You may have heard me mention the cabinet that we affectionately refer to as our “decor store” so we’re here to further explain what the heck it is. Basically it’s where I store vases, shells, candles, vase filler, corks, starfish, decorative dishes and plates, and anything else that I might want to use to switch up a tablescape or house fresh flowers when the mood strikes (don’t mind the shrimp scampi in the picture below, I snapped it while John was whipping up dinner).
It’s great to “shop” in your own home using the things that you already have- and a lot of people have extra vases, platters, corks, and other objects scattered around their house that can instantly become a little decor shop when they’re grouped together in a basket, drawer, or cabinet. Even a collection of matchbooks looks chic and personal displayed in a cylinder vase (so go ahead and toss all those random matchbooks that you have all over the house into a zip-lock bag- they’ll be much easier to grab when the decorating urge strikes).
When you have a designated spot for all that stuff, it always feels like you have a bevvy of options at your fingertips and you never have to tear closets and drawers apart in search of something that you could have sworn you stuffed in there months before (or worse yet, forget all about the things you have and buy new stuff when you could have kept that money in your wallet).
Plus designers often suggest rotating decorative objects to keep your surroundings feeling fresh, but real people are busy and it’s easy to let something stick around for the season and then a year, and before you know it you haven’t moved the stuff on your mantel for half a decade. A little decor store makes freshening things up and switching things out a bit more fun, and more importantly, a bit less daunting. Because sure that candlestick looks good on your console, but maybe for spring a vintage glass vase full of fresh cut leafy branches is just what the doctor ordered…
Do any of you guys have a decor store at home? How about another way that you prefer to store seasonal objects or extra vases and candles? Do tell.
I have a big collection like this at my house- but we’re calling it the garage sale pile :) i just can’t stand to have things around that I’m not using! (plus in our small house, there’s not much space for lots of knick knacks)
I stumbled upon your site today…it’s fabulous! So inspiring!I have a “decor store” (in that nook above the kitchen cabinets…apartment living, what can I say?). My dream is to have an entire closet to store placemats, vases and other “props” for different tablescapes =)
I’ve been wanting to say this for awhile. Your decorative starfish make me very sad. You often mention your efforts to be ‘green’ but apparently you only mean in terms of keeping chemicals out of your house. Do you know where those starfish come from? They are living animals, removed from the water, and left to dry out. Shells, fine, they wash up and are collected after they’ve been vacated…but there’s something about removing a living animal from the marine ecosystem for no purpose other than decorating with its dried remains that gets under my skin.
I actually recently learned about the plight of the starfish (check out the comments in this post) and of course I have not purchased or collected any since! In fact I’ve even stuck to suggesting only faux-coral, faux-starfish and even faux-clam shells for mood boards from then on. I really am doing my best! And the great news is that there are lots of great faux-starfish options out there (even from mainstream stores like Pottery Barn and West Elm- goodness knows I love a white ceramic creature or ten). Hope it helps!
I keep my candles/candle holders in our buffet, accessories I’ve grown tired of in a rubbermaid storage container in the basement, seasonal items in the attic. But the problem is, they stay there because I don’t feel like hunting them down. Plus, when I open my buffet cabinet door, votives tumble out.
So I’m about to move to a new house and a decor store is now on my list of things I must have.
Mandy Ford says
Well, I definitely have a decor store in our home, but it is much more scattered and not nearly as neat and organized as yours. I’ve found my design taste has changed in the 6 years I’ve been in my own place, so I have things that I no longer use but don’t want to part with. Now that we are moving to a more modern house from our 1930’s bungalow, I might actually use some of my older pieces again.
I really love the idea of a “decor store”–there are so many little decorative things that I forget I even have, and it’s really a shame! I’ve been toying with the idea of where to keep my own “decor store”–mine would probably need to be much bigger in size, as the decor that I tend to rotate is more like framed photos and wall signs.
Storing decorating items in one place is such a simple but really great idea, I feel silly for not thinking about it before! But this is why I <3 this blog.
What a great idea! Any of my extra decor (which isn’t much… most of it is out 24/7) is stuffed in a drawer or closet, so I never even think of pulling it out again. Having everything in one easy place makes so much sense. Thanks for the tip!
