Decorating 101 for the Artsy New Professor

The University of Central Florida is a place where Orlando’s artsy students and professors thrive, which may be why you took your first faculty job at this center of creative inspiration. Regardless of your department, as a faculty member at this university located near one of the world’s most creative places — Disney World — you may be prone to eclectic tastes. Fortunately, Orlando is one of the best places for an eclectic person to be.

If you’re new in town and don’t know where to find funky art, rugs, furniture, and lighting that satisfy your need for diverse décor, you can find a variety of choices in the Orlando area. You like the mix of styles eclectic décor represents, but you want your home done right, so how do you choose the right stores to check out?

These five tips can help you get started on your adventure to finding the right mix of pieces for your new place.

Decorating for the Artsy Professor

Methodically Mismatch

An eclectic look draws its energy from contrast, such as choosing a diversity of colors, fabrics, furniture styles, lines, shapes, eras, and artistic styles. Funky décor doesn’t have to be messy or disorganized. As an eclectic sophisticate, you should be methodical in your design. Create a theme that starts with a relatively neutral color as a backdrop and enough common elements to make your space refined.

The best way to do this is by becoming part of your community and Orlando’s culture, which is defined by its multiple districts. Go to museums and galleries in different districts to see what inspires you. Attend local theater and music performances, and visit the homes of likeminded artists and professors. Decide what will work for your new lifestyle, and put your ideas on paper. Once you’ve done this, you’re ready to start choosing your stores.

Skip the Typical Kitsch

Although kitschy sometimes goes hand in hand with eclectic style, as a professor, you should strive to be thoughtfully creative. Moreover, to grow professionally, expect to do some entertaining. Find locations that sell unusual pieces that reference the area’s distinctive culture that you’re learning about through your cultural and networking activities. Go to area retailers where you can find multiple sellers under one roof offering stylized, original pieces.

Get Upscale Thrifty

The Orlando area is full of relatively wealthy, artsy people and snow birds who often donate barely used goods to local thrift shops or consignment stores. Spend quality time in those types of stores, and search for the high-quality, offbeat pieces you crave to fit your design theme.

Thrift stores and consignment shops also have great sales. Put sale dates on your calendar, and shop at the best times. If you’re an expert at haggling, keep in mind that you don’t have to wait for sales to negotiate the prices you want.

Stomp the Yard…Sales

Garage sales, yard sales, and even flea markets make great shopping experiences. They’re both cost-effective and a great source for finding interesting pieces. Join your local community on social media apps like to find the best options, and be on the lookout for sales in local classified ads.

Hang Out in Streets and Hallways

It’s not just about picking up discarded finds on the street that work with your theme for repurposing. The Orlando area offers some of the best local events, including arts and crafts fairs, you can find anywhere. Some local artists also sell their art on the street or in small stores and shops. Look for emerging artists and craftspeople selling décor and furnishings that fit your style, and support them by buying their work.

Also, stay close to home by looking for art sold by vendors who come to UCF regularly to sell their goods. There’s nothing like custom-made eclectic to add interest to your design theme.

Think Outside the Big Box

Orlando, like every major city in America, has numerous big box stores, but when you’re looking for eclectic finds and want a deal, you should consider alternatives such as a  CORT Furniture Clearance Center.

Not only can you get great pieces at discount prices, you purchase gently used furniture, which is an eco-friendly buying option. Visit CORT today to find high-quality items to add to your eclectic new professor pad.