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Decorating 101: 6 Decorating Rules to Live By

I’m SO excited to start our new little Decorating 101 series! I think it’ll be fun to get geeky about the principles behind what makes a room “work.” We’re going to dive headfirst into full-on decor-geek-mode and there’ll be no turning back for any of us.
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Before we start digging into the “hows” and the “whys,” I thought it might do us good to have a little sit-down and make sure we’re on the same page, working from the same ideals when it comes to spiffing up our homes. Down in the South, we call this having a “come to Jesus” meeting. (Best served with sweet tea and 90 percent humidity.)
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Liz O’Brien via Architectural Digest

We could also call this post: “Things I wish I could’ve crammed into my thick skull years ago.” You know what’s really about to happen here? I’m about to PREACH to MAH-SELF. Because these are all things I have to remind myself, and the more I embrace them, the more freedom I find in the process. Ya with me? Let’s do this!

Don't Decorate for the Joneses

I cannot roll my eyes any harder or more emphatically than when I’m watching a design show where the homeowners say their goal in redecorating is to make their friends and neighbors say “wow!” when they walk into the room.

NO!

That is NOT the right goal. Don’t make me throw my popcorn at the TV or roll my eyeballs completely out of my head. If you decorate for other people, to impress them and make them think highly of you, you lose. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

Here’s why.

1. You can’t please everybody. If your goal is to wow others, you might get a few people who really dig the decisions you make, but most people probably don’t have the same style you do. You just can’t make a room that everyone likes. Even browsing shelter magazines where the rooms are so carefully and thoughtfully put together, I find there are rooms that are “my taste” and others that are “perfect but too stuffy.” You lose control when you decorate for people who don’t live with you, you steal the joy of the process, and you’ll never ever reach your goal.

2. Even if you COULD design a room that would impress your neighbors, you still have to live there. Ninety-nine percent of the time, you’ll be home with no one to impress and only your family, living in the space however it was designed. Don’t give up comfort and joy for that 99 percent just so you can have 1 percent of feeling like you impressed someone.
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Jessika Goranson & Eddie Ross in Lonny Magazine

Your home, your tastes: decorating rules to live by

If the trend is toward gray walls but you just can’t get on board with gray? Don’t try to make yourself like it. Just let go. It’s not for you, and that’s cool. If your favorite bloggers are wrapping their world in chevron but you just don’t get it? This is your official invitation to ignore those trends. And if you’re finding that no one is using red in their homes but you LOVE red, you always wear red and it makes you happy? Please, PLEASE decorate with red. Pretty please.

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Kate Spade

Don't fight the season: decorating rules to live by
We’re all at different seasons of our lives. If you’re living with littles whose peanut butter fingers are attracted like magnets to delicate fabrics, take that silk chair you’ve dreamed of and put it in a little corner of your mind where you can dream about it, and know that you can have that silk chair, but maybe this is not the time.

No season lasts forever. There will be time to display ceramic dishes precisely at toddler height. Is this that time for you? If it isn’t, don’t fight the season. You’ll make yourself miserable.

My girl Carrie at Making Lemonade wrote an awesome guest post on this which is worth the read. Learn what you love, and combine that with what works for THIS time in your life, whatever it might be.
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Stephen Busken

The rules exist to help you: decorating rules to live by
I love decorating rules.

There, I said it.

I find it a huge help to know the golden ratio of how big a picture should be above the dresser to look proportionate. The trend is to say, “Just do what looks good to you! Who cares about the rules!” — but as someone who is trying to create a room that I love, this advice always frustrated me. I would think: I want to create something that looks good to me, I’m trying, but I don’t know how. I need guidelines.

