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Why don't people decorate?
lauratiebert
January 25, 2013 in Design Dilemma
It's not the money - it's something else. People have a lot of irrational fears about decorating. I think it's fear of criticism or making a mistake. What do you guys think?
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lahousehunt
I tend to move around frequently and depending on how long I am going to be living in a place, determines whether or not I'll decorate.
0 Likes   January 25, 2013 at 5:36AM
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PRO
Dytecture
Some people don't worry about having anything coordinating, as long as the furniture is usable that's all it matters.
11 Likes   January 25, 2013 at 6:05AM
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PRO
Digital Imaging by Tina - Interior Designer
I find people get more into the decorating spirit during holiday's. As a professional, most of my clients are challenged on where to start or how to coordinate style and color to accomplish their desired look.
4 Likes   January 25, 2013 at 6:10AM
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PRO
All 4 Show, LLC
I think that people feel overwhelmed at the idea of all that needs to be "puzzled" together on completing the look. Accessorizing can be quite challenging to most people, especially if they find it hard to make decisions.
7 Likes   January 25, 2013 at 6:15AM
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lauratiebert
"Overwhelmed" is the perfect word for it. Don't you think that Pinterest and the rise of interior design images adds to the pressure??

I hope it's okay to post a link to a story I wrote for a magazine based in Chicago about this - called "What Are You Waiting For? Make Your Home Your Own." http://makeitbetter.net/at-home/beautiful-home/4947-what-are-you-waiting-for-make-your-home-your-own

Next, I think I'm going to write about how Pinterest has done more to intimidate people about decorating than Martha Stewart ever did!
12 Likes   January 25, 2013 at 6:21AM
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Jayme H.
Fear related to past mistakes or feeling inadequate, unforeseen possible financial constraints, inability to perceive a finished project, inexperience with color/scale, etc., insecurity about what their true "style" is...and sometimes people just don't care, it's not a concern as they are focused on another area of their lives. I hear a lot of people say, "I don't know what to do, how to do it, or I'm not good with decorating".
5 Likes   January 25, 2013 at 6:52AM
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AMN
Yes. Some are overwhelmed, but I believe that many (possibly more) are just not concerned, as Dytecture points out. Decorating is just not on their radar.
5 Likes   January 25, 2013 at 7:14AM
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kimdee24
I think some people do 'decorate', they just give it the thought that some of us here are trying to do. And yes, overwhelming sometimes -- I went looking for accessories for my coffee table yesterday -- knew what I was looking for -- got to the store, got completely confused and ended up coming back with nothing.
5 Likes   January 25, 2013 at 7:47AM
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patriciarhall
the "decorating for the sexes" issue is very prevalent on the houzz design questions. so, waiting out the objections or figuring it's not worth the tension defers decorating.
2 Likes   January 25, 2013 at 8:07AM
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charleee
I think sometimes it's the cost. No one wants to make their home 'dated', as in avocado green, harvest gold or golden oak, so it's easier and cheaper to do nothing.
3 Likes   January 25, 2013 at 8:31AM
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Linda Coolen
Like most people and goals they dream too big and then get confused and overwhelmed putting it together.
Start small, build big. It also feels really good to just do something...then once they accomplish that, then they will have the confidence to start another small project. So on and So on!!
3 Likes   January 25, 2013 at 8:34AM
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rjslice
It comes down to how much enjoyment a person derives from living in a decorated space.

A person who does not decorate is likely someone who does not get joy from the mere sight of an object/design. Perhaps they place more value in the function than the form.

In that case, it can seem wasteful to spend money on something that does not have a useful function.
And it also seems wasteful to get rid of something just because it no longer is in style and yet it still performs the function it was designed for.

Also, if you are not good at decorating you tend to make a lot of mistakes. Then there is a lot of wasted time returning or redoing things.

And good designers are very expensive!
4 Likes   January 25, 2013 at 10:01AM
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cherc
What AMN points out is how my in-laws are. For them it is not an issue of being intimidated or overwhelmed. Being so young when I met them I could not understand this at first ;)
3 Likes   January 25, 2013 at 10:05AM
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lauratiebert
So interesting! Do you think that it's a certain personality type that doesn't pay attention to decorating? Say, for example, you are a brilliant math intellect but aesthetics don't register? Or is it something you don't notice because your parents never decorated either? I wonder what makes people interested in design - or not.
3 Likes   January 25, 2013 at 10:12AM
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Karen McKown
I personally have 2 problems. The first IS money. If I bought just a few changes a year, which I cannot really afford, by the time I get one thing done my tastes have changed. ex. When we bought out house and tore out the horrible paneling I really wanted to put a wooden chevron pattern on one wall. Now, I don't know why I ever wanted it.

