Would you believe that four years ago, my home looked like this? To say my tastes have changed since then would be a massive understatement. At the time, I decorated with things I liked, things I even loved. But I mainly decorated for other people. I actually worried that when people came over they would notice (and judge me!) if the red in the sofa didn't perfectly match the red in he kitchen. (Ugh. I won't even get into the people-pleasing issues of that. We'll save that for another post.) But my question is this: if you're not decorating for the people who live in your house, who are you decorating for? Let me reiterate: I liked it. I even loved it. But my motives focused on those who might visit, rather than on Sweet Hubby and I.
I've seen a huge change in my decorating approach since that house. I've learned to accept and embrace my own personal style, not the style I think others want me to have. And what do I want? I crave casual. I don't want anything in my house that someone would be afraid to touch. There are no forbidden chairs here, no plastic covered sofas (there weren't before, but the attitude was the same...stuff was sacred. Now, the focus is on people.) I want guests to come in the front door and feel like they can kick off their shoes, sprawl out on the sofa and have a great time. More importantly, I want Sweet Hubby and Miss A to feel this way!
Another change? I crave color and lots of it. In our first house, I felt the need to choose one color scheme and use it throughout the house. In EVERY room. How limiting! Now, I'm enjoying the mix and match of different shades of blue, green, yellow, red. It's fun. It's full of energy. And it feels more like me than any house prior.
What's the point of this silly rambling? That it's ok to decorate your home in a way that works for your family, whatever that might look like. It may be ultra-modern, chippy and vintage or somewhere in between. It may be all shades of white or every color of the rainbow. To really believe this, I had to throw a whole list of bad rules out the window. Rules like "You can only use 3 colors in your house and they must be the Exact. Same. Shade." "If you use a pattern in one place (like toile) you have to use it in every room."
For now, here are my new guidelines to decorating, the things I'm trying to follow on this journey to a more authentic home:
Just say NO to second-guessing. If I love it, I'll make it work.
Just say NO to keeping something I don't love or that isn't useful, just because it was a gift, I already bought it, etc. I'm terrible about keeping things out of guilt. "Yeah, but so-and-so bought that for me for Christmas 2004. If I get rid of it, it'll hurt their feelings." Uh, probably not...I bet they don't even remember they got it for me!!
Just say NO to color schemes that I don't love, even if they're picked by the "experts." Those experts don't live in my house, with my family. And just because they say, "New Season, New Color" doesn't mean I have to change something that's working for us.
Just say NO to choices made primarily for the benefit of other people. The only people that matter in this journey are Sweet Hubby, Miss A and myself. If it works for us, it'll work for our visitors.
What are the old rules you need to throw out the window? Toss out the dusty rule book, pick up a paint brush and have some fun this year, making your home a true reflection of you!