I often have friends and acquaintances say to me “I don’t even know where to start with this room…” So I thought I would share my best advice that I’ve learned over the 13 years that I’ve lived in my house.
My advice is a bit backwards. Most decor fanatics will tell you to do the rooms you use the most. Problem is, sometimes those rooms are the hardest to figure out. To which you are thinking “duh, Jen. That’s why I’m reading this.”
My point is, do the rooms that you have ideas, and inspiration photos saved, and are creating the vision for in your mind. The reason is that finishing even the smallest of spaces, will help you figure out your style. It will give you a nice boost of confidence and and starting point to finish other rooms.
The more creativity you use, the more you gain.
You want your rooms to flow and be cohesive. But you can’t figure out what you want to be cohesive until you start decorating a room, and then a second room, and a third room…
One of the first rooms I figured out was my office. I knew exactly what I wanted. I had a photo in Domino that was my inspiration. But I didn’t have the foggiest clue what I wanted for my adjoining living room until I lived here for 13 years.
But as I did other rooms during that time, I figured out that I dig simple black curtain rods and white linen curtains. So guess what I have in every room now? I also figured out that I am attracted to black and white picture frames with simple lines and white mats. I found a light switch/outlet plate that I loved and used it throughout my entire house. Every wall in my house is white or black, except for my kitchen and walk in closet room which are a very light shade of gray.
Get real about how much storage you really need.
Start cleaning out your stuff and be honest about what you need for storage. My extra wide 4-drawer white glossy file cabinet is so not stylish, but I desperately needed that storage in my office. Now that I’m not in the corporate world anymore, I am purging my closets and thinking that I don’t need the second dresser in my bedroom. There’s no shame in having 100 pairs or shoes, but make sure you include storage in your design plan 😉
Don’t push yourself to decorate a room that you’re not ready to decorate.
Case in point: When my main bathroom toilet was not hooked up properly and it created a waterfall from my garage ceiling, we had to rip out the subfloor and put in a new vinyl floor pronto. I picked out something that was trendy at the moment, but now I’m itching to re-do the room. You don’t want to make costly mistakes for the sake of quick timelines.
And hey, if you get stuck during the middle of the decorating process, that’s cool. Let the ideas come to you. And sometimes I would get halfway through a room, get stuck, but suddenly be inspired to do another room.
Buy what works.
Consider what you use each room for… When you watch TV, does everyone like to be on a mega sofa with their feet up? Or do you have people over often, and need a lot of seating? Do you really need a big bar set up in your dining room? If so, invite me over! Or do you really need room to store your grandmother’s china? I lived in my bedroom for a year or two before I realized I desperately needed a chair in that room, so I could sit down and put on or take off shoes.
Look for patterns.
I don’t mean actual patterns like plaid and paisley. I mean commonalities in things that you are drawn to. White tables. Brass lamps. Abstract artwork. Don’t ignore them! It’s your style calling out to you 🙂
I hope my strange advice can help you or someone else you know who is struggling to decorate a space. It is what worked for me. And I was really really stuck for a long time. And I like a lot of things, which certainly didn’t help 😉
What has worked for you? Or didn’t work? I’d love to hear about your decorating adventures!
Until next time, XO