One of the most fun, frustrating, and stressful things you can do is decorate or design your home. But if you’re like me, the stress is worth it to have a home with little pieces of you everywhere you look.
Here are five interior design tips that I often use to make the process easier and more fun.
1. Work, Not Be Perfect
This is my motto for many things in life, not just interior design. Most of the time, we get so caught up in making sure everything is perfect that we don’t see that most of the time; it’s just not necessary. No one else cares as much as you do about the little things in your home. And if you can live with a few small flaws here and there, that’s all that matters.
2. The Best Flavor Is Free (or Close to It)
Your best friends will be thrift stores, Facebook Marketplace, Depop, and yard sales near you. If you go to these places often, you can find one-of-a-kind items at meager prices, especially if you know where to look. I bought an antique lamp worth $4,000 for $6.99 at my local Goodwill. The price was almost a crime. With some detective work, you might find your favorite pieces hidden among old pillows and toys that are half broken.
3. Color, Texture, and Shape-play
When I walk into someone’s home or other space they’ve decorated, I’ve noticed that many people are afraid to use more than one color scheme. For example, they choose blue as the primary color in a room and keep it that way until the end.
Don’t be like that. (Unless you want to be, you should go for it.) Rarely is too much of a good thing. Don’t be frightened! Even if something isn’t the same color or texture as its match, it can still go with it. If you’re sure about how a room feels, nothing you put in there will clash.
4. Feelings Matter More Than Looks
You could have the most excellent furniture, the best lighting, and the bells and whistles, but none of that will matter if the room you designed feels wrong or empty. When they walk into a house, most people want to feel welcome and home. But your home will feel like a showroom if there is nothing about you in it and everything looks like it came out of an Ikea catalog. If that’s the mood you want to create, go for it.
But if you want something that says, “This is my home. This is where I live. Here is where I can take a break. If someone says, “This is where I feel safe,” you’ll want to find things with the same feel, whether it’s a collection of your favorite figurines, quotes, plants, or even remarkable rocks. It won’t feel like another home if you put them all over your house.
5. Learn the Principles of Feng Shui
Now, I’m not an expert in the ancient art of Feng Shui, but I do know that the way a room is set up often affects the energy it gives off. And when things stay in the same place for too long, that energy can get stuck. I like to say “thank you” to my home because I believe that it will take care of me if I take care of it.
There is a vast difference between the energy of a well-cared-for home and one that hasn’t been. Moving things around is one of my favorite ways to change the energy or feel of a room. Sometimes, moving something a little to the left is all it takes to make the most of a room.
When people ask me for help designing a space, these are the top five things I tell them. Sometimes all a place needs is a little something special, and most of the time, that something special is you. Happy designing!