Reader Home Q&A

Updated: May 14

Hello, my dears!

Yesterday I put out a notice on my site that you can ask me anything you like about your home or home office, and I will respond to as many as I can in my blog posts. Consider these "free mini-consults" from me during this quarantined-at-home time to help you get going on those home projects you've been meaning to do "some day!" Just think: when this all passes your home will look and feel so much better if you take action in your home during this time vs. wasting too much time reading sad media news.

Jana in Massachusetts, USA sent me this great question this morning:

Q: "My husband is in the military so we move a lot. Sometimes our newest place is smaller, sometimes bigger. How do I purchase furniture in this situation as it's very frustrating when things don't fit in the next house let alone match in color, and things sometimes get damaged during a move too, plus I need my home to feel cozy too."

A: Great question, Jana, and with our mobile society, you are not alone in your frustrations about this! My article on "portable home decorating" was prompted by my own many personal relocations, as was my Moving With Ease eBook.

My tips:

1. Consider buying furniture that is lighter weight and easy to assemble and take apart for the next move. Example: Far better to buy a bed frame like this than a heavier bulkier one with a headboard like this. And in the case of a metal-frame twin bed, you can easily put big pillows up against the wall and then next move, move it to your den or living room even and turn it into a "sofa!" These pillows or these would give you that "cozy" look you mentioned and also add a "pop" of color.

2. Stick with neutral upholstery colors in every single piece of upholstery you buy so you can move pieces from room to room when you move and they will all "match." Example. If you have great furniture pieces already that are getting worn, recover them in solid neutral fabric. Then add color and pattern to your plain tan/brown/black etc. sofa upholstery with more "portable" pillows, throws, and blankets. Also, avoid prints in upholstery or you could end up with a "zig-zaggy" look that's busy looking, not cozy! When you move to the next house and the walls are green and not blue like your last house, (and you aren't allowed to paint the walls), change out your pillows and throw colors to go with the new house and locale. (Arizona has a very different decor "vibe" than New York City or Miami, for instance, so you might want to buy sea-motif pillows for Miami, skyscrapers for NYC, and cactus for Arizona.)

3. Buy smaller accent pieces as you can repurpose them to various rooms. Example: A little cabinet like this can also be used as a nightstand or in a bathroom to store TP and toiletries or tucked in a corner of your kitchen to house small pantry items like jam and olives, or put at the top of a stair landing for home office supplies or kids small toys. These small pieces are so multi-functional and inexpensive too. Also, if you buy plain-painted pieces, just like your no-pattern-neutral sofa upholstery, you can add more color by using removable decorative decals. Great example. Next time you move, maybe you'd rather have another look.

Always think "neutral" and "multi-functional."

You can do this; tap your own "think outside the box" decorating wisdom and get creative!

If you still need more help, my dollarwise decorating eBooks are now just $1.99 during this quarantine time and they offer you oodles of DIY tips.

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© Kathryn Bechen 2020