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In this post: Life is busy. But our homes are important and I believe we should take time to create spaces we love. Not convinced? Here are 5 reasons to take time to decorate your home, plus 5 time-saving decorate-it-yourself hacks to help you carve that time out of your busy schedule.
There is a quote that I love in Sara Tasker’s book, Hashtag Authentic. It’s about home and how it affects our mindsets, moods, and motivation. It rather sums up exactly how I feel about our home (emphasis mine) and why I believe there are many reasons to take time to decorate your home:
“It’s common for interior design to be regarded as silly or trivial, yet our living spaces can have a tremendous impact on how we live and feel in the day-to-day. Styling a beautiful shelf, arranging a wall of magazine clippings and prints, or picking a simple bunch of flowers for the kitchen table can all impact on mindset, mood, and motivation in small but significant ways.
It isn’t silly to care about the small things around us and the details of our home. Sometimes they’re our best defense for resilience in a difficult, painful, and too often ugly world.”
Now, I know that Jesus is actually our best defense in this world.
But I also know that He created beauty and surely had our hearts and moods in mind when He did.
I believe this beauty in creation extends naturally to our home environments, especially for those of us who live, work, and school from home and spend the bulk of our time inside its four walls.
This is why it’s important to take at least some time (more than many people do) to decorate our spaces in ways that uplift our spirits and brings us joy in the everyday.
5 Reasons to Take Time to Decorate Your Home
01. Because it’s your home
No matter what type of dwelling you live in – house, cottage, apartment, RV – it’s your home right now.
And the place you call home deserves to be lovely and inviting. It should be an enjoyable, happy place where you can live, laugh and learn.
02. Done well, decor leads to better function
Form always follows function is a saying in the design world that holds merit for do-it-yourself decorators as well. You must take the function and uses of each room into consideration before you can decorate and add the pretty things.
For example, if you use your living room to watch movies with the family on a regular basis, you will want to have comfy, sink-in-to-it, seating versus the straight upright seating that a more formal living room would dictate.
If you pay attention to the purposes and uses of your spaces and THEN plan your decor around those, your space will not only look better…it will function better for you and your family as well.
03. It’s easier than it looks
Honestly, with a little guidance, decorating is much easier than it looks.
When you know what things to mix with what, what your unique style is and a few other simple guidelines, even the “least creative” person can make their home lovelier and more beautiful.
04. It’s fun and it exercises your creative muscles
Decorating your own home can be really fun.
Of course, there may be occasional bouts of frustration as you grow and learn. But overall decorating is a fun endeavor and one that will exercise the creative part of your brain.
And before you tell me you’re not creative, let me tell you that is simply not true. You were made in the image of THE CREATOR. If you feel uncreative, you just haven’t found YOUR particular penchant for creating yet!
I used to believe I was not creative. For the first couple of decades of my life, I actually believed this.
Where did this belief come from? High School.
At my high school, outside of the regular required academic courses (plus gym), we were required to take either art or music. Somehow, you were considered creative if you could draw and paint. But music was just music, and if you took music you were not creative because you just read and played along with the pre-written notes.
I’m not sure if everyone felt this way. Or if it was just a lie I was believing. But it stuck with me for a long time. I had incredibly talented artist friends who could draw and paint and create beautiful sculptures and art installations. And because I couldn’t do those things, I was “not creative.”
But over the last couple of decades, I’ve learned that being creative is not confined to such a small definition of creativity. And once I realized that my own creativity grew and expanded.
So, my friend, you ARE creative. Your creativity just may not look like someone else’s.
05. Your moods are more affected by your surroundings than you may realize
I personally know this to be true and have noticed it about myself for years.
When I was a teenager I had a weekend job packaging counter samples into boxes to be shipped. The hours were reasonable and left me plenty of time for studying and friends. And the pay was incredible for the 90s – $13 an hour if I remember correctly. But the factory was dark and dull, with no windows. And I hated being there.
Then when Dean and I were early on in our marriage we rented a basement apartment (after renting an expensive condo for a year) for a year to save money. But it was dark and filled with dark brown tile and wood paneling from the 70s. And I hated being there too.
