There’s something I have learned in my 30s that the high school version of myself wishes she would have learned a LONG time ago. It still takes some reminding now and then, but I’ve learned that it covers many areas of my life- decorating, fashion, politics, marriage, raising children, etc.
Its that age old expression: “You do your thing, I’ll do mine.” I’m sure that was carved on a cave somewhere, right?
Since this is mostly a decorating blog, I’m focusing on how this applies to your home, but you’ll see how the application is a wide one. In a lot of ways, the design world can make us feel trapped by rules. You must have this certain size rug, you must have this many throw pillows. No more than this many colors in your palette, no less than this many lemons in the bowl. You must have this much money or this brand new whatever to have a beautiful home.
So we end up feeling paralyzed, stuck, unable to make decisions for fear of breaking these rules that “those designers” will arrest us for.
While it is true that there are certain, we’ll call them “guidelines,” that lend themselves aesthetically to the home, the only way for you to discover how pleasing or unpleasing these guidelines are to your own eyes and in your own home are for you to try them out. In your own home. It takes some experimentation. It takes a starting point.
Choose a color and paint that wall. Hang up those darn pictures that have been sitting there for 6 months. A year? Make a few extra nail holes. Okay, twenty extra nail holes. Go buy a curtain rod and hang up those curtains.
What is it you’ve been putting off because you’re afraid of making a mistake? You’re afraid those designer police will arrest you? I’ll let you in on a secret- they don’t exist. Haha! But you’re smart- you knew all along, didn’t you? So take the risk you’ve been waiting for. What’s the worst that could happen? You don’t like it and you spent a few hours of your life painting or hanging up pictures. It wasn’t time wasted, it was time spent learning about your likes & dislikes- your personal style. Learn from what you didn’t like and move on- find what you do like.
When you’re shopping for things for your home, come focused with pictures of your home, measurements, maybe inspiration pictures from Pinterest or blogs. Even I get distracted in places like HomeGoods, Target, Hobby Lobby, and Round Top (where I’m headed this weekend!). There are so many pretty things and I could end up with a cart full that I don’t actually need or have a place for. Save receipts so you can try it out if you’re unsure.
Find that you’re buying too many small tchockes to compensate for a large space you don’t know how to fill? Return them or sell it all and save up for that nice larger piece you really wish you had.
Really the whole point here is just do your thing! It takes time and practice along with experimentation to learn what your style is. Don’t worry about trends or what everyone on Pinterest or Instagram is doing. You do you. Shouldn’t your home be the one place where you are the most comfortable to be yourself? The place you are free to experiment in and try new things? Let it be your style lab- curating and collecting the things that make up you and your family.
This very likely will mean getting rid of those things that are not working for you and your family. Just the other day I revealed over on Instagram that I do not enjoy seasonal decorating. Its taken me a while to admit that to myself, but over the years I have found that any decorating I know will only be temporary I really don’t have the energy for. We have balloons and a store bought banner that comes out for birthday parties. My fall decor includes a few real pumpkins and some branches I found at Hobby Lobby. I used to think I needed to have boxes and bins of stuff but I realized I dreaded setting it all up and it made me feel stressed. Last year was the first year I trimmed down our Christmas decor and only put up a tree, plus let the kids decorate small trees in their rooms. What a relief it was to finally realize this is how I like to do it. I found freedom in realizing I could just be me and that I could finally get rid of the seasonal decorative stuff that was stressing me out.
Side note here: this doesn’t mean I judge others who enjoy seasonal or birthday party decorating. If you enjoy it- its your thing! I can now appreciate what others do without bitterness or thinking “Wow, they have too much time on their hands” because I know that its something they love. I spend my time in other ways, clearly, like hanging gallery walls and making videos of them, ha! Can’t we all just be free to do our own thing?
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Anyone needing to hear this today? What have you been putting off that you could do today or this weekend? Any purging that needs to happen?