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Updating Old Home Decor

November 14, 2023

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Do you shop your house?

Play musical chairs with your chairs?

Move pillows or furniture from one room to another...and then back again the following season?

All in an effort to give your home an entirely new look, without spending a dime?

How To Update Old Home Decor

It's something I do often and was sure others did, as well.

Turns out, not so much.

I was shocked when I heard the first no from a local friend.

So I began taking an informal poll and found out that this was not something most people did on a regular basis.

When asked, why not, there was no one solid reason. The answers were varied.
  • the decor pieces wouldn't go  
  • the colors are wrong 
  • living room decor isn't right for a bedroom 
And the most astonishing one, you don't put throw pillows in the kitchen.

Oh boy. I actually had to sit down after I heard that one.

Pillows absolutely belong in the kitchen, they add color and pattern, they soften all the hard edges and just make sitting more comfortable.

I have them in that room all year long...and during the holidays, I add some fun Christmas themed ones.

Christmas In The Kitchen with red curtains and pillows in round table nook

As a matter of fact, I just ordered new covers for my old pillows.

Ironic, I know. Here I am talking about shopping your house, but then sharing what I've recently purchased.

But, hear me out, as I digress a teeny bit. A few new seasonal accessories can add new life to older furniture....and at about $5-$10 each, pillow covers are a great investment...and ones I keep for decades. 

And since I'm reusing most of my old decor, I have a little dough to buy something fresh.

See how that works? 😉 

These are my latest finds.

Red Christmas Pillow Covers

Anyway, back to shopping your house.

For all those who do swap decor, kudos to you.

And for those who don't, here's a tip.

Do it.

It'll breathe new life into your rooms and into older your accessories, in mere minutes.

And it won't cost you a dime.

Yes, on occasion, there might be a tiny bit of DIY necessary to make things fit, but that's very rare. And if you do need to make a change, most likely, it's a small one.

Maybe a little painting or a quick modification.

Like today's DIY.

For months I've been agonizing over what pillows to add to my new green checked sofa. I wanted a little more red in the room for fall, to tie the couch together with the floral wallpaper.

Zippered Pillow Cover

So I searched high and low for the right pillow cover or fabric only to come up empty handed.

Then one afternoon, I walked past the living room where I saw my old Pier One beaded pillows and I thought hmm, maybe...

And moved them into the family room, where they looked perfect. 

Well, almost.

You see, the color of the flowers was exactly the same red tone as the wallpaper, but they had these wooden beads in the center of each bloom and that was distracting.

Missing and Broken Beads On A Pillow

Too summery, too boho and frankly some of the beads had fallen away making the pillows look worn. That part wasn't just right.

So for weeks, I resisted the notion that they might be "the ones" and kept looking, until my husband said, I like these best. Why can't you just remove the beads?

And I thought, when did this guy get so smart in the design department? And what's wrong with me, why didn't I think about that?

So I got to it.

Removing the beads was a quick and easy task, as you would expect. Even though they were set upon some very delicate embroidery, I was still able to do it without upsetting any of the other threads.

Zippered Pillow Cover

At first, I thought I would unzip the pillow and remove the threads holding the beads on from the back.

Until I discovered that these pillows were made quite well and they were lined, so I was unable to get to the bead thread.

Pillow Cover Lining

That meant I had to remove them from the front. It was a little more involved than I originally thought it would be, but again, it was still just a 10 minute project.

I used a very small seam ripper and carefully severed the strings that held the beads on.

Removing Beads From Embroidery

Then I simply pulled the threads out.

Gently removing old threads from embroidery

There were some white threads that were too tightly anchored to slip the seam ripper underneath, so for those I used a needle.

Removing Old Threads With A Pin

When I was done, I had a pillow that looked brand new and went nicely in the family room. 

It doesn't look so boho or summery any longer.

Now, it's a pillow for all seasons.

Floral Filled Cottage Style Decor

Until I move one of those red velvet ones in here.

And move this one back into the living room next week.

Or, if I'm feeling really daring, it might make its way into the kitchen.


