5 Tips for Getting Over Your Fear of Decorating
Whether I am working in my retail space or helping a friend decorate their home, one of the things I keep hearing over and over is that customers and friends don’t know what to buy for their home. They all have what I like to call “designaphobia”. The fear of decorating! Decorating your home should be fun, not intimidating. Here are 5 easy tips you can use to start developing your own interior design style and start decorating your home fearlessly!
1) Start a Design Inspiration Board
Begin to define your style by keeping a collection of pictures of homes and styles you like. You might want to keep this in a binder the old fashioned way. Or literally pin ideas on a bulletin board. Or create a Pinterest board and call it “My Design Inspiration” Fill that binder or board with anything that catches your eye, from whole room designs to accessories. Before you know it you will start to see common design styles and colors emerge. These are going to be your go to inspiration pictures when shopping for and decorating your own home.
2) Define Your Style
Now that you know what you like, you can define your style. Are the majority of your inspiration ideas modern or contemporary? Are you traditional or transitional? Still don’t have a clue? You can see some examples of these styles here. But knowing your design style can help you determine which stores to shop at to find the things you like.
3) Shop Neutral
It might sound kind of boring but if you are overwhelmed by decorating, buy the basics in neutral colors. These are the investment pieces like your couch or window treatments. Once you find your style, you will also find that your style changes with time. You will never have to do a major and expensive overhaul when you keep key pieces neutral. Simply swapping out your accessories, like pillows and rugs will update your home and freshen your style in the future. To find the colors to layer on your neutral pieces, take a look in your closet. What colors do you wear the most often? These are probably colors you will love in your home too.
4) Give It Time
Most of us don’t have a big budget to work with so decorating a whole house might not happen over night. Great designs happen over time. So get the basics of a room going and let the rest fall into place over time. For example, if you are decorating your family room. Pick the couch and coffee/side tables, lighting and window treatments. Choose neutral pieces that can change and grow with your family. Then over time add those great family photos to the wall in a collage. Put those great seashells from your vacation in a jar to display on the coffee table. Wait for that awesome graphic rug to go on sale.
5) When All Else Fails, Get Help!
Hiring an interior designer for a whole project can be a huge expense. But did you know you can hire one by the hour to just come in and give you some ideas and a strategy. Or you can find a student or a designer fresh out of school who needs some experience and help building their portfolio. You may actually save money in the long run. Let me give you an example. We have moved quite a few times and I was suffering from designaphobia myself after one of our moves. I just could not figure out where to put a lot of the accessories I had accumulated over time. So I hired an interior designer friend to come over and help me. I put all of my accessories on my dining room table and had her accessorize my house. I paid her $200 for about 4 hours of work. Plus, she gave me some great ideas and it really helped me get my own design mojo back. It turned out, I already had everything I needed to decorate my home. So instead of shelling out a lot more money buying things I didn’t need, I was able to use what I had on hand.
There are so many other things you can do to help develop your style and design your home. But following these 5 tips will get you started. Happy Decorating!