Home Decorating Essentials: The Letter A

There are just some things that every home needs., and they are those versatile items that can move around the house and have different functions depending on where they go… read on to see what I mean!

What is Home Decorating Essential you ask?  Well it’s something I made up to tout the benefits of certain decorative elements for the home, listed in an orderly manner.  The list is meant to tell you about items that you can purchase for your home that are always a good buy, very versatile and functional along with being attractive.  The use of the letters is to help you remember the items better by associating them with the alphabet!  Plus, it makes it a fun challenge to come up with things for each letter!

So, let’s get started with the letter…you guessed it… “A”!


A is for Armoire.  Armoires fit all of our criteria:  they are always a good buy because they are versatile, functional and attractive. Think about it, being open minded, an armoire can house everything from clothing to TVs to toys, even kitchen or bath products!

Buy one and keep it for a lifetime!  Here’s an example.  This oak armoire was my husband’s and mine 25 years ago when we got married.  We used it for our television and extra blankets.  It moved to a guest bedroom when we bought our first real bedroom suite, and there it was used as the closet in the room, so guest clothing and my embroidery and knitting supplies.  Several years later, when my son was born, it became his nursery closet, holding all his clothing and blankets.  He still has it today as you see here, housing his TV, DVD’s and video games.  Now that’s what I call money well spent!


A is for Architectural Details.  If you don’t have crown moldings, chair rails or columns in your home, grab a miter box and some linear feet of trim and give it a try.  Chair rail is a great place to start and it will add value and style to your home forever.


Antiques are another great A.  They have personality, tradition, and a history that makes your home feel timeless.  They can be as small as a coffee creamer to something very large like a dresser or grandfather clock.  These are the pieces that give your family roots. They tie you to the people who loved and cared for these items who are no longer around for you to love and care for.  For me, these pieces in my home are of extraordinary value. I can touch the creamer my grandmother put on her table for Thanksgiving.  I can set the time in a clock my great grandmother perhaps received as a wedding anniversary gift.  If you don’t have anything handed down in your family, start the tradition now with a wonderful timepiece, chest, even a candy dish or set of juice glasses can hold precious memories for your children and theirs to come.


A is also for Area Rugs.  They add pattern and color and softness to any room in the home.  Use them on wood and tile floors as well as right over carpeting.  A special rug pad will keep them from sliding on hard flooring or from harming your carpet fibers.

Good quality wool area rugs can last for many lifetimes.  In fact, just like you could go out and purchase items for you home that are already antiques, you can purchase antique area rugs.  In some instances they come with some wear and tear already added so you know they are authentic!  It is important to take care of any area rug whether new or old by keeping them clean and turning them occasionally to change up the traffic pattern.  Check out Matt’s article about Rug Care for more information.


A is for Artwork.  Every home should have its share of art on the walls.  And, by no means does this artwork have to be expensive.  It can be hand made by the persons living in the home or by relatives from the past.  Artwork is one of those things that truly follow the old adage, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”.  So, select pieces that speak to you and make you feel good.  You’ll know it’s right if you don’t buy it and you can’t stop thinking about it!!

One more thought about artwork.  Many people think that the artwork in a room has to be in the same colors as the rest of the space.  This can be a nice affect, but does the “matching” art really have meaning for you?  In today’s design world, artwork is more personal and there aren’t too many designers out there that think your selection of artwork should be determined by the fabric on your sofa!!


I think you would all wonder about me if I didn’t list Accessories as a very important A. Accessories, unlike artwork, generally do something to further the decorating statement you are making in your room.  I’m not saying that everything has to be flowers if your sofa is floral; I just think if you are “accessorizing” the room, choose items that coordinate.

Certain styles require varying amounts of accessories.  For instance, in contemporary design, fewer are better.  However, in country design, the rooms are often chock full of accessories.  So, keep these thoughts in mind as you search discount stores, garage sales, estate sales and bargain bins.  Accessories can eat up your budget fast so start by shopping the sales before buying anything at full price!! Matt and I have learned that swapping accessories with a friend can really add freshness to your décor.  Even simply moving items around in your own home will give those pieces new life.

So, that’s all I have at the moment for the letter A.  If you have something that you think I’ve missed, mention it at the bottom of the page and I’ll try to add it to the article so we cover ALL the alpha-best “A’s”!!


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