So many choices ... where do I start?!
Yesterday I had the profound pleasure of assisting an interior design client with placing decor around her home. As we got started she said to me, "I usually have no trouble doing this and lately I'm just stuck. I have no idea why but I have no idea what to do!"
I get it. I let her know that's I've had many clients tell me the same thing before and shared with her that I've had those moments too! When we were renovating our home, there was times I just had no idea what to do and when I asked my guy (being ever helpful), he said, "Whatever you think is best! You're the professional." Talk about pressure!!
What I've long thought was odd was the idea that women (and gay men) should somehow just "know" what works and how to put together a home. Apparently when they were handing out girl cards before we were born, there was a pamphlet on designing a home - did you get one? If not, you're not alone!
So, how do you fake it like a boss and make great choices? The easiest way is to hire a pro. The next easiest way is to follow your gut. Let me just say - there is a great degree of increase in difficulty from easy way #1 to easy way #2. And following your gut takes courage! So let me show you three ways that you are likely to wander from your inherent style and get lost in the melee of choices:
#1 - Fear of doing it 'wrong'
First of all, take heart, I am challenged with this all the time as well! Secondly, as I'm sure you already know, when you allow fear to rule your decisions you often end up with an unhappy outcome. I remind clients all the time that this is THEIR HOME. Regardless of what the design trends are or what high profile designers say you 'should do', your home is your personal space. The only thing you 'should do' is feel comfortable in your home! So, if you love that lemon yellow chair, pick it up and work the rest of the room around it! I can almost guarantee that when you move past your fear of doing it 'wrong' and follow your instinct, your friends and family will be impressed!
#2 - You have a highly opinionated family member or friend
A few years ago I worked with a young woman who was starting a family and wanted to make some changes to her home. She was super timid at first to tell me what she had been thinking of the space (literally her first words were, "Here is my home. What do YOU think I should do?" and I had just taken off my shoes!). I let all my Calgary & area interior design clients and edesign clients know that in our first meeting, I will be asking a ton of questions. The reason why? I need to get to know who you are and what you're about! After all, I don't live there!
After digging into it a bit further, this lovely young woman shared that her mom was absolutely adamant that what she was thinking was most definitely the "wrong" thing to do in her home. And even though everything her mom wanted her to do went against her own desire for her home, she did not know how to move forward. I'm sorry to say that many, many people have a highly opinionated person in their life that creates massive uncertainty and hinders their willingness to move forward.
So how do you deal with that?
You tell them off!! Hehe, I'm totally kidding! Please don't do that. First, remember that this person has developed their own sense of style and be ok with them sharing it. Then, remind yourself that you live in this home and that these four walls are about you. Besides, who's paying for those walls? If your opinionated friend/family member is paying the mortgage, then sure they can make some calls on how the home goes together. But if you're footing the bill, politely thank them for their input and say something like, "I understand your thoughts and see how that would totally work for your style. However, I'd really love something more (neutral, colourful, open, organized, etc) in my home." And between you and I, if they continue to harp on why you should or shouldn't do that, move the conversation to something unrelated ("Have you tried this wine? I just found it and it's delicious! Let me pour you a glass...")
#3 - You're a magpie
The last 'way of wandering' I'll share with you today is all about getting distracted by the 'shiny' things. Listen, I get it. I am 110% susceptible to falling head over heels with a new tile/wallpaper/lamp/rug/art/paint colour.... this list goes on and on. Think it stops just with my home? Not so my friend! When sourcing products/materials for a client, I'm often struck by something "gorgeous" and find myself wondering if we can incorporate it into the project.
How do you deal with magpie-ness?
Remember the style you're going for. I often ask clients to give me a describing word for what they want from their new space and then I measure potential selections against that word. For example, if their word is clean or bright, I know that a backsplash with loads of texture or deep, dark colours is probably not for them. If their word is cozy, then I stay away from super modern pieces. If their word is organized, I look for items with multiple purposes - ie. a coffee table that has the ability to store things.
If you're not quite sure what your style IS, check out this blog post, specifically tip #1.
There are so many other ways that you may get lost along the way but these three are the main reasons I see over and over again with clients.
Now I'd love to hear from you! Have you struggled with making design choices? If so, how did you get through it and were you happy with the project after it was finished? Please share in the comments below!
If you're still struggling and you're just not sure anymore what do do, maybe check out these virtual interior design/edesign packages. And, if there isn't a package that suits the space you're working on, contact me directly - I'm sure we can put one together for you that will save your budget and your sanity!
Above all, remember this:
"The only trend you need to follow is your own, because who you are never goes out of style."
- Dutch Touch Interiors