Decorating Is My Garden

October 11, 2012

What brings you joy in your home? How do you keep it fresh? Where do you keep the objects that speak to you and bring comfort? I have my favorite things mostly on shelves where I can see them or in cabinets with glass doors. I also try to keep my cherished possessions together vs. spread about all over my home because then my house doesn’t become too cluttered or a pain to keep clean.

Decorating Is My Garden

Containing my collections is also good for times when I want a little decorating therapy. What I mean by this is that oftentimes, when I feel stressed, I will ‘tinker’ about with my things much like a gardener will disappear in the yard weeding or tending to plants, picking off dead leaves or snipping away wilted and crusty bits.

I’m not much of a gardener, so I tend to my home. I enjoy playing around with the arrangements of things and like to rearrange often so that the energy is forever flowing. When I keep objects in a single place for too long my space begins to feel stagnant, so I shuffle stuff around to loosen the energy and set things flowing freely — and properly — again.

I don’t like a sluggish vibe at home, it holds me back. When I’m tinkering, I often consider the objects and whether I can edit some things out and mix others in to provide a better energy or a different feeling to the space. I work with color this way, too.

How do you approach redecorating, rearranging, or “tinkering” about in your home? I often wonder if others view decorating as a sort of therapy, do you? Does your home ever feel like it is stagnant and when it does, do you decorate to loosen the soil (so to speak)?

(image: holly becker for decor8)


  • Reply lisa price October 11, 2012 at 12:57 am

    you have a fabulous sense of chicness. i love this post and your style. xo.

  • Reply Scandi Coast Home October 11, 2012 at 1:42 am

    My neighbour asked me yesterday if I just change things around all the time……she thinks I do it just to confuse her……it’s therapy for me too and I guess sometimes it gets me to clean as well, which is a good thing.
    I’m like you, I like my things grouped together rather than completely spread out……it looks furnished, but together!
    Have a great day!!!
    Tania xx

  • Reply Melanie October 11, 2012 at 1:52 am

    I have to have change within my home. I constantly moves things around (even large pieces of furniture- to my husband’s surprise!). If I’m just rearranging accessories, I’ll gather EVERYTHING and place it in a staging place. Piece by piece I’ll find a new home for each item along with fresh items from a trunk where I keep unused accessories.

  • Reply Yelle October 11, 2012 at 1:57 am

    I often find myself doing this as well. My favorite part is sometimes, I just don’t realize that a particular item doesn’t shine its brightest in the living room and maybe the dining room is more suitable for it. I love when I finally find the right place for an item, feeling like it’s complete now that it has a righteous home.

  • Reply Heather B October 11, 2012 at 2:45 am

    I love to cultivate my home’s decor. However, I’ve been tearing my house apart, gutting and remodeling for two and a half years now. I can’t wait to be able to actually decorate! It will be so much fun.

  • Reply Myna October 11, 2012 at 3:03 am

    Changing things around in my home just make me feel BETTER!

  • Reply Michele October 11, 2012 at 3:21 am

    Hi Holly, I love this post! You inspired me to “garden ” inside my home. My house does feel like it needs weeding :) lol.Thanks for this. Man I need to destagnate and decorate. Now I’m so excited to begin :)

  • Reply Sarah F October 11, 2012 at 3:36 am

    Oh yes I have a need to keep trying things in new places. I inherited this trait from my mom who has been known to move furniture in the middle of the night.

  • Reply Julia October 11, 2012 at 3:46 am

    I like moving everything out of a room and bringing things back into it. One item at a time. The room can feel completely different even with the same items. Whatever is leftover has to go! The room gets cleaned that way and I feel good. That’s my therapy! And my mom said that this is exactly what I did with my dollhouse as a small child. I never really played…just cleaned it out and re-arranged every room.

  • Reply Deneise Bucko October 11, 2012 at 4:31 am

    Like you I too love to reinvent my home! My mother tells me I like change and can never keep anything the same… it’s not about change. I think when one is creative we get bored and our homes become stale. If I move things around, reinvent with what I have, everything seems refreshed and new. I also do this because it keeps buying something new :)

  • Reply Don Page October 11, 2012 at 6:24 am

    My wife is always trying to redecorate things around the house! I don’t mind because I love the change, but what is up with women and decorating?

    • Reply decor8 October 11, 2012 at 10:58 am

      Don – the same thing that’s up with men and football. ;)

  • Reply Sarah - Mocha October 11, 2012 at 8:31 am

    I love moving things around the home from time to time. It adds freshness, making me feel like I’m in a new place.
    And that in turn can help give a different perspective to things, and new ideas and inspiration.

  • Reply Kathryn Cumming October 11, 2012 at 9:55 am

    I wrote a post the other day about how I am passionate about decorating because the feel of the environment I am in affects how I feel personally. You have takes this thought further – the actual act of of playing around with your belongings can make you feel good too.

    Fantastic analogy by the way.

  • Reply Janet October 11, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    Every so often I have to “edit” and discard or rearrange things. I do this often with my work space to keep me fresh, with new inspiration.

