7 Decorating & Lifestyle Principles to Live By
I’ve put together a few of my personal favorite design tips that not only work well when it comes to decorating your home, but can also be used as a guide to help create a life you love.
1. Quality over Quantity
In many aspects of life we could argue that less is more and quality trumps quantity. From our relationships to experiences, work to wardrobe, we know that taking the time to find the right fit for us is key to a healthier, happier and more fulfilling lifestyle. Sometimes this requires us to assess, prioritize and release the negative thoughts, behaviors, activities and even people that bring us down or hold us back. The benefit to this process is that it allows us to carve out space to let new opportunities unfold.
When looking to your home, try to use this same principle. Clutter and chaos can quickly add to the stresses of daily life. Simplify your style and declutter your space by getting rid of the items that no longer serve you or décor that is worn or outdated.
Decorating is important to personalizing your space but can easily be overdone. Take the time to shop and save for items that will best suit your needs, you know you will use, and are comfortable and inviting. Quality over quantity will almost always win out.
2. Surround Yourself with Things You Love
It can be convenient to buy the trendy furniture set off the showroom floor or purchase the same popular artwork as your neighbor, but you’ll likely have buyer’s remorse when you suddenly realize you aren’t “feeling it” anymore or trends change. Try to resist matching someone else’s style as it generally will leave you feeling disconnected or out of place in your own home.
The quickest way to finding your own sense of style or personal decorating tastes is to start by selecting items for your home that evoke a good feeling or create a happy thought. Everything from color choices, photos and artwork, to furniture, heirlooms or souvenirs. If it’s something that makes you smile, warms your heart or makes you feel proud to showcase, you know you’ve got a winner.
3. Honor Daily Living
Our daily routines can sometimes feel mundane or boring. But these rituals are part of life, and in many cases, take up hours of our day. Rather than dreading these day-to-day tasks, you might want to think about celebrating or honoring them.
Try highlighting the areas you spend the most time in by reorganizing, decluttering, or adding a touch of beauty to the space – such as a bouquet of flowers or an inspirational print. You could find that it lightens your mood and helps set your intentions for the day.
4. Become One with Nature
Let’s face it, most of us don’t get the opportunity to spend our days sitting outside soaking up God’s artwork whenever we feel like it. Luckily, being outdoors isn’t the only way to enjoy the beauty of nature. Explore the idea of adding a little greenery to your indoor space. Preferably real if you can muster it. If you’re like me, and don’t have a green thumb, try going for plants that require little-to-no maintenance. The added oxygen, fragrance and natural beauty never fails to brighten up a room and make it feel cozier.
Another way to bring the outside in is to allow natural light to filter into a room wherever possible. Highlighting a pretty view of the outdoors with dramatic curtains can also help draw your eye to the beauty only nature can provide.
5. Set the Mood
Have you ever noticed how certain colors make you feel? For example, think about how you feel when you wear your favorite colored shirt. Or when you walk into the spa for a day of pampering and are surrounded by natural, earthy tones. Take note next time you try on a couple different lipstick options and see how they independently can change your demeanor or mindset.
Color is one of the quickest and easiest ways to set the mood or atmosphere. There has been much research done about the effects of color over the years. It’s being used in every facet of our lives to excite, calm or entice us.
If you’ve struggled with finding the right colors for your home, I would encourage you to first look around you. Is there already a common color theme to your belongings? Is there a favorite furniture piece that you want to accentuate? Are you drawn to cool or warm tones, bright or neutral colors?
Next, I suggest heading to your local hardware store to grab a few paint swatches and test them by painting a good-sized area on your walls. (That tiny paint chip will not give you an accurate representation of how it will look in large scale.) Paint it and leave it up for a couple days. This will allow you to see how the colors appear in all light variations – day, night, shadows, natural and artificial lighting. By doing this, you will also have a better chance of seeing how the colors work with your furnishings and what sort of mood it sets in the room.
6. Gather Together
The home is considered one of the most comforting and safest places we have to gather with our family and friends. It’s where memories and traditions are made. Sharing ourselves – and our home – with others is what ultimately connects souls and brings us most alive.
In terms of decorating, it’s important to try to keep like objects together rather than scattered throughout your home. Gathering your prized collections and showcasing them together will make the most impact.
7. Be Bold. Make a Statement
It’s important in life that we venture out of our comfort zone, challenge ourselves, and add a little excitement to our experiences when we can.
One tip to making a statement in your home would be to highlight a unique architectural feature, collection or view through the use of lighting, color or furniture placement.
When decorating, explore the idea of adding a little “pop” of color or a fun theme to your decor that is brought out in 2-3 areas throughout a room.
Caution: Try not to overdo it with accents. Too much of a good thing can lose impact and actually make you feel overwhelmed and anxious.
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