We’ll talk about stuff like that. We’ll talk guidelines and use that word interchangeably with “rules,” but these rules will be there to serve you, not the other way around. If you find yourself frustrated by a “rule” and it’s taking the joy out of the process, fahgeddaboutit.
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Debi Treloar via Decor8

Beautiful rooms take patience: decorating rules to live by
Here’s a lesson I’ve learned the hard way a few too many times: the best, lasting decisions are made when you’ve taken your time. I am the queen of getting sick of looking at an empty corner in my home, then rushing out and buying the first thing within my budget that “fits the bill” or “fills the spot.”

Let’s just all agree that there’s no rush in this process. We’ll take our time, find the piece that we love, that makes our heart sing, and not settle for “good enough.” That’s how you end up with a room you love: when you’ve taken the time to consider each thing you add to it, and you know you’re head-over-heels for it. Don’t waste your money on “good enough for now.” Not even if it’s free. It’s not worth it.

With every purchase, we’ll consider: “Do I love it? LOVE LOVE LOVE it? Or just like it a lot? Does it serve the purpose? And does it fit this season of my life?”
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Maria Barros via Vivid Hue Home

It's all temporary: decorating rules to live by
I mean this in two different ways.

First: no room is ever “finished,” even if it’s “good enough for now.” Your needs will change, your tastes will change, and you’re always free to move things around just to try, even if you end up not liking the change.

Second: it’s all temporary. Decorating should be fun and it is fun… but it doesn’t matter, not the way people matter. When we’re all long gone, it won’t matter if we created the most beautiful spaces. Don’t spend too much emotional energy hating your sofa or hating your paint color. Keep perspective: a chandelier is just a light, after all. It’s not worth causing friction in your family, or stretching your budget beyond what you can afford.
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Emily Norris via House and Home

…Aaaaaand that is me, preachin’ it to myself! I’ve been guilty of all these things and have to remind myself of them many times! Anyone else?

What are your decorating philosophies? Anything specific you want to chat about in this series? We’re in this together, buds!

P.S.: Make sure you check out the rest of the Decorating 101 series right here! And pin this post using the button below so you have this list handy!

Your most beautiful home ever in 2014! Six decorating resolutions to keep!



Let's connect

Comments

  1. Julia @cuckoo4design says:

    I totally agree with the NOT impressing your neighbors and friends point, especially in my neck of the woods, nooo. I’d hate my home LOL if I’d do that!
    But otherwise I’m a no rules kind a girl.
    I gasped when I saw the Maria Barros room. It’s perfect to me. I didn’t find it on her website through that link though :(

    • Hi Julia,

      The post has been updated and the photo appears…please try again http://vividhuehome.blogspot.com/2012/10/maria-barros-launches-online-shop.html

    • Michelle says:

      Thank you for this post I am in the middle of buying new furnishings for our home and this is exactly what I have been doing waiting to get the pieces I love when I can afford it. needless to say its being done a little at a time we built our home three years ago and built the one before this one. Its experience that’s helped me get to the stage of saying I can only do what I can a little at a time and love the end result.
      And don’t get me started on The accessories and odds and ends that pulls a room together thats another battle lol!! One thing I learned if you do see something you love love love And its in your budget get it I kick myself when I second guess myself and pass on a good thing !! Why do I do that ??

    • Debbie says:

      I always check out this type of site. I couldn’t agree more with what you have said. I have never competed with anyone or listened to what others think of my style. I decorate for me to feel good. I work hard and when I come home my want my house to hug me and it does. I have had men tell me that they would love to sit and watch a game on TV, this guy was installing my alarm. I told him he needed to go home to his wife. He asked if could bring her back to show her my house.

  2. Love this post. Granted, it’s things I kinda already knew, but its great to hear someone else say them. :) “If your favorite bloggers are wrapping their world in chevron but you just don’t get it?…” Thank you!! I know chevron is all the rage right now, I see it all over Pinterest (and I know you’re a fan!), but I can’t stand it. Thanks for giving me permission to be ok with that. :)

  3. I coud not agree more! don’t decorate for the joneses! So happy to have found your website. Thanks for using Maria Barros’s photo from my site!