  • Reply Gina @ The Shabby Creek Cottage October 11, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    I never really thought about the analogy of gardening versus decorating – but you’re absolutely right! When I’m having a rough day, I just stop doing whatever frustrates me and fluff my mantle or rearrange something. It’s my happy time.

    And the bonus? No dirt under the fingernails!

    Thanks for the beautiful & inspiring post!

  • Reply Melissa de la Fuente October 11, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    Gah! Absolutely! Completely my therapy & I love the gardening analogy. Joel just said that to me the other day…” I think decorating & rearranging is a type of natural anti-depressive for you!” :) Fo sho. I love to repurpose things, move em around, spray paint them if need be! :) It makes me so happy and I love the description of creating new flow….I agree. I begin to not see the things anymore but, if I move them or repurpose them…they become fresh to me again. Seeing them in a new light! :)

  • Reply Audrey October 11, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    I do this all the time, especially with books. I color code them, sort them by size or by genre. It is mindless when I need to work through other things in my head, and sometimes it requires thought and that’s good for those times when I need to STOP thinking about life for a bit.

    Plus, I can kill anything green. Anything.

  • Reply Lauren Kellim October 11, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    Its the best cure for any funky day! When I am not feeling quite right the first thing I do is re arrange items in my home. I am very affected by my surroundings and I think I get bored with the way things look and just need to freshen it up a bit. Plus, as a interior stylist, I think it good for me to be able to decorate a space in many many different ways. At least, thats what I tell my husband! LOL!

  • Reply dervla @ The Curator October 11, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    I like to move furniture around every now and then, even if it’s just reorienting the kitchen table, it makes me feel like there is a fresh flow of air in the room. Also, i have a tiny but cherished family buddha statue that i sometimes rotate from room to room. I feel like he brings happy vibes wherever he goes. He’s currently looking down at us while we eat dinner :) My decor is a constantly evolving process, i never want to feel like i’m done.

  • Reply Heidi Dudley October 11, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    It really zaps my energy when I walk by an area in my home that I don’t find aesthetically pleasing, thus I appreciate it when I have a moment to edit and rearrange. I love the new zing of energy I feel when I get something that really pleases me – very refreshing and destressing! Finding the time for such redecorating is the bigger challenge – hah!

  • Reply Halen October 11, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    Looks like you turned your garden to a nice reading area. What an inspiration.

  • Reply Veronica Roth October 11, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    As an artist/photographer/writer I’m a very visual person. I rely on my home for inspiration and so the decorating is actually a way of life for me. Sometimes it feels like I can’t create anything and then I move things around, open antique boxes and examine the contents, sit behind my vintage desks and look at the pieces there and inspiration comes. Sometimes I make a huge mess using all my antiques for props and have to spend a day re-decorating. LOL

  • Reply Ella October 11, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    I love to garden indoors n’ out! I love to tend my soul’s home. I think it does evolve around the seasons and what is going on in one’s world. It is a passion to constantly add surprises to the home. I love to see what works and what doesn’t. It is a process…I love how you compared it to gardening :D

  • Reply Jan October 11, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    Your post could be written about me. I share your love of re-arranging, adding and subtracting things in the home. I started off years ago doing it seasonally, but now rarely a week goes by without a little tinkering. It may be a lovely flower brought inside which then asks for a couple of tweeks to the place I find for it. I love that our home reflects our personalities and the way we like to live. I do NOT like clutter, so it is more a case of groupings with space around to show them off. Its my day off today, and guess what I’ll be doing?

  • Reply Tiffany Grant-Riley October 11, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    I absolutely love to “curate” in my home. I have two beautiful alcoves that my father-in-law made ceiling to floor built in shelving for and I love to alternate what I display on them. Generally they house my vintage teacups and books but sometimes I put out little vases and add in some posies of flowers from our garden. We don’t have oodles of space though and the loft is full of items from thrift shops that I’ve stashed away ready for when we move.

    It’s important to keep things fresh at home, especially for me because I work from home too, so if I’m uninspired, I’m not working!

  • Reply Andreia October 12, 2012 at 12:25 am

    I like gardening but I totally identify myself with such a wise expression Holly, I would say “Decorating is my garden” too :)
    I’m not the kind who changes furniture all the time, but I love all things related with decoration in the sence you present them to us. Our home is totally decorated by ourselves, and i Love to improve here and there some little details. That’s what I will be doing this weekend, so your post was just in time :) It’s relaxing for me.

    Have a nice weekend!

  • Reply Bettina October 12, 2012 at 12:47 am

    As a stylist I love finding and collecting beautiful things. So I display them in our home and rearrange them from time to time. We have a large TV cabinet which I now use a a low sideboard. This is where I display my stone collection on a mother of pearl tray, some decorative balls in a glass bowl, family pictures, a collection of glass vessels. If I have a bunch of fresh flowers I love to put that there, too. One of my dreams is to build in a floor to ceiling bookshelf on one of our living room walls where I can display all my lovely design books and other bits of pieces. In our kitchen I have a display of antique china from Germany from my grandmother.
    Sometimes I get an inspiration (mostly between 4 and 6am) for a new display and then I have to do it straigt away. It is fun moving things around and it gives you a new perspective!

