4 steps to stress free decorating

We all have those moments when our current living environment just doesn’t sit well with us anymore; sometimes a good clean and nice vase of flowers can do the trick, but sometimes we need a full on revamp.

I don’t know about you, but I get extremely excited about decorating and creating a new living environment, I love the clean crisp feeling of the space.  But here’s the thing, no matter the level of excitement, stress tends to take over because there are always a few too many decisions to be made!

In the last 5 years I have moved a whopping 6 times, so I’ve had my fair share of decorating anxiety, along with way too many terrible and regrettable interior design decisions.  But like most things in life, we really only learn from our mistakes; and with a bank of interior design mistakes in my bag I’ve now have developed a routine when it comes to decorating.

When I was a singleton and decorating to my own needs and tastes, it never really was overwhelmingly stressful because all I had to consider was myself, so any heinous mistake could be brushed under the carpet or just stored away for a later date – careless furniture buying at its finest!  However, since moving state side and getting married I’ve had to consider both mine and Johns style,  along with trying to communicate to him the vision I have in my head; which by the way is REALLY DIFFICULT, sometimes you just see it in your mind and you know its going to work.

With us being in our third living space together we already know the drill and have it down to almost a fine art.  We take our time and do a step by step approach to designing our rooms; this has helped up save money, visualize things together and ultimately help us save on the stress wine; oh and its almost eradicated the moments where I sit on the floor in a store because it’s too overwhelming, note almost.

Step one – Go visit model homes

There’s no better way than to learn from the professionals!  Sure going to a home store gives you some ideas as they do have some pretty nice displays set up by their in-house visual merchandisers, but there is nothing like stepping into a staged home. Whenever I walk into a model home I really connect with the surroundings and I can visualize this being my home.

Within seconds of stepping into the room of the model house that we will be decorating we can instantly understand what we like and dislike about the room, and the things that make us feel uncomfortable or happy.

  • Go to at least 3 different homes
  • Note what you like and dislike
  • Always take pictures

IMG_2896 IMG_2895

Step two – Make an un-compromised wish list.

Now that you have an idea of some of the items you want, and possibly the way you want your room laid out you can create the uncompromised wish list.  The uncompromised aspect of this step is money! One of the biggest things that can sometimes have a huge impact on our ability to unleash our creative flare is budget.   When we are guided by price it can sway our vision and restrict the places we ‘shop’ because we have the idea that it’s too expensive.

At this early stage in the decorating process budget can be thrown out the window, you need to choose your ultimate super-duper wish list, no holding back! What an amazing feeling!  I do the entirety of this stage online so that I can screen shot everything and create a nice little visual board on PowerPoint; this way you can really start to see the room come together and see what does and doesn’t work, plus John can understand some of my ideas, and vice versa.

  • No budget
  • Create a picture board


Step Three – Create a budget friendly wish list.

Now that you have an un-compromised wish list, along with your vision from the model home trip, you should have a clear idea as to what you want your room to look like; the colours and the overall finishes.  So now it’s time to climb out the window and pick up the budget you threw out of it in step two.

Normally we go head first into a decorating project at this stage, with little to no research done which is why the headaches and copious amounts of wine consumption happen (or is that just me?); but with all the ground work you have done up to this stage this shouldn’t happen. You could head to the stores at this stage if you have all the time in the world, go ahead, I mean, eat your heart out.  However I tend to remain a hermit and stick to the internet at this stage, I tend find it easier to find things in my price range.

My favorite thing about doing this stage online is that I can create yet another visual board along with adding up the coast of everything – you must remember to save the links at this stage too so you can go back and find it!  Your design board will change ever so slightly at this stage because sometimes you just can’t get a more reasonable version of what you love in that exact color/ finish, but that’s OK!


Step Four – Buy it !

I like to do this step over a number weeks, and store what I have in the spare room/garage until I have everything off the list.  I’m an all or nothing kinda gal, so I don’t really like putting a room together bit by bit, I’d rather wait and have the grand reveal! But each to their own.

Start of the collection

I hope that that will help you see decorating as something fun and memorable, rather than a stress filled weekend with endless arguments; and that the glass of wine you end the evening on is for celebration, not to numb the pain of decorating.


Thanks for stopping by,

Cariad Mawr,





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