  4. Funny, I’ve been actually trying to avoid a couple trends for fear of looking trendy, although I love them. But you know what, I would love it in my home, so boom, I’m gonna do it now! 😉 thanks for the fun series!! I won’t avoid painting my end tables turquoise/teal anymore because I thought it was too trendy. Can easily paint those bad boys again. I have found I think too much and just need to make a decision and go. I’m a waffler.

  5. I love what you wrote about “Don’t fight the season” , so true, last year I was mad because I couldn’t display what I wanted and how I wanted in our house! Now, I don’t mind! my 2 year old boy is more important than my décor and I don’t mind seeing a couple of his toys in each room! all my precious/beautiful objects will wait to be displayed one day! 😉 because of my son, I’ve learned that I can’t apply all the rules and I’m OK with this too! our home works for us right now! :-) great post Kelly!

  6. Marissa W. says:

    I’m guilty of #5, beautiful rooms take patience. We just bought a house and moved in about 2 months ago. I’ve been scouring Craig’s List, garage sales and sales ads to find affordable and unique pieces for our house. There have been those moments where I had to stop and ask myself if I truly crazy for something because it was cheap vs. working in my home, lol. So many times I have purchased items only to realize they didn’t really work in my home the way I imagined. I am learning that if you wait for it the pieces will come. We lived in our last house 8 years and it really didn’t totally come together until those last couple of years! I am looking forward to all your lessons on decorating!

  7. Ann says:

    My philosophy is that you should buy what you love and make it work in your decor. Mix and match styles to get your own signature look. Nothing could be more personal. If I don’t LOVE something, it’s not in my house. It took me a while to get here but now that I’m here…I’m so much happier. Oh…and I have NO gray!

  8. cassie says:

    i agree with all of these, especially number 6!!!! we can change anything at any time! well except for big budget things. 😉

  9. So much good advice! For me, the hardest thing to remember is to decorate for myself and not for others. Especially now that I have a blog, I always find myself wondering if the “internet” will like my choice rather than just doing something because I love it. It’s also been a struggle for me to decorate because I have known since we bought our house that we were planning on selling it after a few years, so I have had to make choices based on whether it would show well to buyers. But it has just made me really excited to try out some “crazy” ideas in our next home since I don’t have to care about what buyers will think…..I can’t wait to see the next post in this series!

  10. when we first moved into our house I was so excited to PAINT ALL THE WALLS… every room a different color! I didn’t take time to learn what my style was now that I wasn’t confined to an apartment. So year #2 of home ownership has been spent repainting my rainbow-ed house, making rooms work as a unit, and figuring out what looks bring me peace and and happiness.

    the best piece of advice I got was from my aunt, and just what you said, take the time to invest in pieces you love. don’t buy stuff you kinda like just to fill a corner.

    this series is a great idea! :)

  11. In keeping with your theme – PREACHING TO THE CHOIR, SISTA!

    In all seriousness, I appreciate decorating rules to be used as guidelines. I am a ‘letter of the law’ kind of gal. Sure, some rules have exceptions, or are made to be broken entirely, but I like rules. Rules help me figure it all out – even if my husband thinks I just make up the rules as I go along. 😀

    What I struggle with the most is getting a room to the ‘finished’ stage (constant variables and ‘a room is never finished’ truths aside). I am usually forced to decorate on a very tight budget, which means that much of what I have is piece-mealed together over time – a very long time, so it is hard to keep things cohesive. I guess I need to know what the essentials of a room are. If you could tackle a foolproof way to put a room together in four or five easy steps, without breaking the bank, that would be great!

  12. Megan says:

    This post really really resonated with me, as a military family we move a lot, have to adapt to a new house each time (aka fill new empty corners) and be set up and ready to live and feel at home ASAP. I’m in the process of setting up our latest home and I am filled with all those anxieties about completeness and perfection u mention here. Thanks for giving me a pause to slow down and think about why and what to bring into my house!!

