All About ReDecorating

ProjoHomes Magazine

Originally published in ProjoHomes Magazine, July 2006

Do It Yourself

Time to do it yourself, or Not!
Redecorate. Renovate. Rebuild.

By Bryan Rourke


The Home Show’s all about one-stop shopping. However, right now, we suggest you refrain. Don’t buy a thing, except an idea.

That deals with redecorating. More precisely, it’s rearranging, which costs a lot less. You already own everything.

“It’s like having a store in your home,” says Jan Girouard, owner of All About Redecorating in Newport. “People have beautiful things and they don’t use them.”

For the third year in a row, Girouard will be presenting a Home Show talk about interior decorating, which largely involves using things you’ve got to their best advantage.

Call it the rearranging movement. It began in the early ’80’s, according to Girouard, and burgeoned in recent years because of several TV shows celebrating the concept.

“When you say interior decorator, the first thing people think is ‘I can’t afford it,’ ” Girouard says. “They’re afraid a decorator will come in and say ‘all right, we need to get rid of all of this.”

No, what people need to get is a grip on design principals. Girouard’s here to help. At the show, she’ll be talking about space and flow, size and proportion, colors and occasionally, throw pillows.

“It’s like having a favorite outfit and buying a new scarf to make it look different,” Girouard says.

Instead of buying new furniture, Girouard suggests people consider using their existing furniture in more flattering ways. Create conversation areas. Don’t disrupt traffic flow. Do without.

“I need to find out from people how they feel about their furnishings, and what things they don’t care for,” Girouard says.

A chair that’s not cared for and not used, Girouard says, is merely taking up space. Relinquish. Dispose. Clean the clutter.

“We all hate to give up things,” Girouard says. “You have to ask, ‘Are there things you’re not using?'”

Girouard has seen many a mantel weighed down by dozens of framed photographs, which draw attention only to their crowding and their inconsistent and conflicting frame choices.

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