My Perpetual Shopping List-A Recipe For Success Over the Years

 I want to talk about what to look for and purchase regularly to insure that you always pick items that go together and can be used multiple ways. I like to be sure, that what I’m buying for the most part, I will not have to buy again, if I change the color of my walls in a few years, and I will.

 I have had every color you can think of, painted on my walls at one time or another, however, my decorations always match, and here is why. I almost always, buy the same type things and in the same colors. I believe I can paint my walls any color I want, and lets face it, yes, its a lot of work, but painting is about the most inexpensive way to give any room a fresh new look.  So I like to put the color on the walls, and keep everything else pretty neutral. The added benefit to keeping all of the decoration kind of the same is, that I can take the decorations from my bedroom and use them in my living room, and the decorations from my living room, I could use in my kitchen, and so on and so on.

Basically, I like to stick to natural elements, greenery, whicker, wood, linen, cotton ,wool, and silk. Collect some clear glass, white, cream, or black pottery, pitchers, dishes, serve ware, enamel ware, concrete, and silver. I use lots of mirrors-different sizes and finishes, also frames, a few architectural pieces, candle sticks, candles, baskets, vases for fresh flowers-all different shapes and sizes, trays-you cannot have too many trays. Lighting is crucial, add some chandeliers, pendants, and lamps-all kinds and sizes and make sure some are in pairs. A few cast iron and galvanized steel pieces. Remember to add in some clocks, some for the wall and some table top versions. Also throws, and throw pillows-some of these in pairs, and carpets. Lets not forget artwork-make sure your get several different sizes. Antiques is a category all of its own, add in some furniture and some decorative pieces, old bottles, architecture, and books. I love mixing modern pieces with antiques.

 Try to stay away from trendy or themed items, or at least limit them, and don’t spend a lot of money in this department,  you will change your mind about these items more quickly. Make sure you are adding in fresh flowers, now there is a great way to add in a pop of color, and you can change it often. As long as you are purchasing these things in a few key colors, like white, off-white, ivory, cream, black, grey, brown, silver and gold, they will all be interchangeable from room to room, and you can purchase them over a lifetime. Everything mentioned above could be easily displayed in a red room, a blue room, a grey room, or even a white room. The possibilities are endless, and you could change what room the items are in at any time.

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All that said if you simply adore blue, as I do, then by all means, collect some blue and add it into the mix, that’s what makes it your own. However, I still keep the bulk of my decorations the same. Then when blue is no longer what I love, down into the basement it will go. Then I can add in some touches of another new color, into the already established pieces that never change. Well, okay, not never. Over the years even a few of  these pieces will slowly get weeded out as well. They may go out of style or you may simply change your mind about some of them. Hey, mistakes happen, but lets keep it to a minimum.

In addition, this neutral pallet is easy to add to at any holiday. I take some pieces away and add in others at Christmas. Here I use a lot of color.

Bottom line is buy what you love, surround yourself with all the things that make you feel good, make your house feel like a home, and make your home feel and look like a place you want to spend a lot of time in.

No need to stick to a bunch of rules, I am not saying that here. Its only a guideline to save money in the long run, and to save yourself from repurchasing the same things over again, but in a different color, because they no longer match. Trust me I am one of those people that has to learn everything the hard way.

Here is an example of a water pitcher from Pottery Barn, used as a vase in the living room. This same pitcher filled or empty could sit in my living room, dining room, bedroom, office , or even a bathroom. Oh, lets not forget, its great for pouring iced tea or lemonade into tall glasses, as well. I hope this idea of a perpetual list has inspired even one.

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Tammy Damore

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