Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Works For Me Wednesday (my first)

When we first moved into our home three years ago, 11 out of 13 rooms were some shade of orange - ranging from and electric reddish orange to an eye-popping sixties coral. The other two rooms were electric blue and bubble gum hot pink. We had one red and raspberry striped hallway, one bright blue hall, and a mustard yellow closet. In short, we felt like we were living in a Mexican Restaurant! It was cheerful, but just not our style! After the daily shock of waking up in a rusty orange room and going to the bathroom in a putrid pumpkin master bath with light pumpkin woodwork, we began to say 'Ole!' instead of good morning ... and we got to painting! It was so overwhelming that we hired much of the work, but we did our share also.

In facing an overwhelming whole house decorating challenge, I was forced to get organized. Since we couldn't just go out and buy everything we wanted right away, our re-decorating became a fun search and ongoing challenge. What really helped me was an envelope system. This isn't my first one - months of rolling around in my purse or the glove compartment required me to update my falling apart envelopes again recently, but you'll see how it worked.

I started by gluing a bunch of envelopes together - not as nicely as Martha, of course, but you get the idea! I used some scrap booking paper on the outside envelope for a bit of whimsy. One envelope for each room. Originally, I had a picture of each room and a paint chip with finish information ( eggshell, glossy, etc.). As we have worked on each room, I added a wish list, fabric samples, a sketch of the window treatments I planned, measurements, flooring samples, laminate pieces, stain samples on wood pieces, and even trim I was trying to match.

The envelopes got pretty fat at times, but I just keep on sorting and as each room was somewhat completed, I took out all but the essential elements - paint chips, fabric swatch and wish list.

This is an example of the colors and fabric we used in the sun room - for some reason the 'soft tan' paint chip is missing, so I'll try to get to Sherwin Williams and pick up another soon! You never know when something great will catch your eye and knowing beforehand if it goes nicely or not with your existing colour scheme , is a huge help!

I am no professional decorator, but this has really worked well for me, and I hope the idea helps you in some small way!


  1. That's great! And we are about to do some major home painting over here soon, so I just might steal this idea. Plus, I would feel all important carrying my little binder of design ideas! Hee-hee!

  2. What a fantastic idea! Do you have pictures to share of your completed rooms? I'm a terrible decorator and always love HELP in this area.

    Duckabush Blog

  3. What a great idea! Welcome to WFMW!

  4. What a great idea! The contents of your envelopes look so pretty!!!

  5. Wow, I really like this idea! We are building right now it will be putting paint on the walls next week. This tip came just in time for me! Thank you!

  6. Yes pictures would be great to share! I will for sure do this envelope idea, I think that is a perfect solution for a million things in a million places!


  7. Thanks for sharing this! I always think I have a good eye for color until I purchase something and it is a shade off when I get it home!


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