Overcoming Decorating Paralysis :: let your values influence your decorating
Tuesday, April 30, 2013 by {darlene}

Let Your Values Influence Your Decorating

values influence your decorating

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This post is part of the popular FHD series: How to Overcome Decorating Paralysis.

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In my opinion, the best way for you to have a home that you love is by thinking through what you want your home to become. Then, as you make decisions over the years for your interiors, you will be sure that your values are influencing your decorating, and NOT the other way around.

First, you need to know HOW you want to live.

Then allow the “How you want to live,” to directly impact your home.

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The question is not JUST how do you want your home to look?

It is how do you want your home to feel?

AND How do want your home to serve?

As you work on answering these questions, you are well on your way to defining your style.

But… as you consider how you want your home to feel and what purposes you want your home to serve, don’t leave looks behind on the street corner. Because, the reality is that looks ARE a huge part of how your home FEELS.

Examples from my own decision making and client recommending:

1. I love the look of a console behind a sofa with two lamps. But in my home, I want my boys to freely be able to bounce around and wiggle away and ESPECIALLY snuggle. So no lamps for me.  I recently worked with a client who had young kiddos. The space behind her sofa was crying out for a console and lamps. Our solution was to add a console and create that same symmetrical beauty by adding swing arm library sconces to the wall {above the console} instead. We did not abandon looks by saying, “She has kids. Let’s just forget it.” Instead, we got creative and found a solution that added beauty to the space behind her sofa.

Here is an inspiration picture for sconces behind a sofa:

{design by Katie Ridder, via Fieldstone Hill Design}

2. I would love a rug in our foyer. I even have one that would look smashing in there. BUT, I want my family and friends to feel free to stomp in and out of my home without taking my shoes off, and bare hardwood works better for now. There will be years in my life where the rug will work just fine! But that is not how I want my home to feel TODAY. As for my gorgeous rug, I am thinking of using it in my living room beneath a big coffee table, or in our master bedroom, where the traffic is light.

Our foyer at Fieldstone Hill {an 1800’s parlor}, sans rug, decked for Christmas:

Christmas tour Fieldstone Hill Design

{image via Fieldstone Hill’s Christmas tour}

3. Another client wanted to move all of her children’s toys out of her family room and into a playroom. I encouraged her to simply find a beautiful way to “hide” the toys, but still leave them accessible. That way, her kiddos will still be able to hang around, right where momma is! Baskets, coffee tables with storage, or clearing out an under-used drawer or closet are the top ways my clients are able to do this.

4. A lot of my clients want spaces that meet their desire to have gorgeous interiors, but also offer comfortable lounging and entertaining places. We work hard to add ottomans, benches, stools, comfy furnishings, and soft pillows to encourage friends and family to stay a while. But, everything we choose have an overall loveliness. Usefulness AND beauty. It can be done!

An eDesign that features beautiful, abundant AND comfortable seating:

versatile family basement eDesign

If you have never take the time to fully think through your personal style, I welcome you to do my “Personal Style Bootcamp.” Be sure, especially, to take the time to identify your Personal Style Words.

I truly hope that this process blesses you, as it has blessed me and so many of my clients. And, I hope that it will help you to identify your values for your home, so that they can influence your interiors!





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This post was originally posted on Candace Cameron Bure’s Blog, Roomag

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Labeled: overcome decorating paralysis


  • Great post, great advice, and great photos!

  • I love this series Darlene, thanks so much for all the great advice.

  • Funny the design board you created for me should pop up today! I am finally getting serious about putting it all together. Our sectional was just delivered this morning!

    Great advice as always, Darlene. And I don’t know if I’ve told you congrats on your baby girl! That is such wonderful news. So happy for you and your family.

  • I love the sconces behind the sofa idea. I’ve been on the lookout for the right ones since our small living room doesn’t really have room for a table. Great advice!

  • This is such a great series! I want my home to be beautiful, but also functional. As a gathering place for family and friends, and for energetic kiddos with ants in their pants. Thanks for sharing the examples.

  • Great post darlene!!! This is exactly how I live in my house and encourage others as well!


  • It’s so helpful to think about what purpose(s) our homes serve and design with that in mind. I see some lovely ideas that won’t work for me and have to rethink them: how can I get this to fit *our* lives? Without that, decorating is a constant frustration.

  • love your ideas….
    I feel the same way…my style has evolved so much in my 30’s…..as I enter my 40’s this summer, I want to really think about our home and the feel I want it to continue to have.
    I LOVE the idea of style words….I remember Edie saying that recently…

  • Love this!! I especially love the “find a beautiful way to hide the toys” point. My husband and I don’t have kids yet, but we have a VERY energetic and playful dachshund puppy. I have a cute basket behind one of the chairs in our living room where I keep all his toys. It looks nice, the pup has easy access to them, and it’s super easy for me to pick them up and just throw them in the basket!! Win for everyone!!!

  • I’ve just read through your whole “overcoming decorating paralysis” series, and you have yet to address one of my biggest hurdles: I don’t know how long I’ll live here, and what works here might not work in the next space, so I’ll hold off on buying what I love for what works for now/is free, even if I don’t particularly like it.

    Any chance you’ll address that? I’m sure I’m not the only one who is living in a place that’s not their “forever” home.

    Since getting married in 2007 I’ve never lived in a place longer than two years (most have been 1 year), so I keep holding off on buying things I love, even though I’m itching to nest, take root, and make my home pretty.

    Another pesky issue is living in a rental, rather than an owned home. I can’t make some of the changes I would if I had free reign, so I don’t make any changes.


    I do want to thank you for this series, though. I found it through Pinterest initially. I now have my own style words and “don’t buy” word, which I think will help me in the future. I had already started pinning pictures and colors to figure out what I like though, so I unwittingly took your advice on those points before I even read it. ;)

    Here are my boards: http://pinterest.com/mrsmack/ (I pinned you under “Interior Design”)

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