Not unlike many of our own life decisions, design decisions in your home can be overwhelming. This blog reviews my own steps for making big decisions, and how I learned to apply them in design.
The difficult part of a decision my husband and I had to make is that we had already planned our next moves. Every time we thought we had it figured out, a new possibility would present itself. How do you weigh them fairly when you've already happily imagined yourselves on a specific path?
So what steps did we take in order handle this big decision (or at least realized we should have after the fact!)? Here's the process...
Consider your options
Review the pros and cons of your options
Consider how the options make you feel
Check unfounded fears and biases influencing decisions
Consider the worst-case scenario in each case and then move on and focus on the positive
Trust yourself – if you love an option after all that thinking, that means something
But wait, this is a design blog. Right? I always try to consider what messages life is throwing at me from a design perspective. So, let's apply these to design:
First, plan the design of your space and consider lots of potential concepts and styles. You may be surprised by what inspires you! I made the mistake of once buying a few pieces at a time and, for me, that was a major error. Planning out, even if you adapt later, saves you money and frustration. It also ensures you have a cohesive look that you love. Some people don't work this way, but I find it helps me.
Second, consider why your plan for your space works and what about it could pose a problem. Is the couch too low, is the lamp too tall, will that piece interfere with my walking path?
Third, look at the pieces and the whole look, and, as the famous Kon Mari says, make sure they bring you joy. If they don't, reconsider your options.
Fourth, consider the style aesthetic and color and see if your biases and fears are leading you away from what would be an inspiring design. Did you hate your yellow kitchen growing up? Does mid-century modern mean the Brady Bunch? Is subway tile not your thing? Challenge those biases.
Fifth, if you go with a design element that is pushing you outside of your comfort zone, be realistic about the worst-case scenario. In home design, it usually comes down to time and money to fix something.
Lastly, just do it! Your home is your happy place, and you should trust yourself. I'm not saying you won't make design mistakes ( even professionals do), but it can be worth the fun of exploration and experimenting – just watch those pockets.