People often tell me they don’t know where to start when it comes to decorating. Some rooms are tougher than others and I have this same problem at times. I am spending a lot more time in my home office these days. It’s the one room in my house that has received no attention. It was the room in our house where we dumped things and paid bills on the computer, but I now spend many a day in there and it really, really needs a face lift.
The funny thing is that I don’t know where to start! My room is directionless and I’m stumped. I think the spaces closest to us can be the most difficult. I thought about what I’ve done for other rooms, and what I’ve encouraged others to do when they start the design process—start an Idea Style File.
I just love the sound of that—idea (a thought is in there somewhere) style (we all want it) and file (organizing!). Sounds great. And, there are tons of pretty files out there, so your file can be stylish too.
(I love stationery, so I may have gone a bit over board with the pictures of stylish files…but it’s so hard to pick just one…or two).
Here’s how it works. You label said stylish file with the room you’re working on and then fill it with whatever you see that you like. Sounds simple, right? Well, it can be if you don’t limit or edit yourself.
This is just for you and the first steps are a free for all—look at any and all magazines (fashion, home, cooking, gardening, anything), ads, pictures, fabrics, etc. and tear out anything you love for that room. Put it in the file. Don’t worry about if it all goes together or if you already have 3 sofas in the file. Just FILL it with things you LOVE.
The items don’t have to all be pictures of home-related things either. If you love the colors on a sweater in a catalog toss it in. Color of a pot in a cooking magazine? Dump it in. You get the idea (I hope).
After you’ve filled the file you must now edit. This part is harder. So, if you want to put it off, keep filling! But, at some point you will need to edit.
Take all of your items out and spread them out on a table. Look for similarities. Tons of pictures with orange? Lots of stripes? Animal prints? Straight lines? Start writing down the common things you see in the pictures.
This now gives you an IDEA of what to look for for the basics—room color, furnishings, flooring and accessories. This is the IDEA style file. Let it spark ideas. The ACTION file is another thing for another day, when you’ve recovered from this filing project!