Two years ago, I had an identity crisis. For the record, I blame Pinterest. And really, while I’m being totally honest with you, that identity crisis had been hanging around for a lot longer than that.
But two years ago, it hit hard.
Robert and I had just signed the papers to break ground on building this new homeowning adventure of ours, and my giddy little self filled up home decor Pinterest boards like there was no tomorrow. I was like a moth to a flame, y’all. Must. pin. all. the. pretties!
Then, the day we were handed those shiny new keys to our front door, we walked into this:
So many possibilities and I didn’t have a clue where to start.
I scanned through my Pinterest board to decide how I wanted our house to look and realized I’d pinned hundreds of pretty things. But there were so many colors and styles that if I were to put all of those ideas into one space, it would have been a circus.
Do you see what I’m talking about? All under “Home Inspirations”, I had a glam living room, a French country kitchen, a rustic farmhouse window treatment, and a bright modern office. I was lost.
Want to know how I figured out the decor funk? I needed a dose of reality.
If you’re feeling stuck in your decorating direction, ask yourself these questions:
1. What mood do I want our home to have?
If I had to sum up how I wanted to feel when I walked in the door, it had to be relaxing.
Instantly, bright colors were out. Blues, greens, earth tones, and neutrals were going to create the atmosphere I wanted our house to have.
If you want your house to have a vibrant energy, choose those fun colors. Stick to how you want to feel in the day-to-day.
2. What’s in my closet?
Take a look at your wardrobe and think about your favorite outfits. Why do you wear them? Do you wear a lot of prints? Incorporate similar prints in your decor fabrics.
Are you more apt to wear a sequined skirt or a simple black dress? Are you a dressed-up night out on the town person or a cotton shirt and jeans kind of gal? Whatever it is, if you can define your clothing style, match your home decor with it.
My closet is filled with lots of neutrals, natural textiles, and blue/green hues. I love the color so much, our bridesmaids even wore it in our wedding. Painting our kitchen chairs and coffee table that same color only makes sense.
3. What would my family be most comfortable living in?
One thing I hardly ever have to worry about is our daughter scratching up our kitchen table. Since it’s rustic, it’s meant to look beaten up. She can bang away on that table top, and I won’t bat an eye. My husband grew up in a country house built in 1904. He is all for the nostalgia of a cottage style. And, since Robert is a man’s man and I’m a girly girl, finding that balance of masculine and feminine styles is a lot of fun.
No matter what though, always remember that you are decorating for the people under your roof, not the people who may visit. Sure, your mother or best friend will have her own opinion on what you should do, but you have to live with it.
4. What kind of decor do I already have?
If you already own some ornate antique hand-me-down furniture, embrace it! If you have a few Midcentury Modern pieces, weave it into a retro style. Make what you have work for you. We love hauling rustic finds home from my in-laws’ barn. It just makes sense.
5. What do my style inspirations have in common?
When I looked back through my home inspiration boards, I noticed that the majority of the rooms I’d pinned had a lot of natural elements in them- greenery, wood with character, natural textures. And I gravitated toward rooms with hints of industrial style- galvanized metal, piping, clean lines. Try to define what little bits of each room show up in your pins time and time again, and you’ll probably figure out some common ground for where to start defining what’s “you”.
In the end, don’t feel boxed in. You don’t have to clearly label your style. Setting limits on yourself can be boring anyway! There is no way I could define my style with one word.
Most importantly though, don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Trial and error is okay! If it takes you a couple of tries to figure out what is really your style, don’t beat yourself up. You’ll be one step closer to that “ah ha” moment. (Thank goodness for Facebook buy/sell/trade groups for reselling those “oopsie” decor purchases.)
It’s a continuing journey. And we’re certainly nowhere close to being finished decorating this house. But even if we considered every room “complete”, they never really would be.
Just remember: “Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.” -Dr. Seuss