I had a lot of fun redoing my front porch area during the month of April. It was great to create a plan I could accomplish in just one month and see results quickly.
HOWEVER, that is not how most of my home renovating/decorating gets done. Due to time and budget constraints I can’t realistically create a plan and follow through so quickly…and it’s probably true for most people, unless you have a large budget, or lots of time or both. Just today my sister-in-law and I were texting back and forth about unfinished decorating projects in our homes and she said, “Whenever I see homes featured on blogs I always wonder how in the world they put their houses together so well so quickly…I feel like it’s a never-ending process!”
1. One of my favorite bloggers, Laura from Lolalina, has done a series of posts about what she calls “slow decorating.” Basically it means letting your rooms evolve over time. She creates general plans for the areas she wants to re-do (like her darling plan for her porch), but doesn’t necessarily give them a deadline. It’s good to have a plan, but if you can learn to enjoy the slow process of decorating it can be very rewarding.
2. Another blogger, Emily of EmilyA.Clark, has recently written several posts ( here and here) about the idea of “Working With What You Have.” She shows great examples of making what you already have in your home not only just “work” but look great too, instead of spending unnecessary time or money to replace it. There are creative and clever ways to incorporate what you have into a design you will love.
I used these two ideas to put together my plan to re-do my backyard. I want to take my boring, unorganized small backyard and turn it into a San Miguel de Allende-inspired little oasis. I have no deadline, though I would like to be able to use the space for lounging and dining this summer. And, I am going to use what I already have (with a few new additions), but find clever ways to dress everything up to match the design in my dreams.
Here’s the (very) rough, “slow-decorating,” “work with what you have,” plan:
I already have a rattan settee I found on Craigslist that I am going to update with a few coats of glossy black paint. And, I will be re-doing the cushions in the solid blue outdoor fabric.
I picked up some wooden chairs from a neighbor, that just need a good cleaning and some comfy pillows out of the geometric and floral fabrics (the toile print was a remnant I got from the fabric room at my interior design school).
I already have a boring tan umbrella. I’m planning on dyeing the fabric navy blue, and covering it in white polka dots…it will be fun to look down out of my kitchen and see it from the top.
I want to differentiate the different lounge and dining areas using flooring(I’m trading my neighbor some chairs for a small wrought iron dining set). I’m not exactly sure what I’m doing here yet, just trying to let that part evolve slowly. A tiny part of me wants to stain my concrete but that might be excessive since I am just renting.
My backyard is mostly shade so I have lots of Impatiens, hostas, ferns and a border of day lilies. I love the contrast of the hot orange pink colors with the cool blues.
I’ll finish everything off with a hanging basket of succulents on the gate, a welcoming sign, some Mexican Talavera pots (which I am thinking about doing myself using my color palette to tie everything together…but that might be too insane), and some sort of candlelight and overhead lighting.
You can see that I have a basic plan, but room for changes and new inspiration. I’ll share periodically throughout the summer as I complete projects.
What do you think about “slow-decorating” or “working with what you have”?
Is that how you decorate your house? Or do you jump in and finish it fast?