August 3, 2011

Lessons I've Learned from Styling my Home

If you've been following me via my personal Twitter handle or on tumblr, you know that I'm in full home decoration mode. I've lived in my apartment for over a year and have never gotten around to making it a home ... my home. At times I was uninspired, overly inspired, distracted or overwhelmed with the whole thing. I'd look at the well put together homes of other bloggers - Nicole of SoHauteStyle, Erika of small shop studio, Kelly of the glamourai - and think to myself "I'll never be able to pull that off," before pushing it to the bottom of my To Do list yet again. Needless to say, it's been a drama-filled 15 months and I still haven't gotten it together.

Where I spend most days lately, at my coffee table surrounded by home inspiration.

Having made the decision to call this place home for another two years, I've dedicated myself to finishing the job before the holiday entertaining season begins. It's not an easy process, but I'm committed. Here are three things I've learned since beginning this process that have prevented me from pulling my hair out and giving up again:

Personal Style is Evolutionary. My style today is worlds away from what I liked the day I moved in. I've gone from being a modern minimalist to laid-back vintage glam. They are wildly different and therefore some of the furniture I purchased last year doesn't fit within my new vision. There is nothing wrong with this and no need to feel bad about no longer liking that well-made chest of drawers. It's OK to get rid of it and replace it with something more your style.

Pinterest is a God-send! Thank the Heaven's for whomever created Pinterest. It really has been super helpful in organizing inspirations and crystallizing the vision for my home. I have several past issues of Domino magazine (as evidenced in the above photo) with tabbed pages, design books with bookmarks, dog-eared catalogs, photos ripped from other home magazines or printed from Apartment Therapy ... basically inspiration overload. My Pinterest boards have allowed me to separate what I really want to do with my apartment from looks I'd envision for my dream house. Now I have clips of the things I actually plan on doing separated from the "one day" options. Note: Pinterest is an invitation only site.

Tackle Rooms Individually in Stages. Everyone knows the inspirational quote "If you fail to plan you plan to fail." I'm also convinced I have a mild case of AADD (I took an online quiz and scored 89 ... eek!) and need blinders to make me focus. When I started a few weeks ago I began doing little things in every room - a knick knack here, sheets there, reorganize over there. Yes there was progress, but it didn't really feel like much was getting done because each room was still incomplete. I've changed my approach and now have individual projects - the dining area, the laundry closet, the bathroom, etc - that I'll work on each weekend. By tackling and completing these projects in stages, I'll have a stronger sense of accomplishment. First up will be the closet in my entryway.

I'd love to hear your stories and any tips/advice you may have. Tell me in the comments!

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