Decor & Styling

How to Take More Design Risks (Without Going Overboard)


Taking risks, whether it’s personally or professionally, is never easy. Most of us get comfortable in our routine and choices and then rarely stray from the unknown. When it comes to taking design risks in our home, the stakes can be higher than, say, choosing a bold new shoe to amp up an outfit. We tend to play it safe when making home decor decisions, and rightfully so! If you decide to renovate your bathroom with graphic tile and it feels too bold — well, that’s an expensive choice to change.

And yet, on the other side, there are some design risks that can pay off big time. They can completely change the look and feel of your space, add tons of personality, and create amazing conversation. But how do you know which ones are worth making and which are better left buried in your saved IG folder?

We’ve broken down some of the easiest design risks to take, all of which will have major impact without leaving you feeling like you jumped off a cliff.


Source: Blair Harris


Try Painting Trim and Doors

Painting never needs to be a huge investment, unless you account for the hours you might spend actually doing the work! But changing up the colors in your home and doing some painting is a risk that will always pay off because it’s so easy to change. One way to really take a risk is to go beyond the walls and paint your trim, window casings, and doors a unique color. Just think of how beautiful your front door could look in a soft pink or a bold navy!


Source: Ave Styles


Create a Feature Wall

Again, paint is the easy answer here. But if you want to go one step further than that, take a risk and create a feature wall with wallpaper, geometric moulding, wood panelling, or a stunning mural. Go bold and see a huge impact — that only affects one wall of your space!


Source: Rennai Hoefer


Mix Styles

Sometimes we get in a bit of a rut in terms of our design style. We wrote a whole post on how to mix it up, and this could be a great area where some risk-taking will pay off. Don’t be afraid of introducing a new element in your room or letting that oddball piece take center stage. Straying from the “everything has to match” mentality is definitely a design risk worth taking.


Source: Charissa Fay Photography for The Everygirl


Choose Unique Artwork

A simple way to make a lot of impact is taking a risk with artwork. Get out of your comfort zone and choose something unique, with a lot of color, pattern, or interesting content. Maybe you want to find a fun vintage piece, or if you’re not looking to spend a lot of money, try a printable option. Think about scale in your risk taking. Why not opt for a large scale piece that’s sure to create a lot of drama? P.S. Art is a decor risk that travels with you too!


Find New Textures

If your space just feels like it’s missing something, try looking towards the textures throughout. Taking a risk by injecting some interesting fabrics, woods, and metals opens up a ton of possibility. Go outside the box and look at mohair or boucle (which is having a serious design moment right now). Mixing metals is a great risk to take because it brings so much character into a space.


Source: @ispydiy


Go Flea Market Thrifting

When you are questioning whether or not a decor risk is worth taking, consider thrifting. You can always find those unique vintage items that can truly make a space sing, at a fraction of the cost of buying new. Or if you do find that perfect vintage piece, it might be worth the investment. We all tend to agree that the most compelling rooms always take a risk by incorporating the old with the new.


Incorporate Fun Lighting

Sure, lighting can be a pricey upgrade, but nowadays there are more and more options that don’t have to break the bank. And they can be the perfect place to take a bit of risk! Look at lighting as being a fun design element that will “dress” the room up. It’s the jewelry of the space, so don’t be afraid to go outside your comfort zone and choose something show-stopping!


Source: @graceinmagnolias


Embrace the Dark

In the days of light and bright, take a risk and go dark and dramatic. It’s an urban myth that painting a small space will make it feel smaller… in fact, it will make it feel inviting and intimate. Pair your dark walls with a vibrant pop of color for another layer of risk-taking and see just how dynamic your space can become.


Source: Aimée Mazzenga for The Everygirl


Take the Focus Up

Boring bland ceilings? Take a risk and accentuate the 5th wall with a bold paint color, wallpaper, shiplap, ceiling tiles, or other architectural details.


Source: @arrowsandbow


Take the Focus Down

On the flip side, changing what we see underfoot can also be a great design risk. Try stencilling your floors or laying down vinyl peel-and-stick tiles for a quick DIY. If that’s a bit out of reach, then take a risk with a unique vintage rug, which will always be a good idea in our opinion!


Which design risks would you be willing to make? Have you taken a risk that paid off? We’d love to hear in the comments below!