The second is that to make my home cohesive I would need to change so much of what I currently have. It is a major project and I can't even afford to buy storage boxes that match each other. :(

My mother on the other hand has always had a beautifully decorated home. She has stuck to the same basic style/color scheme for years and has always acquired things over the years that match her "style". When she makes a change it is something like upholstering one of her vintage sofas in some wild color- bright yellow vinyl, bright red tweed, electric blue, or the hot pink chair.) But then she can afford to do that. I can't. My "style" is just so eclectic that I see no way I will ever have it look decorated by other's standards.
7 Likes   January 25, 2013 at 10:18AM
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decoenthusiaste
My guy always comments on how beautiful and rich the rooms are on Houzz, but he's into function, science and math guru, and has no interest in decorating except that it makes me happy. I think he's thrilled that I use Houzz to express my decorating rather than constantly asking him to help me redo here at home. I think it is there or not. I remember crying in grade school because my family decided to refinish a bedroom suite for me. They did it in a really ugly reddish maple - very homemade job, and I wanted to paint it white. That was my first clue that my style and that of my parents was not the same. Second clue was when I returned to college early just to decorate my dorm room. My folks built their dream home in the 70's, furnished it with what they had plus a few new accessories and shag carpet throughout. Thirty years later, the shag was still there - never ever considered a remodel! Just not part of their equation for living. I finally put down laminate in the hall and foyer, just because the shag was absolutely unhealthy! New owners now put cherry floors in and it is so much better!
3 Likes   January 25, 2013 at 10:24AM
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Karen McKown
Sorry, to post 2, but as they say here- se fue la luz (the lights went off, common here in Mexico.) For other people I think that some people just don't care. If the house/home is clean and functions well they don't care if the sofa matches the curtains or if they have house plants. This is why so many people don't have any art in their homes. They don't "see" the same way some of us do. A clean box with lighting and comfortable chairs is all they need or want.
5 Likes   January 25, 2013 at 10:44AM
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PRO
Paradise Restored Landscaping & Exterior Design
Cost is a factor - yes - however, there are so many places to pick up 'great finds" for even 'greater prices! Many are TIRED! Life is running many people - no time for simple pleasures like how good a well furnished room feels. Its too bad - really - sometimes just a few tweaks can turn a home around.
4 Likes   January 25, 2013 at 10:46AM
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designideas4me
Well many factors as listed in the above remarks

1.... perception................what does it mean to Decorate?To some it means a coffee table to put feet on and a lamp to read a newspaper and a working tv to watch the game. To others it means a Fabulous amazing magazine worthy estate. Its totally subjective. Its like asking "what is Normal". We all have different realities and perceptions of what it means to decorate.

2. Priority.. some people can function and live in a messy unorganized environment and are uneffected, They go to work and leed full lives and dont focus on having a perfectly decorated house.
Like a man ( or woman) who says why diet? They are used to living fat and it doesnt bother them. I cant be happy unless my house is perfect or I feel thin. But is that any better? I am never happy under those conditions.

3. Money. you cant separate this no matter how you try. It takes a concious action to go and spend any amount on new items ( modest items or lavish items). You have to have money and be willing to part with it. Many dont have much. We are fortunate to be here talking about which color and what fabric and how big this and that. This is a luxury. Many live in poverty or just get by and many more dont own homes and just worry what to eat that day and how to pay the rent.

4.Older people as mentioned. Again issues of priorities. Health and time and money. College kids again priorities . They care about dating and having fun. Young couples they may want big and beautiful but have to settle for ikea ( which i like). Divorced single moms again money and time. They may work 10 hrs a day and the kids are a priority.

5. We are a small segment of the population who is fixated on having a perfect or more perfect environment. I see this as a luxury to be able to spend time and energy and money creating youe Dream this and Dream that. For some its an obsession. Maybe its not so positive. I for one shop too much and care too much and want too much but you wouldnt know it from seeing my house. I wont settle til I feel I absolutely made the right decision( especially if I cant return it).

