It seems to happen suddenly: that comfy couch you’ve loved for years looks a little bit shabby. The art in the guest room seems like it might look better in the kitchen. And, before long, you’re imagining orchids and a Meyer lemon tree in that sunny window spot in your bedroom. When you’re ready to refresh your space, here are a few ways to bring a little bit of magic into your home.
Find your meaning
Looking to bring a bit of unique to your decor? Forget Pinterest and trust yourself. Jenni and Ben Mueller of A Vintage Parcel in Bloomington supply vintage knick-knacks to everyone from the set designer of “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” to passionate Pinteresters in the Rochester area.
Their advice? If you like a piece, grab it. Not every decoration needs to be practical.
Jenni says many people fall in love with their large vintage letter and number signs, but pass them up. They might think they’re out of character with the rest of their décor, or they simply don’t know what to do with them. But if you feel a connection to a piece, go for it. That large vintage 3 might represent the number of people in your family.
Remember: the item doesn’t have to be a permanent fixture in your home; just display it as long as it pleases you. “There are no rules, there’s not a pattern, it just is,” says Jenni. “Embrace it. It’s ok if you just like the look of (the piece).”
Go for the real deal
Instead of reupholstering or repainting a piece, search through family treasures. The wooden pieces in your grandma’s basement are often heirloom-quality furniture with a family story. Instead of painting them, restore the original finish. If you are considering an art piece, invest in an original from a local artist (maybe even buying a painting slowly through a monthly payment plan).
Follow a whim
Norman the Elk hangs proudly in the Mueller living room. They don’t hunt, and Jenni admits she never pictured herself owning anything taxidermied. But she fell in love with the piece at her first Junk Bonanza. When she told Ben, he admitted he’d taken a liking to Norman as well.
Now, she thinks, “Why wouldn’t we have a giant elk?” Norman gets decorated for holidays, including Halloween. And he’s been joined by Javier, a large, leathery Guatemalan toad (who lives on a shelf, out of reach of the family dog). “We embraced the eclectic,” Mueller says. “We took a risk.”
That’s a decorating philosophy she thinks more of us should tap into. “I think we need to be a little more childlike in our interests and our rules,” Jenni says. Follow your gut. After all, it’s your home, so you should enjoy the decorations you look at every day.
Area shops sell small and large accents. Soul Purpose offers classes in everything from calligraphy to sign-making, so you can make unique, one-of-a-kind elements to display in your home. And Jenni mentions that almost anything in a grouping, from vases to skeleton keys, can become an interesting display. She also points out that sometimes oddities make fun accent elements – noting that one customer bought a dental mold to hold her rings by the sink. “Letting people know that there are no rules is kind of freeing,” she says.