Monday, June 11, 2012

Decorating...with a red pen

Decorating is often more about what you leave out than what you include.

If you follow Glitterfarm on Facebook, you may have joined our recent chat about "decorating weaknesses"-- all those things that make us swoon when we run across them at flea markets, yard sales, antique shops, and even on the side of the road. I call them "weaknesses" because it sounds so much nicer than addictions, lol. This list for me (and for many of you!) is long, and we all laugh as our husbands scratch their heads wondering how many mason jars we need, when we don't actually do canning.

Hodge podge alert! I just had
too much stuff at the show this year. 
As funny as our hubbies are, they do have a point, and one I've (secretly) struggled with when I decorate. How do I display the right things, in the right layout, in the right room, when I have a truckload of collected things that I love? There's a fine line between a room looking pretty, textured, and pleasing, and it looking like a space at a flea market! To me, this is "editing" what I choose to display (and not display), so it presents the right picture.

Even with years of decorating experience, and now my Glitterfarm business, I still find editing a challenge. It's been on my mind lately, particularly last weekend as I set up my Glitterfarm booth at the Remnants of the Past Vintage show. After months of buying and prepping for this twice-yearly show, I'm still overwhelmed when the product is waiting for set up, piled in front of my empty booth.

Atelier de Campagne's booth.
One story, well told. Love it! 
It doesn't help that the other booths are nothing short of amazing! Each and every one is a unique experience when you walk across the threshold. Dreamy WhitesSerendipityAtelier de CampagneChalk Farm Home, and dozens of other names are synonymous with talent, class, and beauty, and their booths show it. These giants of retail display inspire me even more to keep my Glitterfarm booth pretty and inviting instead of cluttered and "hodgepodgey."

A dear friend helped me out this weekend, and reminded me of the basics: grouping like colors, limiting what I show, and having a few key "stories" to tell with product. She also pointed out that mixing those stories -- even with things that I love -- can be confusing to the eye and to shoppers.

The show was a huge success, my booth was better this year than last, and I learned a lot. Probably the most important lesson I learned this year is that with my long "weakness list," I have to edit what I buy as well as what I display. I love so many beautiful things, but as my inventory becomes too varied and too different, display becomes a real challenge, and the flea market chaos starts to creep back into my booth.
I did have pockets of order in my booth. The Glitterfarm
flowers look good with the yellows and creams.

So, as I learn, Glitterfarm is evolving. It will always be a mix of my crafty stuff -- handmade purses, aprons, flowers, and crates -- and the "found treasures" I acquire from suppliers all over California. But I'm editing this down. I'm still writing Glitterfarm's "Organic Glamour" story, piecing together "paragraphs" of product I love with the right mix of color, style, richness, funk, and beauty to delight my customers.

I'm getting out my red editing pen now!


More info: Here's a recent interview of me where I share how Glitterfarm and "Organic Glamour" came to be.

Do you edit your decor? Share your thoughts in the comments!