Friday, April 17, 2009

My Grand Decorating Plan

Do you have a plan when you decorate? Do you choose color and style, make an inspiration board, and shop with those in mind?

I'm afraid I don't.

I'm just not that organized.

What typically happens is that I see something I love and buy it, bring it home, and try to fit it in.  Of course I do keep in mind a general color scheme.  But I don't always have a conscious plan, and I tend to spend a lot of time afterward trying to find a place for my new treasures.

Here is a little leaf-shaped dish, made in Japan.  I found it at my favorite thrift store, along with the small covered dish pictured below.  Both have some lovely gold painted flowers on them.

From the same store, I also found a Bristol glass vase, with the same gold tones.  The painting on this is just gorgeous -- so detailed!  I was very lucky to have found this, and bought it for the amazing price of $12.50.

And finally, here is one of a pair of framed beaded embroidery panels.  I found these at my thrift store also.  Have you ever seen anything like them?  They are the perfect size for my library mantel.

So all of these thrift store finds have found a place on our mantel, and they go amazingly well together.  Almost as if I had planned it...  

Maybe I'm unconsciously planning everything.  Or maybe I'm just really lucky.  Now tell me all about your detailed decorating plans.  ;)


  1. You have a naturally good eye, Mary. It's a gift. Don't knock it!

    Do I plan? Nooooo, heavens noooo, I'm not organized either. Unfortunately, I don't have your eye for design and color so decorating is even more exciting here at the Haven.

  2. Wow! Those are some amazing thrift store finds! By the way, I love the paneling behind your fireplace. Very Christmas in Connecticut-ish!

  3. It looks to me like you have perfectly planned all of your new finds. Your mantel is beautiful. Good Job! Debbi

  4. You often make me want to take a trip to the local flea market! I love your finds, and these, in particular, are just beautiful together.

  5. You have such a great sense of style and color especially in your photos...isn't it fun in buying the things you like and then trying to fit them in later...blessings, pam

  6. Good morning Mary :)

    You have incredible taste and don't need a plan. I don't have a plan either. Like you, I buy what I like and it just sorta fits ;)


  7. I think your treasures look lovely placed on your mantle. I believe we all buy what we fall in love with and thankfully it works out.

  8. Mary
    You have wonderful taste. Love all the pretties!
    Thank you for visiting my blog and your kind words. Have a good day, Marsha

  9. What treasures! They all look great on your mantel!

  10. No plan whatsoever!! And if I did have a plan, I probably would change my mind a 100 times over!

  11. I read your first sentence and laughed out loud. A plan when I decorate? Oh, I wish! I'm afraid I've got too many things that came from family members, and WAY too many things that just followed me home.

    My Mom used to say, "It licked my hand," and then my Dad knew that whatever it was she had dragged home -- no matter how oddball to him -- it was home to stay.

    What a pretty grouping you have shared today. I love the restrained colors. Nice finds! You are lucky I don't live closer to Peapack; yes, that WAS Route 202 in my picture. :-)

    I'm going to check out a different thrift store today. Wish me luck! It's a gorgeous day.

  12. :) I think we get attracted to certain color tones and things like that jump out at us because we are attracted to them. beautiful finds.

  13. I don't know how you can have a design plan when you thrift. Designers have the grand plan, but then most everything is purchased new.

    I have sort of an idea of what I want and then go from there. If I find something that matches, wonderful.

  14. The greatest thrill of thrifting is seeing potential and beauty (sometimes hidden)in something that someone else has already passed along, falling for it, then making it work with our other loves at home. You've done that to perfection here Mary...just lovely!! I think the fun of "accidental decorating", which is definitely the way I decorate, is the evolution of it all...I grow and change and move and have new life experiences...and they are all reflected in my decor in one way or another. Usually things work out best when I am being most true to myself...if I truly love something it generally fits in...if I was on the fence and just got it because it was too good of a deal to pass up, but I wasn't really personally crazy about it, then I typically have trouble making it usually means it wasn't meant to be for my home.

    Thank you for sharing your finds and how they work together so beautifully in your's always a delight to see what you love displayed so artfully!

    Hugs & Blessings,
    Becky S. at Just Bee 'n Me

  15. Hello virtual friend, come visit me, i have an announcement.

    Thank you and blessings to you

  16. It obviously calls your name. Someone once told me not to buy anything unless it called my name! So that must be why it is all so harmonious, lovely and charming!

  17. My husband was once asked if he didn't mind that I went to fleamarkeds and thriftstores, and brought home all kinds of "old and used " stuff...

    He said: She is so happy when she comes home, these items makes the day for the whole family. They are totally worth it.

    ( but, now there are quite a lot of treasures...)

    Your mantel looks great. I adore all your different dishes...and you have made me want to start collecting monogram silverware...

    Have a great weekend.


  18. No grand plans here either Mary.

    Usually I start by falling in love with a fabric that I can't live without. If it coordinates with the house (because my rooms have to flow) then I'll buy enough for valances...choose my paint, and start shopping TJ Maxx/Marshalls/HomeGoods for accents. I always find things I didn't know I had to have!!!

    Your rooms seem to come together haphazardly like mine but it all works in the end.

  19. I never really have a plan either...just buy what I love...usually it works out once I get it home. :-) Love your finds...and some super prices, too! :-) Susan

  20. I really like your home, you do have a natural gift and a good eye for what looks good, your amazing finds look perfect on your mantle, no plan needed for you. I am currently doing an interior design course and am learning all about mood and sample boards I guess they are a great idea if you are going to have clients so that you can let them see your visions, but for me personally if I see something that I love, I make it fit :-) Happy weekend, Kathy.

  21. However you design, it is obviously working for you!

  22. Mary, you always find the most special treasures! I've been trying to be good lately but when I see your finds I feel compelled to get out there!


  23. I have no detailed decorating plans, just a wing and a prayer and usually some blue and white or russet red. The russet red makes my heart sing!


  24. I am not at all as lucky as you are when it comes to thrifting! You really have an eye for the treasures. My design plan usually begins with color (like my favorite blue & white) or a fabric.

  25. Or maybe you just have a really good eye for finding things that are happy together!I think that it's you Mary, all you! Happy decorating, we're waiting to see the bedroom! Bramble

  26. Wha twonderful finds! They look wonderful grouped on your mantle. I do not do a decorating plan, and it probably shows at my house. I do have a theory that if I love it, it will "go" with other things I love! It works for me, but others may feel that I need a plan! laurie

  27. Hi Mary,
    Your home is beautiful and everything you have done has come togethere perfectly. I do make a plan in my head and always try to remember to bring a swatch of the fabric from the room I am working on.There are so many differnt shades of one color, I need the fabric swatch to help me.
    I enjoyed your post very much.
    Have a great day,

  28. Absolutely lovely, I just adore the vase!
    Gracie at

  29. Mary...we decorate the same way. I buy on somewhat of an impulse. I buy what I love, take it home and try to find a place for it. It works for me. might not look like something out of House Beautiful...but to me it is a beautiful house if you love it. "Never do I say...yeah...that's ok. I don't really like it but it will have to do for now." Nope. I only rotate...seldom get rid of!
    Hugs, Mary. I LOVE your Little Red House for exactly the WAY you decorate.


Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. I love to hear what you have to say!