We’re there, part 3 of our beginners series on decorating.
So far, we’ve talked about trends, and colors, and finding the right style to suit your needs. Today, we’re going to discuss the little things.
What do I mean by little things?
Well, I’m talking all the finishing touches that separate most decent decorating jobs from the jaw-dropping amazing jobs, the kinds worthy of being displayed in a magazine.
Keep in mind, this part deals with small stuff, but it can be the hardest part of making your place look right.
It’s The Little Things That Matter
No, I’m not talking about someone’s dog. I’m referring to the knickknacks that serve no purpose, other than aesthetics.
When you go into most homes, you’ll get a quick impression. We’ve all been there. There’s the crafty family who moved in and did something fun with the walls and made them look trendy. There’s the toy house, which represents any family with kids. And there’s the almost-hoarders, who haven’t thrown away a single thing in over five decades, and it’s all crammed into every conceivable nook or cranny of the home’s arrangement.
Whatever home it is, it usually doesn’t look like it should ever be featured in a magazine. But whether you want to sell your home and have some wow factor to it, or whether you’d just like your neighbors to be impressed, you might want to learn the art of fufu.
Adding fufu is all about making the room look complete without being cluttered. Last time we talked about color, and color still applies when using fufu. All those visible items that you put on dressers or shelves or counters, need to match your home’s color theme if you want maximum impact.
There’s a couple of hard things about this. First, is that most fufu is useless.
That’s why if you’re going to be living in it, you need to flex those creative muscles a bit and find pretty things that you still use every day. Like your salt and pepper shakers. Chances are, if you’ve been using the same shakers that look like spotted heirloom elephants for the last fifty years, they probably don’t really go well with anything.
Also, your work shoes aren’t generally considered fine décor, but something to organize them out of the way, and mostly out of sight could be a great piece of décor.
Another thing about fufu, is that you don’t want to fill up any shelf or space completely. There’s a fine balance between having enough stuff, and having too much. Personally, I’m a very practical person. If I can’t find a use for something, I don’t like keeping it around. So when it comes to the little things, be smart about it. Folders, reams of paper, mail, cutlery, kitchen appliances, none of these are good decorations, but in our homes, many of these things are necessities. If they absolutely must be visible, make them match your color and styles, and where possible, hide the rest. That’s what cabinets and pantries are for.
There are many creative and attractive ways to live in the messes we make, but they don’t often look good on their own. They take some effort.
Lamps are often used to decorate, and here’s a dirty little secret, 50% of lamps that are used for decorating, don’t even work. That’s right, they’re not plugged into anything, and some of them don’t even have light bulbs. They’re just for looks. But light is often an overlooked aspect of decorating. This is a whole can of worms that we’ll discuss in another blog, on another day.
Don’t let it happen on its own
There is no right or wrong way to use fufu when decorating. It is a very personal thing, and it should reflect your values. From the art you put on your walls, to the knitted quilt you drape across your sofa, you make your space your own, but if you could employ one little rule, it would be this:
You decorate your space, not your stuff!
It won’t happen on its own. If you let the items you’ve collected over the years dictate how your house looks, it will look random and unattractive. That brings us to the second biggest challenge of decorating: keeping up with your changing environment.
Face it, we all evolve in our tastes and it really seems like a waste to throw out old stuff. Maybe it’s an inherited item form our great-great-great somebody, or maybe it’s a kinky gift our kids gave us. Some things are difficult to not use. There’s a place for a lot of those things, but it isn’t always visible.
So when you’re adding little things to a room, be purposeful about it. Often, it’s the little things that complete the mood of your home.