I don’t know about you, but I am a sucker for cute. I cannot tell you how many “cute” things I’ve purchased, gotten them home, and sent them to Goodwill a year later because they didn’t work with anything else I had. I’ve gotten better at passing up “cute” by having a specific style in mind. Here is how to determine your decorating style.
1. Look at what you have.
Take a look at the items in your home. Which ones do you love? Which would you put out at the curb in an instant if a replacement came along? Why? What do the things you love have in common — a color, shape, a feeling that it evokes?
2. Create a wish list.
I don’t know about you, but I can come up with a 10-page wish list in 5 minutes. If you would like grown-up furniture or a whole IKEA set up, write it down by room. Want more throw pillows? Vases? A new fireplace? Storage? Write it down!
3. Consider colors.
Think about the color scheme you would like, preferably independent of your paint color. This will help guide a future accessory purchases. For instance, my kitchen colors are pink & aqua. I try not to buy anything not in those colors and when I find something in those colors, I buy it! I love those colors and so no matter where we are living, they will make me happy, even if it’s a bland white rental :).
4. Find inspiration.
The best source for decorating inspiration is Pinterest. I have boards for each room in my house — dream bedroom, dream kitchen, etc. In my bedroom, for example, I picked a pale blue/pale yellow scheme years ago. I still like that, but want it to feel more South Pacific in my main furniture pieces. I’ve been pinning bedrooms from Bora Bora resorts, accessories I’ve found, anything to give me a good idea of what I really like. After a while, you will notice several similarities that will help you know when something you want to thrift or makeover will fit in your vision.
5. Save & Shop!
Save up some money and go shopping. We are entering prime yard sale season & thrift stores are usually bursting at the seams. Craigslist is also easier in summer since you can haul big pieces in open trailers. Flea markets, estate sales & auctions are good places to try, too.
If your list is unique, don’t be afraid to scour consignment shops or even actual furniture stores. Your perfect piece may be in a large metro area a day’s drive away so don’t discount eBay or CL with local pickup either if you are willing to drive.
Having a vision for your home can really help save you money. By only buying what fits the bigger picture, you can buy things that will stick around long term. It also will also enable you to buy a dream item or two — like a teak canopy bed. A girl can dream, right?
Do you have a vision for your home decorating? I’d love to hear about it!