6. And then of course we have the rich people. They can do as they please. Those are the people who hire achtects and designers. For them the issues is perhaps different. I wouldnt know. I am not rich.
7 Likes   January 25, 2013 at 10:51AM
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designideas4me
In your post you say its not money. Lets take that assumption and ask the question to all "Is money a factor in your decision to decorate or remodel". I will bet you 1000 bux for 95% of the people it is !!!
3 Likes   January 25, 2013 at 10:55AM
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lessismoore
Everyone "decorates," it's just that not everyone has good taste. Haha.
Left to their own devices, my "room mates" would fill every area with a charming combo of dirty dishes, cast off clothing, and electronics! My DH is drawn to over-stuffed, patchwork leather furnishings, the grand-girls want hot pink and animal prints, and I want an no-limit gift certificate for pottery barn or ethan allen plus a crew of movers/painters/finish carpenters/landscapers waiting outside my door every morning, breathless for my orders of the day.
Money sure helps, but you can do so much with so little if you have a good eye and a vision.
I've seen where people spend a lot on getting that "perfect " room and then, they will go it and "crap" it up with their personal objects of desire (which multiply over time it seems).
4 Likes   January 25, 2013 at 10:58AM
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lauratiebert
Yes, I agree, for some it might be money, but I would argue money is much more a factor in remodeling than in decorating. As Paradise said, you can decorate fairly cheaply. And that's especially true if you take your time and don't try to make everything perfect at once.

It's so interesting that designideas4me mentions that we who care about making our environment beautiful are a small segment of the population. I think that's true, and I'm not sure how money-related it is. Clearly people who are more affluent have more time and money to spend on decorating, but at the same time, I've been in modest homes that are beautifully put together.
2 Likes   January 25, 2013 at 11:08AM
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Karen McKown
It IS MONEY and time for those of us who "see" decorating. I still say that there are just a whole lot of people who don't "see" it. Not pretty bugs the snot out of me, but my adult son just wants clean and organized. He could care less about color or form. My husband wants some "pretty" but mainly just wants everything straight. Neither my son nor my husband has any interest in viewing paintings or art of any kind. They just don't care at all about it.

But I still say the biggest factor for me is money. Yeah, you can do it more inexpensively but I can't come up with $20 to buy something to cover the (curbside rescue) sofa. Sorry, that is a few days worth of food for us. There are just too many needs to take care of wants in my house.

Not wanting to argue, just really frustrated I guess. I hand-make a lot of things for my home, but at this rate I will never have a home I enjoy. lol
4 Likes   January 25, 2013 at 11:19AM
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armygirl1987
I love to decorate especially around the holidays, Valentines, Easter, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving and Christmas. I just tend to over do it. Trying to work on less is better. Also money is a big problem. I always tend to like the expensive stuff more.
3 Likes   January 25, 2013 at 11:21AM
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PRO
Paradise Restored Landscaping & Exterior Design
This discussion is soooooo Great! It makes me smile! Love your words - go houzzers!
6 Likes   January 25, 2013 at 11:21AM
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Samantha Diaz
For me, I've been a renter and have never owned a home. When you rent, you're limited in what you can do. In our last two places, the paintings we had bought a couple of years before collected dust on the floor of the closet. We never printed out pictures to add to the frames we had received for wedding gifts. It wasn't until I was sick of looking at white blank walls in our newest place, and had a whole day off, that I was able to get over myself and hang some art that we had collected that showcased both our hometowns. I thought it was a fun way to show our personalities and celebrate where we came from (SF for me and Puerto Rico for him). I still need to buy photos to hang on the walls, though!

So, for me, it wasn't necessarily money, though that does make it easier. My issue is a mix of inability to completely renovate as I would wish if I owned the place, lack of time, and lack of knowledge on how to define my style. How do you decorate on a time budget?
2 Likes   January 25, 2013 at 11:46AM
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Nicole White Designs Inc
Time, money and fear. Most people simple cannot fathom spending hours and hours sourcing and shopping for items to pull a room together. Others think it's too expensive. It's not if you bargain shop, learn some basic DIY tips or pay a nominal consultation fee to have a professional offer some guidance.
1 Like   January 25, 2013 at 12:04PM
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hollister
Time is a huge issue, most of us don't have the time. And if you do have time, you might not have money. Many times people will not have both time and money and are lucky to have one or the other. Obviously, you can do a lot with money as Houzz shows us. But if you have only time and not much money, you can still do a lot.

