Decorating is so much fun! Ever since I’ve had my own home, it’s been such a learning process for me… and Dearest Carl. We have both learned to trust my “inner eye” when making decorating decisions and this old house has blossomed for it. I have also learned how to weigh those decisions to best fit our home. There are a few questions I ask myself, my process of decorating, and since they’re rather simple, I thought I’d share them with you!
What is the room’s purpose? – I like to define the purpose of a room in view of our life at the moment. Living spaces can serve several purposes, depending on what stage you are in, and it’s easier to give yourself grace when you know what the space is meant for. For example, during the long and weary living room project last year, our dining room became our dining room, living room, office and entertaining space out of necessity. That meant I needed to have as much seating as possible for guests and keep the coffee table clear for laptops and meals, plus making the room cozy and livable for everyday life. It was a fun challenge to cram all those purposes into one room and it felt good to succeed!
This question usually pertains to furniture. Chairs, coffee tables, storage, etc. is all defined by your room’s purpose. It’s the question that led us to our sectional sofa. It’s also the question that gives me patience with rooms in transition.
What is my budget? – Many decorators give their room a budget or even a set decorating budget for the whole house. We don’t really do it that way. Mainly, I wait until a room is finished (renovating, painting, whatever) and then decide on my decor. The rest of the time, it usually depends on what I’m drawn to. I’ve stopped buying the knick knacks and now only buy the pieces I truly love. Since I don’t have an unlimited decorating budget though, I need to determine if the purchase even a possibility before I set my heart on it. The only reason the giant sectional happened is because we had the cash for it.
One thing I have learned with this question is that “expensive” means different things for Dearest Carl and I. I’m a total cheapskate when it comes to decor. $5 pillow covers are my heart’s desire. However, every so often there will be that one piece that’s a little pricey for me (like this one) and when I ask Dearest Carl about it, he looks at our finances and gives me the thumbs up while I’m still cringing. But we even it out with those $5 pillow covers.
Does this fit my theme? – I had to learn this question the hard way. Before you make a single purchase, you need to ask yourself if it fits with your theme. Maybe your theme is a color scheme or maybe it’s a decorating style, but if that pretty yellow pillow is going to be an eyesore, you don’t need it. It’s just fodder for the Goodwill bag. I’ve planned my theme mainly around colors in our home. Basically, if it’s blue or cream, it will match. It gives me a little leeway when I’m out shopping and it also helps me steer clear of certain shades. Obviously there is grace for holiday decor. I do add orange for Fall (because Fall is totally a holiday) and red for Christmas, but the rest of the year we stick to the main shades.
These three questions have really helped me narrow down my decorating style and create a home that is full of things I love. Now I can make decorating decisions that work for us with confidence and clarity, whether the answers are affirmative or not. I hope they can help you in your decorating decisions too!