I Suck at Decorating. Now What?

The following is a true story, names may have been changes to protect the innocent...


I Suck at Decorating. Now What? How to stop sucking! #interiordesign entirelyeventfulday.com

When we bought our house I was twenty-seven years old. I was thrilled to have a house! But what was I possibly going to do with the 4,000 square feet of blank canvas sprawling in front of me, mocking me? It was a brand new house spec house, which means the builder's "designer" chose the shade of cream that was on every single wall. The exterior was/is an awesome shade of navy blue, which made me feel a little better. I filled (well, not quite) the main floor of our new ranch-style home with hand-me-down furniture in shades of hunter green and almost-black stained wood furniture.

After about a year of cream and hunter green, I wanted my house to be cute. But I had no clue how to make it cute because the truth is... I sucked.

P.S. All the photos in this post are of my house... post-sucking.


I Suck at Decorating. Now What? How to stop sucking! #interiordesign entirelyeventfulday.com

Tip #1: Hire Help! Truth: we can't all be good at everything. The first thing I did was hire a friend who had a degree from a local business college in interior design to help me. She didn't charge me much at all and she let me ask her millions of questions. "What's a complimentary color?" "Why would you arrange the furniture that way?" "How do you hold a paint brush again?" I watched and I learned. I really wanted to learn. Later she came over and I showed her my down stairs bathroom (still love it) and she said, "You don't need me anymore."

I didn't need her anymore because I follow these tips I'm about to give you...

I Suck at Decorating. Now What? How to stop sucking! #interiordesign entirelyeventfulday.com

Tip #2: Study Up! When I decided I wanted to get better at decorating I thought about going back to school and getting a degree in Interior Design. But then I realized that, um, I already have two Bachelor degrees and three kids. That was a no-go. So instead I found used Interior Design text books online and read them. I skipped the boring parts ;) Now when I look at rooms on Pinterest, I do more than admire them, I study their elements, I notice what makes them work, and I think about how to replicate them.

I Suck at Decorating. Now What? How to stop sucking! #interiordesign entirelyeventfulday.com

Tip #3: Choose a Theme. At first my husband and I couldn't decide on ANYTHING. The designer I had hired suggested that we each, separately, tear out photos from magazines. We did and we compared them, with her help as the mediator. It was miraculous! We actually found something we agreed on. We were able to find a similar theme in the rooms that we both loved. We ended up deciding on, what I like to call, Romantic Beach House. This exercise was so invaluable. Now when I decorate, I just stick to our theme and everyone is happy. Plus I don't have an identity crisis every time I go to TJ Maxx because I'm sure of my style and if an item doesn't work with it, then I don't buy it. Easy!

I Suck at Decorating. Now What? How to stop sucking! #interiordesign entirelyeventfulday.com

Tip #4: Ask the Pros. Don't be afraid to ask questions and learn from those who know. People love it when you tell them they are great at something. So flatter them... then pick their brain.


I Suck at Decorating. Now What? How to stop sucking! #interiordesign entirelyeventfulday.com

Tip #5: Get the Right Tools. So importante! When choosing paint colors, don't grab a hand full of paint samples at the hardware store. Invest in a color fan from a professional paint store. It's so much more effective to choose paint when you can see all the choices. And so often the color you think you want isn't the right color for your room after all!

I Suck at Decorating. Now What? How to stop sucking! #interiordesign entirelyeventfulday.com

Tip #6: It'll Come. I played volleyball. I started when I was about 12. Now, I'm tall, 5'11". At 12 I was about 5'9". I was skinny. And, let's be nice to me and say, lacking in coordination. But the volleyball coach wanted my height and was willing to train me to play. I have no idea how many times that man said to me, "It'll come." Every time I hit the ball in the net, he was there to tell me, "It'll come." Know what, it did come. Turns out, I was a really good volleyball player after all. It look a lot of practice and a lot of trial and error. The same is true for learning to do anything, even decorating. It's hard to learn anything new. But anything can be learned!

What do you think? Comments? Questions?

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