Practice Makes Perfect – Club Sally

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Don’t be afraid to never finish
Home decorating and remodeling takes practice and often multiple attempts. Decorating is a constant process as styles change around us, and our personal styles evolve. While it’s hard not to want to put a period on your design projects, allowing them to change over time helps create interesting and unique spaces.

In a recent article in the Washington Post, New York based designer Shelia Bridges said, “Many people are paralyzed when it comes to making changes in their home, even small ones. People are freaked out by color. They want to have everything look perfect immediately. But decorating is really a process. The longer it takes or the more you slow down and enjoy that process of building and editing, the better your home will evolve.”

SB Hall Chair

But where to start?
We usually suggest starting with spaces where you spend the most time, where you’ll be able to enjoy the your designs the most. Begin by developing your design scheme – look online for inspiration and colors and collect pictures of interiors you like. Make sure you think through the functionality of your space too. If you have kids and pets, be willing to sacrifice making your space too “fancy” so that you’ll have the freedom to fully enjoy your space without the fear of messing something up. Invest in pieces that are comfortable and have character – don’t be afraid to take risks. If you play it safe with everything in your home, it will end up being boring and dull.

In a House Beautiful article designer Myra Hoefer gives a great tip to remember when you’re decorating. She says, “Surprise the eye with scale. Use one large lamp with a large lampshade, or an oversized ottoman. One large-scale element takes a room up a notch.” I love the phrase “surprise the eye” because that’s exactly what will make your designs more interesting. Whether it’s by surprising the eye with wallpaper on the ceiling like designer Michael Hampton suggests, or choosing a mirror that reflects something impactful, don’t be afraid to take risks and make decisions that will be interesting to the eye. By taking risks you'll better learn what works, and possibly what doesn't work. You'll never improve your design ability if you always play it safe.

Myra Hoefer

As in most cases, good things take time. Tastes change as you’re exposed to different design elements, as you travel and see different styles around the world, and even as you live in your home and more fully understand the way you use your space. Practice by making your design decisions slowly and living in a space that is not fully “done”. Good designs will continually be edited and will always be evolving as you grow and change and try new things in all areas of life. 

Michael Hampton

{Images: 1. Sheila Bridges online portfolio, 2. Myra Hoefer online portfolio, House Beautiful 2011, 3. Michael Hampton online portfolio, Classic Comfort)

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