How to Start Decorating and Not Feel Overwhelmed

I get asked a lot of questions about decorating, and it never gets old.  Decorating has always been one of my favorite things in life,…

I get asked a lot of questions about decorating, and it never gets old.  Decorating has always been one of my favorite things in life, even when I was a small child.  The best part about playing Barbies was setting up the house.  As you can imagine, my friend, Dannette, and I would labor for hours getting everything just so, only to hear my mom shout from the kitchen, “Ok, time to start cleaning up!  It’s almost dinner time!”  Bummer, we didn’t even start to “play” yet and we had to start dismantling everything.

One of the questions I get asked most frequently is, “Where do I begin?”  Whether you are just starting out and have a new space to decorate, you just moved and now you want a whole new look in your new home, or you are giving a current space a makeover, the process is the same.

The first question to ask yourself is, “Self, what IS this space exactly?”  How do I want it to function?  For example, is this just a family space to hang out and watch TV in, or do I need this space to also incorporate my home office?  My living room has a bright alcove that functions as my home office.

My living room functions as a gathering space and a home office.

The second thing to consider is, how do you want this space to feel?  Relaxed and casual?  Functional yet a bit elegant?  An easy way to find your own personal style is to just start looking!  For instance, look at Pinterest.  You know we have a Pinterest page, right?  It’s okay to check out other people’s Pinterest pages too…after ours of course! Look at magazines.  Start saving anything that grabs your attention.  Only save those pictures though that make you go, “OH!  I LOVE THAT!”  After that, you can ask yourself, “what it is about that picture that caught my eye?”

Once you look over everything that you saved, I promise you will have a good idea of what you really love.

Now, it’s time to pick a color scheme.  You will probably already have an idea just by what you know you like and the pictures that you have saved.  Another good indication of what colors you should be decorating with is your wardrobe.  Yes- that’s not a typo, take a look at your closet.  I’m sure you will notice a theme in there as well.  The colors you see repeated in your clothes are obviously colors you like and feel good about.

For example, purple has always been my favorite color.  I decided to always incorporate purple into my home decor. Did you see my blog about my purple velvet couch?? It’s definitely not a color that everyone uses, but that’s ok!  My aunt always told me, “if you like it, it goes together”. I found that to be very wise decorating advice. 

My famous purple couch!
I’ve used purple accents throughout my dining room too!

The fourth thing I find helpful is picking an inspiration piece.  Does anyone else remember Room by Room with Matt & Shari on HGTV about 20 years ago?  I watched it so much that my girls would play “Room by Room” instead of just plain old house.  I miss those shows!  Anyway, Matt & Shari were absolutely right.  Their entire show was based on the premise of decorating your home just the way their title indicated, one room at a time.

This technique will help keep you from feeling overwhelmed.  For every show, Shari picked an inspiration piece.  For instance, an heirloom piece of furniture. Or a favorite flea market find. Maybe something like this vintage Hoosier Cabinet we have in the shop.  As a side note, this piece also makes for great storage!  Did you see my blog about stylish storage??  Storage doesn’t have to be plastic bins. Most importantly, storage should speak to the function of your space.  This Hoosier is a great way to house all of your extra kitchen linens and even stash your paper plates.

This Hossier Cabinet is a perfect inspiration piece.

Once you have all of the above accomplished, you can start shopping.  Keep in mind your color scheme and the overall room look and function.  Don’t agonize over every purchase.   It is perfectly acceptable to buy something just because you love it. This is a guideline to keep you from feeling overwhelmed and hopefully make the home decorating process FUN!  To sum up my personal style, I love a vintage, rustic, elegant look with a splash of Boho! Remember, there are no “rules” or decorating police. Above all, have fun and make your home a reflection of YOU!

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  1. Great post Lori!! Boy do I miss the old hgtv. Decorating cents was a favorite. Love all the things you are doing, wished I lived closer. ❤️