I was recently chatting with a friend about her home, and she shared with me that she had all sorts of ideas about things she wanted to do in her new home, but was afraid of making the wrong choice. Sounds familiar? I think we all experience paralysis from time to time. In some areas we can be so confident in our design choices, but in other areas we can get so caught up in self-doubt that we feel so paralyzed that we can’t even make a decision for fear we’ll make the wrong one . . Have you been there? I know I have it, even with our new house. But I also learned the gift of making a mistake when it comes to decorating my home, so today I’m sharing about making mistakes with our home decor and the gift that comes from taking risks.
Let’s dive in together~
I shared this story in my book, The Gift of Home, about how we needed a new rug for our living room in our previous house. It was in my early days of blogging so if you’ve been here since then you might remember this story. I was desperate to jump on some of the latest design trends and thought this would be the perfect opportunity to show off a new look for our living room. I saved and saved to buy this rug. It was the first “big” purchase I made for our home that didn’t involve furniture. The day the rug arrived, I couldn’t wait to roll it out in our living room. I’ve been imagining how great this new rug would look in our room for weeks. It would be perfect. This rug would become the missing piece that would complete our living room.
If you remember reading about this story, then you already know the instant disappointment I felt the moment I started rolling out this new rug in our living room. I immediately thought “OH NO”, “How could I have made such a big mistake”! Up until that point, I had always felt pretty confident about what I liked and how to envision a fully furnished room. Being able to figure out what the space needs to bring the vision to life. After I got the new rug in place, I felt stupid. Stupid because I felt like I had made such a big mistake.
It wasn’t that there was anything wrong with the rug. No, the rug was fine. It looked the same in person as online. It even looked like I’d seen it in the homes of other bloggers I admired who had the same rug. The problem wasn’t with the rug. The problem was how it looked in our house and how it made our living room feel.
At the time, I was too scared to admit defeat. Embarrassed that I spent over $300 on this rug, I lived with it for over a year to make it work. But no matter what I did, the rug just seemed to swallow up our living room hole. Knowing what I know now, not only about my style, but also being more confident with my decorating, I would have rolled that rug right back up the day it arrived and returned it. But I learned something from my experience with that rug.
The gift of making a mistake.
You see, if I never had that experience of buying that rug, I never would have learned that there is a gift when we think we made a mistake. It’s not that we made a mistake by choosing the wrong thing or putting something in the wrong place. It helps us figure out what we really love, and ultimately what we want for our home. If I hadn’t taken a chance on that rug, I never would have found out how much I didn’t love it for our home, even if I saw it in a dozen or more homes online.
Knowing it wasn’t the right choice for me gave me the confidence to make choices in the right direction.
I previously shared on the blog about the time when I thought pillows were stupid . And how I embraced our previous home – awkward spaces and all ( read HERE) . I’m sure we all have areas in our home that we wish we could change, do something different with. But the key I want to emphasize here is to attempt !
Try something different, something new. Risking. We can get stuck in decision paralysis for a long time and overthink our decisions. It’s only when we try something out that we really find out if it’s the right fit, or the right choice for our home.
Recently I tried something in our current house that I wanted to do before we moved in. You all know how much I love white walls. Something I’ve seen in other homes lately that I love is white walls with beige or light gray trim. The subtle contrast is unexpected, but oh so beautiful. While it may seem like a current trend, it’s also something you’d see in historic homes. So since we live in a historic colonial I thought this was not a good idea. Every time I saw this done in other homes I admire on the internet I loved it so I finally gave it a try. And you know what – I don’t love it!
It always amazes me how much we can love a certain style or look in someone else’s house that we see, but how sometimes it just doesn’t match ours. You see, if I had never tried it, I would always wonder “what if”, and now I know. I know it can be scary to finally pull the trigger and try something, but just think you’re one step closer to creating a home you love once you do.
Here are some tips to help you Stop Debating + Start Decorating :
- Buy from stores where you can return for free. This way, if you take an item home and don’t like it in your space, you can return it for free.
- Start with something small. You don’t have to start with a $300 rug like I did. Start with smaller accessories, such as throw pillows or framed artwork. Paint a small section of a wall before choosing an entirely new color in your space to see how you like it first.
- Shop your home. Sometimes when I’m trying to choose new artwork to fill an empty wall, I’ll try a similarly sized frame I already have and hold up the blank wall I’m trying to fill to see if it’s the right size before I buy something new for that space.