Monday, April 07, 2014

Finding Your Decorating Style

When it comes to decorating your home, do you ever feel like you have style schizophrenia? I know I have!  Maybe you see  your friend's home decorated in a very distinct rustic-industrial style and you love it.  Then your other friend's home is more traditional and neutral and you love that.  Then you see your other friend's whimsical home full of color and you love that, too.  So when it comes time to decorate your own home, you're not quite sure where to start. 

Then there are the perceived rules about decorating.  Those can stop you dead in your tracks, causing you to be indecisive because you are afraid to make the wrong wall color choice. Or you are scared that the rug that you absolutely love "won't go" with your room, so you don't buy it. Or watching too many episodes of House Hunters on HGTV has you convinced that whatever updates you do to your home have to be for resale value alone. 

Can I share with you a couple things that I've learned along the way that might help you when trying to bring your personality into your own home?  I am by no means an expert, but design and decorating are things that I really love. I have learned through my mistakes.  I have learned through doing things that have actually worked. 

You see, I just as easily like this workspace:
As this one: 
Or this space:

As this space:
It took me a while, but I figured out that I really like juxtapositions within a space.  I love pairing a modern piece with a vintage or antique item.  I adore being able to bring a room together with a thrift store find and a more upscale item.  I like DIY items in my home so that I can put my own personal touch on it. I like color and lots of it. If I had an unlimited budget, you would see me lean toward the more contemporary side, but with lots of unexpected, whimsical, one of a kind items that would reflect my family's personality.  After years of being a homeowner, I have been able to put my finger on and finally define my style personality.....Contemporary Eclectic.

But, to get to that point, I had to learn a few things first. Here's how you can begin to discover your own style:

1. Don't decorate for resale value or what other people will think. Unless you are a professional home flipper, just let this notion go.  It is YOUR home.  At the end of the day,who lives in your home?  Not your friend, Constance, or your neighbor, Margo. YOU.  
2. Throw the rules out of the window.  Don't get me wrong, there are some great design rules out there, but a well-decorated room rarely comes from following fifteen rules to a T.  They come from collecting things over time, from finding unique items that reflect your personality.  Don't let fear of doing something "wrong" in your space keep you from buying something you love.  If you love it, get it!  Once again, you live in your home and have to be comfortable there, not the rest of the world. 
3. Don't fall into the the trend trap.  Home decor trends come and go all the time. Sometimes they sneak up on you and then, BAM!, they are everywhere. (Ahem, chevron, ahem, ahem, burlap.)  If you truly love a new trend, go for it. But don't jump on the bandwagon just because everyone else is doing it if you really don't love it.  There will be another trend along soon that you might like even better. I'm not anti-trend. I am anti-doing-something-because-everyone-else-is-doing-it.  Be unique. Be you. 
4. Be fearless!  There is no one better at being you than you.  You and your family are unique.  Don't try to fit your decorating style into a cookie cutter version of what you have seen on Pinterest.  Be inspired by Pinterest, blogs, and magazines, but don't copy.  Do things to make your home your own.  If that means painting a wall a bright color, hanging a piece of art you love, or designing for comfort, then do that. 
5. Be willing to learn. Start reading decor blogs, magazines, and follow them on Pinterest. Pay close attention to the things you really love and find out what category they fall into.  Are they traditional?  Do you like rustic or shabby chic?  Are you drawn to more modern or contemporary pieces?  Do you know what those definitions even are?  There is so much information readily available for you to be in the know. Also, be willing to learn from your mistakes. I think this may be one of the most beneficial ways to learn....through first-hand experience.  So, go ahead and jump right in! 

I think sometimes it all boils down to staying true to things you love without worrying about what the rest of the world says. It's freeing. So, jump in and get your hands dirty. Make some design mistakes along the way. It's okay.  You will learn a lot in the process. 

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