One of my favorite things in the world to do is decorate! There is something about being in an environment that feels energizing and personal, especially when it's your home! I have a theory I try to live by when it comes to decorating, never put anything in your house that doesn't mean something to you. This is particularly true for art and decor. When you walk around your house, and see something that you made, or someone special gave to you, it's the best feeling!
Being blind doesn't mean you can't have a great looking home, for everyone to enjoy! Sometimes though it can be tough to know what patterns match, what colors look best together and so forth, if you can't see. Here's a couple of tips and tricks I use to stay up-to-date on the trends, and get ideas, for home decor.
1. You have to know what kind of style you like first. Are you classic, contemporary, do-it-yourself? Do you like bright colors, dark colors, pops of color? Do you like lots of patterns, neutral colors or expressive designs? A good rule of thumb is that what you like in clothing, usually reflects what you like in decor. I love bright clothes and my house is the same!
2. Search for decorating blogs, there are thousands of them out there and some are very descriptive with their pictures! I also subscribe to some decor newsletter like Better Homes and Gardens, Pier 1 and TJ Maxx Home Goods.
3. Go shopping with a friend. Finding stuff is so much fun but you may need someone who can help tell you about colors and patterns. Decorating is actually a ton of fun for a blind person, because home decor is very much about textures, shapes and unique-feeling materials right now. You know a good, squishy throw pillow when you feel it, or the cool shape of a lamp. Touch things, if you like how they feel, you'll probably like it in your house.
4. Go to a home goods or furniture stores with an idea of what you want ahead of time. There are usually awesome, and helpful people who work at these stores who love to decorate (or they wouldn't be working there). I go to Pier 1 a lot and talk to a sweet lady there who talks to be about what's trending and she walks me around the store so I can feel stuff. Now, I can't always afford Pier 1, I'm a super frugal person, but just getting ideas is a great start.
5. Shop online! Holy moly I've become a hug fan of shopping online. I love that (most) websites have pretty good description about the stuff they sell and plus, you can type in what you want (like yellow throw pillow) and it pulls it up right for you. I also highly suggest you read the reviews on stuff before you buy it. For example, I purchased some sheets on Amazon with the color described as fire red. I assumed that was a bright, vibrant red. Wrong! The sheets were maroon and dull. I went back to the website and sure enough, several people had commented on this same problem in the review section. Lesson learned.
Here are my top 10 favorite home decor stores in order from favorite to least favorite.
1. TJ Maxx Home Goods (in store). I'm a tiny, tiny bit in love with this store. They have so many unique items that you can't, and won't, find anywhere else. The prices, oh the prices, they are really great because you're also getting really good quality stuff. I AM A MAXINISTA for sure!
2. Tuesday Morning (in store). Okay people, I just discovered this store 2 weeks ago and it's slowly easing up to the first place spot! Great, unique stuff, low prices. Things are always changing too which makes it so much fun.
3. Hobby Lobby (in store and online). Sadly, we have no Hob Lob here in St. George but I love a good trip when I travel to Salt Lake. This is the store for you if you are crafty, or aren't because they also sell lots of already made crafts and home decor.
4. Amazon (online). I was never a fan of Amazon until about a year ago, because I actually tried it. I LOVE, love, love it, favorite online store for sure. I am also a Prime member so when I order something, 2 days and BAM, it's here (I'm not a patient person so this works well for me).
5. Etsy (online). I love creative people and what they do and Etsy is the place. Now, it's not very accessible and you can only shop online, so you may have to have someone help you browse the sight. I get lots of ideas for do-it-yourself stuff here and I also love buying from a "real person" if you know what I mean.
6. The thrift store, dollar store and Family Dollar (in store). Now I have the thrift shop song stuck in my head! I have to say, this is one of the best places EVER to find things. You can buy items and then take them home and jazz them up a bit with new paint, modge podge or embellishment. My house is FULL of thrift store finds!
7. Groupon (online). I know it sounds crazy but lately I have found SO MUCH great stuff through Groupon. They have great deals on home decor, and lots of them. They are growing a lot in their home decor area and I am lovin' that! I have had nothing but good luck with my home decor from Groupon; I'm a big fan! (This includes other deal finder sites like Living Social and local deal sights.
8. Michaels and JoAnns (in store and online). Two more craft stores that have great home decor. I could go nuts at either of these stores (one day I spent 5 hours in Michaels). Yikes! Joann's I must say has the BEST online shopping of all the craft stores, and maybe the best prices too!
9. Target (in store or online). I honestly don't go to Target a whole lot, but when I do I head straight to their home goods section. They have some really great finds, I just worry sometimes that 50 other people will have the same thing as me, but they still have fun stuff.
10. Walmart. I hate, hate, hate to have to add this to my list. I'm not a huge Walmart fan for home decor BUT, I sometimes finds something really great and fix it up a bit to make it my own. I bought a cute little bicycle print on a wood plaque a while back for $3, brought it home, added a paper flower I made and some pearls and DANG, it rocks! I am not ashamed of a good find at Walmart, just remember, everyone else might have the same thing!