I came upon your site about 2 days ago and haven’t been able to stop thinking about how much I love your style and wonderful ideas! My husband and I are moving into our first home in about 2 months and I can’t stop thinking about all the projects I have in store….I just want to move now, so I can finally get started! You will be hearing from me often I am sure…Thanks again for all the terrific ideas and sweet style you and your husband have created!!!
Denise T. says
A decor store in my house would have been handy last night! I was shopping my home for accent pieces to freshen up the ledge over our apron sink in the kitchen. It would have taken less time had all the items been located in one central place. Now I just need a few fresh lemons and a bouquet of daffodils!
Great advice, as always.
heather s. says
I do something similar but mine are in rubbermaid storage containers in the basement. I have one for home decor things (votives/plates/etc), one for outdoor decorating for the patio (lights/votives/small planters/etc), and one for entertaining (plates/utensil holder/decorations). Of course they are all labeled and on a large shelf in my storage area in the basement so that’s how I can easily find what I need. Love the shelf idea but my home doesn’t have many shelves to begin with and I can’t give one up for my home store. :)
I keep extra table top stuff in my built in hutch in my dining room. Also keep all my Christmas decorations stashed in a chest in the same room (getting ready and clean up is breeze around Christmas).
Check out Tracy Porter’s video on imaginative storage of decorative items in her sister’s pantry…fun to watch and inspirational.
aww the blue fish is too cute!
Currently my “decor store” is located in my bottom of my china cabinet – not my ideal spot for it, its on the small side, and I tend to forget what I’ve got down there. Once I get my hall closet finished I plan on dedicating a good portion of it to all my seasonal décor.
I love the idea of fresh cut branches displayed in a vase!
Silly question: Am I supposed to add water or not?
Good question! We love clipping a few leafy branches from the yard (here’s a link to a bunch of them in a vase on the sunroom table). Just add water and let them get a bit of sun. They should last a good while longer than most flowers- and the ones that we clip actually grow little roots in the water so they last for months and even years (and probably could be replanted outside if we wanted more bushes!).
If you’re going for flowering branches (ex: forsythia) you’ll also want to add water- in fact the only time there’s no water necessary is if you’re showcasing some dry leafless branches (like a bunch of bamboo sticks from Ikea or Pier1) which are obviously beyond the point of needing water. Hope it helps!
We do the same thing, in a cabinet above the refrigerator! Not as many cute nicnacs as you though, mostly just extra candles and incense.
Because my place doesn’t have tons of storage, I have mini decor stores in each room. Kitchen/dining decor occupies a drawer in my kitchen and part of a cabinet, while my living room decor is stashed in decorative boxes on my bookshelves.
Thanks for pointing me to that discussion. I do like reading your blog but don’t often get a chance to read through all the comments. Glad to hear you were already aware and sorry to beat a dead horse!
Hmmmm i will have one day…stuff is really in many different places..thanks..makes me want to start.
I have a decore store, but it’s nowhere near as organized, cute, or as well-stocked as yours. Very inspirational, yet now I will never look at a poor bleached out starfish the same way again.
Were you guys born with the magic touch or did you acquire it along the way? Impressive and inspirational, as always. And kudos to John for cooking up the din-din. As it should be!
I think our style is definitely something we developed over time. A good example of that is how we repainted almost every room in our house after we realized the original paint colors that we chose were a bit too chaotic and all over the place for us. We definitely learn as we go! And I think both of our creative backgrounds and interests in all things visual (I went to art school in NYC and John always wanted to be a music video director) keep us alert and aware of our surroundings so we can tweak them until they feel like home. It’s all about trial and error, baby!
Oh and pulling your favorite room images out of magazines or collecting online favs on your desktop is a great way to really see what floats your boat so you can take your home decor in that direction. There are usually obvious similarities when you look at all these “inspiration images” together (ex: they all have a lot of white in them, most of them are punchy and colorful, they all feel uncluttered and minimal, etc). Hope it helps! happy decorating…
Taking after my Mom, I have a present closet in our arts and crafts room. When I see things I know would make a great gift, I pick them up and put them in the closet. This is the same closet I use to store my decor, too.
Thanks for the info, Sherry!
I have the same thing, but ours is a whole closet! That’s a sign I need to get rid of a bunch of stuff! Here I come, Craigslist!
This is on my to do list for this spring. I’ve got so much stuff scattered around in closets and in my basement – I need to gather it all up and put it all in one spot for easy access.
