How To Decorate When You Aren’t Inspired. The title of this post sounds too formal for me. This post is all about how to decorate when you just aren’t feeling it. These are things that I have learned through years and years of not being in the decorating mood, but coming away with a decorated home I love.
Decorating can be fun and so therapeutic. It can also be very frustrating and stressful. There is nothing worse than when you want to decorate but nothing is inspiring you and you aren’t getting anywhere. That has happened to me so many times, but I have learned some “tricks of the trade” that help me get it done and done where I actually like how it turned out.
1. STOP: The best thing for me to do when I want to decorate but I don’t like anything I have or where I put it, is to STOP. I have to stop decorating all together because when I get stressed and frustrated. I won’t like anything I do. I have learned this the hard way. I have spent hours trying to decorate when I was frustrated and then to wind up not liking a single thing I did. Now, I know to STOP and do it another time. Time is precious and wasting it is not something I want to participate in anymore. If you are frustrated or you aren’t liking anything you do, stop decorating and come back to it another day. It will wait. The break will keep you sane and it will clear your creative brain so it is open and ready when inspiration strikes.
2. Walk Away: This is probably my best tip. I used to just plow through and try to decorate when I wasn’t feeling it, but that got me nowhere but more frustrated. I find that if I haven’t reached total frustration and STOP mood (like I talked about above), then I need to walk away from the space and give it an hour or so before I can come back to it. It is amazing how walking away and doing something else will make me see the space in a different way and spark a new idea when I come back to it.
3. Window Shop: When someone asks me “how to decorate when you aren’t inspired”, I always suggest to do a little window shopping. Matt and I are in the middle of making over our bedroom and I just haven’t felt inspired and confident in knowing exactly what I want to do. I have made some decisions, but I feel like I am stuck on a lot of others. When I feel this way, I love doing what I like to call “window shopping”. Window shopping means you aren’t buying anything, you are just browsing around to see what grabs your attention or stands out to you. You can do this in your pajamas by browsing Pinterest or your favorite IG accounts. You can also get dressed and head out to your favorite stores to get inspired. Some of my favorite shops are TJ Maxx, Home Goods and even thrift stores to get some fresh ideas. Check out my favorite places to get the high-end decor look for less.
4. Buy An Inspiration Piece: When you are out and about “window shopping”, buy something that sparks inspiration. Maybe it’s a throw pillow or a throw blanket. Maybe you saw a color in a vase that you want to incorporate into the room. Maybe the texture on the rug in the store had you designing the entire space while you were in the checkout line. Whatever it is, picking up something that made you excited to decorate again is a good thing. A lot of times, one thing can make a huge difference. It doesn’t have to be big or cost a lot of money. A new decor piece can set you up to have the entire space decorated as soon as you get home.
4. Start With A Blank Slate: How To Decorate When You Aren’t Inspired? Always start with a blank slate! Sometimes I get frustrated when I decorate because I am trying to redecorate around things that are already there. It is less frustrating when I start with a blank slate. There are no restrictions that way. If you are decorating a mantel or a hutch or some shelves in your dining room, remove EVERYTHING off the area before you redecorate. You are less restricted and ideas will flow easier that way.
5. Create A Pinterest Board: Sometimes, when I am wanting to decorate, but I am not in the mood, I will get on my Pinterest account and create a secret board that only I can see. I will search for inspiration and ideas and pin them to the secret board. This is a great way to get ideas flowing and start seeing how your space may look with different pins you see.
6. Ask Someone Else: This can be your husband, your mom, your sister, a friend or a neighbor. It doesn’t matter who. If you are really in a funk or just can’t seem to put your finger on what you want to do, ask someone else. Ask someone who has been in your home. Ask someone who likes to decorate. Bouncing ideas off someone else and getting their input can help narrow down your decisions and get you headed in the right direction.
7. Book Stores/Magazines: I LOVE going to our local Barnes and Noble store, buying a tea and looking through magazines and design books. It is literally one of my favorite things to do. I get so many ideas doing this. I always have a notebook with me to take notes and write down ideas that come to me.
8. Go Down Memory Lane: This one is kind of funny, but sometimes really helps. Trends repeat themselves and it seems like what was popular once, always comes back later. That happens in fashion and in home trends. We see it all the time. So many times, my mom has said to me, “We had that back in the 60’s and 70’s”. I know there are some trends we never want to see back, but thinking back to some decor or designs from years past might make you think of decor you can incorporate now. What did you love about the house you grew up in? Did your aunt have a style you loved?
9. Look Outside Your Comfort Zone: Don’t just stick to what you know and what you have done before. If you have never tried wallpaper, give it a try! (We did it in Gabrielle’s bedroom makeover and I am hooked). If you haven’t painted something in a bold color, go for it. It is only paint. If you don’t have a green thumb, try added faux plants to your space to give it some life and natural elements. Don’t always think about what you have had or what you have always done. Think outside of the box. Step out of your comfort zone and see what new ideas are triggered.
10. What Is Your Style? Knowing your style is important when knowing how to decorate when you aren’t inspired. You don’t have to stick with one style, but knowing which ones you are drawn to will help keep you focused and not distracted. We are inundated with beautiful homes online, on social media and on TV. It is important to narrow down what styles you like most so you aren’t overwhelmed. Too many ideas can paralyze you just as much as no ideas. Knowing your style will help narrow down your decorating options and keep you on track for getting the job done.
11. Perfection Isn’t The Goal: The good thing about decorating is that it isn’t permanent. You can always change things around. You will never get everything perfect, so enjoy the process and have fun with it. When you are trying something new, live with it for a couple of days. If you aren’t happy with it, you can change it. That’s the beauty of decorating! Nothing has to stay the way it is. Don’t strive for perfection because there is no such thing. If you like decorating and design, chances are your tastes and styles will change a lot. Mine do. I have learned to welcome the process and understand that I will probably change my mind eventually, so decorating will never be done or “perfect”. For me, it is always evolving and that makes it fun and exciting for me. I have learned that I am not someone who likes change, but change in decor is something I look forward to. Knowing that nothing is set in stone, no matter what I do, makes me more creative and willing to try new things.
I hope these tips on How To Decorate When You Aren’t Inspired will help you get through those decorating days when you just aren’t feeling it and inspiration is nowhere to be found.
I would love to know what decorating frustrations you are dealing with right now. Leave them in the comments below.
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