I know lady that spends almost every day at a thrift store buying to decorate and then almost every weekend selling what she no longer needs. She always has an up to the season theme in her country/antique stye historic home and it looks great! Very little money needed but so much more time available to spend than most of us have.
2 Likes   January 25, 2013 at 12:06PM
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tennisanyone
I am not sure money is 100% why people don't decorate. I just think it is not important to them and fear of making a mistake. We all have the basic decorating stuff, couch, tv, chairs, pictures, etc. It is what we do with it and how we see it that makes us a "decorator or Not". Some people just hang a picture anywhere without any thought to how it looks or the scale but you can train your eye. Anyone can decorate if they want using what they have in a new way or buying used if they don't have the money. I honestly feel that people feel better about themselves if their house is in order and balanced. It just helps in all areas of your life. I could not live properly for me without a balanced and decorated house. My home is always my retreat. It may not be everyones style but I like it. My first place ever was a room I rented in an apartment. I went on the hunt for things I loved and remember telling my boyfriend (husband now) that I could not have dinner with him that night because I had to hang this beautiful painting that I just bought. Either it is in your blood or its not.
2 Likes   January 25, 2013 at 12:11PM
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Christine
Cost is THE factor. I'm from Portland, OR where the median age is 34 and many work more than 1 job to get by. So many young people move here without jobs, and there is a huge unemployment problem in the city limits. Yes, there is a big interest in DIY, but everyone knows there's good DIY and tacky DIY. I love to decorate--and do it well -- but $$ first goes to home repairs and the more important "foundational" home projects that will save energy and increase the home value, then to decorating. I also think there is a fear factor, as those who did not grow up in a home where parents cared about good design just don't have an awareness about it. Those who are lucky enough to have studied art or design or history have more of an appreciation.
3 Likes   January 25, 2013 at 12:20PM
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michigammemom
I think most everyone embellishes or decorates their dwelling to some degree...even our cave dwelling ancestors sought to create art. I do however firmly believe that some people have an innate talent or "eye" for decorating. Even with a meager budget, the individual with that gift would be able to create something beautiful. The majority of us decorate by trial and error; without confidence and in fear of judgement. It's a common plight on houzz. "I hate my room, what can I do to make it better?"
7 Likes   January 25, 2013 at 12:22PM
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curacaoblue
I never wanted to invest any time or money in a place I didn't own so as a result I never decorated until I bought a home. I didn't want to invest in something that wasn't mine.
1 Like   January 25, 2013 at 2:24PM
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Molly
I think that for those out there where money isn't the issue, its a matter of design simply not being a priority. Perhaps they express themselves in other ways. Thats what interior design is all about right? self expression?
2 Likes   January 25, 2013 at 2:45PM
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jannielee
This discussion has it covered. It depends on the individual. I LOVE design. Even when I was a single Mom with zero money and no car I decorated my rented apartment to the nines, buying wicker headboards at yard sales for my daughter's room and sewing my own window treatments, which i still do, but with nicer fabrics. I'm in a different situation now and am fortunate to own two homes. I still adore design, but have to say, money is still a driving factor in design choices.

One other factor for some individuals is that after a while for some people, surroundings become invisible once you've lived with them for a long time. They don't even notice that something is terribly dated or in need of repair. It's just how they are wired. They aren't visually oriented and/or they only require function.

As others have noted, people lead extremely busy lives and simply can't make decor a priority even if they'd like to.
0 Likes   January 25, 2013 at 3:05PM
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lauratiebert
Right, Molly - I always looked at interior design as a way of expressing your identity. So the more we are in tune with who we are and what makes us happy or unhappy, the more successful we'll be at decorating our homes. Maybe in some people lack of decorating means lack of self-confidence or lack of knowing themselves and what they like.
5 Likes   January 25, 2013 at 3:12PM
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Linda
My parents have lived in their house 19 years and lived in their previous home for 40 years. They did a beautiful remodeling job when they bought the house and have done almost nothing since then. Now my mom says that there are things she would like to have done, but it is just too much work. She is not able to do many things herself and my father really doesn't care. He wants comfortable chairs, large desk space and a warm house. They live in a rural area so finding someone to do the work isn't easy and spending money on something which only changes the look is difficult for those who have always watched their pennies closely.

My mother made an interesting comment to me this week that she would painted her kitchen/dining area a different color if she had done it after having cataract surgery. Now she sees colors differently. As people get older, what passes for redecorating is often whatever is necessary for making daily life more functional or comfortable.

