Please welcome guest post contributor, Erica Sanchez.
Common closet advice dictates that, once a season, you should go through your wardrobe, hanging on to basics and classics that are in good shape, and tossing anything out-of-style or that hasn’t been worn in a year.
But what about your home? Shouldn’t furniture and décor be put to the same “love it or leave it test” that your closet goes through?
If the late British textile designer William Morris had anything to say about it, the answer would be a resounding yes. After all, he’s credited with the famous quote “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”
Regularly evaluating your décor can prevent clutter, keep your home looking current, and give you a chance to bring in new pieces that are better suited to your style and lifestyle. Here’s how to decide what stays and what goes.
Get rid of it if:
-It no longer works in your space. That overstuffed leather chair your parents bought you for your first apartment, which you’ve been working into your modern aesthetic ever since because how could you possibly toss it? It’s OK to say goodbye. Sometimes, we hang on to things that don’t really work for us anymore because they were expensive or have sentimental value. But if there’s a piece in your space that sticks out like a sore thumb, that’s a good sign it’s better off in a new home.
-It’s seen better days. We’re all guilty of buying cheap furniture. But it’s like the old saying goes “you get what you pay for,” and if you bought a dresser for $100, chances are it’s only meant to last a year or two. If you’re on year five, and you struggle to open and close the drawers every time you want to change your clothes, an upgrade is both well deserved, and totally worth it.
-It’s out of style. Like the fast-fashion pieces in your closet, small décor items and accent pieces tend to come in an out of style fairly quickly. The good news is, these things are also typically the most inexpensive elements of your décor to replace, so don’t feel bad taking down all of those quote decals you plastered around your house in 2010—it might be just the breath of fresh air your space needs.
Keep it if:
-It has good bones. If you can, hang on to antiques and pieces made from solid wood. Because they’re made to withstand the test of time, it’s worthwhile to consider how you might repurpose them, or give them a makeover before giving them up. Sometimes, all it takes is a fresh coat of paint to give dated wood furniture a completely new look.
-It’s a classic. Sure, you might be sick of the sofa you’ve had for the last five years, but if it’s a timeless silhouette—a chesterfield, English roll arm, or tuxedo design, for example—you might want to try refreshing it with some new throw pillows, or purchasing a new arm chair to go alongside it instead. Classic pieces are great investments because of how versatile they are, so you might be surprised by how refreshed timeless furniture can look with a few updates.
-Replace the bad with the good.
Once you’ve weeded out the good from the bad, it’s time to replace your old pieces with things you’ll truly love. If it’s décor you’re swapping out, feel free to go out and stock up on inexpensive versions of the latest trends. But if you’re in the market for larger pieces—a replacement for that rickety dresser—for example, learn from your mistakes and look for something that will last.
-Hire some help. With a little extra room in the house, now is the perfect time to get a professional opinion on your space. Online interior design services, like Decorist, offer digital room makeovers from a team of designers that can help you figure out how to make the most out of the pieces you have left. The best part? Room designs start at $199 (a cost that can be easily covered by selling that old furniture on Craigslist).