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    Home Decorating, Military Family Style!

    No matter where we go, regardless of whether we're renters or homeowners, we’ll all find a few things in common when we begin decorating our homes military family style.

    Do any of these scenarios sound familiar? You’ll laugh, but they’re true!

    International Flair

    Home decorating with the “international look” is always en vogue. This is why Pier 1 Imports and Cost Plus World Market stay in business. Military families are pros at installing this look in their homes without having set foot in either one of those stores!

     We love to mix it up international style and that’s while you’ll see our German cuckoo clocks perched on the wall above our Afghani rugs.  


    Korean tea sets never looked so pretty when displayed on a red and black lacquered side table with an Asian floral scene on the cabinet doors.

    Inside glass cabinets and high upon refrigerators (because this is the place of highest honor) we will display any and all beer steins from European countries across the continent.


    I’ve not personally lived in Hawaii, and I know it’s in the U.S., but I’m betting there’s a whole world of decorating dedicated to Hawaiian island living. Please share if I am missing out on this corner of the international decorating world!

    Treasure Boxes in the Garage



    Deep in your garage lies a box. The box has a collection of multi-hued moving stickers on the top flap. It travels coast to coast and would have a passport filled with stamps if it were a person. The box is a container for a menagerie of linens that represent your past, current, and future military life. 

    The perfect ones are hard to come by and even harder to give up during a move, so we collect them over the years, reminding ourselves we are saving money each time we move into a new home. But the collection always grows, because somehow, some way, there is a rogue window in the new house that needs dressing. So, we add to the precious curtain box and move on.



    Next to the box of curtains in the garage lies a box of memories--memories of a military career encapsulated in various artwork media, both amateur and professionally designed. Large swords in stands, fancy yet terrifying knives, framed patches, and hand drawn pictures of tanks, planes, and other military gear, and of course memorabilia of all types adorned with your spouse’s military nickname (which no family member is familiar with) are all lovingly and proudly received by our military member each. and. every. time they change jobs. 

    These items are very difficult to decorate around, unless you have a combat themed room in your home. A few of the most precious mementos may manage to sneak inside and find a place of rest in the spouse’s office. Hopefully, they’re the child friendly pieces without the skulls and fiery dragons painted on the side.

    Marketing to Military

    Military housing companies and landlords these days are taking advantage of the vintage movement in decorating. It’s actually quite a smart marketing tactic to refer to a space as rustic.

    It lures those of us who find charm in antiques and time-worn pieces. Alas, after the charm wears off, and we knew it would, our historic home shows its true colors and simply becomes old. And run down. And cold. And nonsensical.


    And so... we count down the days until our next PCS and hang our vintage curtains that we knew would fit another set of windows one day!

    So you’re moving again? Hit MilitaryByOwner’s Resources because everything you need to know about a PCS is tucked inside.

    Home Decorating Toolkit for Military Families

    Dawn M. Smith


    Dawn M. Smith

    Dawn is a real estate and military life writer who has a serious HGTV habit. When she is not writing, her teen daughter, Army husband, and golden retriever keep her busy through chauffeur duties, travel planning, and long dog walks. Dawn is pleased to share her experiences with MilitaryByOwner readers who are hoping to simplify military family journeys of all kinds. Follow Dawn on Pinterest for more ideas and resources and visit her site at Dawn M. Smith Custom Content Creation.

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