1. Wow, thanks for the ringing endorsement...and I am intrigued Anne Onimas. Who is that masked commenter? ;)