Has this ever happened to you? You shop hard and make what you feel is a good clothing purchase only to find out Sunday at church that someone else is wearing an identical garment. That same type of me-too situation often also occurs in home decorating.
Large numbers of people shop at the same major retailers where everyone else shops for their home decorating products. Of course, that’s what makes the major retailer the major retailer-EVERYBODY shops there. And since everyone is buying roughly the same products from the same stores, the end result is that there is a lot of similarity in the home decorating look among homes.
Some people do not like to be different or to take the less traveled path. They are much more comfortable going with the norms and being one of the crowd. If uniformity is your goal then it’s OK for your home décor to kind of mirror your neighbors and friends. But if you want to set a different tone, if you want to maybe have an “Oh, wow!” moment once in a while, you will have to change your approach to home decorating.
There are literally hundreds of ways to decorate and showcase your home. There are different furniture styles and unlimited paint colors and varieties of wall coverings and floor coverings and accent pieces and light fixtures to choose from. To have a different decorative look than friends and family you don’t have to make major changes-just strategic shifts away from what everyone else is doing. A different paint scheme, more use of colorful and patterned area rugs, pictures and frames that emphasize specific themes. You can change the overall focus of your home from Early American like everyone else to Contemporary. You can change from an emphasis on wood furniture to an emphasis on metal construction. You can install a lot of indirect lighting. You don’t have to change everything at once, you can do things gradually, maybe one area at a time.
Since you will be seeking to create some individuality in your home’s look, you will have to change where you shop for main pieces and accessories. Less big box retailers, more specialty shops. Less mass-produced items from big Asian manufacturers, more one-of-a-kind items from artisans and craftspeople. Maybe attend estate sales with specific items or styles in mind. Shop the Internet looking for those outlets with limited inventory offerings that cater to a smaller clientele. Or maybe utilize those suppliers with a make-to-order capability. Attend craft fairs and yard sales looking for just that one piece that will make a room come to life or will be the complementing piece to an ensemble you have created.
New area rugs can be a very safe start to your makeover. They come in a wide variety of colors, patterns, materials, shapes and sizes. They can easily help set the “new” tone you are striving for and their presence will quickly be noticed. If you start your search for a new look with an area rug, you can match paint colors or wall coverings to the rug giving the area a newly integrated look. If you already have a number of rugs, you may want to gradually exchange them for different designs or shapes. A new area rug will jump out at your visitors and will be a definitive statement about your pursuit of newness and change. (But don’t discard your replaced rugs-they may be useful during your next makeover.)
It has been said that, “Variety is the spice of life.” That maxim can be applied to home decorating. If everyone decided to make just a few changes in their home décor, think how much more interesting and exciting all of our homes would be.