The mistakes that people make when they take on a project and how to avoid them – as well as what you need to do to fix them!
Thanks for being here today! Welcome to the Style With Intention podcast.
Today’s episode is all about how your home decorating project gets stuck – and avoiding getting stuck in the first place.
I share some of the home decorating mistakes I’ve made in my own life and give specific examples that I’m sure you’ll relate to. There are great insights into how to create a home that feels like “you” and let’s you live the way you want to live.
As always, my goal is to make it quicker and easier for you to access more ease, joy, and intention in your life…because happy looks really, really good!
Welcome to the Style With Intention podcast where we talk about how to use your personal style choices as a tool to create a life you love. We believe choice is empowering, complacency is boring, and happy looks really, really good.
I’m your host, Annie Kip, and I’m so glad you’re here today. We’re talking about all the ways that your home decorating projects might be getting stuck. This is a really practical episode about the mistakes that people make when they take on a project and I’m going to share how to avoid them as well as what you need to do to fix them. First, I do want to say I get it because I have either done these things myself or I’ve seen people do these things so don’t be too hard on yourself.
It’s a learning process and it’s good to keep in mind that most of the time when we want to make changes in our homes, it’s driven by a desire to feel something different in our homes. We want to experience a different feeling, even something better, more in control, more peaceful or more relaxing or more energizing in our homes. Sometimes we also want to change things because we’ve outgrown our space either physically by having more kids or our family has changed in some way or psychologically. It just doesn’t feel right anymore. It doesn’t fit us for some reason. The decor is not making you feel good. We need to use the space differently somehow. This all means we just need to bring our homes into alignment with how we want to live. Now, when we want something different and it’s feels sort of urgent like this, it’s natural to take the quickest route we can see.
I know how that feels. You don’t want to wait. You don’t want to take the time to make a plan. You just want results, and the idea of waiting and getting help can be overwhelming. Like hiring a decorator that can sound like a big process with a big learning curve and lots of pressure and expense. All we want is to feel better fast, so we jump in where it seems to make the most sense and we take action a lot of time. That’s a good thing, but in this case it feels good for the moment, but then we realized that you’ve bought you box yourself into a corner and you don’t know what to do next. This is where you can get stuck, the and you can think about calling a professional to make sense of what you’ve started, but that’s not a great option either.
In fact, that’s actually the worst case scenario for a designer like me. Cleaning up a mess doesn’t usually result in an outcome that people had hoped for. It’s sort of a lose, lose all around so you’re better off just trying to avoid these mistakes or trying to fix them right away. Here’s what I want to share. These are seven ways you can get stuck and how to fix them or avoid them all together. Number one is browsing, how’s and pinterest? Without focus or structure, looking at all the decor and inspiration on the Internet can quickly make you feel overwhelmed. If you don’t have a specific goal for your browsing and you don’t have a plan for keeping track of your research, you will end up just wasting time and procrastinating and you can make yourself feel bad for not making progress on your project. The solution is to create boards for each of the elements in your project as specifically as you can.
You can have a board for general inspiration, but then beyond that, it’s much more productive to have specific boards for things like lighting or faucets or window treatments or rug so you can more easily sort through the options and make a decision when the time comes. Number two is painting your walls first. The color of your walls is very often the last decision you should actually make this is because there’s a huge, almost endless world of color options out there and there are far fewer options for furniture and window treatments and rugs that you will like. The solution is to choose your pink color last, if you have already painted. I would recommend letting go of the choice and opening up your mind to the possibility of changing the color. There are so many versions of Beige and gray and every other color and they all have different undertones, so it’s important to realize that they can flatter what you pick or they can really drag down your choices and you don’t want to be married to a wall color and have to pick everything around that you may end up with the same color in the end, but sticking with it will feel restrictive as you try to pick out the other other elements of your room so you’re better off just letting go of it for now.
The third place your project could be getting stuck is in buying a rug before you have a floor plan. The size of the rug you need is dependent on the configuration of your furniture. Often you can save a lot of money by buying a much smaller rug, but you won’t know that until you know how your furniture will be arranged. If you’ve already purchased a rug, hopefully it’s because you really love it and often that’s good enough. We can make the can make it work most of the time. If you don’t totally love your rug, maybe see about returning it or being open to using it in a different room just to keep you from getting stuck and completing the rest of the room you’re working on. The rug may still work in the end, you just don’t want to let it limit you or derail you.
The fourth way that your project can be stuck is buying a sofa without knowing what size you need. Size matters. In this case, when it comes down to it, there are actually a really limited number of sofas which will fit in your space best. The depth of the sofa matters, the length matters, and it will really throw off your layout if you don’t carefully plot where the sofa will be and how it will work with the other furniture. This is probably the biggest, most frequent mistake I see people make and I get it. You want a place to sit, but if you can take a minute and plan the room, you will probably be happier with the result. There isn’t a great way to fix this if you’ve already purchased a sofa that’s too big for your space. One client I worked with ended up moving the Sofa to our basement and we bought a different Sofa for her living room after we had drawn up a bland.
