In this post: Does the idea of decorating your own home feel overwhelming? If it does, you’re not alone. Here are 12 tips to decorate your home with confidence.
Home should be our soft place to land. A place that we can go to rest our weary souls from the stresses of the world (and let’s be honest, there are many of those lately). So, decorating our homes to make them lovely and welcoming is an important, life-giving task.
But decorating, like any new skill, can take some time to learn. It doesn’t really just come naturally to anyone. At least not the polished, final version.
And it can feel like a huge undertaking when you’re just starting out. It can be overwhelming to make all those decisions. Which is the exact opposite of the rest and peace we crave. This is why I’ve put together 12 tips for how to decorate your home without feeling overwhelmed.
How to Decorate Your Home without Feeling Overwhelmed
Whether that’s because your time or budget is limited (like everyone else’s), it is important to prioritize what’s important to you in your home decorating.
In order to choose which space to start with, ask yourself these questions:
- Where do you want to focus first? Think of your daily and weekly routines, which space do you most want to be decorated NOW for their functionality? Beauty?
- Which space is driving you crazy more than any others?
- Which space would when finished would create the most calm and peace in your life?
- What room might you practice decorating in to get your decorating feet wet, so to speak?
From there, you will have a better idea of exactly where you should start decorating.
02. Start small
Small wins are a great way to overcome decorating overwhelm.
Based on your priorities above, you have an idea of which room you want to decorate. If it’s a small room, awesome. If it’s a larger room, still start small with your decorating and accomplish something smaller, like a cozy corner in a living room or bedroom or a pretty command center in a kitchen or hallway.
The key is to gain some confidence in your decorating abilities by finishing even one tiny space in which you can take deep breaths and just enjoy your home.
03. Look for an inspiration piece to pull colors and patterns from
I love to share this tip all the time, anywhere I can because it’s just THAT good.
Pieces like art or fabrics can be the perfect jumping-off point for a space because designers have already put in the time and skill to create something of beauty. They have blended colors and patterns together into an eye-pleasing whole.
So when you want to create a color palette to build a room around, choose an inspiration piece that you love and can draw other colors and textures from. This tip alone will take a lot of the overwhelm out of designing a home you’ll love.
04. Avoid social media and the comparison game
I think we’ve all done it….we’ve popped onto Instagram or Pinterest when we’re bored only to be sucked into drooling over so many perfect home (and life) images.
And then we start to feel “less than” for how our home (or life) looks.
We compare where we’re at with where someone else is at further along in the journey. Or even with completely different life circumstances than us.
If social media is contributing to making you feel bad about where your home (or life) is, then stay off of it! Or at the very least post reminders for yourself about not comparing.
05. Practice gratitude for what you already have
I didn’t always love how our house looked. It just didn’t fit the vision I had for it in my head. I had good taste, but I just didn’t have a clue how to execute it.
But I was always purposefully grateful for our home. I say purposeful because it was a definitively purposeful act that I had to practice until it became more like second nature.
06. Function, then pretty
Maybe you’ve heard the saying “form follows function”?
Essentially it’s a design school saying that just means the shape and look something takes, should come after its purpose and usefulness.
The same goes for every room in your home.
I mean think about it in a bathroom for example. If the room wasn’t designed around the toilet, sink, and bath first and then made pretty, we may have a lot more germy and leaky washrooms!
So for whatever space you’ve decided to tackle, take inventory and make note of the activities that have to happen in that room. What is the main purpose of the space? What is the secondary purpose? Then plan your design around those activities.
Only after the function and purpose of the room are considered, should the decor of the room be chosen.
07. Big stuff first
This tip plays directly off of number six. You have to choose the big stuff first. Don’t get distracted by all the pretty tchotchkes and little decor accent pieces.
If you select the small stuff first, your room design can drive off the rails really quickly and become cluttered looking accidentally. Which does nothing for your calm and peace!
08. Be easy on yourself
Mistakes will happen.
I’m assuming if you’re here, reading this you are not a trained or practiced designer. It will take some time to get in a groove with decorating.
Be kind to yourself. Because…
09. Nothing is permanent
Don’t get deceived into thinking that you will get it ALL right the first time for every single space. There will be at least some trial and error.
With a little elbow grease or a visit to the returns counter, you can correct most things. Nothing is permanent. You can make changes as you learn.
10. Combine decorating styles
Okay, so if you’ve been around here awhile, you know I’m a huge proponent of knowing your decorating style before you do anything else.
But I don’t mean that you have to fit yourself into one single style box.
What I mean is that you can combine styles you love – and any your hubby may also love, if he has strong feelings about decor – to create your own unique decorating style.
Knowing your style will inform all the other little decorating decisions you make from colors to textures, lighting to accents. And this will give you the freedom to decorate within the boundaries that you determine, and give you the best kind of guidelines for your home’s decor.
(That’s exactly why I created the Find Your Style Workbook!)
11. Decorating is not a design show
Contrary to what it looks like on HGTV, decorating your home does not happen overnight.
Rome wasn’t built in a day and your home won’t be finished in a day either. Even if you had unlimited time and money (which no one does), it would still take time to make decor decisions and get everything in place.
Unlike the way that those design shows on tv make it look, even professionals with entire teams don’t completely decorate a home in a day. So don’t be surprised if it’s a little messier and takes a little longer than it does on tv!
12. Get help
If you feel like you need additional help with decorating, get help.
You can hire a decorator to help for a few hours, ask a friend to trade skills with you (maybe she’s great at decorating and you’re awesome at baking, or bookkeeping), or take a how-to decorate course like Decorating Uncomplicated.
Getting help is going to be the best use of your time and resources!
To help you get started without the overwhelm, I’ve created the Decor Starter Kit. Inside this FREE guide, I’m walking you through how to design a room you’ll love in just 5 simple steps. Grab your copy by email below!