In the 1950s, scientist Abraham Maslow conducted an experiment with the help of his wife and colleague, Norbett L. Mintz. Together they furnished three rooms:
“The first was called the Beautiful Room. It had large draped windows and was tastefully embellished with soft lighting, artwork, a comfortable chair, bookcase, mahogany desk, and handsome rug.
The second was designated the Average Room; it was neat and clean but otherwise workaday in its decor and arrangement — a standard off-the-rack academic’s office if you will.
The third was dubbed the Ugly Room and wholly lived up to its name. The walls were dirty and painted a dull gray. A light fixture with a torn shade hung overhead, the better to see the tin-can ashtrays, boxes, mops, disused box spring, and bare mattress flung haphazardly around the room.”
Then subjects were brought into each of the rooms to look at photos and evaluate them. The subjects in the Ugly and Average rooms were considerably more negative than those in the Beautiful Room. Even the administrators of the experiment were more negative in the Ugly and Average rooms.
Maslow and company concluded that people are much more positive and energetic in beautiful rooms!
5 Time-Saving Decorate-It-Yourself Hacks
01. Use an inspiration piece
You will see this hack from me a lot. It’s just SO GOOD.
If you choose something that you love – like a rug, a fabric swatch, or a piece of art – and draw your individual colors and patterns from that, you will find that your decor comes together so much easier. And you’ll waste much less time hemming and hawing and trying to choose.
This is because someone very talented already did the hard work of putting colors and patterns together in a pleasing way. You just have to run with their example!
02. Create an overall plan
Thinking of your home as a whole, before you begin to tackle rooms and spaces will help it to look and feel more cohesive.
If you decorate each room in a vacuum, it will look like those real estate listings where every single room is a different color palette, decor style, or even theme and nothing seems to coordinate.
Let me be clear, it’s fine to like many colors and styles. Lots of people do. But there is a way to combine those colors and styles in a tasteful and lovely way in your home. I teach my students how to do this in Decorating Uncomplicated and the results are just so beautiful.
Creating an overall home plan will also save you time and money in mistakes made, going from room to room and realizing something no longer looks right in one space after you’ve begun another.
03. Decorate one room at a time
AFTER you have created an overall style and color plan for your home, decorate one room at a time. Shop for it, style it, think about it and finish it before you move on to the next room.
This will help you with your time because you won’t be flitting from one space to another, getting distracted and confused. It will also give you encouragement and a sense of accomplishment in your home and your decorating abilities.
04. Rome wasn’t built in a day
This is more something to keep in mind than an actual step or hack. But it’s worth noting that your home will not be finished overnight. Or even over a weekend as all the home decor shows on HGTV often make it appear.
When Dean and I first started this blog, we were completing projects at a frantic pace. And then we’d move and complete a whole bunch more projects and spaces. But since moving to this house and settling in, our project pace has drastically slowed down. And I’m so okay with that.
Do we have spaces that we wish were updated? Yes!
- Our master bathroom still has green tiles from 1999 on the floor and as a tub surround – but that’s going to require a LOT of work and a significant amount of money to update.
- There is a floor tile jut out from our kitchen into our living room from where the old island was – but it can’t be removed until we’re ready to redo all the floors on the main level and upstairs.
The point is, decorating takes time (especially when renovations are involved). Be patient with yourself, your time, and your budget. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your home won’t be finished that quickly either.
05. Get help
We all need a little help from time to time. Whether your home decor help looks like hiring a painter, borrowing a friend for an afternoon of decor shopping, or taking a how-to decorate course, like Decorating Uncomplicated, so that you can learn the skills to do it yourself, it doesn’t matter. Just get some sort of help so that you feel like you’re not doing it all alone.
Decorating your home is important. You deserve to take the time to create spaces you love.
My hope and prayer in sharing this post are that you will see the value in taking time to carve out lovely spaces in your home.
That these 5 reasons to take time to decorate your home will allow you to create spaces that reflect who you are and who you were created to be.
And that you would thus set aside this decorating time as something important and worthy in your schedule. Because the process and the end result can bring so much joy and sweetness to your life in this crazy world.