Have you ever shopped at neighborhood garage sales? You will find the most amazing collections of nearly new home decorating materials at them – beautiful lined panel drapes; lovely dining room furniture and display cases; wall art, wing back chairs, clocks and more – all for a pittance. I’ve used these finds to help furnish and decorate a vacation rental and to fill in pieces we lacked at home.
All from homeowners replacing nearly new home decor. They spend at retail prices to get their new stuff and sell at huge losses the things they have no longer want.
I often wonder why home owners feel compelled to change up their decor so often. Not only is it expensive, but it is also time consuming to come up with the design, decide on the color, locate the material and put it in place.
Why do we get the urge to decorate?
Of course, there are very legitimate reasons to change up the insides of our homes. The fabric on our sofas and chairs gets soiled, torn and worn. The carpet eventually wears out and the walls get dirty and sometimes pitted from things we hang.
Aside from that however, why would a person want to get rid of perfectly good home accessories and spend good money on different ones?
Some folks view re-decorating as a hobby. It is a pastime they enjoy and worth the cost to them. Others get bored with the current scheme and want to look at something different. Others are perhaps trying to keep up with the Jones by staying current with all the latest trends.
How often do people redo their rooms?
Well, I had to research this one as I’ve lived in the same home for 26 years now and have only changed out the paint once (repairing all those holes the kids put in the walls with their dart boards!) and still have the wedding furniture we bought 44 years ago!
In Globe and Mail post Obsessed with home decor? You may have self-image problems, they suggest that you might be obsessive if you redecorate often. The author doesn’t really quote any scientific studies, but suggests that women (mainly) equate the state of their homes to their own self image and that they are trying to have some control over something in their lives during chaotic periods.
I’m not sure I believe that, but there have been people in my life that do seem to redecorate a lot, even to the obsessive level.
I’m more on the page of the below comment made on Garden Web’s forum:
“I am done “decorating”. I just dust and sometimes move things around. I think folks decorate because they don’t feel at peace in their space and are looking for something. When I feel that way, I go outside and look at some true decoration. From what I can see here there is a lot of desire to follow trends and show off the wonderful success.”
What is the cost?
One of the fastest ways to change the look of a room is to repaint it, but even that is not cheap – even if you do it yourself. Paint will run you upwards of $30 a gallon these days at the big box stores, and then there are the drop cloths, brushes, extender poles and ladders you may need to get to those lovely high spots.
Replacing flooring can be even more expensive, in both materials and labor. Bath and kitchen cosmetic redos aren’t cheap but are less expensive than a complete tear out and replacement.
Trends come and go.
I get such a kick out of watching the shows on Home and Garden TV channels. Hearing the comments the folks looking at homes to buy make is so hilarious. They go into a beautiful home that has like new kitchens and baths and state that ‘they are soooo outdated they just have to be totally redone”.
Over the years, you see so many trends come and go. Paint color trends from sky blue to deep green to white to tan to gray; flooring trends from hardwood to area rugs to wall to wall to tile and back again to hardwood.
I say, find your style and stick with it – as long as your things are in good shape, don’t change them up to match the latest trend. Take the money you would have spent and bank it – you will be that much closer to financial freedom for doing so!
A commenter on Southern Hospitality’s blog has hit this spot on when she said:
“Taking a clue from the heritage homes and hotels that I have visited both in this country and abroad, it seems to me that true classic design is timeless so I tend to stick to classic rather than trendy.”
What’s your take? Do you like to change it up every few years in your home?
Homes are such money sinks … I have one and I know everything in this post to be bang on. I love garage sales … high impact, low cost!
We’ve been doing some moderate changing of our looks with simple and cheap things like new throw pillows on the couch. The old ones were literally coming apart at the seams anyway, so we decided to splurge on some new pillows and other room accessories that are a different color. For less than $100 it freshened up the room.
I think of decorating/home design as a hobby. My job is stressful enough. Decorating my home allows me to be creative, and I enjoy learning about various design techniques and designers. Maybe it is a compulsion for some people, but for me it’s an outlet.