If were all being honest with ourselves, we have the urge to buy, buy, buy. Luckily for me, I’m constantly buying things for my clients and am able to curve my own spending because I spend so much of my time sourcing and researching items for my projects. By the end of the day, I don’t want to make any more decisions and that is a blessing and a curse.
(Blessing :I don’t spend money
Curse : I can’t even pick what I want for dinner)
I want to explain my thought process when it comes to material items for your home. This borders the line of what an interior designer and what an interior decorator does. Interior Designers (like us) focus more on construction projects, but when that project does come to an end most times we are styling with furniture and merchandise for those open shelves in the kitchen, curios, fireplace mantles, ect. But how much stuff is too much stuff? When do “things” start to lose meaning and functionality and just become clutter? There is a fine line. In the past few years I’ve really struggled with the mindset of the (dare I say) average American consumer.
My personal approach is to ask myself before suggesting anything to a client is:
“Is this functional?”
“Does it have meaning behind it?”
“Does it add to the space in a way that helps make the room feel complete, but not cluttered?”
“Is this going to make me happy on a daily basis?”
I’ve always leaned more towards the side of minimal “decorations” I don’t want to buy stuff to shove on a shelf for the sake of it looking pretty. Yes - sometimes we do that for photoshoots, but for every day living I find keeping it minimal is a lot more enjoyable. It’s less to buy, less to dust, and less stuff you can get sick of. Ever get that feeling that there is too much stuff creeping in and you just want to throw it all out and start new? Yeah - we are trying to avoid that!
Now, do I love beautiful things? Absolutely. I’m not saying you shouldn’t splurge for a piece that you really love. Makers and crafters put their hearts and souls into their work and projects, and when you see something - like a beautiful hand painted bowl - and you know that every time you walk by if it’s going to make you happy, then I’m all for it. If you’re going to home goods to fill your house with stuff just for the sake of it - I would say hold off and re-evaluate.
I love when clients have collected things over the years that I can find a fun way to display. Whether it’s mugs, or photographs, little figurines (within reason, lol), stamps, postcards, coins - whatever. I’m happy to use those as part of the decor. It has meaning and also gives you a chance to keep collecting these items now have a special place to display them.
For example, I have a collection of coffee mugs. Every time I travel to a new place and see one that I like, I allow myself to purchase it as a souvenir. They sit pretty in my glass front kitchen cabinets where I can see them, and every morning when I have my coffee I pick which one I want to use and theres a happy memory attached it to.
How about filling in space with plants instead of decor?
Everyone has different opinions on decor and their idea of what the perfect amount of “stuff” is. These tips are just a rule of thumb that I like to follow when wrapping up a project.