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How to Overcome the Fear of Making a Mistake When You Decorate

In this post: Despite wanting to have a lovely home, many beginner or do-it-yourself decorators stop before they begin because they’re afraid they’ll mess up. If that’s you, I got you, girl! Here’s how to overcome the fear of making a mistake when you decorate. 


It’s my favorite thing in the world to teach home-makers how to decorate and make their home, more “them.”  And it is my heart’s desire to see other mommas complete the rooms in their home, so they can enjoy them, and use them to love on their friends and family.

But I know that the fear of messing up and making a mistake when you decorate is also very real. And sometimes it’s hard to know how to get past that to actually make progress. 

If you’re feeling these same fears, here’s how to overcome the fear of making a mistake when you decorate.

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5 Ways to Get Over the Fear of Making a Mistake When You Decorate

01. Start small

If you are full-on terrified or even just a little nervous to step out and make a mistake with your decorating, start small

  • Buy a couple of inexpensive throw pillows to try.
  • Grab some fabric samples from your local fabric store, or from online places like Etsy.
  • Bring home some paint swatches and tape them up to see how you like them. 

Don’t try to tackle decorating and styling the whole house all at once. 

02. Take it one step at a time

I believe in three overall steps to decorating your home:

  1. finding your style
  2. choosing colors, and then
  3. decorating one room at a time in the right order

So, begin at the beginning. Ask yourself how you want your home to feel? Describe that and write it down. 

Then try to articulate the styles you like. Take our quiz to see if that helps you gain clarity. 

And so on. Just take baby steps. When you feel resistance or fear of making a mistake when you decorate rise up, just remember that small progress is better than none. 

03. Gather inspiration

There is inspiration everywhere if you just look for it. 

  • Go out for a nature walk and observe the colors.
  • Grab a magazine and flip through it and really study the pictures to see which elements you’re drawn to.
  • Scroll your favorite Instagram accounts for a few minutes and see what they’re doing in their homes. Just remember not to compare your current unfinished decor with their polished “highlight” reel!

Collect your ideas on a design board or a Pinterest board, to refer back to as you decorate. 

04. Accept that you will likely make mistakes as you practice

Listen, none of us gets anything right the first time we do it. Babies fall when they learn to walk. We burn the toast (or the eggs or whatever) when we learn to cook.

Learning how to decorate is no different. 

Even the best designers had to practice. And I can pretty much guarantee that they felt the fear of making a decorating mistake and still made mistakes along the way. 

Making mistakes is not the end of the world and they often make the best learning experiences. 

05. Join a community of others on the same journey as you 

Books and courses are excellent teachers.

But having the support and encouragement of other DIY decorators in a community (who may also be a little worried about making decorating mistakes) will help you immensely as you grow and learn.

They can help you when you are unsure of yourself, offer a solution maybe you didn’t see, and simply cheer you on. 

What now? 

Grab yourself a copy of our FREE Decor Starter Kit and learn how to create a room you’ll love in just 5 simple steps! 

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