5 tips for decorating your home (and not being afraid of it!)

5 tips for decorating your home

Decorating and furnishing a home can be one of your largest expenses…like, ever. Trust me, I know…that's why my 5,200 sq foot (short sale fabulous deal) of a home is virtually empty. I'm afraid to do the wrong thing, and waste my money! I'm tired of the fear so I've enlisted the help of our DIY and home decor contributor, Adrienne from Chic California, to show us how to kick the fear out the door and decorate the home of our dreams (hopefully on a dime, of course). Take it away, Adrienne!

Thanks Jordan!  am currently helping a few friends decorate their homes and one of the things I keep hearing over and over is that they don't know what to buy. They all have what I like to call “designaphobia”. The fear of decorating! Decorating your home should be fun, not intimidating. Here are 5 easy tips you can use to start developing your own interior design style and start decorating your home fearlessly!

1) Start a Design Inspiration Board

inspiration board

Begin to define your style by keeping a collection of pictures of homes and styles you like. You might want to keep this in a binder the old fashioned way. Or literally pin ideas on a bulletin board. Or create a Pinterest board (check out Jordan's HERE) and call it “My Design Inspiration” Fill that binder or board with anything that catches your eye, from whole room designs to accessories. Before you know it you will start to see common design styles and colors emerge. These are going to be your go to inspiration pictures when shopping for and decorating your own home.

2) Define Your Style

Whats your design style

Now that you know what you like, you can define your style. Are the majority of your inspiration ideas modern or contemporary? Are you traditional or transitional? Still don't have a clue? You can see some examples of these styles here. But knowing your design style can help you determine which stores to shop at to find the things you like.

3) Shop Neutral


(How to Decorate)

It might sound kind of boring but if you are overwhelmed by decorating, buy the basics in neutral colors. These are the investment pieces like your couch or window treatments. Once you find your style, you will also find that your style changes with time. You will never have to do a major and expensive overhaul when you keep key pieces neutral. Simply swapping out your accessories, like pillows and rugs will update your home and freshen your style in the future. To find the colors to layer on your neutral pieces, take a look in your closet. What colors do you wear the most often? These are probably colors you will love in your home too.

4) Give It Time


Most of us don't have a big budget to work with so decorating a whole house might not happen over night. Great designs happen over time. So get the basics of a room going and let the rest fall into place over time. For example, if you are decorating your family room. Pick the couch and coffee/side tables, lighting and window treatments. Choose neutral pieces that can change and grow with your family. Then over time add those great family photos to the wall in a collage. Put those great seashells from your vacation in a jar to display on the coffee table. Wait for that awesome graphic rug to go on sale.

5) When All Else Fails, Get Help!

room design

Hiring an interior designer for a whole project can be a huge expense. But did you know you can hire one by the hour to just come in and give you some ideas and a strategy. Or you can find a student or a designer fresh out of school who needs some experience and help building their portfolio. You may actually save money in the long run. Let me give you an example. We have moved quite a few times and I was suffering from designaphobia myself after one of our moves. I just could not figure out where to put a lot of the accessories I had accumulated over time. So I hired an interior designer friend to come over and help me. I put all of my accessories on my dining room table and had her accessorize my house. I paid her $200 for about 4 hours of work. Plus, she gave me some great ideas and it really helped me get my own design mojo back. It turned out, I already had everything I needed to decorate my home. So instead of shelling out a lot more money buying things I didn't need, I was able to use what I had on hand.

There are so many other things you can do to help develop your style and design your home. But following these 5 tips will get you started. Happy Decorating!


  1. AvatarRocky | Somethin Outta Nothin says

    Oh I totally have ‘designaphobia’, it can definitely cost! Love your tip on time. I used to work in a frame shop and customers that would browse through the selection first, go home and think, were the happiest with their purchases. Giving yourself time helps your creative brain work and will almost always cost you less.

    Any suggestions on where to find pieces that are of the art nouveau look? That’s my absolute favorite era, only I’d like it to be slightly more modern. You’d be my absolute best friend if you could point me in the right direction on that! Once again great list!

  2. AvatarStacia says

    I like the idea of having a design board! I have one on Pinterest, but I think I would prefer a real one. I guess I’m a bit old-fashioned. 🙂 Thanks for the tips!

  3. AvatarSierra Blackman says

    Redecorating your home can definitely seem like a daunting task. I want to do some things in my home, and I love your tip about creating an inspiration board. This seems like a great way put what I like together to get the best home decor. Thank you for the tips.

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