When Josh and I moved into our apartment, I thought I knew exactly how I wanted the space to look. At the time I thought I wanted our entire apartment to be color blocked in yellow, blue and grey. Everything was going coordinate and in no time be the space I dreamed of. Well it’s been three years and I’ve learned a lot about not only my design habits but how much work really goes into creating an ideal home.
1. Don’t stick too strictly to a color theme.
Unless you’ve hired a design professional to shop for you and slap your space together in the blink of an eye, chances are you’ll end up waiting in a half coordinated half mismatched living room waiting to come across those throw pillows in that perfect shade of yellow. Rather than deciding everything in your home needs to adhere to two or three colors try to open your options to a broader design theme. This takes the pressure of a half matching living space away and also allows for a little bit freedom should you find pieces that you fall in love with but don’t fit into a strict color palette. Not quite sure what design styles you like? This post from Closely Knit can help explain.
2. It’s ok to take it one piece at a time.
This lesson simply stems from how unrealistic it is to think that if your working with a small budget that you can hit the nearest Anthropologie and in one afternoon gather all the pieces you want to put in your space. But this also doesn’t mean that you can’t begin working toward your ideal design. As long as you have a desire and vision to improve upon your space, taking that step no matter how small can get you started.
3. Embrace the discount
Speaking of hitting the nearest Anthropologie, while it can seem that the only places selling worth while items charge an arm and a leg for them the spoils really go to those who can hold out for a deal. TJ Maxx, HomeGoods, Marshall’s, Wayfair, the list of discount furniture and design stores are literally endless. A rule of thumb to go by, which I can bet most of you already practice is: if you see a must have item but it’s too rich for your blood, take to the internet and see if you can find a similar (or even the same) item for a more reasonable price. Chances are if you look for a deal, you can find one.
4. If you can’t clear clutter, hide it.
We all have things in our homes that aren’t exactly cute but are absolutely necessary to have. In that case investing in a piece of furniture with doors is key. Keeping these things in sight gives a room a look of being unclean or unorganized. In these rooms your furniture needs to able to pull double duty of being chic as well as functional, so plan accordingly. A stylish credenza or bookcase on the outside with your router and tax papers lying underneath. If you can get the most out of your functional pieces your guests will never know what dirty secrets lie beneath those perfectly polished doors.
5. Take a chance on a DIY.
A good DIY project is maybe one of my favorite things to undertake. Not only is the challenge of taking on a project always rewarding but then you’ll have a strong connection to a piece in your home. Something to be proud of outside of just buying and placing something. They almost always make good conversation pieces and inspire those around you to take on projects themselves!
So there they are! The five things I learned the hard way while I was designing my space. It’s still a continuous work in progress and probably always will be. But if I’m lucky I’ll keep learning and hopefully these tips can give someone else some insight into their ideal home.