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Eclectic, Kitschy or Gaudy: Finding Décor Balance

We’re all familiar with that austere, modern look we see in all the magazines today; the pressed wooden chairs with spindly chrome legs, and glass-topped everything surrounded by blank walls. A good question, though, is how far you can go in the other direction without getting gaudy.</br></br>What is “gaudy,” anyway? Where’s the line on something like that? Is it all just a matter of personal taste?</br></br>As in so many other areas of our lives, when you boil it down you might decide it’s a delicate balance between <em>quality</em> and <em>quantity</em>.</br></br><strong>Cultural Art vs. Cheap, Tacky Junk</strong></br></br>Taste is certainly a factor, and you can always have too much of a good thing, but if it’s truly good it takes way more of it to qualify as “too much.” For example, it’s hard to have too much art collected on far-flung foreign travels.</br></br>It is, however, easy to have too many “collector’s edition” Bob Ross-inspired placemats from all the Waffle Houses you’ve visited in the lower 48. No one’s saying how many is too many, because everyone knows Waffle House is amazing and Bob Ross is an American hero. But … there is a limit.</br></br><em>Key: </em></br></br>Cultural Art = Eclectic</br>4-6 Bob Ross Placemats = Kitschy</br>6+ Bob Ross Placements = Gaudy</br></br><strong>Interesting Collections vs. Creepy Collections</strong></br></br>Faberge eggs; Native American folk art; dinosaur fossils; first editions of anything: These are the kinds of collections that blow people’s minds and therefore by default make amazing décor statements. Whether under glass, on the wall or stacked in a corner, historical artifacts and rare treasures are impressive in any number.</br></br>The same does not hold true for most other collections and can easily swerve into unsettling territory. Stuffed animals (real or fake), clowns, dolls, clown dolls and things stored in formaldehyde are a few things that come immediately to mind.</br></br><em>Key: </em></br></br>First Editions: Eclectic</br>4-6 Stuffed Animals: Kitschy</br>6+ Clown Dolls: Gaudy / Terrifying</br></br>Keep these concepts in mind when you’re decorating your space and you’ll have more luck finding the balance between “just right” and “worthy of a TLC pilot program.”
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