Arrows :: A Secret Weapon In Decorating

focus on the good


For years my parents participated in their neighborhood yard sale. With so many different sales going on, most people put signs out on the main streets of the neighborhood so you were sure to find their sale all buried back behind their house on a quiet street.

If I’m in a car driving through a neighborhood looking for a sale, I’m just looking for an arrow. Right?

I don’t need specific directions, a list of everything you have for sale or even times all written out in tiny print on a cardboard sign.

Make it easy one me, just point me in the right direction.

Dad always just made huge arrows and pointed the arrows towards the house. Every intersection had another arrow. Mom and Dad always had a ton of traffic because the arrows were obvious, clear and easy to follow.


It’s the same in decorating.

You get to be in charge of where people look and what they see when they are in your space.

You are the director.

breakfast area

When we first moved to our last house this room made me sad. It had so much potential but I didn’t like some of the choices the builder made. But we were renting. What could I do?

I used arrows. Do you see them?

I removed things I hated: the blinds in all the windows (and packed them in big garbage bags in the attic).

And that accentuated the ONE main positive: SO MANY WINDOWS!

Then I placed some arrows :

“Look at me!” says the big huge chandelier. (we stored the tiny builder grade light in the attic with the blinds)

“Look at us!” the plate grouping shouts.

“Me, Me, Me!!” says the big shell on the table.

You might notice that our tile floors are pink. Or that the windows have no casing, no molding, no character or that I didn’t want to have to rewire the chandelier when we moved so I kept all the length on the chain, but it’s probably not the first thing you notice and even if it is, it doesn’t ruin the room because the positives are stronger than the negatives. I told you what to look at by what I placed in the room.

wood chandelier

I made you look at what I wanted you to see because I placed arrows around the room so you’d focus on the things I want you to focus on.

The chandelier is an arrow.

The unobstructed light from the windows is an arrow.

The pretty grouping of plates on the wall, that’s an arrow.

The big shell on the table? Yep, an arrow.


Don’t underestimate the power of adding in the positive. It automatically helps to eliminate the negative.


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