So, that's one vote for doesn't care and one for too much effort, plus a partial vote for too expensive
0 Likes   January 25, 2013 at 4:59PM
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ajnz833
I think its because it's confusing and overwhelming ... people don't know why they like something or how to recreate it in their own homes. Most people respond to a "feeling" and hope that what they purchase in a warehouse/store will create the same feelings at home. Buyer's remorse is hard to live with and many don't recognize a big trend will be gone in 2yrs. Its a an art to be able to add/edit and create the timeless/liveable space you want. That's why there are professionals doing it - and even they sometimes miss the mark!
4 Likes   January 25, 2013 at 5:10PM
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ajnz833
- the best decorated rooms are an evolution of time, family and the things you add/edit as you continue to live in your home.
3 Likes   January 25, 2013 at 5:15PM
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designideas4me
So yeah we need to clarify if the question is about decorating or remodeling because obviously there is a big difference when it comes to money. But that said ( I hate that phraze but I just used it), if items such as furniture are considered decor than money is a big factor as well. I spent 25k on new furniture when we bought this house because we moved from a tiny apartment. If you want high quality leather and fine woods and designer style modern furniture of any type you better plan to spend money. Anyone can go to living spaces or similiar store and buy a ready made living room with matchy matchy over stuffed cheaply made furniture but thats not what I desire. It would suit the overall decorating needs and look of many but for me its not the quality I want. One has to sacrifice in other areas of life to buy a 2-3,000 tv or stereo or high end appliances. Again its all about priorities. Some prefer to take a trip to an island with family than have expensive furniture. I ask myself all the time, what else could I or should I spend this money on? The truth is at my age that I should just save it. The desire is to spend it and have a beautiful house. For me I want the latest and greatest in electronics and furniture. I am one who prefers to live without than to settle. Be it in my choice of a man or a house or a floor. I also am a bit too picky. Sure I could settle and just paint my cabinets or put in a cheep floor but I will wait and save til I find a way to get what I want and have no cabinet doors or no floor til than. I can function just fine with what I have now. These things are again luxury items..upgrades..they are wants not needs. We all only need a roof and hot water and heat and cool (not to die due to temperature). We need food and clothes and the basics. All the rest are luxuries. If you have lived in poverty and lived in some degree of wealth than you understand. If you have never lived without than you cant really understand ( like someone who will never know what it is to lose a child). I have not known that pain but I can try to imagine. In my opionion the fact that we are here even talking about this means we are fortunate because we have the time to contemplate and worry about things that people in many less fortunate countries can only dream of worrying about. I have to admit when I see discussions from someone who is so stressed and miserable because they cant choose the right shade of gray for the kitchen and they post a pic of some 400k house with luxury decor , I almost want to slap them..lol Do they even realize how lucky they are to have what they have. So when I get like that ( stressed out over how to pick a color or what to buy) I try to step back and be thankful that I even have a house to live in and that we are better off than many. This is something I often argue with my son about , who seems to think that its embarassing to not have a house up to his standards or similiar to what his friends have. Reminds me of that show,secret millionare, where the rich boss lives in a world of privlege and not untill he see his employees slaving away and struggling to survive does he gain a perspective on what life is really about. Its all a matter of your perspective and how you see the world. So I guess my point is, that I tell my son to be thankful for what he does have cuz he has it pretty good. Life isnt perfect nor is my house but it could be alot worse.!!
4 Likes   January 25, 2013 at 5:55PM
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renatamachnik
Amen....
0 Likes   January 25, 2013 at 6:06PM
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lauratiebert
I agree!! Furniture can be insanely expensive. That said, you can take it with you, so to speak. I've heard people say furniture is a bad investment because you can never resell it for anything close to what you paid. Still, I'd rather spend on furniture than on cabinetry or hardware. You don't always get your investment out of millwork and such because you have to find the buyer who appreciates it, but if you buy an incredible chair that makes you feel good every time you sit in it? You keep it for life. That to me is a great investment of whatever funds you have.
1 Like   January 25, 2013 at 6:11PM
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judet6
I want to redecorate and are in the
second round of interviewing decorators. It's not a huge space, but needs a lot of work. I did my
own due diligence with a new deck: finding contractor, picking
out materials, interviewing references with mixed results. I work full time and don't have inlimited resources. It is overwhelming to start such a project, even when you have an idea.
0 Likes   January 25, 2013 at 6:18PM
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Jayme H.
In raising 3 children and going to nursing college twice...there was neither time nor money for "high end"...but I also am not into that...Getting quality at a good price is what I am into. I also get a lot of satisfaction from problem solving and being creative. If people can afford it, have earned their money they have the right to spend it as they like, no arguments from me. ...Some people like nice things and sincerely do not have not the funds to get it...those people also deserve help finding economical ways to spruce up their living settings...I like to help them out if I can.
3 Likes   January 25, 2013 at 6:23PM
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Jayme H.
Karen...most of my best family memories were made when I couldn't afford much at all!! Things come with time and perserverance....best wishes to u, I am sure u do a wonderful job making your house a home!
2 Likes   January 25, 2013 at 6:46PM
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kimdee24
Honestly, I think most people do the best they can with what they have or can afford at any given point in their lives. They buy a new sofa or chair, hang a picture, and their homes become a collection of things and styles over time, some that work and some that don't -- design wise. And it's comfortable so they don't change it, or change it much.
0 Likes   January 25, 2013 at 6:48PM
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pinkatbay
For many who "don't decorate" they may be focused on the comfort and function of the space they are living in, not the look of it. If they've got lots of books, they get a bookcase. If the books are off the floor, they met their goal. And then there are those for whom the space is only temporary; they aren't rooting in the place so they don't decorate.

