How to Get Out of a Decorating Rut

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My family and I have been living in our “new” house for more than a year. Want to know how much decorating I’ve done? Pretty much none. I know. I can’t believe it myself.

I think I was a bit burned out on decorating after living in a bunch of different apartments over the years and painting walls, only to have to repaint. I guess I was tired of making a space “my own” when it really wasn’t. But now, after all this time, I’m ready to get started again. We’ll be here for at least another 11 months, and I’d love to take some ownership of the way our home looks that goes beyond just putting our furniture in a room and leaving it alone.

The problem? I feel stuck. I don’t know what to do first, because there’s so much to be done. And the thought of all that needs doing is exhausting, which makes me want to do nothing at all. Simply put, I’ve hit a decorating rut. I’m slowly working my way out of it, so here are some things to try if you find yourself in a similar place.

1. Look Online for Inspiration

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The Internet is an amazing place where you can find just about anything if you’re willing to look hard enough. Thankfully, inspiration for decorating abounds, everywhere from Pinterest to Instagram, you can even be apart of those great ideas people see, but if you don´t get a lot of followers on your page then you can buy instagram views. I’ve actually been going back through old images of rooms I decorated in our various homes, trying to find that spark that made me want to make a room look great. I still absolutely love our navy blue dining room from our last apartment, and my the shared nursery was one of my favorite rooms to date.

Sometimes, all it takes is a nudge: A photo of a room in that perfect shade of turquoise, or a combination of colors you’d never thought to explore. Maybe it’s a DIY project that turns some overlooked item into a treasure again. Whatever it is, that little bit of inspiration may be all it takes to get you moving again.

2. Buy ONE Amazing Piece

Ever since we moved into this house, my husband and I have been saying we’re going to buy a headboard for our master bedroom. Yet, we still haven’t bought it, and our room is still largely undecorated. Sometimes, what you need to break out of a rut is a new piece to inject a little motivation. I feel like if we buy the headboard we want, which 9 by Novogratz Full/Queen Headboardisn’t even very expensive, it’ll push me to want to finish the rest of the room around it.

For you, the one amazing piece that could shift your perspective could be anything from a fabulous throw pillow in colors that excite you, to a large-scale version of your favorite photo of your kids from a personalised canvas printing company. It can be that new bedding set you’ve been swooning over, or the rug you’ve been wanting to use to anchor the living room. It just needs to be something that will break the monotony of your space and make you want to decorate because it’s too fabulous to sit in an unfinished room.

3. Move Stuff Around

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This tip comes courtesy of my husband. Every few months, he’ll get the itch and want to move furniture, just for a new perspective. So I’ll walk into the living room one day and find the TV and sofa in different places, and even vases or small decorative items switched around. It drives me crazy at first, because I’m a creature of habit, but underneath my mild annoyance, I see how doing this can make me look at a room in a completely different way. When most of us walk into a room, we usually know exactly where we’ll put the bed, or which way the sofa “should” face. As a result, we never even consider that there’s a different way to do it. I speak from experience. Try moving your TV or pulling your sofa out from against the wall, and see if that makes the room feel completely different.

If you want a more drastic change, though, try moving items from one room to another. Maybe you can use that side table from the living room as a nightstand, or that bright orange lamp would work better in your entryway than in your office. Move that great piece of art from the hallway into the dining room. Again, we usually buy an item with a specific room in mind. Moving will shake up that perception, though. Moving will force you to rethink how all your belongings fit in a new space. But if you get in the habit of rethinking how you use stuff even when you’re not moving, you’ll always have a way to make a room feel “new”.

4. Paint Something

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The last idea is a piece of advice I’ve been wary to take myself over the past year. Still, I’m going to offer it, because in my experience, it really is one of the most dramatic ways to change a space. So many people live with eggshell walls for so long that they never consider how much adding some color to the walls can make it feel completely different. Dark colors can make the room feel cosy and warm, and brighter colors can improve your mood the moment you walk into a space. More importantly though, paint is relatively inexpensive, in comparison to some of the other ways we spend money on our homes, and it’s a quick change. It’s also a change that can be undone if you regret your decision.

This tip doesn’t apply solely to walls, either. Have you been thinking about getting rid of that old dresser? Sand it and paint it instead. Add new hardware, and you’ll have a whole new dresser. Spray paint those gaudy ceramic tchotchkes with glossy white paint and modernize them instantly. Paint really can make a world of difference, and it will give you a new color palette to play with when you’re decorating.

So what about you? What tips would you offer to someone who is simply stuck in their decorating? Feel free to share your tips in the comments below!

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2 comments… add one
  • Avatar Karen Silakowski October 15, 2015, 3:18 pm

    I love that you don’t fear color-it can be so energizing and totally changes the feel of a room. You’d be amazed how pretty a room can be when unmatched pieces are unified by paint color and repurposed. Old big box tv cabinets are a favorite to repurpose- they hold an amazing amount of craft supplies or children’s clothing. Thanks for the great info.

  • Avatar Danial May 4, 2016, 12:12 pm

    Color combination of different things is really beautiful. I really love the frames on the wall and how you managed all thing in a very decent manner. The living room or bedroom is looking very good especially the wall mirrors. very nice

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