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How Changing Out The Small Things Saved This Family Money

How Changing Out The Small Things Saved This Family Money

We sat down with young family Dan and Roberta Johnson to discuss their decor philosophy on switching out their living room curtains and pillows once a year. Their unique approach to switching out the small things have led to drastic room changes they are happy with.

The Johnson family had a challenge of re-designing their living room on a tight budget.

Shop Decorator: What was the most embarrassing thing that happened during this new design process?

Roberta: I realized that I wasn’t having people over to our house before I redid it. I was embarrassed that our place looked bad! Now, I find myself entertaining more because my decor seemed more luxurious.

Shop Decorator: Dan & Roberta, tell us a little bit about the two pictures here of your living room?

Roberta: So, the picture on the left is our living room during the winter and the one one the right is the same room during the spring.


Rather than buying furniture, they switched up their look by investing in the little things, new drapes and pillows, which led to major transformation. 

Dan: It’s amazing what difference changing out a few things in a room can make. I love the new look every time. The changing of the seasons is the perfect time to give your home a little refresh. 

Shop Decorator: What inspired your overall design scheme?

Roberta: We started with the curtains. We knew we wanted to use blackout-lined ones that were high-quality.

Dan: I was very much on board considering we save money on our energy bill. The blackout liner insulates our home during the winter so that there’s no cold drafts and keeps sunlight out in the summer to keep the house cool.

The Johnson’s chose drapery in Harlow Linen in Natural Ivory for summer and switched up their linens for winter with drapery in Funky Tatum Tribal in Black/White.

With a family of four, the design scheme needed to be practical but still stylish. By using blackout drapes they are able to save on their energy bills each month. 

Shop Decorator: What other benefits do you get from switching out your curtains? 

Roberta: Besides saving a ton of money on our electric bill, we have really come to like having a summer and a winter look.

Shop Decorator: What’s your biggest piece of advice for buying decor?

Roberta: Invest in the right pillows. Since your sofa is the focal point of your room, your eyes will always be drawn to the pillows. They set the tone of the space.

The close up before and after photos shows how drastically different each fabric is in weight, texture, and color to invite each season in.

Shop Decorator: And for winter you chose the Funky Tatum Tribal Curtains?

Dan: Yes. We wanted to add a little spice to our living room and play with pattern. The pattern is subtle enough though that I don’t get a headache everytime I look at it.

Shop Decorator: Why did you end up choosing Shop Decorator?

Roberta: We feel like we had access to fabrics that designers would choose for high end projects.

Shop Decorator: Let’s get specific. What made you choose the Harlow Linen drapes for summer?

Roberta: I ended up with these drapes because they give a sunnier vibe and casual airy feel to the room. The linen is super high quality. 

This is the photo of their summer look. It is light and airy.  

Shop Decorator: What was your biggest design challenge?

Dan: My goal was to create a room where I could unwind and feel relaxed as soon as I walked in. Roberta and I accomplished this with the help of a Shop Decorator Interior Designer. They steered us in the right direction and taught us about textures.

This is the photo of the Johnson’s winter look. It is dramatic and relaxing. 

Shop Decorator: Would you recommend this design philosophy of switching out the little things to a friend?

Roberta: Completely! You ultimately save money if you invest wisely and switch out the little decor elements with the season. Originally we just wanted to gut renovate the whole space, but switching out our accessories actually made us like certain elements of the room we once disliked. 

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