Have you been working on your home or apartment but you feel like it’s never done? Decorating your own home is a process, it’s never really finished. It’s a marathon not a sprint.
If you have been working for months, weeks or years and you are frustrated because you feel like your home isn’t done, try a few of these tips. They might help you to realize that your home is looking more decorated and like you every month.
1.) Take Photos Along the Way
Sometimes when you are making a lot of changes you tend to forget the way your home used to look. I recommend snapping photos with your phone before you make any changes, even small ones. That way you have a visual reminder of how much progress you have made.
Depending on how Type A you are or aren’t, you can set up a folder just for home photos. Then snap a photo before you hang a piece of art, before you hang new curtains or lay down a rug. Take photos at each step in the process. This helps you to see just how different everything looks. You can reminisce, just like you do when you look at old photos of your kids (or pets or friends) and see how much they have changed.
2.) Accept That HGTV is NOT Reality
It’s hard if you watch the shows on HGTV and you see how quickly the spaces are transformed. These shows like Home Town and Fixer Upper have large crews working on each home. The show is often filmed over many months time. They make it look like it’s just a few days, because who would want to watch the show if it took months to fix up a house?
Sometimes you can even get clues as to how long it takes by their clothes. When the project starts they may be all dressed up in winter gear, but close to the end suddenly they are wearing short sleeves and it’s summer.
3.) Learn to Enjoy the Process
Don’t rush! Part of what is great about working on your home is the process of doing it. As you go you learn more about what you like, and what you don’t. It also gets easier to know which stores work for you. For example, I have certain go-to stores for upholstered goods. Other stores for light fixtures and so on.
The longer you work on your home, the more you get inspired by photos you see. This is because you start to see things that you can copy, but with your own flair and budget.
This is more of a mindset shift. Instead of thinking, I wish my laundry room didn’t look so horrible, try shifting your thinking. Reflect on something you recently have finished and remember what that looked like before. Keeping a journal of your home’s progress either electronically or in a book can really help with this.
4.) Learn From Mistakes
Mistakes are part of the process. I promise that as you work on your home or apartment you will buy something or paint something that you regret. If it’s not a giant piece of furniture, you can probably return it.
When you finally get a piece of furniture or a rug in your house it can look totally different than in the store or online. If you don’t like it, return it. Don’t hesitate because we tend to keep things in our homes for years and that’s a long time to keep a rug you don’t like. This is probably not possible if you have something custom made.
Even professional designers make choices that they don’t love. It’s part of the process. You start to learn from your mistakes. For example you might be thinking about buying a rug. Look back at other rugs you’ve bought and maybe there was one along the way that didn’t work. That’s a lesson. For example I bought an animal skin rug, brought it home and when I put it down I just didn’t like the way it looked. The lesson is animal hides are just not my thing. I returned it quickly.
5.) Show Off Your Progress
You are in your house every day so you lose track of the changes. Have some friends over and see how they react. They haven’t witnessed every nitty gritty step, but I bet they will really love the end result.
An outsider can give you a fresh perspective on how far you’ve come. I had a friend over and she said “I love what you did with the shelves.” This was a project I did months ago but it made me remember back to what it looked like before. Look at old photos from the last few years and I bet you will be surprised at how much progress you’ve made.
Decorating your home is something that can take weeks, months and even years. You have to take time to appreciate the changes you make and show them off.
Your home or apartment will never be perfect, unless you are fortunate enough to have unlimited funds and time (which no one does). It takes time to get your home just the way you want it, so enjoy the steps along the way. And know that as soon as you get there you are bound to see something else you want to change. Learn to enjoy the process!