You don’t need a degree from Parsons Institute to be a better home decorator. 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 wants to make it a beautiful, comfortable and welcoming environment can get better and better at decorating! I’ve been blogging for seven years and along the way have picked up some secrets that have helped me learn how to decorate and have trained my eye to know good design. I’m sharing a few of those secrets with you today!
One thing that will make you a better decorator is to take pictures of what you decorate. Use your phone to take lots of images and then go back through them and 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 with you!
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!
PLAY, PLAY, PLAY
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. I take pictures and look at them with a critical eye and go back to what I’m styling and do it again. 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.
TIGHT COLOR PALETTE
One big lesson, for me, was learning how much I like a “tight” color palette. Using just a few colors in a room is easy on the eyes, serene and inviting! But a room with such limited colors needs lots and lots, and let me say it again, lots and lots of texture so it won’t be boring! If you look at one of my images and like what you see it might be because I keep my room fairly neutral and my colors tight. Also, I love a bit of black for drama. That high contrast draws the eye into the room!
LEARN FROM GREAT DECORATORS
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.
Let’s say we have trouble arranging mantels… which was actually a big problem of mine! And let’s say we love the way this mantel is styled…
Here’s how I would learn to style a mantel from an image…
I would study and pick apart each detail of this image to unlock decorating styling gems! I would break down the entire image into sections. This is such an important tip! 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!
Literally, take out a pen and mark up the image!!!! If you see an image you love on Pinterest, print it out!!!!
Write down what you learned on a separate piece of paper. I keep a bound journal with all the things wonderful things I’ learning! I also write things down on the image too.
Once you’ve mined out all the decorating secrets in a picture find a place to use it in your home! And keep reworking it until you love it and it becomes your creation!
PATIENCE IS KEY
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 21 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!
Now you know some important steps to becoming better decorator!
And please pin the image below to help you remember and save this post to refer to later. I love love love my pinners!!!!