Why philosophy and not style? Style in terms of decorating is just a distinctive appearance or design. Philosophy is the study of general problems, like knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Our homes, for better or worse, end up exemplifying our priorities. For instance I have a compost bucket on my kitchen counter and recycling bins in the carport because not being wasteful is important to me. I have maps, globes, and atlases in almost every room because travel is my favorite way to gain knowledge. You'll see no clutter (except in my husband's office) because I've had to deal with so much of it that belonged to other people. More about that tomorrow! If clutter is your biggest problem Ruth over at Living Well Spending Less is doing a 31 day series on conquering it. 31 Days to a Clutter Free Life. There are also a lot of other bloggers tackling clutter during the 31 day writing challenge. Click here if you need help in that area.
When I was a kid my mother's idea of decorating was to get rid of everything in a room, go to the furniture store pic out a complete trendy set, and make payments on it. We aren't going to do that. Here's what we're going to do instead.
Get rid of anything that doesn't work for you and your family or your lifestyle, and things that are of poor quality. Also keep your house free of items that you are keeping out of guilt or that have a negative memory attached. Don't let go of a classic piece of well constructed furniture unless you just don't have room for it. "They don't make 'em like that anymore" is a saying for a reason. My quest for simplicity and order prevents me from storing things for someday. The goal is a home with fewer very high quality (note that I didn't say expensive) and interesting things and not a house full of accumulated items that mean nothing.
Avoid trends. While I generally avoid furniture stores unless I need something standard and practical like a mattress or sofa. I don't purchase the latest style. Ever. This goes for my wardrobe as well. Classic and well constructed are the order of the day. The exception I would make? Kid's rooms. You are going to redo those several times before it's all over anyway so be careful how much you invest there. If you must have this year's hottest thing purchase it in something easily replaceable like a duvet cover or a paint color. Never a sofa. Ever.
Don't try to Impress. Your home is the setting for your family's story. It's going to be the backdrop for milestones, cherished memories, your worst days as well as your best ones. Fill it with things you love. Display things that have meaning. Showcase items that come with an interesting story.Your home should be a comfort to you; sitting on furniture you're making payments on is going to stress you out every time anyone relaxes on it. Avoiding debt is definitely part of my overall philosophy.
The Home Recycled Philosophy is about editing, prioritizing, salvaging, and expressing.