Decorating Isn't Just for the Designers

By: Chelsi Hickey @MotherhoodUnmastered


The upcoming holidays mean most of us are trying to get our homes in tip-top shape and decorated to the nines. When you're a designer, it's a piece of cake, but when you're a mom with no background in decorating, that may seem a little easier said than done.


Not only do we have Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the bend, but my daughter's birthday is thrown in the mix too. My house is about to a frenzy of gourds and turkeys, Santas and mistletoe, AND pink and glitter. And although decorating may not be my passion, I've stumbled upon a few amazing small shops, and Pinterest projects along the way to make the job a little easier.


Ronni Conner of Miss Charli's Custom Boards, and Kimberly Kamp of Meraki Events and Decor have a few tips up their sleeves.


Conner started her shop with a bold move, simply quitting her job and jumping in head first. She painted a birthday board for a friend, who then posted pictures, which led to more orders. Now seven years later, Conner runs her home and party décor shop full time. She specializes in custom signs, such as name signs, holiday décor, and home decorations. She even works with each customer individually to make sure they're getting exactly what they want.


She says when decorating or designing décor, the key is to stay true to yourself.


“If I could offer a tip to anyone, it would be to stay true to what you like. You can absolutely decorate on a budget, and make something simple, look so elegant.”


She went on to say, don't fall for peer pressure!


“Do not buy a lot of décor you hate, just because you see that's what everyone else is doing. Stick with what makes you happy,” she said.


In other words, simple and elegant may be my taste, but just because I''m decorating my living room in simple grays, doesn't mean you shouldn't blast yours with more color. In fact, Conner suggests buying pieces you can easily switch out.


“Buy pieces that you can easily make changes to, without having to redo everything. It's easy to get bored with the same living room or bedroom every single day. Swap out a rug, or a comforter, or a shower curtain to something wild or bright. Those are small changes that can make a big difference and not be overly expensive,” she said.


Both shop owners I talked to mentioned using Pinterest as a source of inspiration.


“Look at Pinterest or browse your nearest craft store! It really helps get the mind flowing with all sorts of ideas. Also, don't be afraid to move things around – nothing has to be permanent,” said Kamp.


Kamp started her small shop after having her children and discovering her love of planning and decorating their birthday parties. She now owns a shop that helps you decorate for those special events, as well as simple decorations for around the house.


But are you a newbie, like me, and not sure where to begin?


Kamp said, “Again Pinterest and craft stores! They really help you get a feel for what you like, especially places like Hobby Lobby, where they have themed décor and set-ups.”


The world of decorating, and in turn, these mama's small shops are ever changing.

Conner told me what she thinks the world of decorating will soon evolve to.


“I think décor is going to be very modern! Monochrome, versus super colorful. That seems to be the route a lot of kids rooms and holiday décor is taking...more basic larger pieces, and tiny pops of color in rugs and lamps.”


She sure read my mind!


I was looking for some décor for my girl's playroom. I knew I wanted something playful (after all it is a playroom), but I also wanted something that fit the simple, elegant feel of my home.

After much searching, everything in my price range wasn't the right fit, and everything I fell in love with, my wallet didn't.


Enter in my Pinterest DIY search.


Full disclosure, I'm not a huge DIYer, but I wanted to give it a shot. I found a simple sign that said “PLAY” and looked easy enough to emulate.


My three-year-old, Cambri, and I headed to our nearest Hobby Lobby and found the items we needed to complete out task. When it was all said and done, I spent about $26, and ended up with a sign I can't wait to hang!


I started by finding a blank piece of wood that was the size I needed for the space. The particular one I chose was a white piece of wood, encased in regular, non-stained wood. Sorry if these aren't the right terms, I told you I was a newbie!


I found the letters for the word I chose for the board. I chose “PLAY”, but you could also do “Welcome”, “Home”, or whatever other word will fit your space. I chose letters that were a simple style because that fit the feel of my home, but you could opt for fancier fonts if you wanted.


I then chose regular acrylic paints you can find at any craft store (or even Walmart). You could even spray paint your letters if you wanted, but because I chose to do each letter a different color, the acrylics were a tad cheaper for me.


At home, Cambri helped me paint each letter. She loved being able to help and it's fun that she'll be able to say she had a hand in creating a piece for her own playroom. I did go over her painted letters, just to make sure the strokes were straight, but again, this was just my preference.


Once the letters dried, I used a wood glue (I chose Titebond II Premium wood glue, but any should work) to glue the letters onto the white wooden board. Leave it dry for a couple of hours and TA-DA!, you have a new piece of art to hang or place around your space.


It was super easy and a ton of fun. I know that if my DIY-challenged self can pull it off, so can you!


So next time you're planning your home décor, or your child's next birthday, I highly encourage you check out these amazing small shops, and maybe even create a piece or two on your own!


You might just surprise yourself!


(Miss Charli's Custom Board said to mention Kids Style when ordering to receive a discount.)

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