I want to start off by saying that I love Hobby Lobby. I really do. I shop there all the time. I am on a first-name basis with some of the clerks there. I like their home décor and buy a lot of it, both for myself and other people.
The last thing I want anyone to say about a room I’ve designed or worked on is, “Did Hobby Lobby throw up in here?” No, that would not be good.
In this vignette in my dining room, the fake apples, the bowl they’re in, and the blue and white stone pedestal are all from Hobby Lobby. The wire rack is from Junque in the Trunk here in Waco. It looks old but isn’t. Everything else is an antique, including the Victorian crumb catcher which was a gift from my sister.
This Civil War cannonball, turned here to show how the back was blown out, was a gift from friends.
What I’m after—both in my own home and the homes that I work on—is a mixture of new items mixed with old. I don’t want a room to look like everything was purchased at the same time and from the same store.
The blue and white vase and cream dish on top of the books are from Hobby Lobby. The sconce is vintage. The sweetgum balls are from my mother’s house and the eggs were given to me by someone who raises chickens. I blew out the insides because I wanted to display them rather than eat them.
If you like the collected look, these tips apply whether you are new to decorating and basically starting from scratch or just want to completely change what you already have because you’re sick of it.
Take your time. As they say, good things come to those who wait. Don’t try to fill up a room just for the sake of finishing it. This can actually lead to costly mistakes. Once you’ve spent all your budget and filled your room with what you could find quickly, you may come across something that is just perfect only to realize you don’t have the room or money for it. It’s okay to live with some blank spots until you find what is perfect for you. This gives you time to save up for a big piece or figure out the style you really like.
Shop in lots of different places. This includes the typical chain stores like Hobby Lobby, Target, Kirklands, or Homegoods, if you like those stores and have access to them. It also includes antique stores, thrift shops, garage/estate sales, on-line sites, and even your parents’ or grandparents’ homes assuming they want to let go of some of their stuff. This cabinet, which I painted, is from a furniture consignment store. Most of us have too much stuff as we get older and are sometimes glad to give it to someone who can breathe new life into it. Put the word out to family and friends that you’re in the market for a particular item and would like first dibs on any future castoffs.
Let go of the idea that your furniture needs to match because it doesn’t. Gone are the days of it being necessary to buy suits of furniture. Are you old enough to remember this look? It was a WHOLE lot of brown going on.
In my guestroom, I have a small stained table (from Hobby Lobby), a cream painted/glazed/distressed chair, and the two-toned gray and white painted cabinet. Nothing matches but it all works.
Don’t stress over fabrics matching either. Colors don’t have to be a scientific match, and there is no commandment that says you can’t mix different styles. If you like it and think it “goes” then it’s okay . It’s your house. These throw pillows, which typically stay in another room on two different sofas, don’t perfectly match or coordinate but they still work.
Go easy with trends. The industrial/farmhouse look is huge right now, and I love it. I love the metal pieces, the weathered wood, the signs, and especially all the white. But, it’s easy to go from zero to overkill with this look–or any other– if you do need to buy a lot of items in a short amount of time to complete a room. What works for me is to mix in a few of the trendy items (like cotton stems) with some tried-and-true classics, like antique silver or blue and white ceramic pieces.