Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Pay no attention to the hot glue behind the curtain...

The interior of my home has been, interesting, over the years. Our first apartment was decorated in 'Early Mother-in-Law' with touches of 'Salvation Army' here and there. There are still many things in my house that have been handed down from someone!

We went 'country' there for quite some time. When you have kids it made a lot of sense. It was both practical and inexpensive, and it looked cute enough. I didn't have the cool store bought things, but much hand made. I remember wanting curtains in our first home. But NO money. I went down to the fabric store bought $2.00 a yard cotton country fabric and then hand sewed strips. I couldn't afford curtain rods, so I actually used push pins and a staple gun to get those strips onto card board and looking like a valance. I used small grapevine wreathes as corner accents for the fabric to drape through and down the sides of the windows. I was freaking creative to get the job done with no money. For years our head board was thick batting covering an old mattress box and then covered with fabric that matched the bed linens. Like one of those fabric covered photo albums in the 80's...remember those? No? Ask your mom, I'm sure she has one somewhere. That was my head board; only without the lace. I made gynormo piping instead!

When I went to a more beach-y theme a few years back, again, no money for the things I really wanted, I had to improvise. I went to the Dollar Tree and bought tiki torches. I sawed off the torch and used the long bamboo poles as rods for my curtains, again hand sewn from fabric from the $2 Fabric Store.

What's interesting about this is I always felt ridiculous for using staple guns, card board, and hot glue to get the look I wanted when I couldn't afford anything else. Then I went to work for an interior decorator.

The model homes we decorated were full of staples guns, cardboard and hot glue. Some of the schmancy window coverings and bed linens/designs were literally glued onto cardboard or the actual wall/etc. We did one bathroom in a home (now) valued at $500k+ that had a shower curtain rod made from a tree limb the designer broke off a dead tree on the way to the job. She saw the dead tree and thought it would fit perfectly in the Northwest theme the house had. Good luck finding a dead tree rod in Macy's.

We hot glued pillows together at the last minute. We stapled Velcro to wood and then Velcro-d other things to that wood. We stretched sheets over cardboard and put them int frames for art. Heck, a lot of the art we did in those homes were huge pieces of whatever we could find that would match. Rarely did we "buy" art. We decoupaged, we salvaged, we altered, we faked it up the wazoo.

Next time you walk through a model home you will see things that are store bought. Not too many folks look under the valance, under the bed, or behind the wall art, etc. This is where decorators can save time and money hiding 'evidence'. But the challenge is to look for ways where the designers and decorators have done just what you would do if you had to come up with a creative solution with limited funds.

Candace Olsen and her clients have the financial means to do it up right. However the majority of us need to be creative and more like the folks on 'Design to Sell' or 'Design on a Dime'. We can still have a nice look that didn't come with a large price tag. The trick is to hide the evidence.

So spill. What have you created that gets the job done without the big tag?

add to sk*rt

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