    • Damsel says:

      I’m right there with you, Megan! It seems like just about the time I get a house the way I think I like it, the movers swoop in and pack it all up! Then the fun begins again….

  13. Lynn W says:

    I’m liking your rules. I am not on the gray bandwagon, but my daughter has a royal blue and teal giant chevron wall in her room. It’s just paint, and easy enough to change when she tires of it (or moves out, she’s 17, so within a couple years).

    And can I just say that my OCD sensor was tripped by that green dresser not being centered in the David Busken picture.

  14. Great advice that I finally feel I’ve started to actually “get” over the past year. I have a toddler, I waffle back and forth on decorating decisions, or I just grab what works and fits the budget. And then I regret it! I think I may need to bookmark this so I can come back to remind myself of this!

  15. Great post! Can’t wait to get into the series. The hardest part for me is definitely having the patience to wait for the right piece for the right place, at the right price. But, my husband and I have a rule that we have to agree on something (big things, like furniture) to buy it and bring it home. We don’t want to begrudge the other because you hate “their” chair/table/lamp.

  16. First of all, thank you for this series! I too love decorating rules :) The decor porn is faboosh up in here. I am drawn to white interiors with pops of color. I also am very clumsy (spills should be my nickname) and have a seven month old baby. This is not even close to a reality for me at this time. I decorate for moi. I hate when people try to be somebody they’re not. Your home is an expression of you. You have to live there. As long as it’s my family’s cup of tea, it’s 100% perfect.

  17. This is such a great post! Our homes need to be our safe and happy place, and we need to decorate them to make us feel that way. Decorating like another house wouldn’t feel like home! And it IS temporary…homes are constantly evolving…

  18. Lisa E says:

    Great post and looking forward to this series. I like some rules for guidelines, but you are right, we need to do what is right for us. Sometimes I might be interested in following a trend but others I just don’t get and would never even consider. What I don’t like is how some bloggers make derogatory comments about certain decor such as cabinetry that isn’t painted white. Not everybody likes a white kitchen or even if they do, maybe their husbands don’t. Besides if we were all the same, wouldn’t that be boring? Thanx for all you do, love your blog. BTW – got my GH and went right to the back to see your article. Love! I have those same shoes in the brownish/coppery color. :)

  19. Amy Renea says:

    love it kels!! Every single word!

  20. Melody♪♫ says:

    Amen, amen, and A-MEN!

    Don’t make me paint Wizard of Oz, I mean emerald green chevrons all over my chalkboard & batten gallery wall…

    I decorate for me! My four guys could care less, as long as there’s ample good food on their mis-matched plates.

  21. Stephanie says:

    Love this post! I can’t wait to follow along with this series. Please keep talking some sense into me, Kelly! I moved every 2-3 years growing up and then lived in apartments from the time I was 18-29 years old so I’m in a state of denial that this house is really ours even after living here for a year. But I’ve always loved decorating, and I have this self-inflicted compulsion to have every room finished NOW, while simultaneously worrying that my decisions won’t be good for resale even though we have no intentions of selling. See, I’m crazy! Preach to me!

  22. Love this post! That’s quite some interiors you found too, to go with this post. I am of course over the moon for that last kitchen. I am also noticing they did that fancy long shutter speed trick, which I have been trying out myself lately. Love it!
    Can’t wait to see more of your series!

  23. Carrie says:

    Preach it, girl! It took me years to learn those 6 rules, and wow, I’m still learning each day. Buying what you LOVE has been the #1 eye-opening thing for me most recently, and my home is now finally starting to truly reflect my style. Fab stuff, Kelly!

  24. Susie newton says:

    I love changing my furniture around ! I have even changed my rooms through out the 23 yrs I’ve been in this house. One of our bedrooms has become a study for my husband. We have such a large family when all the sons’ and grandchildren come that my unused foryer has become a formal dinning room complete with a china hutch. The old dinning room is now less formal and serves as a breakfast room . The grandchildren love it. My smallest bedroom is now my coveted dressing room. This home won’t please others but it sure does please us. Luv your 6 rules.

