How long have you been in your home? Do you absolutely love it? Do you get the warm fuzzies when you walk in? If you have to think about it and you don’t absolutely LOVE what you see when you walk in the door, it may be because you’re making one or more BIG decorating mistakes.
Let me help you get past that. This is not a list of things to physically do or stop doing. And it’s not another list of designer do’s and don’ts.
Consider this a guide for your thought process as you go about decorating your home. Look at it as words of wisdom from your introverted decorator friend to help frame your mindset about decorating the home of your dreams.
10 BIG Decorating Mistakes
1. Wishing for what you don’t have.
You swoon over pins of beautiful furnishings and homes with perfect layouts, all while wishing you could just have… A new home, more land, less land, more space, unlimited funds – things like that. Stop wishing for what you don’t have and are not in a position to get immediately.
Instead, think positively and work with what you do have. When you embrace what you have, you can begin to make it exactly what you want.
Sometimes it’s hard to recognize what treasures you already own and how your home can be transformed without a complete overhaul, move, or incurring massive debt.
2. Expecting instant gratification.
Even with the biggest budget and funds to pay for unlimited artisans, your home wasn’t built in a day and it won’t be decorated in a day either. Or 2 or 5. And unless you paid cash for your palace, you’ve got at least a few years to make your house a home. Take your time and curate a place you love to come home to – filled with goodies that bring fond memories, make you happy, and just make you feel good!
3. Having an all or nothing
Verrry similar to #2, this will kill you every time. If you feel like you have to go all in all at once and you don’t have a budget (see #8), you will 1) never get off the ground (never get started) and 2) if you do get started, you’ll either overspend OR be dissatisfied with your result. Either way, you’ll hate it. Slow your role and take your time. Then when you’re ready, set a budget and get some help – as much or as little help as you need.
4. Comparing your home to ANYone else’s.
Even if you have the same tastes as someone else, you are a totally different person. You don’t have the exact same lifestyle, family structure, wants, and needs as anyone else. So why should your home be exactly like anyone else’s?
5. Tailoring your home to what others like.
Sure we all want people to ooh and ahh over our best decorated spaces. And some folks even want their home to be the 1 place everyone wants to visit for parties, dinner, holidays, or just ’cause. But the only people who have to live there and love it are you and your family. So guess who it should be tailored to?
Besides, people come to your home to see YOU, not your stuff. Having a welcoming home and enjoying one another is way more important. That’s what will keep your peeps coming back.
6. Following trends.
This one kind of combines “instant gratification” and “tailoring to what others like”. Let me explain. People are always interested in the biggest trend, but have you ever noticed this…
In any given circle of friends, 1 or 2 are always up on the latest thing. Everyone else rarely jumps on the bandwagon, and if they do it’s almost never all in. There’s a reason for that. Most people really are generally pretty practical, and most trends are not. So in that circle of friends, most of them would rather sit back and watch what happens with the 1 or 2 that dive in to the latest trend before they spend their time and/or money (and sometimes even dignity) on it themselves.
7. DIYing EVERYthing.
Admit it. You like DIY projects. I get it – they can be fun, cheap, and it feels great to actually DO or make something yourself. I’ll tell you a secret – DIY projects even help me de-stress sometimes. HOWEVER, not everything is suited for a DIY project and not everything is as easy as the DIY bloggers make them seem. For the sake of your sanity, your safety, and your budget, some things are better left to the pros.
8. Allowing your budget, or lack of budget, to stop you in your tracks.
Whatever your budget is, do what you can with it and use it wisely. And if you don’t have a budget, GET 1. YOU NEED A BUDGET! Not just for designing your home, but for living your life.
9. Trying to copy what you see in magazines, online, or on TV.
This is really important. Truly it is. If you try to emulate a magazine shoot, guess what it’s going to look like…. a magazine shoot. For like a day. Maybe a week if you have no kids, pets, friends, or family AND you eat, sleep, and sit in the exact same spot. All. The. Time.
And all those incredible makeovers on TV, including everyone’s favorite Brothers (Jonathan & Drew) and favorite couple (Chip & Joanna), are incredible indeed. Absolutely. Know why? Crews working 24/7, TV sensationalism, money, people, money, and people and money. The devil is in the details and what you don’t see is all the work, money, and number of people it takes to pull off those amazing makeovers in the time these folks are able to do it.
Save yourself the headache. Save yourself some money. Save your sanity. Keep it really real (not reality TV real) and STOP thinking about what folks do for TV and magazines and do what works for you and your lifestyle.
10. Striving for perfection.
Life is perfectly imperfect and so is everything in it. Is there really a such thing as perfection? Yes there is but it’s not what we think. Home is perfect when we feel perfectly happy in it. So stop striving for (magazine or TV or even blog) perfection and give real life a try. You’ll feel better, more comfortable, and most of all happy at home.