Neutral Header

Neutral Header

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Tips for Decorating a New Home

What turns a house into a home? I have been through many a house that clearly was decorated completely from a chain furniture store and that is just what the house looked like – a showroom. In other words,  no personality, nothing to reflect the owner’s individuality and taste.
So how do you make a new house look unique? Especially a first time house or apartment? 
I was a young newlywed, all of 21 when my husband and I bought our first home. He was still finishing grad school and we planned on starting our family so needless to say money was tight. This was in the 1970’s way before “shabby chic” became a thing. But I had always loved antiques and aside from a new sofa,  I furnished my new home with antique and vintage treasures. 
Our first home!

Here are just a few tips on how to make your new (or old!) home reflect your style.

Personalize with:
mementos – collections from travels, family heirlooms or other favorite collectibles  like sports memorabilia or vintage quilts.

photo from Southern Accents
photo from

art – art is a very personal choice and reflects ones personality. Do you prefer landscapes or still life done in oil, or black and white photographs or electronic picture frames? Watercolor impressions or vintage advertising posters? The choices are endless but should be something you care about. Don’t just stick something on the wall from a generic chain decor store. Shop at local galleries, art shows, flea markets, or arts and crafts fairs. You don’t have to spend a fortune to find something unique.

photo from

photo from Country Living

family photos- Most newlyweds like to decorate their home with photographs. I recommend choosing one area to feature photos in like a staircase, occasional table, or bookcase. Try to frame them in matching or coordinating frames such as all black or all silver. Otherwise your photo collection looks very hodge podge.
My daughter put together this photo display in her family room.

photos from BHG

vintage furniture or accessories – instead of buying cookie cutter furnishings consider adding one or two antiques. They give a room a sense of history and depth. Plus, if you know how to hunt they can be a real bargain! I found this little side table for about $17 and painted it with chalk paint and added a French graphic.

photo from For Creative Juice

Furnishing a new home can seem a bit daunting but can also be such a fun journey! Take your time and surround your self with things you truly love.

Monday, July 17, 2017

My Favorite Tapestry

The online decorating website Havenly challenged me to  answer an interesting question – do I have a favorite piece of furniture or décor that I have highlighted in my home over the years? Haha, yes! Several! It was hard to narrow it down but I thought I’d share the story of my favorite piece of artwork in my home – my antique tapestry.

Twenty five years ago my friend Becky started a home décor business specializing in European tapestries. I thought they were beautiful and was in the process of renovating a 100 year old Victorian house. We had a large front parlor with deep red walls and 10 foot ceilings. I had the perfect spot for an Old World tapestry but they were kind of pricey. One autumn afternoon while antiquing in the New Jersey countryside I spied a large hunting themed tapestry nailed to a back wall in the shop. 
I paid $100 for it and gleefully brought it home. I hoped my friend wouldn’t be too annoyed with me for not buying one of hers. When I invited her over to take a look and get her opinion her jaw dropped. She said this particular piece was made in Belgium on antique looms and was worth close to $1000. Score!

The tapestry looked great in my old house for many years but then we moved across the country to Arizona. We built a new home and I wondered how my traditional furniture would work there. I did have vaulted ceilings in the new front entry and took my color scheme for the living room from the colors in my beloved tapestry – reds, browns, and warm neutrals.

Fast forward 18 years and we have moved again, this time to mountains of Utah. My home is a bit more casual this time with leather and some mission style furnishings. Will my antique tapestry fit in?

Of course! I firmly believe in adding in vintage pieces to almost any style of décor. An antique piece of furniture, accessory or artwork gives a room some personality and uniqueness that you can’t get from an IKEA showroom.
So now my tapestry hangs in my new mountain home. It fills in a large wall very nicely and once again provides some warmth and color to my mostly neutral furnishings.

If you have a special piece that you love how do you feature it in your home?

I like to join these parties