Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Functional Decorating

In my "about me" section of this blog, I mention my love for functional decorating...and I never really followed through on that subject. What can I say? That whole creating and sustaining another human being thing got in the way.

So, I am a fan of functional decorating, which I define as decorating with objects that I enjoy looking at that also perform a function. I like surrounding myself with things that resonate with more basic needs, like cooking. As an added bonus, decorating with functional or hard working items means spending less because one item has multiple functions. Now, how can you not like that?

Enough talk. Let's look at the perdy pictures!*

*Disclaimer: pictures were taken in sub-par lighting and may, in fact, not be perdy.

That red circle on the wall is a ceramic sunflower (if you squint you can kind of make it out). But wait! It's not just a red ceramic display piece poorly captured in a digital picture. It is also...

A trivet! It's place on our wall helps tie together the red floral of the curtains with the reds in the wall tapestry and it is conveniently close to the dining room table, ready and waiting to be taken down when we need it.

Similarly, this wooden leaf hangs next to the kitchen. The colors of the wood compliment the countertops, but more importantly this beautiful wooden leaf is actually a cutting board. Now, I'll be honest, I have never used this cutting board for cutting. It's too pretty. But we do regularly use these ones:

Right off the kitchen, these wooden cutting boards fill an otherwise blank wall with functional art. We sprung for extra hefty, simple hooks that tie in with much of the metal used in the kitchen. That way we don't have to worry about the weight of the cutting boards being an issue and it visually ties the hallway into the kitchen.

Our main living space has very high ceilings. To fill the space along the wall, we used pressed tin tiles. These tiles were left over from a project in our last home, so we already had them. They fit the space, matched the decor, and we can always choose to remove them and use them for another project. Basically, I am thinking of this as a storage solution in addition to a decorating decision. But for now, I love that they compliment the rich green of the wall, as well as subtly catching and reflecting light into the room. 

[I'd also like to take a moment to confess that the entertainment center does not fit the scale of the TV or the rest of the room. It's one of our college left overs that has yet to be replaced. We have been looking for something we can upcycle. Fingers crossed that garage sale season yields some promising pieces.]

The red poof? That was one of my best buys and on I had to convince my husband of, because he was pretty sure I was being crazy. It is an indoor/outdoor piece I got on sale. Mr. Man LOVES this thing. For him, it's something to climb on or a bean bag chair to flop down in. For the adults, it's a foot stool or something comfy to sit on when we want to get down to Mr. Man's level. The fact that it's indoor/outdoor means that it's super durable and easy to clean. I paired a similar piece with the rocking chair in the nursery.

Next to the papasan chair, you'll see this little wooden stool. This is one of the most hard working pieces of furniture we own. It is currently acting as a side table. In the past it has played a supporting role as a plant stand, a night stand, and we frequently use it when I cut R's hair. It often pulls duty as extra seating or a place to set drinks when we have company. It is easy to move from room to room, which is awesome, and the relatively simple silhouette and neutral color means that you can use it anywhere.

Speaking of extra seating, let's talk about this guy:

It's an ottoman for our loveseat, a toy box, and it can be pulled out and used for extra seating - that's obvious. But wait, there's more! It was THE BEST cruising surface when Mr. Man was a baby, being firm but soft. It's a great addition to a blanket fort, where it can form a wall, be used in combination within the loveseat to create a tunnel, or just to keep a blanket in place by closing it into the lid. It's also long enough that it can be used as an impromptu barrier/baby gate; at least until your kid gets big enough to crawl on top of it. Plus, it's leather and can be wiped off. Basically it's the best $120 I ever spent.

So that's what I mean by functional decorating. I am hoping to start "regularly" sprinkling some decorating posts into my toddler-dense repertoire. If you like what you see, let me know!