Styling your home can be a daunting task. Even calling it “styling” can cause raised eyebrows and sometimes even a tiny shudder in some of us. It can feel like an overwhelming task if we think of it as making our homes look like the spread of a magazine. Totally not realistic for most of us – and not what we want. You probably already have a lot of things in your home that you love and wouldn’t part with for the world, and they are exactly where you start.
If you’re asking yourself the question “How do I know what looks good?”, the answer is easier to find than you think. Hint: it’s hidden in your local library or your newsagent or it might even be hiding on Pinterest. How do you know what looks good? You see it and say: “I’d love that in my home”, “that’s the look and feel that I want to achieve”.
If you have a library book (try the 747.78 section to start with) pick out the titles that catch your eye, take it home and add a post-it note to each page where the room or furniture catches your eye. If you’re in the newsagent, flick through the home and style magazine section, treat yourself to a couple of magazines that have images that catch your eye. Bring them home and tear out the pages that you feel are the ones that most speak to you. Create a file or a binder to keep these in. There is no right or wrong. It’s about what catches your eye. Me, I love mid-century modern pieces that are a medium finish, colourful furnishings and beech timbers. I’ve grown to love white over the years but I also love a great colourful poster in a white frame.
Pinterest is another great resource for this. You can pin images to boards for your home or for individual rooms (like I have). It’s a treasure trove of both product images and magazine style home shots. It’s a great way for you to curate the things that you love the look of. Whether they’re in your budget or not. Once you start to get the hang of what your style is, then you can look at what your budget might be and when you might purchase the items. It doesn’t all have to be about the big things either. Lamps, cushions, trinkets for your desk are all part of your style. They don’t have to perfectly match a magazine image – this is real life after all.
When you’re attempting this, take it easy on yourself. This is not a test. It really is as simple as: what catches your eye. Do you prefer chairs that are super comfy (like me) or are you more into the very cool looking plastic Eames ones? Do you like a light timber, a dark one or painted so you can’t see the timber at all? There is no wrong answer, remember! Think about how you use your furniture and the pieces you already own (and love). What do you love about them? Do you want to keep with that style or make it a feature piece?
Finding your decorating style is not only about what you decide to put in your home, it’s how it will get used and whether it is practical for where you’re at right now. Maybe you have a toddler or a teenager or you just like your floorspace. Maybe that glass coffee table does look awesome in that carefully photographed photo but it just wouldn’t work in your home. And that’s ok too! You’re allowed to love things you don’t necessarily want to own right now. I know I’d love a quarter acre property overlooking the ocean, but that doesn’t mean I’ll pop out and buy one tomorrow (it’s nice to dream though).
Remember that your home is about how you live in it. Above all else, it’s about being able to walk in your front door and feel that relief that in that moment, you’re exactly where you’re meant to be and there’s a spot on your couch with your name on it, just asking you to sit, relax and enjoy.
Do you have a decorating style? How did you come to find yours? I’d love to hear!