Decorating can be expensive or it can be done on a dime. It just depends on what makes you happy and comfortable.
1 Like   January 25, 2013 at 7:11PM
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Linda
The comment about people not decorating temporary space is interesting. Whenever I've been in some place for a few months, it is easy for me to make minor changes. I spend only minimal amounts which are usually on something I can use again elsewhere. There's no fear in making the wrong decision so I can grab something I like but is too colorful or too funky for my permanent space. Bright colored throw pillows picked out by my kids are one example I can remember.
0 Likes   January 25, 2013 at 7:23PM
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trasgorshek
Everyone is different but a summary of reasons: time, money, fear, don't care for change, lack of vision and inovation...just depends on the situation. Interior design is a form of art, it takes time, money, vision and innovation to accomplish any form of art without fear and embracing change. Innovation comes with figuring out how to create your vision on a dime rather than a dollar.
2 Likes   January 25, 2013 at 7:41PM
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Diane Williford
I have a sister in law that moved 5 times in 2 years and she didn't hang the first picture on the walls or decorate at all. There was no point. Then, I think she became accustomed to not "seeing" her decor and to this day, 20 years later, she still does not decorate her home. She could well afford it but just doesn't think about it. In the end, she will retire with more money than me because I spend alot of my money decorating my house! LOL!
2 Likes   January 25, 2013 at 7:41PM
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ktiquet
Yes money, time. And knowhow are all fractures and if it's a forever home, but I think their is a lot of people that think they have decorated their space if they have a couch and table chairs and a Tv what you and I say decorating is " putting pictures and vases flowers the perfect paint for the walls " is our way of "decorating " what somebody else's way might just be different.
1 Like   January 25, 2013 at 8:20PM
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mmilos
A lot of people have poor taste or no vision.
2 Likes   January 25, 2013 at 8:26PM
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Jayme H.
Taste and vision are subjective
5 Likes   January 25, 2013 at 8:30PM
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Darzy
I will never forget...many years ago on a business trip in San Diego, CA at a BEAUTIFUL hotel, quality but old rugs, antique furniture and fabulous vintage chandeliers. I'm talking character everywhere. Anyway, Mom came on invitation and I said, "Can you BELIEVE this place?" She said..."No, I can't...it's awful isn't it!". lol

Some people just don't care about style or design. Function and comfort only and I ask you...WHY does everyone not interested in design hang their pictures 7' up?!! I have accidentally insulted people when I have visited their house and "dropped" design ideas. I don't do that anymore. : )
5 Likes   January 25, 2013 at 8:40PM
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mmilos
Very true, Jayme...is there anything objective in design? Only thing I can think of are room dimensions and purpose for the space. Everything else is subjective.
1 Like   January 25, 2013 at 9:22PM
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Jayme H.
God Bless us all...let's just be kind to one another..in decorating or whatever else we do! Gdnight all...and keep on being creative as it suits u!
4 Likes   January 25, 2013 at 9:30PM
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carriedecorates
You can decorate for free if you want. Just today I spent 45 minutes arranging rocks I've collected in piles on a shelf. I gained immense, zen-like satisfaction from doing that. But to be fair I could see how some people would get more pleasure out of spending 45 minutes some other way. To me, it's taking pleasure in form. But if form doesn't move you, you'll never be inspired to create it.
4 Likes   January 25, 2013 at 9:49PM
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nancymic
I always found it sort of fun to decorate on a budget. You really get to exercise your creativity and problem solving and it CAN be done. If I admitted how little I've spent over the years I'd be quite embarrassed. But I've always been addicted to design., even as a kid. So...I vote for it's not the money, it's the priorities and interests that drive the decision to decorate. Fun discussion.
4 Likes   January 25, 2013 at 10:00PM
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Darzy
@nancymic...you are so right. It's not the money. If you have the big bucks, great! But style doesn't need a gillion dollars to be tasteful. It's just "style". But, we all agree that even a style that is not "our style" can look appealing to many. The "odd" part about "style and taste", is some people think their house design is fabulous when many may think it's awful. It's kinda like "American Idol" when they can't sing at all but their friends keep encouraging them!

Bottom line...if your house makes you happy, it is the right design. If you love to "design" and feel better with style, then "design" for aesthetics and pleasure is the right path.

