The power to create an environment with great Feng Shui that’s beautiful and comfortable belongs to you and you alone. But from my own experience I know how intimidating it can be to decorate a home from scratch.
Even if you’re working with an interior designer, it’s imperative to know what you like and don’t like so you’re not at the mercy of their taste.
Here’s my eight-step method for gaining confidence, that gives you a way to communicate your taste to key players like your spouse, your designer or architect, and salespeople you work with.
It worked for me, it’s worked for my clients: it can work for you.
1. Buy at least 5 different home design magazines. To get you started, here are my Top Five favorite decorating magazines:
- The World of Interiors – one of the most beautiful magazines out there, packed with an amazing variety of colorful, interesting and inspiring decorating styles from all over the world. Published in the UK, you’ll find it at shops with a large magazine selection, like Barnes & Noble or Borders.
- Elle Décor– eclectic ideas with a French accent.
- House Beautiful – traditional style and practical decorating inspiration.
- Dwell– a super-contemporary, even futuristic, point of view
- Architectural Digest– super high-end and celebrity decorating. (I admit that I’m not a huge fan, though, because it’s so unrealistic.)
Each of these magazines features a range of styles and practicality. The point is to have a mix of sources to play with.
2. Sit in a comfy chair, put on some music, and quickly start going through the magazines. Turn the pages without stopping to read, and tear out every photo that appeals to you.
Allow yourself to be surprised to discover what you like, discarding any preconceived notions about what “makes sense.” Tear things out with abandon — ads, big pictures, small pictures, the works.
3. Keep going until you’ve reached the end of your batch of magazines. (Each time I do this I get so excited that I have to give myself a break.)
4. Sort through the pictures you’ve selected. Did your taste evolve as you did this exercise? Sometimes rooms or styles that you liked at the beginning don’t look so great now. Throw those pictures away.
Keep the ones that really resonate; your style is taking shape!
5. Now it’s time to organize them by room or by function (colors, lighting, artwork, etc.). Keep them in files or a notebook, or put them up on a bulletin board as a inspiration for your project.
When you’re working on a particular room – your kitchen, say – create a collage to bring the project into focus, re-arranging them until your room takes shape.
6. Buy a few more issues of the magazines that resonated and repeat this exercise, adding and subtracting from your picture collection as you go.
7. Keep the pictures handy and bring them with you when you shop. Show them to people who help you, like your architect, interior designer, or salespeople when you’re buying important items from paint to furniture to accessories.
8. Subscribe to your favorite magazines and continue to collect inspiration for your beautiful home. You may end up with hundreds of pages – I did, and I refer them all the time as my home continues to evolve.
Congratulations! You’re on your way to creating a home that’s a perfect reflection of YOU.
(photo from iStock)