Friends, can I make a confession? Decorating doesn’t come easy to me. Does that surprise you? Here’s the deal, I love decorating. I love having a home that reflects me and my family but getting there isn’t easy. Decorating, for me, is a journey. It’s a process. Nothing comes together overnight. Things are always moving forward but the beginning is almost always a struggle to get started.
If you feel the same way then hopefully you will benefit from how I get over that initial hurdle in decorating.
My secret weapon for decorating any space is making a plan.
I used to just wing it. I would pick a color scheme and just go all out. Our first home together, almost 10 years ago, I was convinced I needed a red and gold living room (I don’t even like red). I got red and tan striped curtains, red throw pillows, gold vases, all in one shopping trip. I didn’t treat decorating like a journey – I treated it like a one day adventure. I expected to walk into a store one day, buy all of the things, and then love them forever. I didn’t have a plan. I didn’t have inspiration. And I didn’t love it forever.
I learned a lot from that first home because I spent a lot of money on decor that I completely despised just months later.
Today I want to talk about the four steps I take to decorate any space. Going through each of these steps allows me to decorate with confidence and know the end result will be a space I love and not just a collection of things I won’t want in a few months.
First, I’ve created a super helpful decorating worksheet to help you plan out your space. This will help you stay focused and achieve the look you want.
1. GATHER INSPIRATION
It’s a Pinterest world and we just live in it. Today, you have tons of beautiful inspiration photos at your fingertips. If you hop on Pinterest and do a specific search for inspirational photos you are sure to find a bunch. The key here is to be specific. Don’t just scroll through Pinterest’s home page and hope something will pop up that you like. Use specific terms for what you might be looking for. If you feel unsure about your decorating style or you aren’t clear on what direction you want to go with your design start with a more broad search that is still focused. While you might not know the design you are looking for you can still specify certain features you have or want such as a small living room, or kid-friendly space. For example, if you beginning on a living room design, search something like “small living rooms” or “family friendly living room.” Start pinning photos that jump out at you. Things you love. Do not pin anything you do not love. And be specific in the description and write exactly what you love about the space whether it’s the color, the rug, the mood, etc. [TIP] I love to create a secret board on Pinterest for each room that I am working on. Do you notice any commonalities within your inspirational photos? Perhaps you are pinning a lot of greens, and you love green. Try searching “green living room.” From there you can dig even deeper into inspirational images. Continue to adjust your search until you get so specific that you really feel as though you’ve found the inspiration you need. You should be excited about it. You should look at the images and imagine your space looking similar.
2. WHAT YOU WANT
Now that you have all of your inspiration, imagine what you want your space to look like. Your ideal space, what does it look like? What color are the walls? What furniture is in the space? How will this space be used? Imagine yourself in the space, how does it feel? Take note of all of these things and more. What are some of the items that you want in the space? What are some of the features of your inspirational images that you could implement into your space? Get a good grasp on how you want your space to look and feel and take note of how you can achieve that.
3. TAKE INVENTORY
Once you feel inspired and have a rough outline in your head of what you want the space to look and feel like, you should take inventory of what you already have. Do you have some great solid furniture that you don’t feel like replacing? Or are you ready to replace the sofa? Maybe you’re good with everything you’ve got except for accessories. I’m all about using what you have and repurposing when possible so think really hard about everything you have. Can it work in the new space? If not can it be repurposed to work in the new space? If not, can it be sold to gain some money for the new space? Answer these questions for everything in your space. Once you’ve taken inventory of what you have you can decide on what you need. If you need budget friendly decorating tips click here.
The plan is my secret weapon. Having all of your ideas, your inspiration, your notes, written down in one place is crucial to staying focused when it comes to decorating your space. It takes the guesswork out of decorating. A decorating plan is basically an outline for your room. Planning out the entire space allows to shop with confidence because you’ve planned out the items you need. Having a plan keeps you from second guessing your design decisions because you’ve spent time gathering the ideas all in one place. Planning your space ultimately helps you to achieve your unique style/design. I created a super useful free printable to help you with that plan. Print it, fill it out, and take it with you every time you shop for your space.
Do you struggle with getting started, too? What are some decorating hurdles for you?