Decluttering The Walls: The Urge To Purge Series

I started the Urge To Purge Series a few months ago. If you want to read the first segment, go here to read it. This is the first one for 2016. There will be others throughout the year.

As you know, I got the urge on Christmas Eve to take everything off the walls in the living, kitchen and dining space and paint. I painted the walls a nice bright white. It was what I had and so it was what I used.

I put everything in stacks all over the apartment. So when the paint was dry, I was at somewhat of a loss as to where to start. 

I knew I wanted the cow painting I showed yesterday over the couch. That was all I'd planned. And I love it there. 

I'm still dibbling and dabbling with the rest. 

When you're faced with clean blank walls and want to know where to start, choose your show stopper. Mine was the cow picture. 

Once you've done that and hung it on the wall, you want to add more things. But you don't want to take away from "the show stopper." That is where you want your visitor's eye to rest first when they walk in your door.

People who have fireplaces often focus on that area. But if you don't have a fireplace, it doesn't mean that you can't "anchor" the room with your favorite piece. 

As you add things, you'll find that you will most likely, like me, will step back and decide you don't like it. Then I take it down, use some spackle to fill the holes and paint over it. 

Obviously my "feature color" is red. I love red. I could jump in red and swim.

But you don't want to go overboard with it. It is your feature color, but at the same time your accent color. You want it top "pop" against everything else.

As I work my way around the room, I try to put something more sedate next to something with lots of color. To provide balance and to give the eye a rest. 

I tried not to go crazy with the quilts. And most people I know don't hang quilts on walls. But I find that they are the ultimate in providing what I call "the cozy factor."

I have the same buffalo-checked red and white curtains at three windows. I only have one other window, in the kitchen, and I have simply draped vintage linens there for a look of simplicity and whimsy. In other words, I did it on a whim!

I am going to be more careful what I put on my walls, because I spent a lot of time fixing holes and painting. 

Remember there are no rules. Go with what you love. That's what makes it "your" home. 

You don't want it to look like a post you saw on a blog or an entry on Pinterest. That takes your personality out of your home, and your personality is what distinguishes your home from everyone elses. 

Here are a few tips for decorating your walls/tables/etc:

1. Layer. I put things in front of quilts, and that really makes a statement. Layer paintings over paintings on tables or mirrors over mirrors. 

2. Try putting something on the wall and then "framing" it with an open frame, as I did on the EAT wall hanging in the kitchen. That is a fun look, and let's you bring in more color.

3. Don't let color scare you. Arrange things. Leave it a few days. Then decide if it's right or not. You're not signing a contract. You're decorating your home. It doesn't have to be done in a day.

4. Use one "show stopper" piece, like my cow painting. After you put it up, everything else is secondary to that piece and should accentuate it.

5. Layer linens in a window. They are easy to rearrange and add new linens whenever you want. Just put up a standard expandable curtain rod and layer away. They're very cheap.

6. Get on the internet and Google things you like. I love vintage photos of children. I use them to accessorize tabletops or clip to an old cheese grater, etc.

7. Put some pretty bottles in the window. It's lovely with the sunlight shining through.

8. Use mirrors to visually expand your space and to highlight something you can see in it.

9. Paint is pretty cheap. I have spray painted many lamps and all kinds of things. It freshens things up and gives you new possibilities.

10. Decorate with what you love, and what says "you." If you love books, make them part of your decorating strategy. If you love rocks, you can add them to a vignette. (I'm probably the only one who loves rocks!)

If you love candles, find a new way to showcase them. If you love quilts, take them out of the trunk and hang them on the wall. Not only will you get to enjoy them more, but they aren't supposed to be folded up too long, or the creases will start to thin and fray. 

Anyone have anything to add to this list?

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  1. If you love it, take it home. You will find a place for it!

  2. I am wondering where you got the cow canvas. Love cows since childhood. Also love your quilt collection. I read your posts daily inspire me to try when I feel like giving up.

  3. You have a real flair for decorating. I love your talent with the quilts. It truly looks like a cozy little house!!!

  4. are not the only one who likes rocks! I use them outdoors in the well as inside my home! I collect them from places I visit! ;)

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  6. I am a fairly recent reader, and I wonder if you are the quilter of your lovely quilts, or if you bought them? They really do warm up your space and make it look so homey.

    1. I have purchased some. But I made many of them.

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  8. Great tips! My 11 year old son brings me small rocks that he picks up when he's outside playing. I keep them in a glass jar proudly displayed front and center. That's the best decor :-) I put an empty frame around a metal medallion on my bedroom wall today. It was nice coming here today and seeing you do something similar. I wonder if I'll ever get this house cleaned and put back together. You're doing a great job! Lots of inspiring ideas and pic's here!

  9. Love seeing what you've done, Brenda!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  10. Ilove how you display so many pretty things on your walls, they look amazing. I think all of your suggestions are fabulous and you 've covered all the bases.

  11. Brenda,
    I like rocks too, but I just collect ones shaped like hearts or I would have a house full. My daughter likes them too.
    I love your cozy simple style. Thank you for sharing.

  12. You are a tremendously gifted decorator! I love all of the changes. Your home looks so cozy and comfortable. I've used rocks in our landscaping outside. Got them in Colorado many years ago. Have kept them through many moves!

  13. I'm enjoying simplifying my home. I found my cubbies too busy and crowded so I'm downsizing my collections. It feels good.

  14. Lovely, everything is placed just so.....Love the photo pined to the grater! Happy Decorating Lisa @ Sweet Tea N' Salty Air

  15. Brenda,
    Everything is looking new and fresh and so homey! I love it all. My daughter actually got the same cow canvas last fall and put it in her kitchen. That guy can go anywhere!

  16. You could "jump in red and swim in it"... Haha. You do have a way with red, Brenda. Those quilts are so charming and warm. I tend toward mirrors, because then I don't have to commit to long-term color and art choices. I'm trying to work on this fear ;)

  17. Thank you for the decorating suggestions on decorating.

  18. After so long having our house mostly staged, I find I have so many things to put on the wall. But I have clutter phobia. Love your ideas.

  19. I like the touches of yellow you have here and there also...

  20. All your quilts are gorgeous, but I really love that 9-patch alternating with the floral blocks.

    What a good idea to cover a lamp shade with an embroidered piece of vintage linen. I have a lot of short embroidered runners that might be perfect for such a project.

  21. I admire your decorating...I think of what my daughter has taught me about negative space. Empty areas that make us focus on what we love. Did you mean you still do or don't hang quilts---wasn't sure about that paragraph.

    Re-painting...I love your energy!

    Jane x

  22. Okay--I just re-read that and you are right, Duh!

    Jane x

  23. Hi Brenda, great tips. I am doing the same here. De-cluttering, refreshing, moving furniture around and changing out colors. So much fun. Love your pics. Celeste

  24. Everything looks good...I love to take things down and rearrange...I am bad to get TOO much on the walls and then it does take away from some of the more important I go thru every now and then and remove at least one thing.
    I just repainted dining room benches today and they look better. They were blue and white in my old, in this newer place, they are better black and white.

  25. You're not the only one who loves rocks - I do, too!

  26. How do you hang your quilts? It looks like tacks. I love your ideas and your home. Thank you for sharing.


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