Redecorating and designing a new look for your home can be really exciting – there are paint colours to pick, fabrics to choose, and then you stop to consider your current furnishings and you’re faced with the daunting question: “To throw out or not to throw out?” The following tips will help eliminate the pondering and help you take out the old and bring in the new.
What to Keep
Make a quick list of items that are of significance to you. This would include heirlooms, souvenirs, or pieces that have a history. You probably think you should keep everything with any nostalgic significance, but you should ask yourself, “Do I really like this?” Definitely keep the pieces you love, but if you’re unsure of an item, think about parting with it. If that’s definitely not an option, repurpose it. Paint, repair, reupholster, change the hardware or alter a piece so that it’s just a little different and more useful. For example, the old dining room credenza might work better if it were painted and used as an entertainment unit for the family room. Or, favourite drapery fabric could be recycled and used to upholster dining chairs. An ottoman may be better suited as an entryway bench and an old kitchen table could be turned into a coffee table by shortening its legs.
Other items worth holding on to include furniture that will appreciate in value such as antiques or collectables, well-crafted pieces made from quality materials, and large storage items like shelving units, armoires or buffets – there can never be enough storage!
What to Give Up
Like a favorite old sweater, it can be hard to get rid of well-loved furniture that has seen better times. When items are tired or broken and not worth the expense of fixing, throw them out. That includes worn and shabby carpets, curtains and pillows too! Dated accessories won’t suit a new, stylish look. They, along with other unwanted items, can be donated to charities or sold online. (One person’s trash is another’s treasure!) If there’s a piece or two that don’t fit in with your new design, and you just can’t see parting with it forever, perhaps a friend or family member could take it until you have a use for it again — it could turn out to be a permanent loan.
What to Buy
To avoid breaking the bank, at first buy only what you need — it’s best to choose inexpensive items with classic shapes and neutral colours that go with everything. Spend less on accessories such as pillows, lamps and artwork, and save up to purchase good quality larger pieces that will add impact to a room. Also invest in antiques or vintage items, as they will add charm and personality to your space. When splurging for that trendy new item, keep in mind that it may not be so fashionable in a few years. Only go for furniture that speaks to your taste and that you could live with for a while.
At the heart of a home’s decor is a good furniture collection, and like a lot of good things, they develop and evolve over time. You could get caught up with finding the perfect balance between the old and new, the stylish and the classic, but it really comes down to surrounding yourself with pieces that function well, that you love, and that reflect your individual style.