The home is your personal haven, where you can unwind and relax. It’s also the place where you bring visitors and friends to share with them your life and personality. This is why your living space should reflect who you are while also conforming to the lifestyle that you lead.
Decorating your space and sprucing up some corners can quickly get stressful if you don’t know where to start or where to find the right inspiration.
One big key is accepting that you do not need to tackle every room in the house at once. Be mindful of the amount of time and money you can realistically set aside to redecorate and stick to your time and money budgets. If you allow it, things can get out of hand quickly, so be reasonable.
Also, prioritize your projects based on what will make the biggest impact on the life that you want to create. Do not get into the trap of designing your home for friends, Instagram, or your mother-in-law. This is all about you and your family and the life you are trying to create for you.
With that in mind, here are some ideas about how to choose the best home decor style for you: how to get started and where to focus.
How to Get Started
When it comes to interior design, there are endless possibilities. But with so many options, it can be hard to know where to start. If living intentionally is your goal, you may want to approach the redecorating process a little differently. We recommend you take these three steps before picking projects or designs:
- Start by getting clear on what you are wanting to achieve. Specifically, spend some time listing the elements of your life that you are looking to improve or change. This provides not only greater clarity on what you are trying to accomplish but also will help you prioritize projects.
- Evaluate how your home generally and rooms in your home specifically fit into the life you are trying to create. Spending time on this step can save you a lot of time and energy in prioritizing projects and in making design decisions. Getting clear on what you are trying to accomplish will help you significantly reduce the range of projects and designs you have to consider.
- Once you have a better view of how you want your life to look and how your home fits in, the next step is to take an honest look at your budget and how much time you can spend on this project or projects. Getting honest about these questions can help you avoid getting in over your head.
The point of these steps is to make the process intentional and to simplify the choices you have to make. Redecorating for the sake of redecorating does not fit very well into an effort to live more intentionally. Instead, redecorating in order to advance broader life goals and priorities will help you make better decisions.
The next step is to start evaluating options. You can start by browsing magazines or online galleries and talking to friends and family members who have recently decorated their homes. They may have some great tips and advice you can use in your own space.
Pay particular attention to idea sources that align with what you are trying to accomplish and what budget limitations you have. For example, family-centric magazines often will include home interior photos that can provide ideas for young families even if the magazines are not focused on interior design.
Save time and possible envy or frustration by avoiding sources that are an obvious bad fit. For instance, if you are on a tight budget and have young kids, there is no need to peruse magazines focused on luxury designs that are not kid-friendly.
Home Decorating Priority Ideas
Aligning our life goals with our home decorating priorities is not always easy or obvious, particularly when factoring in budget considerations. Here are a few rooms and design ideas you might want to consider.
A Playful Dining Room
One of the easiest and most effective ways to strengthen and deepen relationships is to regularly gather around your dining room table to share a meal and talk. Since that is the case, a great place to focus redecorating efforts is your dining space. You want this to be an area that is inviting and creates a sense of comfort and fun.
If your budget allows, you might want to reconsider your dining furniture. Seats should be comfortable enough that people will actually want to sit in them. Some trendy chair designs might look great on Instagram, but if you can’t stand to sit in them for more than 10 minutes then they are not the chair for you.
The table should consider the typical group size you are planning for. That does not mean that you avoid a table that can accommodate more people, but just that you should not sacrifice comfortable conversation configuration for your typical group size in order to accommodate the occasional crowd. There are other ways to do that.
New furniture not in the budget? That’s alright. In reality, there are many significantly lower cost opportunities that may have an even greater impact. Wall hangings, placemats, and accent décor are all places where you can engineer the feeling that you are looking for but remember, the goal is your lifestyle, not showing off so a little décor can go a long way.
That said, blue and white accents are both inviting and timeless. Supplement or replace them with colors or designs that match you and your family’s personality or that advance your intentional living goals and vision.
Finally, if you have young children, the dining space décor should take special notice of what is inviting and fun for them. This does not mean a cartoon theme, but only that you want this to be a place that they want to spend time in.
Gym Spruce Up
For many of us, the life we want to create will involve increasing how much we exercise. Working out provides countless benefits to us physically, emotionally and mentally, but let’s be honest, most people don’t love it.
If you have or are considering a home gym room or space, you need to do everything you can to make it a place you will actually want to spend time. A home gym can be a great alternative to going to a gym but you do not want it to feel like a dungeon.
Be mindful of the right home gym décor, and you’ll never have to pay for the local membership again and get fit faster. An elevated color scheme with cool shades of gray and a wall-to-wall mirror are ideas to get you started.
Wallpaper Can Change a Living Room
You might think that wallpaper is for your grandma but don’t be so quick to dismiss it. Accent walls are a way to really bring a room to life. While many people think an accent wall means a different paint color, you might want to consider wallpaper.
The reason is that there are so many more pattern options than you could ever create with paint alone. This means that you can really get intentional in what atmosphere you are wanting to create in a room. This allows you to go more neutral with furniture while still making a room visually interesting and fun.
Do you have a key wall in a key living area that you would like to upgrade? Wallpaper really can turn a wall into a showstopper and help create or reinforce the atmosphere you want for that room.
Upgrade the Cabinets
Installing new cabinets is a big ticket item but can make an enormous functional and aesthetic impact.
There are several innovative kitchen, bathroom and laundry room cabinet designs that can make your space work better. Do not underestimate the mental and emotional liberation of getting more organized. The right drawer and cabinet configuration can put everything you need at your fingertips.
Also, kitchen cabinets that look tired and old can be emotionally draining and discourage you and your family from spending time in the kitchen. For almost all of us, healthy eating is one of the key improvements we would like to make. Encouraging more home cooked meals by making the kitchen an efficient and inviting workplace is a great place to start.
A couple of cautions:
- Cabinets are a major investment. This is a tough place for a tight budget, and cabinets done on the cheap will often prove a major disappointment. If your budget is tight, do not start here or, at very least, make sure you are going in with eyes wide open.
- Avoid going too trendy. After you endure the cost and inconvenience of tearing out old cabinets and installing new ones, you will not want to do it again anytime soon. Given that, there could be nothing worse than going with a super trendy look that is popular today but will look a bit silly when trends change.
Great Ways to Use Home Decor
There are countless ways to use home decor to make your living space more personal and stylish. Below are some great ideas to get you started:
- Hang art that reflects your personal or family interests and personality. Choose pieces that make you happy and fill up empty wall space, whether it’s a painting, photograph, or print. Here is an interesting post about the benefits of art.
- Display collections in creative ways. If you have items you love, find interesting ways to display them instead of keeping them hidden in storage.
- Incorporate personal mementos and photos. Surround yourself with things that have sentimental value to create a space that feels truly special to you. Family photos printed on wrapped canvas can be a fun, relatively inexpensive way to fill wall space.
- Add plants. Live plants are not only aesthetically pleasing, but they also help with indoor air quality. Sure, they can take some work, but time spent on a little indoor gardening is all but guaranteed to boost your mood.
- Create a cozy reading nook. Set up a comfortable chair or sofa with pillows and a good lamp. Add a bookshelf filled with some favorite reads and enjoy spending time reading them in a cozy place.
Choosing the best home decor for your home and updating it can make a big impact on the feel and functionality of your home. If you are intentional about doing so, you can move forward toward the life you are looking forward to without getting in over your head.