Last weekend, I found myself in the rare circumstance of having a few hours to myself with my husband and kids gone for the day. When they came home, I had moved all the furniture, sold most of our artwork on Craig’s list and went on a mad shopping spree for new, fresh home décor.
The only downside to my job is the persistent urge to redecorate. And being surrounded by some of the world’s best designers, I receive daily emails with subject lines, like “The It Color of the Year”. But while it’s tempting to jump on the newest trend, remember my top decorating advice: Make your home about you. It doesn’t matter what the color of the year is or whether shag carpeting is “back”, your home should be about you, not trends.
Here are some suggestions to keep in mind when choosing décor and accessories for your home:
Practice the Principles (Fundamental Elements are Key): I shared the Five Principles of Design in my last blog and these are good to keep on hand as you consider new décor. They are particularly important as you consider the size, color, and texture of furnishings.
Anything Goes (Tell Your Story): It’s your home. Think of your home as a clean canvas and you get to paint the story of your life on it. Decorate with items that represent personal experiences: frame your children’s artwork, print a large photo you snapped during a vacation, buy that quirky sculpture that speaks to you at the local art shop. You can even display meaningful, everyday objects. I love to bake, so I display wonderful cake plates on open shelves in my kitchen. Prefer something contemporary and fresh? Check out a local gallery for new, emerging artists.
Don’t Rush It (Life’s Journey will help you Decorate): If you have a blank space in your home, don’t rush to fill it. This is especially true of a new home. You will likely grow into the space so don’t settle for something less than perfect, even if it means waiting. Don’t worry if your dining room is missing a table. People often waste more money buying immediate “fixes” for the space instead of waiting to find the piece that speaks to them. Be patient. You might even surprise yourself and find a new use for the space. My dining room is now a home office! I consulted a local cabinet maker who built a custom library and desks in the “dining room” for my family. Custom, built-in furniture is not as cost prohibitive as you might think and if you really want to personalize your home, built-in furniture is a great way to do it.
Think Outside the Big Box (Avoiding Trends): While great décor can come from anywhere, I believe you should follow your heart, not the masses. Again, make your home about you. You might find something you really love at that big-box store, but so will everyone else. For décor that truly tells your story, branch outside the trendy brands. Explore local shops, estate sales, and galleries to find pieces that are yours and yours alone.
Keep it Real: I’m a product of the 80’s and I grew up in the age of shoulder pads, big bangs, and really bad décor. I’m talking about plastic fruit, pink bathtubs and fake plants. I’m so happy to now live in the 21st century, which is all about authenticity, sincerity, and natural living. Your décor should share the same sentiment. Remember harmony from the Five Principles? Only real elements will give you a true harmony in your home.
My best advice is to trust yourself. Make your décor meaningful and let it express your personality. At Ashton Woods, we firmly believe that inspiration can come from anywhere. And the same is true of great décor. As long as it reflects you, it is beautiful. If tangerine is your thing. Go for it! Make it yours.