To be a better home decorator you don’t need a degree from Parsons Institute. But what you do need is the desire to learn and time to practice. Believe me, even the decorating mistakes I’ve made have made me a much better decorator! Anyone who loves their home and create to make it a beautiful, comfortable and welcoming environment can get better and better at decorating!
I’ve been blogging for eleven years and along the way have picked up some secrets that have helped me learn how to decorate.
These easy to do secrets have trained my eye to know good design. I’m sharing a few of those secrets with you today so you will be a better home decorator!
NUMBER ONE THING… LEARN YOUR DECORATING STYLE
I believe over seventy percent of all your decorating ills would be gone if you just could define, know and use your decorating style to decorate you home.
Do you peruse magazines and blogs for ideas and find amazingly lovely things in stores but for some reason (many really) have a hard time making your home look cohesive and curated and flow together and be the comfortable beautiful home you want so badly! Does this sound familiar?
Or do you have beautiful things but think they look tired and outdated? Do you wish you had a way of taking what you have and creating something beautiful with it?
All these problems stem from not knowing your decorating style! And to learn how to decorate you MUST KNOW YOUR DECORATING STYLE!
You can solve these and so many more issues!
TAKE PICTURES TO LEARN HOW TO DECORATE
One thing that will make you a better decorator is taking pictures of what you decorate. Use your phone to take lots of images and then go back through them. You will be amazed at how the camera picks up what your eye can’t perceive! It’s really quite astonishing!
It takes just a few extra minutes and your camera works as your assistant to tell you what doesn’t look right and what’s out of place. I bet you never knew you had a little personal decorating helper to become a better home decorator.
This is a secret I use all day long! Taking pictures of anything I have just styled gives me a clear “picture” of what’s out of place or a little wonky. Then it’s an easy fix!
Most of us carry our cell phones around so why not put it to use!
KEEP PLAYING WITH DECOR
Another thing I’ve learned from blogging is that you and I will probably not get decorating right the first time!
When I’m creating a vignette, or mantel or styling shelves I need time to “play”. That’s my buzzword for spending time creating a curated, cohesive and interesting look.
I add and edit and change things around lots and lots of time until I think I have it just right. Then I take pictures and look at them with a critical eye and go back to what I’m styling and do it again. And I leave it for a while and come back to it and work it a little more!
We want what we create in our homes to have an effortless look. But we know just how much time and energy it really takes to be a better home decorator.
LEARN FROM THE BEST
Here’s another tip I’ve learned and if you learn this too it will up your decorating cred immensely! I’ve learned to almost surgically pick apart an image I love and pinpoint the elements that are so attractive to me. And not only that, but I have also learned to translate what I love from an image to my own home.
Here’s an example.I LOVE this image…
This is from my friend Ann’s blog On Sutton Place.
Her style really appeals to me. It is clean and welcoming and pretty!
I knew the minute I saw this vignette it would look pretty in my home too. Sigh!
So I studied this beautiful vignette and picked apart each detail of this image to unlock decorating gems! I broke down the entire image into sections.
This is such an important tip! It will help you be a better home decorator!
I get lost in the fabulousness of an image and I usually am not able to see those specific decorating gems until I break down an image and concentrate on one section at a time!!!!! I bet many of you are the same way too!
HERE’S HOW TO BREAK DOWN AN IMAGE YOU LOVE
To “break down an image” I mentally divide it into thirds. I study each third and make note of…
- things I love in the image
- what was used
- ideas of things I could use from my home
- and how the decorator used every element
If I can print out an image or see one in a magazine I literally take out a pen and mark up the image!!!! If you see an image you love on Pinterest, print it out!!!!
Now, I have a blueprint for recreating this peony vignette in my own style!
Give it a try!
Once you’ve mined out all the decorating secrets in a picture start creating! Find a place to use it in your home! And keep reworking it until you love it and it becomes your creation!
LEARNING TO BE A BETTER HOME DECORATOR TAKES PATIENCE
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned from having a decorating blog is decorating a room does not happen overnight.
So I’ve learned a whole lot of patience. Give yourself permission to have an “undone” room. I’ve been living with an undone home for 24 years! Decorating is an ongoing process.
When we ogle over the pretty rooms in a magazine just remember they have been styled for THAT MOMENT! They may look amazing but they have had a team of professionals working on them.
Real life is messy. Stuff happens. We don’t live in one snapshot! We LIVE in a home! Things get dirty, and wear out, and break and get untidy and go out of style!
The end goal of decorating should not be a perfect home, it should be a well-loved and appointed home!
And this lesson is probably the biggest lesson to becoming a better home decorator! Love where you are and keep working on your home!