And I love that little blue fish!
In our last place, I had a huge linen closet that I kept everything decor related in. It was awesome. We have since moved to a tiny apartment and that closet is no longer. I do keep stuff in a trunk that serves as a coffee table/bookcase blocker for the baby (triple use!). Some other stuff (frames, mostly) are stacked in a credenza and china hutch. It is great to have a stash and be able to rethink something instead of buying something else.
maya | springtree road says
wow! what a great idea! will have to do this soon when we move into our first house.
What a great idea! I think my home will soon have a little place for extra decor items! I’m also impressed that you have a whole kitchen cabinet free to designate to decor!
Our house’s old kitchen didn’t have an inch to spare (and even had cabinets that were too shallow to fit some of our dishes) but thanks to our recent renovation we found ourselves with room for tools (we have four drawers devoted to screwdrivers, hammers and tape), Christmas ornaments (we have a cabinet of feather trees!) and even some space for our beloved decor store! Of course we didn’t have access to a sink or a stove for 113 days during the total tear-down, but we won’t talk about that…
Like many of those commenting today, I have decor items all over my house, tucked away without any real order to it. This is a great idea and it’s why I loooove your blog. Keep up the great ideas!!
My friend showed me your website last week, and I’ve been here everyday since! Love it! The only thing now is I’m more confused then ever about our style. My husband and I are contemporary/new traditional, and we love it. Although now…I’m in love with the clean airy look of your casa! Is there a way to incorporate clean and airy (Modern shale we say) into our home?! I just can’t see it!
It’s easy to add clean and airy touches to any room- no matter the room’s current style! You just have to remember to introduce a handful of items at the same time because adding just one crisp blue accent or soothing white accessory will definitely look weird and out of place.
The magic number seems to be 5. If you can introduce 5 things in a soft light color that have a serene natural texture or are made of an airy breezy material you’re well on your way to a totally refreshed space. For example, you could bring in: long white curtain panels flanking each window, two tan woven ottomans in place of a hard-edged coffee table, pale beachy blue art in a large frame with a big white mat, a blue-green tray that you can put on one of the ottomans for a place to put drinks, and a big round mirror to reflect lots of light. Totally new space.
Even pale blue or linen lamp shades or a few pale turquoise vases on the mantel can really crisp up a space. And of course never underestimate the power a few great new pillows to establish your airy and open theme. White ones with blue circles, tan overstuffed burlap ones, pewter-colored silk ones- the options are endless!
I never knew that about Starfish. Does the same apply to coral?
Yup, they say that removing mass quantities of coral from reefs can damage the entire eco-system (bad!) so sticking with the faux stuff is the way to go! ZGallerie has a ton of great options when it comes to faux sealife in general. We love everything from their fake clam shells to their imitation coral that comes in white and a chic new violet color… and of course there are these cute little ceramic seahorses from Ballard Designs that totally melt my butter!
Good idea to put it all in one spot. I ought to do that. I have all my potpourris in ziplocs in the hall closet (imho they look so pretty in a tall clear vase), vases in a kitchen cabinet, candles in a drawer in the kitchen…
Sam & Jacci says
We’ve been married for nine years now, and I outgrew my cabinet-sized decor store rather quickly. Then, I outgrew my decor closet. Yikes – I wound up having a slew of stuff stored in various bins in our basement. I marked them so I’d know what was in each one, “warm color & fall decor”, “candle decor”, “serving ware”, etc. I have a major addiction to serving pieces :) Now we’ve moved and we don’t have a basement any longer. I just had to purge a LOT of my decor store. It’s so difficult to know what to get rid of and what to keep!!! I tried to stick with my most timeless vases, pillow covers, napkins, and such. Space certainly becomes an issue after a few years of storing!!
Sam & Jacci says
Ooooh! And Jane, thanks so much for that link! How fun is that pantry?! I love the idea of propping up some framed wall art here and there on the shelves of the decor store space. So pretty and it would make it super easy to switch out the breakfast area wall accents! :) I’m nabbing that idea!
ashley morgan says
I have a closet with lots of extra decor stuff, mostly brought out for parties. I should be switching up our home decor more often. Goodness, I’m lazy.
And I did not know about the starfish! I just never really thought about where they come from, and I consider myself pretty darn eco-friendly. I will not be buying those again, and I will spread the word among my friends. Thanks Sherry and Cindy!
