Decorate From A Blank Slate

Ever walked into your home, looked around and wondered where did all that mismatched stuff come from?  Was it impromptu buying when something caught your eye and you were sure it went with your . . . well, your style.  You got married.  Wedding gifts.  Two-household stuff that you were going to edit.  Years of garage and store sales.  A divorce and you fought to have that stupid chair just because . . . well, because.    Ever wonder, "Can't I just do a do over" but where to start!

Empty the room?  Sleep in a sleeping bag and have picnics on a blanket on the floor?   That certainly sounds like fun . . . maybe when you're in your twenties.  It's a bit radical by the time you reach 40 or 50 years of age. 

There are other ways.  You could use graft paper, take pictures of your stuff and play around with photos on a design board.  Collect paint chips and fabric swatches and add that to your design board.  You could purchase a floor plan software.  Or you could just start with ripping out pages of your ideal room from home decorating magazines. 

Here's where I suggest two other options that are simply more fun and the only expense is your time.  I love to use them to stage my decorative pillows. 

WE'LL START WITH OPTION 1:  OLIOBOARD

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You really can start with an empty room on Olioboard.com.  Interior decorators use it to help clients with visualizing a proposed design.  The site lists several background styles of rooms and thousands of products to create your room.  If you don't find what you want in the Olioboard library, such as that buffet you inherited from your grandmother, you can take a picture of it and upload it to your olioboard. 

Oh, did I mention the best part?  It's free and anyone can join.  You can upgrade to add text and paint colors to the wall.  You can make your board private or public.  There are lots of imaginary room designs you can view and vote on.  Better yet, it's very easy to get a price and location for most products. 

A caveat:  The boards are one dimensional, and so it can be challenging to place certain pieces as they should be placed, such as what I had done with the blank room above.  Here's a very incomplete version of it here:

Scaling is a challenge but fun, particularly for this type of layout.  Check out the next one.

Scaling is a challenge but fun, particularly for this type of layout.  Check out the next one.

Practice makes better, as it did in my fireside chat imaginary room.  Would you like to join me for a brandy?  The glasses are already there, just waiting for us.  And of course, the lovely orange pillows are from my Annsliee shop.

Practice makes better, as it did in my fireside chat imaginary room.  Would you like to join me for a brandy?  The glasses are already there, just waiting for us.  And of course, the lovely orange pillows are from my Annsliee shop.

The color combination in this living room vignette is fast becoming one of my favorites--soft blue, hot orange and black accents.

The color combination in this living room vignette is fast becoming one of my favorites--soft blue, hot orange and black accents.

OPTION 2:  POLYVORE

I started using it several months ago and must say, I found it easier to use and with more features.  Such as adding color and wall paper to the walls.  Products are abundant and like Olioboard, you can upload products you found on the internet.  If you like the product, want to learn more about it and purchase it, you can do so with just the click of a few buttons--and of course a credit card!

Here's a view for creating a Polyvore "set."

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Here's that same "blank" room designed by me:

Here's a couple more of my Polyvore "sets."

You can create a variety of set layouts, such as a story board (you simply collect the pieces you want in your room).

Both Olioboard and Polyvore have communities and groups you can join.  Polyvore groups often have contests, many of them sponsored with prizes for first place winners.  I recently sponsored a great Polyvore contest with a prize that went to "Eyesondesign."  See my post on And the Winner Is . . .

Try them both if you like.  But I must warn you, both can be addictive.  Both are fun.  I simply like the idea of do-it-yourself designing before spending and being able to create a more realistic budget.  One other thing, look for a floor plan similar to yours and that will help tremendously as you imagine and plan your decorating project.

Keep up to date with my Polyvore sets at annsliee-Polyvore.com.  

Would love to hear from you.  Let me know how you plan to decorate "from a blank slate."  

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