I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how common it really is. Your decorating plans are coming along, you are going in a direction you feel confident about, you already have a few things picked out and then suddenly, it hits. A decorator’s block. There’s something that’s just not working, an element you don’t know how to get around, perhaps you just can’t seem to find that certain thing you were looking for to suit the space just right. And so you stall. You turn it over in your mind but you can’t seem to figure it out. The project falters. Weeks go by. And finally, you realise long afterwards, that the room you had such high hopes for still isn’t finished and it’s months – maybe YEARS – later.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the nearly 6 years we’ve owned this house is that shit happens and things can sour quickly. Sometimes, even with the best laid plans, things, well, just don’t go to plan. I’ve been there plenty of times myself and this post is as much for me as it is for you. If you read my post on Wednesday, you’ll know that I stalled on getting our wardrobes replaced for years because I couldn’t decide what it was that I wanted and I just went around in circles. YEARS. I know, I know. It’s crazy.
But there are a few things you can do to break yourself free from a decorating rut, to tackle those obstacles and to get that room finished.
I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve swapped furniture around just to see if something worked in a different way. I’ll shop my house, move a chair into a different space, swap around accessories, move pictures. When we keep seeing the same space in the same way over and over, it just leads to brain fatigue and when you move things around, something may just click. It doesn’t mean you will necessarily find a new layout (although of course you might) but just the act of a new perspective may be enough to get things moving in your brain. When I tried a larger print over our bedside tables for a styling post, I suddenly realised the scale of the artwork I’d had there before was actually wrong. This lead me to finding some larger artwork which really breathed new life into the space.
Take a timed break
I know I can get obsessive about certain things. If I need something for a room, I will pour over loads of online stores looking for something to fit just right. But after a while, I stop seeing what it is I need, I get distracted, I see things I may have jumped on to start with but suddenly I’m doubting myself and wondering if it really is so great after all. Yes, you can over think things at times and I find that can lead to some serious indecision. Take a break from it but time it. Leaving a problem for a few days (promising yourself you won’t obsess over it in the meantime!) and make an appointment with yourself to tackle it the following week. I recommend an appointment because you also don’t want to ignore the problem, hoping it will go away! Perspectives change, stock on websites change, you may end up coming across something on Pinterest or on another blog or on Twitter in the meantime that you hadn’t originally considered. If you can go on holiday or take a mini vacation? Even better. I find I’m most inspired when I stop obsessing and just let the ideas and creativity come to me.
Seek out advice from a trusted friend
I can’t tell you how many times I have called on my blogger friends to help me make a decision on something. If you have a trusted friend or relative with great taste that you love, there’s absolutely no harm in bouncing some ideas off them and it can be a fun exercise to get a fresh pair of eyes on a problem space. I was fretting over the fabric for my chairs in the dining room and when I called on Kirstin to see what she thought, her suggestion of the Jamil Natural fabric was insanely perfect and I had no idea why I’d not thought of it before. Fresh eyes from someone you trust can be a total lifeline.
Call in an expert
And finally, if you realise you’ve bitten off more than you can chew or if you really feel completely stuck where you don’t even know how to approach a space, then don’t feel bad about calling in the experts. Not everyone has an ‘interior design’ eye and not every project is doable for every level of skill. There are times when saving a few extra pennies to hand a project over to someone who works with these things day in and day out can relieve you of the pressure to do it all yourself. When we talked about getting the tiles done at the front of the house, we knew it would be well beyond our skill level and I’m so happy we had the experts come in to do it for us. There’s a good chance we’ll also hire in a fitter for our new worktops too. Know when to let go and let the experts take over!
So those are just a few ways that I get out of a decorating rut if I feel like I’m a bit stuck! Do you ever find yourself a bit stuck when decorating? What do you do? I’d love to hear your suggestions too!