My “Luxe for Less” tips, retro renovation style

1948 St. Charles kitchen cabinets dreaming

Yahoo Finance is set for my homepage, because about 10 years ago I became obsessed with the stock market, very briefly. I have no idea how to change the setting.

So yesterday, I see this story about “on a dime” Luxe for Less home improvements, a weekend warrior fluff piece. I admit, there are a few good ideas – like dimmer switches. But, most of their recommendations are ala $965 shower heads.

So for my Sunday “Inspiration” here are my own Luxe for Less recommendations, Retro Renovation-style. Here goes:

Retro Renovation tips for true happiness

  1. Clean your house. Clear the clutter. A place for everything and everything in its place. Dust, vacuum, wash windows, polish the floors, clean the bathrooms, change the sheets… you know the drill. The same one Mom tortured us with every Saturday of our childhoods. I am a self-admitted, DNA-programmed…clutteraholic. I am as guilty as anyone.
  2. Purge. Get rid of what you don’t use. It’s clogging up the energy spheres in your house. Good things cannot enter your life when stuff is falling out of your closets.Clear you Clutter with Feng Shui - I come back to this one, over and over
  3. Edit. This is a little more complex. Got collections everywhere? Sometimes there are simply too many pieces all over the place for your eye to rest and appreciate the effect. Pare back. Try showing off three pitchers – not 25 – with some dried flowers around them. More might be less.
  4. Re-arrange. This also relates to collections. I once learned “Tall, Fat, Flat” when it came to grouping collections; this has always worked pretty well for me. One tall item. Next to it, one shorter bulky item. Third, a flat item, like a book. Another arrangement issue: Painting and prints. I see a lot of people who have small paintings all over the house, but apart. They look so lonely. Group small framed items together to give them more impact. And in general, aim for variety overall on your walls, in terms of both ‘content’ and sizes.
  5. Paint. Now we’re spending some money – although still less than for wallpaper which you know I adore. Use high-quality paint, especially on trim, which should have a luxurious-feeling sheen to it. I am not a fan of white whites, too glaring. Creams are much better, I think. There are lots of good choices on the blog, see Paint Colors.
  6. Pinch-pleat draperies. Yes, you can do this inexpensively if you are on the lookout for vintage pinch pleat draperies at estate sales and the like. Put them on traverse rods, which you can easily spray paint to match your walls. I am telling you, these window treatments will make a huge difference to your retro interior.Retro Renovation recommends David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” - It changed my life, says 50s Pam!
  7. Finish what you started. Finally, make a list of all of the unfinished projects that you’ve started. Finish them, one by one. Hey, start with the easiest first.

When are done with this list, your house will look FABULOUS…. You will have lost 10 pounds… And you will be very very very happy.

I am not kidding, not one iota.

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  3. 50sPam says:

    Yes, Judi, I had exactly the same issue when we moved into our 1951 colonial-ranch — we came from a much bigger house with lots of space for our accumulations. It’s now on 6 years and I’m still paring back — one tag sale at a time — and as I detach emotionally from things I bought for a beloved 1912 house that I renovated.

  4. Sumac Sue says:

    Before we moved into this house just six months ago, we got rid of a lot of things. Then how come the house feels so cluttered? We have less closet space here and fewer kitchen cabinets. Actually, this is a good thing, forcing us to continue to cull out the things we really don’t like and/or really don’t use.

    Pinch pleats — like wallpaper, something I’ve never thought I wanted. But, our living room window needs something dressy, so who knows? Pinch pleats might be the answer.

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