I am a leading authority on anything that appears in Time, Better Homes and Gardens, Oprah, Afar Travel Magazine, an occasional People and a host of other decorating ones. I don’t read the whole article-just the first few lines of each paragraph or so-that makes me the expert. Frequently I will proclaim something to my husband and he will reply “How do you know?” I don’t like to tell him. It might undermine my “creds”. I hope he doesn’t read this.
Anyway, I am a magazine junkie. I have stashes.
My family frequently gets mad at me during the holidays because I let myself relax and I shove a magazine in front of my face–even if it is during a card game, family conversation, sometimes a meal…I’m not proud. I love my magazines. I always put off looking at them til I have time. Alas, sometimes that time doesn’t arrive until, say family game night on Thanksgiving:)
Enough about me. It was riveting, wasn’t it?
The point is about YOU.
You want some decorating help. You are overwhelmed with what to do first. Underwhelmed with your space. We need a starting point. What do you like? “I don’t know what I like”. Ok, grab a magazine and look. Do you like that picture? Ok, rip it out. What do you like about it? “I don’t know what I like about it”. Ok, fine. Look through some more magazines. Rip out some more pictures. I don’t care if they are all of bathrooms and you hate your kitchen. Just rip the pages out. Do you notice anything the pictures have in common? Are they all dark? White? Bright? Modern? We don’t need a label. We just want to find some common denominators.
Frequently I go to people’s houses and they want me to name their style. Or, they want me to name what their style should be or would be if they did this and this. Guess what? If everything fits into one style you are going to be sick of it in one year. Who cares what you call it. Just work on finding what you like, regardless of what category it falls into.
A word of caution. If your house is say very Traditional. Don’t look for what matches what you have if you don’t like it. I had clients who would do this all the time. Just because you have it now doesn’t mean we have to keep adding to it. WHAT DO YOU LIKE NOW? Where are we trying to go? We might not get there tomorrow but at least we are on the right road.
I use to tell a favorite client named Regina that it was like planning a road trip. You need a map. You might be in New England today and want to get to Southern California. You aren’t going to get there by driving willy nilly without a map. Well, you might but it is going to cost you a lot more money in gas and lodging. Get a plan. Figure out where you want to go. What route do you want to drive?
Decorating. You need a map. Where are you trying to go? Start with pictures. Figure out what you like. Do you need roadside assistance aka decorating assistance? Goals are just dreams until you write them down. Baby steps. Start small.
What do you like? Grab a magazine. Make a file.
We’ll talk more about what to do with that file later. One step at a time.