Raise your hand if you are still using furniture that no longer suits your needs. Raise your hand again and give me a high five if you feel overwhelmed with the process of finding your decorating style. This should be a fun process but for most of my clients it’s an extremely overwhelming process. I have found that many clients are so afraid of making the ‘wrong’ choice that they just don’t make any choices at all. Often times they’re stuck in a decor rut, still using pieces they acquired on a budget after high school / college graduation along with the hand-me-downs family and friends gifted when they were doing their own updates. All of that combined with the big box and chain store pieces that were purchased on a budget. If this is you keep reading!
Putting your home together in a way that harmonizes color and brings about a peaceful, yet functional energy to your living space should be a FUN experience. Home is kinda like your trademark in the world, it should reflect who you are as a person and be filled with things that represent your likes and passions in this world. Home should wrap you in peace and calm and provide your soft place to fall.
So how does one start this process ?
My first suggestion is to go through your home with a notepad highlighting 3 lists:
As you go room to room with your lists, look at each peace of decor and furniture you own and in 3 seconds per item decide if it’s a keep, sell or donate item. If it takes you longer than 3 seconds to decide it is NOT a keep item.
Items on this list need to reflect WHO you ARE as a person and NEED to be things YOU LOVE. If the item doesn’t immediately resonate with you then it shouldn’t go on this list. If you’re deeply connected to something for sentimental reasons and can’t part with it because of who gave it to you but you’re not really in love with the item itself then ask ‘can this piece be updated to make it current to reflective of who I am and what I love while allowing me to maintain my sentimental connection?’if the answer is no then take a photo of it, put that photo in your family album and either sell it or donate to someone who will truly enjoy it.
Remember keeping things ‘just because Aunt Mary gave it to you isn’t a reason to keep it. Everything you have in your home is either contributing to a positive calming energy or it’s taking away from that energy. So the things you keep MUST stay in alignment with your goal to have a calm, peaceful and clutter free home. This is a hard step for many but it’s an important step! Do not confuse your fond memories with your Aunt Mary with the furniture she gave you, they are in fact two different things and removing that bulky china cabinet or updating it will not remove your memory of ‘aunt mary’.
Feel good about donating your items. Things you don’t need will be a true treasure to others in need. Big Brothers & Habitat for Humanity are two amazing organizations that not only help others in need but they will pick up for free in most areas. If you have pieces that were hand me downs or pieces you can easily part with, donating is a sure fire way to do a good deed while clearing the space in your home to make room for more meaningful pieces that will truly reflect who you are.
Pieces that have high value and are in good condition should go in your sell pile. With craigslist and the new Facebook swap groups / open market features you literally have buyers at your fingertips looking for pieces just like the ones you want to sell. Be reasonable in pricing so they sell fast, the point is the sell your pieces not to keep them in storage or in your garage waiting for an unreasonable sale! To sell quickly write up a solid ad that includes measurements and condition. Be ready to SELL and open up your energy spaces in your home. This money will also become your new decorating budget so LET go of the old to make room for the new !
Finding your style
I love pinterest for finding inspiration, I also might be addicted to HGTV magazine and well, about every thrifting magazine that is produced. There are creative ways to decorate on a budget and there are so many places to find inspiration!
Basically finding your style only requires your attention to things you love. We all have colors that jump out at us, decor themes we love ( aka farmhouse, coastal, rustic, formal, contemporary) One of my favorite things to do with clients is to have them take 2-3 weeks to ‘window shop’. Yes, this means to look only without buying anything. The point of this is to the see what pieces really jump out at you. Take a quick photo of the pieces, whether furniture or wall decor related, that bring you joy. Every time you see something you LOVE, you’ll take a quick snap