overcoming decorating paralysis :: Don’t just like your home. Love it.
Thursday, February 7, 2013 by {darlene}

Don’t Just Like your home. LOVE IT!

This post is a part of a series designed to help you Overcome Decorating Paralysis

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I tell my clients again and again:

“Don’t worry so much about whether or not this “goes” with that. The best designers just pick individual things that they truly LOVE, and then find finishing touches to unify the space.”

{image: The kitchen of Edie Wadsworth, featured in Better Homes and Gardens Magazine January 2013, design consultation by Fieldstone Hill Design}

Pick what you love! Ah, yes, but….

We need to know what we Love.

And that is not always easy. You have heard me talk about it before…

You see, there IS so much grand beauty in this world to admire. So much art. So many creative people who are out there creating, that we are so often caught like kids in a candy store. There are so many choices… gorgeous choices. And even within our personal limitations, there are STILL so many choices.

With blogging, and Pinterest, and magazines, and HGTV-galore… we have SO many fantastic resources that are delivered straight into our homes. Some of these images are nothing short of breathtaking. And then there are all of the great DIY projects that  give us the know-how to add nearly anything gorgeous to our homes, if we put forth that effort. And if you are like me, these images are delivered into a QUITE under-finished home. So, we see picture after picture of loveliness and we are overwhelmed. As we absorb all these gorgeous images, I think we all waffle somewhere in between inspired, discouraged, and confused. “I really THOUGHT I wanted a gold leaf chair for that spot…. until I saw that glossy red one on HGTV the other day”….

And so, with all this input, many of us have decorating ADD. SO, how in the world are we to know what we love, let alone define a personal style?  We can’t seem to find any direction for defining our styles. And it leaves us paralyzed in making choices for our homes.

How on earth are we to move forward with decorating our homes, when we don’t even know what we love?


There are a few steps to identifying what we truly love:

1. We need to start by accepting that our opinions can and will change.

Nothing has to be set in stone; we must accept that no decorating decision is forever. And yet, we should be true to the things we love and have always loved.

2. We need to put in the work to narrow down what we love, and discover we CAN have a few definite things that define our style,

This is the hard truth. There is no way you will get a true grasp on what you really love {which will ultimately save you time and money} unless you spend some time thinking about your style loves. The link above will be a huge help in getting you started.

3. We need to have confidence. If we have confidence in the things we truly love, we can even begin to move toward having a “signature look.”

Struggle with confidence? You might enjoy this post where I wrote about that confidence here on RooMag. We know from where true confidence comes – The kind of true confidence that seeps into all areas of our lives; even our homes.


What prevents you from being able to define what you love?

Do you find you can find plenty of things to “like,” but have trouble knowing what you confidently “Love!” ?

It is time to stop settling for the things you “Like.” Work hard to identify what you Love, and then, worry-free {but within your limitations} have the confidence to decorate with what you LOVE! Then take your home from “like it,” to LOVE IT!




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Get your copy of Better Homes and Gardens Magazine January 2013

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I {HEART} the Valentine’s Cards at Minted! Especially their CUTE kids’ classroom cards. Go check them out.

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I pretty much ADORE Serena & Lily. Have you shopped there? GORGEOUS stylish housewares! Click on the image below to shop:

Our new Spring Collection has arrived! Shop over 180 new products at Serena & Lily.


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This post was also shared over at RooMag

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Labeled: overcome decorating paralysis


  • It’s hard to explain to my husband why I don’t want to replace a few items around the house. They are “ok” but I don’t want to spend more money on just “ok!” I’d rather save and wait to find what I LOVE! I finally figured out my style: quirky, eclectic, bright…and I love kitche (bright yellow 50s era owls for example) and I’m gonna OWN it

  • Great advice! Since I’ve been figuring out how to make my home a space I love, I have enjoyed my home, I don’t want to run away and stay busy, I want to stay home and just be in my family room and kitchen, or my bedroom. As I continue to work on the rooms left in my home, I definitely go forward with more confidence because I’ve created some spaces that I love! So thank you so much for your advice, wisdom and posts!!!!

