It always starts on a high. You’ve got your pizza, your beer, your (surprisingly expensive?) can of paint and you’re ready to whip your new home into shape. And then… rather suddenly, you find yourself in despair, buried in a metaphorical pile of Pinterest inspiration boards while perched on a mattress on the floor.
Nope. It’s not just you.
Finding yourself overwhelmed when creating a home is actually an incredibly normal and valid experience. Living in a space where things feel out of sorts is stressful, but if you merge that with the comparison game that many of us find ourselves in via the picture-perfect homes (or so we think) on Instagram, the fun and exciting decorating process can sometimes leave us feeling defeated, overwhelmed, and maybe even less-than. Here, I’m sharing some tried-and-true home decorating tips to help you avoid feeling overwhelmed when designing your space.
You can easily burn a lot of energy if you attack the design process randomly. Instead, think thoughtfully about where it makes the most sense to start, taking your daily routine into consideration. This won’t be the same for everyone! If you really love and value your Netflix time, the living room might be the right space to focus on. If lounging in bed with your book is your happy place, then set your sights on the bedroom. If you’re someone who keeps sweaters in their stove a la Carrie Bradshaw, then don’t worry about getting your kitchen in tip-top shape just yet. Invest your energy where you clock the most hours.
2. Carve out one finished corner
It’s fair to say that some rooms will simply take longer than others to decorate, even if they’re a top priority. A living space, for example, often requires multiple large pieces of furniture, which cost substantial time and money to source. In the meantime, carve out at least one attainable corner of your home that feels finished. It may just be your tiny bathroom, but when you open that medicine cabinet and reveal a row of neatly organized skincare elixirs, or hang up your fluffy, carefully chosen bath towels, you’ll feel like you live in a lap of luxury.
3. Stay off social media
You know what they say: comparison is the thief of joy. Consider a social media cleanse while you get settled in your home and navigate your design plans. Sometimes too much inspiration can cause analysis paralysis: when we overthink our next steps and forget to look inward to determine what would truly bring the most joy into our space.
4. Take a design shortcut
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel when it comes time to design your living quarters. If coming up with a color palette for your home is draining you of creative juices, opt to select a rug or fabric you want to showcase as the first step. These textiles often have a built-in color palette that you can pull from, so you won’t spend hours and hours lamenting over which hues work well together.
5. Embrace what you have
Even if you don’t love the furniture pieces you own right now, embracing what you have to work with (despite knowing that you eventually want to change or upgrade) offers a starting point, which makes furnishing and planning your home a heck of a lot easier. You may even find that your priorities change as you live with the space. Rather than rushing to change every single furniture piece immediately, let yourself sit with some of the bigger-ticket items while you get a feel for which changes or swaps would truly enhance your day-to-day life. Ultimately, this slower approach saves you from wasting both time and money on the wrong purchases.