Decor Tip: Getting Started

Sometimes I think starting is the hardest part of decorating - where do you start!?!?  It's so easy to go straight to painting with gusto...and then realizing nothing you own matches your new paint, and maybe you don't really love it as much as you loved the swatch at the paint store.  It's so easy to stall out!  Some  people find decorating easy - I really don't think I'm one of the those people, so during the pandemic I took a home decorating course.  Here as a few tips I learned:

Step 1: Figure out your style

Until you know the style you are looking for, it's hard to hone in on what you need.  The easiest way to determine what you like is to find photos online that speak to you, and see what style they are.  It may take a couple of tries (most of us have a hybrid style) but this will help you figure out a focus.  PRO TIP: You can always use an online style quiz ( has a good one).  To make it as accurate as possible, make sure you are looking at the WHOLE picture shown, not just smaller elements of it.

Step 2: Make a plan...and a budget

Planning and plotting isn't always the most glamourous part of the process, but you'll be so glad you took the time!  Make note of everything from your needs for the room, your wants, and how the room will function for you and your family.  Also make note of anything that can be saved, and items you can repurpose.  PRO TIP: Look to the experts!  Several companies offer free assistance with interior design, like Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel.  Some offer specific design assistance, like Ikea (kitchens) Budget Blinds and Macys (window coverings) and California Closets.  Some, like Sherwin Williams also offer assistance at a low cost (offset by a merchandise credit).  Always ask your favorite companies if they offer design assistance!

Step 3: Research, Research, Research

Much like measuring twice and cutting once, time spent researching saves time spent doing...and researching is SO much cheaper!  Always take the time to look into options, read reviews and research features.  PRO TIP: I often see Pinterest recommended for research, and is certainly can be a great resource.  However, Pinterest links are often broken and are generally undated.  Instead, look to your favorite online designers and Google to find reference materials.

Step 4: Choose a wow piece
Every room needs a wow!  Find your wow moment - that piece that you just absolutely love, and design around it.  It doesn't have to be big, expensive or on-trend; I've seen gorgeous rooms designed around a 5" oil painting.  What matters is that it speaks to YOU.  PRO TIP: If your wow item is small, it can be helpful to reinforce it with a larger item that gives you the same feelings - that way it will really stand out!

Step 5: Make it fun

Nothing in decor is permanent - you can always paint over it, redo it, move it to another room or sell it and buy something new.  So have fun with it!  Your space should be a reflection of YOU, and not just something you saw in a magazine.  PRO TIP: I've said it before - always go one step further than you are comfortable with.  One shade brighter, one size larger, one step closer to utter ridiculousness.  It's when I think I've perhaps gone too far that it just works!

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