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Dealing with designing and decorating overwhelm can be a dangerous thing. You heard me. It is down right D-A-N-G-E-R-O-U-S. But not in the traditional sense of the word. Although, you could break an arm trying to hang artwork or run a drill through your hand while hanging blinds. (Totally happened at our house)
But I am talking about the dangers of making terrible design choices, wasting our money, our time, and our brain cells. All because of OVERWHELM.
It is 2018, we have so much information at our fingertips; all we have to do is click a button. At a click of a button, we can have 16.6 million inspiration pictures at our disposal. At a click of a button we can have 151 million available products we can purchase. At a click of a button we can have 959,234,236, 455 different opinions on how we should design and decorate our homes.
How do we process all the information? How in the world are we ever going to figure out what is going to work the best for us? For our lifestyle? For our budget? For our well being? Feel overwhelmed yet? Seriously, designing and decorating your home SHOULD NOT BE SO DANGEROUSLY OVERWHELMING!
Believe me, I was right there beside you in the trenches of decorating overwhelm trying to shovel through all the crap (excuse the expression). But then I realized I needed to stop making the same mistakes I was seeing my clients make over and over. (I know, I am a bright one sometimes). There are three dangerous mistakes we make that compound our design and decorating overwhelm. And it’s not what you think.
Design and Decorating Overwhelm Mistake #1: LISTENING TO YOUR MOTHER, YOUR NEIGHBOR AND YOUR BEST FRIEND
This is probably the only time I will ever tell you NOT to listen to your mother. She means well, but at the end of the day this is YOUR home. Your home has to be tailored for YOUR lifestyle, YOUR style, and YOUR family. Same goes for everyone else who offers you unsolicited design advice.
It’s ok to ask how they like or dislike a feature in their own home, if it is something you are considering for your own home. It’s ok to ask where they got a piece of furniture if you absolutely love it AND it would perfect for your home. But it is not ok to just design or decorate your home around what other people are telling you to do or saying that you absolutely MUST have. Don’t make a design decision based on someone’s else’s opinion who doesn’t even LIVE in the home you are designing or decorating. (Unless it is an interior designer you hired)
Remember, your home needs to be an extension of you, it needs to be functional for the way you live your life, and 9 times out of 10, it is not how everyone else lives their lives. So tune out all the noise, and you will be surprised at the clarity you will feel.
Design and Decorating Overwhelm Mistake #2: NOT DEFINING YOUR STYLE
Defining your style is key. Your personal style is timeless, because it is an extension of you. You know you best. While there is a science behind determining design trends, I am not fan of designing around the current trends. Trends are just like your mother, your neighbor and your best friend; telling you what you should like, buy, and think. While there is nothing wrong with using elements of a design trend, especially if coincides with your true style; it is best to define your own personal style.
You can do this by collecting photos, either virtual or physical. You can also create a Pinterest board to collect the photos. Find photos of products, lifestyle photos, paint and fabric swatches, and artwork. Collect anything that speaks to you, don’t just keep it interior design related. Make a folder and save a few a day. Take a month, two months, or even a year to collect. Then go back through the folder and see what common elements are present among all or the majority of the photos. Look for common colors, textures, and furniture styles. Look for common feelings, happiness, comfort, or maybe even moodiness. You will then use these common elements that you have discovered to start creating a home you love.
For example: If you look through my SIMPLE BOHEMIAN pinterest board, you are going to notice common elements. Bright color against white or very light color walls, plants, wood furniture, and patterns used primarily in rugs and pillows.
By defining your style, you will eliminate design and decorating overwhelm! You will now be being able to quickly identify your vision for your space and tailor your design to your needs.
Design and Decorating Overwhelm Mistake #3: NOT HAVING A PLAN
This is SO SO IMPORTANT. This is probably the biggest way to waste money I can think of. I can not stress enough, do not even start purchasing goods before you have a solid plan in place. Before you purchase you are going to want to know:
- The overall mood you are trying to create
- The overall sizes of furniture, area rugs, accessories, and artwork you have or will need
- The overall furniture arrangements and what you want to keep and purchase
- The overall color scheme/ look you are trying to create.
Having a plan is going to eliminate a number of potential issues. You are going to eliminate unnecessary purchasing. You are going to eliminate wrong size/scale proportions of furniture and decor. You will eliminate buyers remorse. You will eliminate wasted time and a frazzled, overwhelmed brain.
With a plan you will be intentional in your purchasing, eliminating impulse buys, and goods that do not fit or do not look right in the space. You will also be prepared, meaning you will have the time to shop for good deals and sales.By having a plan, you will also have a good idea of how the space will look before you start implementing the design. This will ensuring you are going to LOVE the final result.
If you are getting new furniture or want to rearrange, a basic piece of graph paper is going to be your best friend. Measure your room and furniture or furniture you are thinking of purchasing and make sure it all fits and makes sense functionally and aesthetically.
Now this all may seem like a lot of work, and I won’t lie , it is. However, to create a well designed and decorated room, its needs to be well thought out. So tune out the noise (aka you mother), define that style, and create that plan. Before you know it, design and decorating overwhelm will be a thing of the past. You will be on your way to making your design vision a reality!
Confused about design styles? Read about them HERE