  • Reply KMP October 12, 2012 at 6:12 am

    You know….actually I have never thought of this….but you are so right…changing things around are not just essential for our home …but for our work, our routine , …our life …I feel there is a great point to be made here…as human beings we constantly evolve …stagnation is not in our nature….little changes influence our phycology and justify our existence makes us feel worthwhile , ……..they are inevitable ….they remind us … life flows ,energy is moving through ….changes need to happen ……Great post!

  • Reply James October 12, 2012 at 6:33 am

    For me a home is not just the style you choose, it’s the personal things that make up a home like your bits that you keep on display. Seeing how you have arranged your shelves so neatly means you can have the clutter tastefully.

    That’s where people go wrong, they allow clutter to become untidy and that is simply what makes it clutter. To take away all those pieces means taking the personality out of your home, and you certainly do clutter very well and very artistically I must say.

    Unlike you Holly, I potter around the garden and the home. I tend to be tidier in my garden than I am in my house and you have set a good example here as to how to arrange things nicely. Yes I agree that changing things around helps with moods and energy.

    A good change around can be as rewarding as redecoration. I don’t know if you’re like me in that respect but I am inclined to get bored rather quickly. I usually take it out on my garden, but being newly inspired by your post, I shall apply it in the home all the more. Enjoy your blog very much.


  • Reply Béa October 12, 2012 at 11:06 am

    A somewhat related question: do you have any when it comes to incorporating hand-me-down furniture?
    I’m about to inherit very classic dark brown furniture and find it tricky to combine them with what I have. I don’t want to paint pricy antiques but tend to find them to oldish/classical. And don’t want to sell them.
    Thanks for any tip!

  • Reply Béa October 12, 2012 at 11:06 am

    A somewhat related question: do you have any rule of thumb when it comes to incorporating hand-me-down furniture?
    I’m about to inherit very classic dark brown furniture and find it tricky to combine them with what I have. I don’t want to paint pricy antiques but tend to find them to oldish/classical. And don’t want to sell them.
    Thanks for any tip!

  • Reply Gabricci October 12, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    I’m constantly rearranging my little studio flat. It still is doesn’t feel right but it’s getting there. As I use if for my design ideas as well as entertaining, it has a long way to go.

  • Reply Shalagh October 13, 2012 at 12:04 am

    I loosened my house soil today in fact. Put off the fall revamp because lower back pain from being pregnant. Then said, “To heck with it” yesterday and hauled the florals and the box of style stunt wear down from the attic.
    Rug got switched, plant came in, fireplace got cleaned and primed. And I still haven’t styled it yet. But cleaning sets my stage. After I houseclean, I always say “And now for the banging portion of the program”. Because a new nail is probably going in the wall above the rearranged furniture.
    Thanks Holly.

  • Reply Samantha October 13, 2012 at 4:08 am

    I love the way you’ve put this. I’ve always been that way; if I’ve been in a certain space for awhile, I always feel the need to rearrange. Even my dorm rooms, such temporary residences with such limitations, were shifted and adjusted multiple times to try and get it “just right”. At least, that’s how I always thought it was: I thought I was trying to find the perfect way to arrange a room and it took multiple tries.

    But I think your way is more accurate. I think a room can never be “just right” because I am always changing: therefore it will always be changing. The tinkering, the altering of that flow of energy that all spaces and collections of objects possess, that’s something many of us need. Every time I rearrange my space, it forces me to think about the simplest of things… even walking in different paths to the furniture gets me out of a rut.

    So thank you, Holly, for helping me realize that my constant rearranging is good, healthy, and productive. This is my garden.

  • Reply Tracy A. October 14, 2012 at 2:07 am

    I just love the title of your post!

  • Reply Hollie @ I'm Busy Procrastinating October 15, 2012 at 3:10 am

    I’m with you … let the weeds grown in my landscaping, but by golly I’ll rearrange a room or restyle an arrangement over and over. Re-organizing my pantry is fun too. We all have our talents and our passions, and I do get refueled by working on my interior spaces. And, of course, I get energized by reading about or seeing photos of others’ spaces too!

  • Reply Greta Sutherland October 15, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    This is the most validating thing I believe I have ever read.

    I am simply a gardener of my home.

    Thank you!


  • Reply Marty November 10, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    You are the first blog I have joined. Because I love seeing the rooms, the colors, the stuff.

  • Reply Jessica July 10, 2013 at 5:28 am

    I’m definitely a decor gardener, in fact I’m always re-arranging my spaces to get just the right feel for the moment.

    Love love your blog – I think this is the first time I’ve commented, but I definitely love what you are up to!

  • Reply Jessica July 10, 2013 at 5:35 am

    @Hollie @ I’m Busy Procrastinating: I get such inspiration by seeing photos of homes too – btw I love the name of your site!

  • Reply andrea March 14, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    I love this perspective….
    I think I need more house gardening time, but finding it near to impossible with a toddler!!

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