  25. Bliss says:

    I feel compelled to announce to the world I also don’t clean for the Joneses.
    Bliss

  26. You know this is RIGHT up my alley! Great post!

  27. Casey O says:

    Love, love, love, love, luuuuuuuurrrrrrrvvvve this post!! I am so excited about this series! It’s also comforting to know that it’s cool to take your time with decorating. I would rather have a blank wall until I find the right piece than stare at something I’m not in love with. I definitely have to keep #6 in mind, though, because even though I don’t want to just fill a space, I’m still impatient & I always end up putting way too much energy into trying to find the right thing immediately! Fantastic advice, Kelly!

    • Kelly says:

      Thank you! You are so wise about the blank wall thing! Sometimes I get so sick of looking at blank walls in my house, but your comment is a great reminder that blank is better than something I don’t love.

  28. Great post – found a little of myself in there – I am not a patient decorator…but I do decorate for myself (and my family too I hope) there is no keeping up with the Jones’ – I’ve been decorating with found items (yes I garbage pick!) – can’t wait to see what’s next in the series!

  29. Sharon B. says:

    I love all these rules, you are my kind of decorator, girl! I’m one of those not chevron kind of gals so I just don’t do it, but I do appreciate it in other people’s designs when its well done. Stripes yes, chevron no. Which is funny because a chevron is really just a stripe that’s forgotten which direction it was supposed to be going. 😉 Loving this series, looking forward to more!

    • Kelly says:

      Chevron is a shape that’s forgotten which direction it was supposed to be going <— HAHAHAHA! Hilarious. Poor little chevron.

  30. Great tips! I don’t know if it was intentional or not but every photo you posted has green in it :) One of your tips could include repeating the same color in each room of your house for a cohesive look! What can I say, I notice weird things haha

    • Kelly says:

      Oh funny! I didn’t even notice that. Maybe it’s a sign that I need more green in my house! I did just buy two emerald velvet pillows from World Market with no idea where I’d put them. :)

  31. Thanks for sharing your six tips. I totally agree if you don’t like it don’t jump on the band wagon. My in-laws are getting ready to redo their kitchen. My husband is afraid they are going to screw up their finish selection but I reminded him that as long as they like it let’s not interfere with their choices. I mean grandma’s house wouldn’t be greandma’s house without the same sofa that’s been there for twenty years and the velvet feeling wallpaper in the guest bedroom. That’s the kind of stuff that makes a house a home.

    • Kelly says:

      You are SO WISE to not interfere! Isn’t that the hardest thing, to bite your tongue when people are making BIG decisions about something that you’re passionate about? But you’re right – as long as they love it, it’s the ONLY thing that matters.

  32. FAB advice, Kelly! I think #3 is the truest of all. :)
    xo Heidi

  33. Mandy says:

    This is a great post! I’ve been guilty of many of these things as well. I’m beginning to learn that virtually all rooms are “in progress.” There will always be something else to add or change, but it’s okay to enjoy the space as it is in the meantime until you find the things that you love that fit the budget. I’m also really working on only adding things to the home that have meaning or function. Otherwise, it’s just cluttering up and the money can be put to a better use!

  34. Great advice, and great inspiration pics. The secret control freak in me is very curious about the “rules” you alluded to… not that I’ll follow them, but after shooting from the hip decorating wise, I’ll be interested to know if I’m even in the design ballpark!! :) Keep ’em coming!
    xo

  35. Awesome post Kelly! These are amazing rules to live by! It’s so hard sometimes to do this, but it’s way better than decorating for others and then hating it and redoing everything!

