The #1 Tip for Decorating Your Home
Every time I start a new project at a client’s house, the first thing I ask them is “What is your ultimate plan for the space, your house, your style?” Sometimes they have a pretty good handle on what it is they want to see happen, but many times, I definitely open a can of worms with that question. A lot of times, clients only know that they want their space to be different, but they don’t know how or what that truly looks like for them.
Now, that’s not the tip I want to share, but it helps to get you in the right mindset. The #1 decorating tip I offer to my clients is to ‘know where you want to end up.’ What does that mean exactly? Well, for different folks, it means different things. I’ll explain more below, but, basically, I want clients to see the big picture—looking past the small project in front of you can help to eliminate extra time and money being wasted. This is true for a lot of areas of life…I’ll be sharing more about that another day!
A lot of my clients are living in a sea of honey-colored oak woodwork. That gloriousness is trimming out rooms and doorways, lining kitchens, and soaring above staircases. Now, back in 1992 when these homes were being built (or even 2002) if we’re being honest, the honey oak was sought after. Status symbol. Fast forward to the now, we’re not so much loving the look, but painting it can be an overwhelming project. Does that mean that you should decorate for the honey oak? I don’t think so. Decorate and make plans for your house like the honey oak isn’t there. 1. Eventually, you will paint. Maybe not all at once, maybe just certain parts…but you will paint. or 2. You’re gonna move. In which case, you’re probably going to find or build a house with the glorious white trim of your dreams. If you’ve bought décor and furniture to complement the honey oak and then you move into a house with gleaming white trim…you’re going to find yourself wanting all new stuff. Moral of the story, buy the stuff now to go with the future house you envision, whether you create it in your current house (painting and remodeling) or you move into a house that’s more “you.”
Oh, recliners...what can I say, other than everyone has them. I’ve heard all the stories, ”I rocked my babies in that chair” or “my husband has to have a recliner.” It’s all good…you do you. Just know that eventually, you’ll get rid of the recliner—or it will move to the basement, but you don’t want to not decorate your house just because you have one. Let’s work around it! Let’s make that recliner look better than it ever has!
Part of the philosophy of knowing where you want to end up is that you have to start somewhere. Just because the rest of your house might not look like what you have planned for the space you’re going to redo or decorate, you’ll need a jumping-off point! Know that the room you start with is setting the tone for future projects, so this is why it’s important to look at the big picture! It will save you from making costly missteps along the way since you have a plan of what you want other spaces to look like within your home.
Is there a move in your future? Sometimes it’s not worth putting the money into new features like light fixtures if you know you’re going to be moving anytime soon. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do updates to lighting when you move, but if what you have already is nice and you only want to change for aesthetics, then maybe come up with an alternate plan. It’s easy to make updates to existing light fixtures to make them more cohesive with the style you’re trying to achieve without buying all new. This saves money and also allows you to decorate the rest of the room in the style that you want. Then, you can move the décor to your new house and it will be ready to go…no changes made!
Embrace the big red couch…or whatever it is that you have that you might want to change. Know that it’s those pieces that make your space unique! Maybe your big red couch won’t move with you, but the fantastic color scheme that goes with it can definitely make a splash in your new space.
So, the #1 tip I can give you when you’re thinking of starting a project in your home is to “know where you want to end up.’ This will look different for everyone, but it is a really clear way to lay out the plans for whatever you’re working on.