Do you shuffle your decor around?

Happy Decorating, Folks!

Kim Signature

Post a Comment | 21 Comments

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  1. I am a long time shopper of my house. I thought everyone did as well!

    1. Me too, Margie!! I was shocked when I heard we weren't in the majority. I guess living here in the land of decor blogs, our vision gets a little skewed...for the better, I'd say!! Thanks for commenting today!!

  2. Your pillow looks like it was meant to be on the couch ~ perfect! I believe in rotating decor for fresh looks. I always enjoy seeing your decor ideas through emails, but don't always have time to comment.

    1. Thanks so much, Allyson! I love the combo, at first I thought too many flowers so close together, but it was definitely those beads that were throwing me. I mean honestly, can you ever have too many flowers?

  3. I do the swap party nearly every week.......somewhere in my house or with my daughter :-) It's great and doesn't cost us anything :-)
    Unfortunately, our pillows are not as pretty as yours, and hubby would think I had SURELY lost my marbles if I put pillows in our kitchen ;^) He has barely recovered from the big rug switch of last week...( summer to winter :-) Blessings, J

    1. J, your comments always make me chuckle! You would think my husband would also be used to the merry go round of decor that goes on in this house by now, but he also gets thrown. He’s never sure what pillow goes where or why a certain chair is in another room or how come his favorite table is suddenly missing! Haha..Oh well. Such is life with a decor addict. I always tell him I could be addicted to something worse, like shoes…which are expensive and require expensive outings to show them off!! 😉

  4. Hi Kim. I love to shop my house too. I love change so moving things around is fun. I use to do it more in my homes now in the condo it kind of has to stay the way it is set up. I can trade out decor however! Love what you did to the pillow to make it work. Have a great week. Hugs. Kris

    1. Thanks Kris! Well you're place always looks perfect, swapping or no! I can't wait to see it all decorated for Christmas. I hope you're having a super week!

  5. I always move things around, it creates a new look. The pillow looks lovely. Sometimes a little tweaking goes a long way. Happy Tuesday Kim.

    1. Thanks're right, sometimes a tiny tweak makes all the difference!! Happy Weekend!!

  6. I do shop my house, not as much as you do, but sometimes! No pillows in the kitchen though - my hubby would think I'd gone right over the edge!
    Taking the beads off that pillow was brilliant - looks new and perfect on that couch.

    1. Haha!! That's funny, Mari! I don’t know why so many people don’t put pillows in the kitchen. I have them on a few of my chairs and they're pretty, but they really save my back after a long sit! 😊

  7. Hi, well we are two peas in a pod. I too shop my house. ;-) I just did a switch a roo today. I do it not only inside but outside in my garden with potted plants, potted flowers, and garden furniture. I love it when Jeremy will say "Where did that come from." Ha!!!

    1. Oh…outdoor decor is super fun to play with, too! It’s already getting very cold here so not much of that going on right now…but a girl can dream!!

  8. I move things around all the time-including pillows and lamps and throws. You can totally change the way a place looks by just small changes. I thought most people did that...guess you found out they didn't.
    Have a wonderful Wednesday- xo Diana

    1. I thought most people did that, too, Diana. I guess maybe it's just us home decor addicts that love to play with pillows!! Plus, it's boring to live with the same old least I think so!! Happy Weekend! xo

  9. I do shuffle my decor around. It's wonderful to create a new look at a rock-bottom price!

    1. I agree, Ann!! Home is my favorite place to shop!!

  10. I've always shopped my house and changed things around! I don't like buying new decor unless it's absolutely something I need or that *really* calls to me. I'm getting better about this as I get older, too because I'm consciously working on decluttering instead of accumulating.

    1. I've been decluttering my stash pile, Melanie. It's not easy and I do love giving old things new life. However, I've been very choosy lately about the decor pieces I bring into the house and try to spend more time moving what I own around instead.

  11. Kim, the pillows looks so nice with the beads removed. It's a great idea to change around the pillows especially with the holidays here.