  36. Fun post. Good tips. Now only if I remember them…pinning for future reference. :)

  37. 1. Pinned it!
    2. Can you bring sweet tea to Haven?
    3. can we add vodka to said sweet tea (see #2)
    4. my littles enjoy berries as their food of choice for schmearing on my furniture
    5. Yes! I couldn’t agree more with your ideas, every night my husband and I sit in our living room and say, “best house ever”. but of course, it’s only the best house to *us*.
    6. You rock;)

    Jessica

  38. good decorating pep talk lady! :)

  39. Favorite line: “Don’t spend too much emotional energy hating your sofa or hating your paint color.” Amen! Gratitude is definitely something I know I have to work hard at sometimes.

  40. Angela says:

    Great tips and advice, girl!!! A couple of them I needed to hear “again”! It’s so easy to get caught up in what everyone else likes and if I find it’s not my thing, I begin to wonder what’s wrong with me! HAH! Good, good stuff!!~~Angela

  41. Kayla says:

    Great post Kelly! Love each piece of advice you have! “Everything is temporary” was my favorite! Excited to see more from this series!

    Blessings,
    Kayla

  42. Love this! I especially needed to hear the patience one… I have been working on our bedroom for what feels like forever, and I just want to be done, but I can’t find the “perfect” pieces that I’m looking for. Patience, patience, patience! Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom. I look forward to the rest of the series!

    ~Abby =)

  43. Carla says:

    I love this! So straightforward and sensible, and makes me laugh at myself!

  44. Amen to 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6!!! But for some reason #2 really stood out! Be YOUrself!!!

  45. Katie @ pps says:

    Loved this!! #6 is what I need to hear. We have “come to Jesus” talks up here too….! :-)

  46. Great rules, Kelly! I especially love the advice of decorating for you and your family and lifestyle. There are so many decor styles and items that I like but that wouldn’t necessarily work well with our home.

  47. I am loving this series. Honestly, you have SO many good and important points, that I want to bookmark this post so I can read it every few weeks to remind myself especially that “it takes time!” Thanks for sharing your expertise in such a humble and effective way!

  48. Carrie says:

    Thank you thank you for the reminders…I am updating my kitchen and most of the trends are toward white and I just don’t want to do white so I will not settle until I find just the right color for my kitchen.

  49. Kit says:

    Oh, I am so happy you are doing this! I found your blog today and have read (or looked through the pictures – I KNOW! I’m a cheater!) through as many posts as I could. For me personally I don’t know how to pull it together – I mean – my style. I like to many things, and I like so many styles that I don’t know how to blend them, or even just settle on one thing. How do I cram all the things I want to do into one house? And also, should the style of the house stay consistent? it seems like the obvious answer is yes, but I’m not sure how to do that. I have a love affair with the color green, but then I feel like everything in the house is green so I do something stupid like paint the kitchen a bright yellow, the bathroom grey, the kids room blue, the hall brown, and then I throw confetti in the air and have a fiesta with my pinata house. And then secretly I plot how I’m going to buy a giant can of white paint, and just go to town on everything.

  50. Melanie says:

    Kelly, this is really really good advice. You are so talented and such a blessing!! Thank you for sharing your gift with all of us! LOVING this series!! I just love your blog. I really do.

  51. Hailey says:

    Alright so I just found your blog from Pinterest and I am so excited for this little series!! You are hilarious and I love how you write! Plus I’m starting on the long process of painting my new condo and boy do I need help with all things involving decorating. Thanks again and hope you have a great weekend!

    Hailey.

  52. Julie S says:

    Great stuff. I’m really looking forward to this series! Ahh, I’ve come such a long way since even two years ago, desperately wasting money on decorating for other people, following trends I didn’t really love, and filling bare spots with the first thing that sort of maybe worked. Even though I have a much better sense of my own style now, I still need to preach to myself a lot… especially that one about not buying something just because it’s “good enough”.

  53. Jelli says:

    Love that photo of the “Vivid Hue Home.” My daughter has some curtains in her room so similar to the pattern of the lamp shade–orange and white. Love this room! Visiting tonight from Tatertots and Jello.