Sherry, one of the things I most admire about your home is the way you and John have a place for everything and everything in it’s place. You’re very good about “purging” and de-cluttering.
I on the other hand am a closeted clutter bug. I have a very difficult time parting with things unless I’m giving them to someone in particular to fill a particular need. So, a large portion of my basement is actually devoted to storing things that I can re-discover, re-purpose, and rotate. It’s my first stop before going out to buy something new. I can usually find what I need downstairs if I just look at it with fresh eyes.
That said – my favorite “decor cabinet” was left behind at our old house for the new owner. (And true to my philosophy I MISS it! lol) It was an 8′ tall enamel over steel vertical file cabinet. I bought it as a piece of office surplus from Dupont for a song and intended to use it in my granddaughters room for toy storage. Unfortunately it was too heavy to carry past the garage so that’s where it stayed. I LOVED it! The solid locking doors opened barrister book-case style and when it was closed it was very clean and sleek looking. And when I opened the doors to shop… oh my! It was like opening a treasure chest of sparkling dust free antique glassware and pottery. Swapping out collections with the change of seasons or setting up for a fancy party was a breeze. Everything was clean accessible and easy to see. No wrapping and unwrapping tissue paper and mystery boxes. It was just the best and kept everything safe and organized. I’d love to have another cabinet like that.
We have a set of apothecary chests like these: http://rafflesinteriorsinc.com/images/Gallery2/Chests/Chst-Apotchry20dwr-Front-Bl.jpg
At first I thought they were just going to be for looks, but now I am utilizing each individual drawer for a separate purpose. I have drawers for candles, decorative rocks, placemats, cloth napkins, napkin rings, etc. To keep them in order I drew out a little key.
I love this idea! I have plenty of room in my basement to set aside one area where I can collect all my small vases, decor items, etc. Don’t know why this never occured to me. Even though I’m pushing 60 your ideas are wonderful and I look forward to your blog everyday. This morning, for example, I sent my husband the link to your parent’s bath makeover. The configuration is EXACTLY the same as our master bath! Also sent him the link on the paint colors from your before and after that you linked to. His father owned a paint store and he grew up painting. He’s fast and good and he doesn’t mind painting! Am I lucky or what??
Thanks for one of the best decorating blogs out there!
What a necessary concept! Maintaining a ‘decor store’ is something my mother or my daughter would do. For some reason I need to be schooled *lol*. I am so minimalist by nature. But seeing this makes perfect sense and gives me inspiration to collect a few cute things. I can always put them away when I crave simplicity.
By the way, I have painted 3 of the 4 rooms we discussed(phone call consultation last Monday). The kitchen & bathroom are staged just as you advised and I am so happy with the results. Thank you, thank you! I love your blog. And I will be back for more design help.
So excited to hear that you’ve already started painting since our phone consult last week! Definitely send us a few pictures of the finished product…
Diva Style says
You guys are some good ones! I store a lot of my stuff in my water heater closet, LOL…hope it stays dry in there!:-)
How great to see inside your “decor store”. I have one as well at my place. In our guest room, the pine armoire my mom made me, holds all our vases, candles and assorted decor items. However, I have run out of space, so I’ve started spilling over into the guest room closet as well.
Cheezy maybe, but my mother who is much like you, Sherry, only 30 years less trendy, uses hat boxes for storage. Similar things that have a more modern flair would feel similar. She stories everything from plastic summer picnic table settings to off season candles in decorative containers. (I’m picturing a vintage make up box or a small chest.) Then a clock or something from the decor store in front to spice it up. Otherwise decorative shelves now hae some storage appeal.
As someone who is currently trying to save $$ on my wedding, I came across this site: http://www.save-on-crafts.com It has a ton of cheap vases, filler, decor, etc. and it is very well reviewed :)
I’m totally sold on this. Right now, all our spare decorating things are stuffed into random corners. But when we buy a house in a couple of months: decor store it is! Thanks! =)
This is such an awesome idea – I came across this post a few months ago while we were in the process of moving. Thankfully I was able to set up a shelf in the linen closet… which has since grown to 2. Although upon my latest unpacking (why does it take 6 months to move in?) I’ve now come to realize I have 17 vases… 17! Time to weed a few out!