“Perfect design lives where comfort intersects with style.”
I found this quote on the BHG website and have hung onto it for months because I believe it captures the spirit of home decorating beautifully.
Why Do We Do It?
The first of the year seems to demand reflection. Naturally my thoughts turn to the YDH website and my home…… What is it that compels us to decorate and redecorate our homes? For some of us, the joy is in the acquisition of pretty things. We shop, we collect, we love to display. For others, the joy is in expressing our individuality. Our homes are an extension of our personality and reflect our interests. Some people care only about the comfort – it doesn’t matter that the chair/sofa is out of date or too big for the space, it’s comfortable.
As so eloquently stated in the quote above, the challenge for all of us is to meld function and comfort with beauty and style. We want to create homes where we’re proud to entertain our friends and family, but we also have to live in them day to day so they have to function really well. We need a plan.
Make a Home Decorating Plan
Where some find pleasure others find only frustration. Creating a coordinated, lovely, inviting home seems to come easily for some but many of us are faced with challenges we just can’t figure out. Often we’re well on our way to having the home we want but there’s one particular area that we can’t seem to conquer. It might be storage/clutter issues, a room that defies a logical furniture arrangement, how to incorporate a new color we’ve discovered, how to display all our lovely collections, etc. The dilemmas are different from person to person and even from house to house. We need a plan. (I’ve moved several times in the last couple of years. In each house I’ve had the same furnishings and accessories but had to overcome different challenges presented by the structure of the house.)
Usually the changes we want in our homes don’t happen because we don’t develop a plan. Sometimes there’s not enough money, time, skill or interest. It might take a precipitating event to make us realize that our home needs attention: out of town company arriving, a new baby, tripping over that basket of laundry…again! When the stars align and we become focused on making changes in our home, it’s time to make that plan.
Interior designers always work from a plan which is why their rooms are so pulled together. You can be your own designer and start by asking yourself some questions. This might seem really basic, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t really evaluate their needs. How can you fix a problem when you haven’t really identified it and how you want things changed? Here are a few questions to get you started:
- What is the function I need in this space?
- What do I like about how the space currently functions?
- What do I absolutely hate about the space?
- How much money am I willing to spend to fix the issue? (answer truthfully now)
- Do I enjoy DIY projects or will I need to hire help? (again, be realistic)
- Do I already own pieces (maybe somewhere else in the house) that will solve the problem?
- Can rearranging furniture or accessories help the problem?
- Can a coat of paint help? (walls, furniture, fences, etc)
- Is the space comfortable and projecting the feeling that I want? If not, why not? Is it one piece of furniture that’s the stumbling block?
Developing an overall room plan should always start with function. Most of us don’t have enough space to have a room just “look pretty”. With a plan you’ll save yourself lots of time and money. You’ll be more likely to stay focused and on task. When you shop you won’t come home with a random lamp or chair that you’re not sure what to do with.
Once you figure out what you don’t like or need to change about a space, start collecting ideas on how to fix it. Shop, read magazines, look online, ask your friends for ideas – use all the resources at your disposal to research solutions. Then you’ll be able to move forward with confidence as you make changes.
Comfort vs Style
When I ask a client what vision they have for a particular room, 90% of the time the word comfortable is high on the list. We ALL want to be comfortable. That encompasses more than just a comfy sofa to lie on. It also means that windows can be shaded to keep the room cool, it means flooring that is easy to maintain, it means colors that are pleasing, it means that there’s enough room for the family to gather.
Style is the way in which you put all those comfortable elements together. Making style choices can be intimidating and time consuming. You have to find just the right rug, lamp, art, drapes to create the look/feeling you want. YDH is here to help you find your style while embracing comfortable.
We’re here to help each of you find your way to making your home all it can be. This site is filled with tons of free information, we offer free answers by email (or through the Comment section below) or we can give you even more personalized help with a paid consultation. Let us know how we can help.