babe, where’d you put the coffee table?

Last Friday night to Saturday afternoon: The hubs was going fishing. Soccer for the little one was cancelled Saturday am. Nothing to do but B-day party at 4pm for the oldest. There hasn’t been a Friday night/ Saturday combo of no plans pretty much since Easter. That meant I had 22 hours.

Kids needed a day to veg in the basement with their toys and tv. They could care less about doing anything this given Saturday. Remember, we are the typical suburban over scheduled family of four.  We all needed a recharge. I needed a day to re-merchandise. I was getting the itch. I had just cleaned the day before. It all started when I looked at the bookshelf in my husbands office. I didn’t like the way it was angled anymore. And I didn’t like the pictures that were on it. And furthermore, I wanted that coffee table he made last winter to live in the family room now. Right now.

I can’t explain this need to switch things up. I blame it on my profession. In visual merchandising you are paid to move stuff around; all the time. And you’re also expected to know what will look good, and where; wether it be furniture, fixtures, clothes, lights, carpets, you name it. It’s also getting to that time of year where #1 I’m inside the house more and #2 I’m getting ready for  holiday installation (at work AND at home). Time to clean up all the clutter and get stuff where I want it because pretty soon there will be a big fat tree in the family room and garland hanging off of every post and staircase. I truly love Christmas but working retail can make you a tad jaded about the holiday rush so I like to be methodical about making things at home festive for the family. It’s really all about the kids and building that excitement and making memories. In order to do that with a good attitude, I need a fresh palette.

So I thought I’d share a few pics of the process. Some are before and after and some are of the mess during the making. The lesson here is that I didn’t spend any $$ to make things look fresh and new. (well I bought a cork board for my daughter’s room but it’s not in these pics so it doesn’t count). I simply moved things around from room to room, consequently making things look new.

I’ll start with the upstairs hall.

hallway upstairs before: wire baskets, vintage chair and antique suitcases

Hallway upstairs before: wire baskets, vintage chair and antique suitcases.

after: moved some pics from staircase, removed the chair and replaced with small table (formerly in the powder room)

After: moved some pics from the staircase, removed the chair and suitcases and replaced with a small table (formerly in the powder room).

Ok here’s where the trickle down effect happens. Try and follow the mess:

below: The chair from above now lives in the foyer with a lantern that was in the family room and a print that used to be in the kitchen.

after: the chair now lives in the foyer with a picture that used to be in the kitchen ps- this print I had made on etsy last christmas. It has all our birthdays and our wedding day. cute right?

PS I ordered the above key print on Etsy as a house Christmas present last year. It lists all our birthdays as well as our wedding day. Cute right?

So what happened in the kitchen when I took down that key print from the pic above? wellll…. I replaced it with what used to be on the wall as well as some of what was on this wall:

downstairs hall
downstairs hall

and voila:


Confused and dizzy yet? Here’s what was happening in real life while the kids went about their business….


many, many vases on the table while Elles Belles  attempts to eat lunch.

Many, many vases on the table as Elles Belles attempts to eat lunch.

So you see those oars hanging behind my sweet, sassy 4-year-old? I have  an idea. Lets move them to the family room and make a boat themed art wall.

I already had a collage over the couch. It was just a matter of rearranging, adding and subtracting a few. I took away the family pics (relocated them of course) and replaced them with boat pics; some purchased, some I took on various trips and a few vintage signs. Then I hung the oars to the left. (not pictured)


Above: the collage before. yes I know THAT one is crooked. I bumped into it right before I snapped the pic. No time to fix it people. Its coming down anyway. 😉

Tip: I always lay out my collages on the floor before I commit to the wall. I can play around with the composition and get it right before nailing into the wall. We could talk all day about composition. Basics though: measure your space before hand, make sure that you have some sort of balance, and odd #’s work better in most cases.

Disclaimer: (my lovely sister-in-law and fellow Visual Merchandiser can attest to this. I do put more holes in the walls with all this movement. But I am a master of disguise and pretty much cover up any old holes by covering them with stuff…hence the reason we do this when no other grown ups are in the house. Right Suz?)

playing around

Hey, I almost forgot, this all started because of that table I wanted to put on the family room. Well, I wanted it to live next to this grey chair.


and I did a swaperoo…. the above trunk now lives in the office and I have the custom wood coffee table in the family room!

recognize those suitcases?
recognize these suitcases?

Don’t be afraid to re-merchandise your home once in a while. There are no rules. It’s your space and it should make you feel happy, comfortable, reflect your personal style and showcase your favorite things. Remember how it felt to register for new stuff before your wedding? And how it felt to set all that new stuff up in your new home/ apartment? When you rearrange, it can give you the same kind of charge. I often find that when I do this I get to look back at old pics as I move them around and smile at memories made along the way. We collect so much over the years of making a home and family.

I love this quote and I often refer to it when I’m looking to get rid of stuff or rearranging. Hope it inspires you as well! xo friends!


oh and also… I saw this and was like, Um.. yeah. Agree? Ha!


Published by carin

2 kids, husband, dog, house, family, friends, styling, entertaining, decorating, beach, sun, fun.......working, cleaning, scheduling, Soccer and Lax mom, dropping off, picking up, working cleaning, scheduling.....Gorgeous Chaos.

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