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Old 02-13-2013, 12:56 PM   #1
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Minimalist decorating - AKA DH says the house looks naked!

Last fall we drastically downsized our stuff. Rather radically in some areas of our home actually. I love the simplicity of it, but I really need some help figuring out how to decorate. We live in a fully restored 1939 Craftsman farmhouse that has lots of white wainscotting and trim. Most rooms in the house are painted Behr's linen white which we LOVE because it is so warm and peaceful.

The problem is that I prefer very simple, functional decor...but our house is really boring looking right now with all the white and light paint. We get lots of compliments on how bright and beautiful it feels...but we need to add a bit of warmth. I don't want to add knicknacks at ALL, I purposefully got rid of those awhile ago. We likely will be moving later this year so I don't want to paint the walls. Is there any way I can add a little more vibrancy to our house while still keeping a very minimalist approach? I am so wishy washy on deciding on artwork or printed fabrics or colors, but I would love to add some things like that. Anyone have any ideas? Or have you seen any rooms that had lots of white and classic lines, but still seemed warm and fun? Even my DH is complaining that the house looks a little naked.

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Old 02-13-2013, 01:05 PM   #2
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Re: Minimalist decorating - AKA DH says the house looks naked!

Artwork on the walls?
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Old 02-13-2013, 01:07 PM   #3
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Re: Minimalist decorating - AKA DH says the house looks naked!

Yes, I suppose that would be an easy answer. I guess I just wish I had someone to come and decorate it for me exactly how I want. Except I don't know what I want
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Old 02-13-2013, 01:13 PM   #4
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Want to share photos of your space? That might help. Do you ever read American Bungalow magazine? That might give you some period appropriate inspiration. I LOVE craftsman period architecture, we live in a craftsman bungalow. I tend to think it doesn't call for much decoration because of all the woodwork and windows... But my DH says our house looks empty too since you might be selling soon, if you keep it impersonal and play up the character of the house it might help sell.

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Old 02-13-2013, 01:16 PM   #5
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Re: Minimalist decorating - AKA DH says the house looks naked!

Decorate with things you already have around the house - afghans, throw pillows, stacks of books, baskets or trunks for storage, etc. I find that often moving things from one room to another can liven the space. I have a ladder in one corner of the living room with blankets hanging from the rungs and a teddy bear perched on one spot. A couple baskets hold kids' books and homeschool stuff. One trunk holds games, on top of which is a potted plant (plants always add life and color!), a lamp and our phone. Another trunk holds some of my crafting fabric. I like to arrange my bookshelves so there are some books horizontal, some vertical, interspersed with photos, keepsakes, collections and so forth (I don't like a lot of knick knacks, either, but we have a few passed-down mementos). In my kids' rooms some of their toys and artwork are decorations. That being said, we have a very colorful house... my husband is a white-walls kind of guy but he let me pick a different color for each room. Even he admits that he likes it.

It's always nice to bring nature inside - for each season, have a nature display. You could have a bouquet of plain branches or even hot-glue something to them (like something for Valentine's Day, Easter, whatever holiday). A few of the pins on my Home Pinterest board may give you some ideas.
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Old 02-13-2013, 01:17 PM   #6
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Re: Minimalist decorating - AKA DH says the house looks naked!

Some cheap interesting way to dress it up with artwork, find some cheap fabric and some frames and frame fabric. I saw it on HGTV and it was so cute!

Also, for the kids rooms you can take some of their brighter pieces of clothing and frame that too.

I have a TON of pics of my family around. I also have houseplants which provide warmth and AIR to a room. So I guess you can count that as function? Also with the house plant you can find a fun planter to put it in. I also put up a few hanging plants as well and dressed up the planters they came in.

I LOVE those stick on words on walls. That way you are not just sticking random artwork everywhere. For example, we have pictures of our parents and grandparents at their respective weddings and put "Love is patient, Love is kind" surrounding the pictures. It looks really nice and very warm.
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Old 02-13-2013, 01:29 PM   #7
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The whole moving thing throws me for a loop. I have photos & wall phrases on my walls so that won't help. Color & texture could be added with a few brightly colored throws. That is about al I have. My house is decorated with things I love like family photos, those wall phrases ("Life takes you unexpected places, Love brings you home" and "Family is where our story begins") and the few knick knacks I have have special meaning like 2 vases DH got me for anniversaries, one in Iraq & one in Romania.

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Old 02-13-2013, 02:05 PM   #8
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When I lived in my loft I kept things pretty minimal. I used cloth dropcloths from Lowe's (not the very cheapest ones, which were scratchy) as curtains, and used art (handmade by friends in my chosen color pallette, at an art party specifically for that purpose) & literature (stacks of books) as my main decorations. I threw in candles, pretty glassware, baskets (for collecting blankets/throws), etc for a little interest.
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Old 02-13-2013, 03:09 PM   #9
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Re: Minimalist decorating - AKA DH says the house looks naked!

My goodness, from what I remember of the photos from your house before, it was beautiful. I am in a similar position now, not because I got rid of everything but because we paid someone to paint and they did such a fantastic job I don't want to mess it up. So even though it's been almost a year I am just now decorating.

1) I frame the kids' artwork, whatever ones I like and have the right colors for the room. They don't have to stay forever, I will change them out over time. Something about putting art in a frame with a mat, even the 4yo's water color doodles, makes it look so upscale.

2)I also just got back into painting myself, and painted a series of paintings for a room that would otherwise be very difficult to find the right size/color/style for. Canvases can be bought for cheap with coupons at Michael's and Joann's, and again if you don't paint or draw, get the kids to do it but direct them what colors to use. One easy way is to get a couple of squirt bottles of the colors you like and have them go Jackson Pollack on it.

3) Plants. Houseplants at this time of year where I live are very reasonable. You can get a very interesting shape or color one, tall ones, etc for not much money. And you can either get some bright colored pots at someplace like HomeGoods or TJ Maxx (they are just now getting them here, they are seasonal), or buy the cheap terracotta if that's your color, or paint the terracotta if it's not.

4)Slipcover some pillows. This is when those discounted remnants at the fabric store come it very handy. And you can tie them on if you don't sew. Also outgrown sweaters and shirts can be used for this too.
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Old 02-15-2013, 10:42 AM   #10
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Re: Minimalist decorating - AKA DH says the house looks naked!

My first thought was fabric in photo frames. My other thought is, I love "bare" rooms. Especially with beautiful woodwork. I like to decorate with the craftsmanship of the room itself. So I would probably leave it as is I do have some photo groupings, that I really like, but on the whole, much more simple and "clean" than t used to be.
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