She ended up much happier than she would have been if she had stuck with the original sofa that she had bought before she brought me in, but she did end up having to buy another sofa. Just know that if you decide to keep a sofa that’s too big, you will have to make concessions in other areas. You might not be able to fit all the other furniture you had hoped to have or you might have to pick smaller pieces of furniture. Then you really would like the fifth way your project could get stuck is choosing a special, and I’m using air quotes there, a piece that is really different from everything else that you have to soon. So I love unique combinations and I am all for expressing yourself and you can really do some interesting things when you bring in a different element, but if you do this too early in the process, you can lock yourself into a really difficult situation.
It can make it really hard to continue the design process when you’re trying to work around a special piece that has been chosen to early. If it’s something that will determine the direction of the design, that’s fine, but if it’s going to be an accent piece, it’s better to choose it in coordination after the whole design plan has been made. Now I’m talking about things like sculptures or and unique cabinet or artwork. Anything that will influence the other choices. If there’s something you really love and or something that you already own and you know you or you know you wanted, we usually try to work with it and make it fit into the scheme. My advice though is to hold off on buying accessories in general until the main elements of the room are decided. The sixth place where your project might be getting stuck is relying on in-house designers at home decor and furniture stores.
Sure they are nice people and I liked talking to them. They can be really helpful, but they aren’t on your team. They aren’t there to advocate for you. They work for the store and the store’s main goal is to sell you stuff. You won’t get a full view of what’s possible if you just work with the in house designers because they’re limited by what sold in their store. You may end up with a formulaic design that reflects the store’s brand more than your unique style. The solution is to work with someone like me who can help you put together a unique plan that isn’t limited or formulaic. The other way you can do this for yourself is to create a layout just like I would for you, a floor plan on paper so you know the sizes of furniture that will fit best and then shop for these individual pieces in a variety of stores.
Collect as you go, pick the things that you really love and that speak to you. Pick things that give you that spark that the whispers point out to you. Now, if this sounds a little crazy, go listen to episode number two. In that episode I explain all about these little hints that you will get from yourself about what will make you happy. In the end. If you do a more organic kind of layout and shopping different stores, you’ll end up with a room that is truly a reflection of you and your own taste and aesthetic. There’s also just so you know as a quickstart guide available on my AnnieKipStyle.com website that will help you with this. It gives you instructions about how to create a layout and it’s free so you can just go download it at AnnieKipStyle.com. The seventh way that your decorating project could be getting stuck is starting your project without any idea of why you want to redecorate.
It might be a feeling like we talked about at the beginning, but it’s good to know exactly why and what you want from your decorating project.
You’re stuck for a reason because you know there’s no shortage of ideas floating around the Internet, but if you just can’t get started, it might be because your desire to redecorate is often a symptom of a desire for something bigger. Figuring out why you want to make changes. We’ll make your decisions so much easier and it’ll give you a framework for choosing things. It will also make sure that your end result meets the needs that you have and will make you truly happy. Maybe your home doesn’t feel the way you want it to feel. Maybe your kids have grown up in your home, is out of sync with the way you live now. Maybe your style has changed in your home is out of alignment with who you are.
My home has changed recently. I. I’m kind of heading into the empty nest and I decided I really needed a guestroom because I wanted to be able to have people stay with me. There are different things that we need at different stages in our lives. If you don’t know where to begin or you’re feeling stuck and stalled on your decorating project, this is the right place. I’ve been there myself and I know that it takes more than quick decor, tips to create a home that truly makes you happy, and this is the secret that I want to share with you, the wisdom. It’s the wisdom that you probably don’t actually hear when you’re scrolling through instagram and house. There’s lots of expert opinions out there and beautiful ideas, but the truth is you don’t need an expert to tell you how to decorate. Yes, it might help sometimes to get an outside opinion or some guidance on the practicalities of running your project, but the truth is that you are the one and only expert on what you should surround yourself with.
Now, some of you might be saying, no, I don’t know what I want. I have no idea what I like to that I say, slow down and just go through this process with me and I promise you will come away with new knowledge about yourself and what you actually like.
What you want to have around you should be your choice. You know what we’ll give you, the feeling you want to have in your life. You know what lifts you up, you know what appeals to you and makes you smile.
Over the next few weeks, keep your eyes open for emails from me with real actionable advice for creating a life you love. I believe in the power of your style choices that they can be a catalyst for transformation in your life. If you let them, you can make it look the way you want to feel and step into the life that you’ve always wanted.
Let’s keep in touch over on instagram where I share all kinds of things about building a life you love. Go ahead and tag me @anniekipcoaching so I can see what you’re up to as well. Thanks for listening today. I’ll catch you next week. Bye Bye for now.