  54. Sarah StPete, FL says:

    What great advice! & the timing could not be more perfect…we are just buying our 1st home & have more rooms than furniture & more sq footage than we have had before. So I was finding myself wanting to buy buy buy & certainly not within reason right now w the recent Large purchase of the home. My fav is the part w #2 bc I REALLY DONT GET IT W ALL THE CHEVRON…Lol. Thanks for helping my feet from leaving the ground!

  55. Yes. YES! Keep them coming! I need rules. Love rules. Live for rules!!!!

    :) Linda

  56. I love this! Enough structure to help but leaves enough room for creativity! Would you mind to link this up to my blog hop? Our readers would love to see this. Thanks!!
    http://carriethishome.com/2013/06/frugal-crafty-home-blog-hop-27/

  57. Kristy Swain says:

    Great list, Kelly. I totally agree – forget the trends if they aren’t you. Ultimately, you have to like the space. I tell that to clients all the time. They are allowed to disagree with me – there is always a new direction to take. And, yes, take your time!! I’ve gotten better at this, but I’m so not patient.

  58. Joy says:

    So…where is the next installment of the RULES?!? I really like rules, too. Gives me a jumping off point, at least!!

    xoxo

  59. I love the advice about patience! I could not agree more and I continue to tell myself it will take some time to make our home the way I envision it. I guess I would be bored if it all happened overnight anyway! One project, one piece at a time building my farmhouse masterpiece! :) Thanks for sharing the great advice!

  60. Bree says:

    It drives me crazy that my mom will spend money on something for sale that she doesn’t love. She ends up spending twice as much in the end. every. time. because she ends up buying what she really wanted in the end too. I would rather bang my head against a wall than go through that. I say “the deal is never worth it if you don’t LOVE it” and “don’t waste money on a deal when you can be investing in/saving for what you reeeeally want”

  61. Lana says:

    I love your six “rules”! Thank you for sharing them! They speak to me in volumes because I feel and see decorating the same way! I always decorate for myself! I’ve never been one to care what others thought of my decorating. I always find myself not wanting what seems to be the trend. I always want to put colors together that no one has thought of yet which makes it difficult to buy fabrics because as I said no one has thought to put them together yet! :) I have to be different! I have been wanting to paint a wall in my living room blue for years and I just did! I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!! It took a little convincing for my husband but he likes it too!

    Thanks Again!

  62. Jan Jones says:

    love this post! I absolutely DO NOT get chevron, and will never use it no matter how popular it is. it is good to have those rules about where to place everything, I agree. We DO decorate for the Joneses, but only because we ARE the Joneses, LOL

  63. So so true! My few decorating regrets so far have been items that were super trendy at that moment and now look dated. It’s much wiser to follow your own loves instead.

    Still learning how to have the patience to wait while decorating. I just want it all done right now!

  64. Angela says:

    Hi Kelly, I just found your blog thru Rhoda over at Southern Hospitality. I love all your projects…very inspiring! This was my favorite posts, if only because it reinforces how you should live for you and not to impress the Jones’. We have that issue here, although we absolutely LOVE our neighbors the husbands always have to try and one up the others. Men are crazy! Ok…sometimes women are too.

  65. I totally agree with your points :) Nice post and it is indeed practical. I myself used to decorate or re-model my house several times to just receive the WoW impression from my friends and people who visit my home but over the period, i undersood it won’t work all the times.

  66. Cynthia Nellum says:

    Thank you for this article! Now I know I am not the only who feels the way you do — staring at a blank wall and rushing to the store. Knowing that decorating your home is not about impressing others. Thank you!