  • Great thoughts, as usual! I feel like I am finally “coming into my own” and I’m in my early ’40s. Always loved beautiful things, art, design architecture, etc., but sometimes life has a way of beating that out of you. The past 2 years I have been re-discovering some things about myself and thoroughly enjoying the process. Thank you for your practical, yet always lovely, advice! :)

  • I don’t just like, I LOVE this post! I think we are all over-saturated with pretty things. It’s a good think but it sure makes narrowing down one look for a room tough. I am feeling lucky our budget has forced me to take my time….it’s making me really mull over what I want out of my living room, the feeling I want from it, and the functionality of it for my family. But there comes a point where you just have to start choosing!
    Thank you for your words of wisdom as always, Darlene!

  • Thank you so much for this post. I have learned to accept that I may not get it right the first time and that it is alright. I am beginning to come into my own and quit wondering how other people will judge what I do. As a widow, this is the first time in my life that I have been able to choose what I like and not worry about other opinions. I like and appreciate a lot of styles but am realizing that I LOVE only certain things. I am recognizing this because I am constantly drawn to them, whether in mags, online, or in the stores. You are constantly inspiring me and I thank you for that. My home has always been important to me.

  • OK, I would love for someone to do all the decorating and I will love it. My daughter and hubby are the ones that do the decorating and color matching. I have a say but to remove..I treasure the pieces to much:). When I do ay

  • Have I ever told you how I used to shop for furniture (and clothes)? I’d walk into a store and find an entire set of furniture (or outfits) that matched, and just but the entire thing! I couldn’t even think about picking out individual items. Now, I do it that way and it’s so much better (and cheaper :)).

  • hi Darlene,
    It’s interesting that you mention the “just buy what you love!” as a way to overcome that “design paralysis”, because that is EXACTLY what I advised a client of mine who just could not make a decision about which coffee and side tables to buy. I think she’s taking my advice and choosing a beautiful unique table that she simply loves (and works size wise, color wise and style wise with the other stuff in the room)

  • I always have that problem too. I feel like I want to go with younger and modern decor, but my heart says slipcovers,white rooms with a touch of color, pink roses, and shabby chic meets french country. I always ask other people for advice, and they always say eww, you want a grandma house with old antique stuff and no color? So I do nothing and keep my home in the mish mosh state that its in. Its hard for me to not take other peoples advice. I dont want a grandma house. I want a pretty home with what I love in it. Is the style I love a grandma look? See Im still worried.

    • Do you have Pinterest? Find homes with slipcovers, white and roses… and see if they make your heart sing. IF so, FORGET other people’s words. You are the Nester of your Your OWN home, and you must LOVE it. Surround yourself with what you love, and your home will fill your days with motivating beauty.

  • When I have other ladies approach me I just ask ” what is your favorite color”? This tends to get the creative juices going. Its your home. So what if you love purple with black? Depending on your space and the accents you love anything can be put together nicely. Its your home and accept that maybe you may change your mind as you develop your own style. Those of us who marry young tend to let our mothers tell us what we should do. But its not her home. Its yours. Sometimes even men like a little input on decorating. Not all men are cave men. A simple chair and a big screen will not due. I married one myself. Make it beautiful and make it you. :)

  • I love your Roomag blog and it’s link back to God. If I would always start at the root, God, and pray, and then move forward, everything else would fall into place. Thanks for reminding me that the Creator is my first step to everything, including decorating and loving my home. Finding your blog a few weeks ago has been in God’s perfect timing for me! Robin

  • […] a big, silly weight has been lifted off my shoulder.  My friend Darlene writes about overcoming Design Paralysis and I guess I’ve been sick with a good case of it for a while now.  But I finally feel […]

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