My mother wanted to paint her interior walls "because it needs painted". It took convincing to switch from white to "wheat". HUGE change for her. She still has emerald green carpet and loves it. grrrr
3 Likes   January 25, 2013 at 10:23PM
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Susan Flowers
I like to be outside...I hate to clean...so anything I am not using goes straight to goodwill so someone else can use it..don't want to dust knicknacks...and "stuff" interferes with roomba sweeping. Decorating, and/or remodeling is endless...looking very much forward to buying smaller house....looking for waterfront home and it is so hard to find a nice lot with a small home....I'm interested in environmentally friendly, functional and comfortable...I've done a lot of work on my house...changed all the doors, custom moldings throughout...I like good bones...but the windows are mostly bare, as are the walls......I totally lack the "finishing touches" gene...
4 Likes   January 25, 2013 at 11:00PM
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lauratiebert
Yes, thank you Houzzers for a great discussion - you enlightened me in so many ways. This was my first time posting here and I really enjoyed the lively back and forth. I'll be back!
3 Likes   January 26, 2013 at 3:41AM
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PRO
Durpetti Interiors
Great topic and so relevant for many! I have clients who just feel overwhelmed, have hard time making decisions (and don't want to make the wrong ones) and simply don't have the time to put into it. Hiring a professional does not have to break the bank, sometimes paint and furniture rearrangement can make a huge impact on a home. Have fun!
5 Likes   January 26, 2013 at 4:23AM
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Darzy
Sometimes people have many beautiful things but is arranged poorly. I have helped many people with "no cost" design and they can't believe how much better they feel about their home by using things they already had. Small changes can make a big difference. As Karen McKown said, some people just can't "see" it. Or, just don't care. Or, if you ask them the original question here..."Why don't you decorate? They may say..."What do you mean? I have decorated!" lol
5 Likes   January 26, 2013 at 1:39PM
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Harrut
For me decorating is about expressing myself and feeling comfortable in my home environment.
Walking through the door from work and feeling at ease with how the house is pleases me endlessly.
Buying pieces of art which I see and feel ought to be a part of my life it how I choose my decorations.
Having a beautiful sofa gives me an inner satisfaction.
Some people I have met like to spend time travelling, breathing in the world around rather than decorating it. Neither is better so I respect the differences and know that one persons home who doesn't decorate illuminates the home that is...
2 Likes   January 27, 2013 at 3:10AM
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violetr
I love to decorate and play with color and heft and light. HOUZZ has been wonderfully helpful to see how people decorate with various colors and configurations for our oddly shaped kitchen. As we've come along in our remodelling, however, the problem has been poor choices in furniture stores. I live in Southern New England and it's hard to find anything you'd want to buy. All sofas are oversized with rounded arms, in uninteresting, dreary fabric with a poor hand. None are scaled right. Why is it so hard to find a love seat with a depth less than 41 inches? For one of our spaces, even 37 inches deep is overload. It feels like much of the generallly available upholstered furniture is geared to people trying to fill McMansions to accommodate hefty relatives. Luckily, IKEA has great tables and chests, so those choices are fun. We've finally bought the smallest sofa available from Restoration Hardware, but I feel like I'm dressing it like you'd dress a big woman: with scarves and hats to hide her size. But it was still a $2000 investment that was not made whole-heartedly.
1 Like   January 27, 2013 at 4:13AM
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judybergman
Get some books and turn off the TV. Chairs and couches from Ikea for $2000.
0 Likes   January 27, 2013 at 5:14AM
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flgrandma
Everyone decorates their home. Human beings surround themselves with items they need or feel they need to be comfortable.
1 Like   January 27, 2013 at 5:33AM
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deb jo
I believe that everybody decorates, from poor to rich everybody wants a nice place to live. But sometimes the feeling of niceness is different from peoplr to people.
Now if we take in consideration, the decorating that people are mentioning here, eg: hanging art, choosing furniture, accesories and so on to be aestetically pleasing, i think the majority of people, like me, lacks the "education" of why and how things work.
When i was a little girl, my mother dressed me(great taste) and i was pretty as a button, then teenage years i dressed myself and looked like crazy cat lady while my more aware friends dressed impecably and had boyfriends :D

Therefore I a mere mortal (me)have a house that looks like a second hand store stuck in the whatever's, but my artistic friends (you) with the same funds would make their places awesome finding things from the same stores.
I used to see a great room and think that it looked great because the furniture was expensive, but never realized that a wall was painted a certain color and every choice was thought upon.