  67. I’m SO glad I found this! We are FINALLY getting to a point where we can look at remodeling our spaces. And, with discussion of maybe moving to a new house, I don’t want to go overboard, yet, want the spaces we live in at the moment to be “ours”. It’s almost a catch 22, as, the reasons we want to move are because of the layout of our current house. I just KNOW that, if I can learn some tips and tricks for design and storage… We could fall BACK in-love with our home. LOL. I still remember the day that we were renting a small house across the street from our current home… we would stare at it while washing dishes or mowing the lawn and dream of it being our “forever home”. And now… it is… so… what changed???? I’ll admit, when we purchased our home 10 years ago and completely gutted it out… we had NO IDEA what we were doing when it comes to design, layout, or making a room WORK. We were young, dumb, and in a hurry… At one point, our kitchen was painted a DARK, burnt orange color (because that was the accent color in our wedding…ya… I know… it should’ve stayed a memory… not a wall color)… we painted ALL the other rooms a khaki color… because… khaki goes with EVERYTHING! right?…. ugh… no… And there are just too many other “grand ideas” that we tried that never worked. period. AND THEN I DISCOVERED PINTEREST. (the angels sing) and I’ve been slowly pinning, dreaming, re-pinning, and making FINAL boards from all the million of pins I’ve collected. Anywho… reading your first two posts in this series has me all happy and giddy again about our home. I’m ready to fall BACK in love with it. THANK YOU! Looking forward to more from this series!!!!
    PS – you had me laughing with every paragraph! 😉

    • OOPS!!!!!!!!!!!! Sorry!!!! I didn’t mean for that to be soooo long!!!!!!!!! When I get excited… I just go on and on and on… ack! doing it again… I’ll shut up now….

      • Kelly says:

        haha! Thank you SO much for that comment! (And pleeeeeease don’t shut up. This is almost my single favorite topic on earth and it makes me giddy to find other people who will talk about it!)

        I love the idea of falling back in love with your house! As long as you can find tricks to make the layout work – and pinterest rocks for that kind of thing! – the rest of the task of falling in love with your house is easy and fun. :) And truuuust me, I’ve made a million more mistakes than you have! Good luck!

  68. Kris Lee says:

    As for putting things up you don’t want your child to have???? I didn’t do that much. I just watched closely and when they got something they shouldn’t have, I stepped up, told them no and put the object back. It didn’t take long to teach them what they could have and what they couldn’t. Not to say I didn’t have broken things, because we all know we can’t be everywhere all the time, but those things were at a minimum. Now I have grandkids and they get the same treatment. So far (in 8 years) only one broken thing and I was able to replace the antique glass rolling pin, luckily. So don’t worry about not being able to put things out, just teach them what is available and what is not. Interesting my daughter has done the same thing with her 4 children and they completely leave the extensive M&M collection completely alone and they are displayed all the way to the floor……Just sayin.

  69. Kathie says:

    I’m so happy that I clicked on this as it’s a good reminder to be true to myself. :-) Regarding trends like chevron and gray walls, I find that even if I like a trend, I will tire of it if I see it everywhere. I don’t like chevron or gray paint, but seeing it all over blogs, Pinterest and even Etsy have made me hate them! I’m more inspired by people who are unique and creative in their decorating than following all the latest trends because that’s what I prefer in decorating my home. I don’t want my house to look like a generic picture out of a magazine.

  70. So very true. I wish more people took these into consideration when designing their homes. I know not everyone loves my spaces but I love them (well, the ones that are not under construction!) so that is all that matters.

  71. Varenikje says:

    Great article! The only thing I would say though is that after a while, the grandchildren come to visit! And I don’t want my house to be uncomfortable or forbidding to them either. Sometimes the white upholstered sofas never come to be.

  72. Traci says:

    This could not have been better said. I LOVE your points! Your space should be one that you and your family love living in! Who cares what others think? Yes, I enjoy guidelines too because it helps us find what we love, but that is it! If breaking a decorating rule pleases you, then by all means, break it!

  73. Holly says:

    Just a wonderful read. So true, and a good reminder!
    Thanks!

  74. Really great post, Kelly! As an interior stylist, I share many of these tips with my clients at the beginning of our design projects. The biggest takeaway for me is to remind them that their spaces should be a reflection of their own personal style and not the latest trends per se. Thanks again for sharing a few tips that will help us lay the foundation for a well designed space!

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