So decorating is just like life, with people working on their on level of awareness. We shouldn't rush.
4 Likes   January 27, 2013 at 6:18AM
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flgrandma
Deb, great comments.
2 Likes   January 27, 2013 at 6:37AM
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kady5
Two aspects that I think are important are the perception of space and the ability to visualize a space. I know people who are most comfortable in a small, cozy easily maintained space with only the basics. There are others who need a lot of space, e.g., men who are tall, and feel cramped and clautrophobic without tall ceilings and open space to navigate in. The visualization is one I suspect is a difference that one is both born with and develops with time and study. I also suspect that most of us here have that ability to "see" a finished room and have developed that capability over the years by studying design. I know that even at a young age, my favorite activity was to go house hunting with my parents and by age 18, was devouring every decorating magazine I could find, despite going to college and having no money to do anything. So many people tell me that they do not have the ability to imagine or mentally picture making changes in a room. My husband is one, and he would always laugh and tell realtors (we have moved 10x) that I have a house mentally decorated by the time we finish looking at it or that the decorating doesn't matter because I will change it anyway :0). True that. So I guess it is both a curse and a blessing. One the one hand, I would love to be able to sit in my perfectly comfortable rooms and not be mentally making decorating changes or spending perfectly good "savings money" to visually change a space because it "would look better". On the other hand, it is nice to have that ability when moving and needing to make a house into a home on a tight budget. My 6'3" husband, who is happy with the comfortable recliner and a large screen TV, good lighting, and nice kitchen.....period.......however, has to have the 9-10'ceilings and space to move around or he feels the need to escape the boxed in, claustrophobic space. So bottom line, I guess what makes each of us comfortable really varies and as previously noted, it isn't always the money or some designer's opinion of what is fashionable .....and we all know how that looks at garage sales or in dated magazines....that makes our houses "home". There are no right answers, only right answers for each of us and our families. BTW, this is probably the best site on the internet !
0 Likes   January 27, 2013 at 6:58AM
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peetsoo
Renos are generally expensive and I hesitated to do much for years out of fear that I would not like the outcome and feel that the money was wasted. The idea of hiring a designer didnt make sense to me as the cost of that would chip away at what money I did have for the reno - with still no guarantee that I would love the outcome. I suppose with age comes wrinkles and a more carefree attitude. This year I rennovated most of the main level of my home and I went about it not caring so much about what was "current' or "trendy". I was guided by my own preferences, likes, dislikes. Im pleased to say I love how it is all coming together. Absolutely no regrets about the $ spent......just wishing I had trusted my own instincts years sooner so that I could have enjoyed my home more years ago.............
4 Likes   January 27, 2013 at 7:11AM
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kady5
peetsoo......Good for You! Exactly the right attitude, but don't ever regret the past. You might have made different decisions 10 years ago and not been happy with them now. Just enjoy your new "nest". I really do believe that feeling safe and comfortable and enjoying the beauty of your surroundings at home lifts our spirits every day.
1 Like   January 27, 2013 at 8:26AM
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Susan Flowers
Agree so much with violetr.....live in rural west pa, where oak and overstuffed rule....there is not a modern furniture store in 40 miles....no target even. Finally got a lowes a few years ago.....before that mom and pop lumber stores...I'd go in and say I want interior French doors for example, ans they would try to talk me out of them, and wouldn't show me the product book just made me describe what I wanted without seeing options......took me weeks to source iron spindles for stair railing....had to order through stair company 60 miles away, then take to welder to size....I added wide poplar trim, painted white through house, knowing its not going to be popular when we sell....but I hate stained molding in homes like ours that are medium sized without great windows...and particularly don't care for oak. Thank heavens for the Internet, although its great for ideas, but there are still some limits....I'd be reluctant to buy major furniture on line, and I just had to " settle" for exterior patio doors that were really not what I wanted, yet cost $2500.....so seeing ideas that are not available to you is also frustrating....
1 Like   January 27, 2013 at 8:51AM
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nancymic
Kady5. Don't you wish you had even a dollar for every expensive copy of AD you bought over the years? Now we have houzz! Yay! I also agree with going with what you like. I also hate stained moulding and am trying to get the energy to paint all of mine. Ug.
Also, Just ordered two butterfly chairs. I don't care. I love them! Also, Susan if you have tons of money and like modern, you can so easily order over the web the icons from knoll, herman miller, etc and then you aren't guessing what they look like or what the quality is.
1 Like   January 28, 2013 at 10:15AM
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kady5
nancymic; When I discovered AD at about age 19 in a hotel shop, I thought I had found manna from heaven :0)). In those days, there was no internet and that was the only shelter magazine of that quality. While those pages were way beyond my budget, experience, or lifestyle, the world would stop when a new issue came and I would sit down and devour every page. What an education. But I do love Houzz now for the interaction with fellow decorating aficionados and the ability to share ideas. Thanks for writing.
1 Like   January 28, 2013 at 4:41PM
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