The other day I received an email from Positively Present fan, Lindsay, asking me if I had any decorating tips that would offer Positively Present-like inspiration. This struck as a surprising, yet wonderful, question. Most of us spend a fair amount of time in our homes so why shouldn't we do what we can to increase the positivity in them. Positive decoration is something I've done, but not really thought about doing. After receiving Lindsay's email I decided to give this concept some more thought and put into words some the the tactics I use to make my home a positive place to be.
Below you'll find some of my personal tips and tricks. I'm no home interior expert, but I do love creating a place to live that feels like home. And I'm definitely a big fan of organizing (see: The Best Ways to Organize Your Living Space (and Your Life)) my home. A disorganized home, to me, just doesn't feel right. However, I realize that everyone is different and the word "home" can mean so many things to so many people. So, as you read through my home decorating words of wisdom, keep in mind that ultimately you should decorate and arrange your living space in a way that makes YOU happy.
Bringing the Positivity Home: 7 Home Decorating Tips
1. Incorporate inspiration. One of the first things you must do if you're trying to bring positivity into your home is to incorporate inspiration. Whether it's photographs of people you love, a meaningful poster, or items that remind you to stay positive, you must incorporate them into your decor. It's important to think about what is really meaningful to you and then find ways to add bits of that meaningfullness to your home. For example, one of my favorite things in my home is a meaningfullness canvas from CB2. Every time I look at it, it serves as an important reminder to focus on the things that truly mean something to me. It's one of the first things I see when I walk in (or out) the door, which allows it to serve as a good reminder when I'm both coming and going that I should focus on the meaningful things in life.
2. Choose hues wisely. Despite the black-and-white print mentioned in #1, color plays a very big role in my life -- and also in decorating. All my life I've incorporated bright hues into my decorating schemes. Whether it was the neon green flower print I covered my room in when I was in high school, the red hues I veered towards in college, or the bright orange I return to over and over again, I've always been a fan of color and I strive to incorporate it whenever I can into my decor (see my couch to the left). However, that's just my personal preference. It's important that you evaluate what colors are your favorites and incorporate those into your living space. Choose hues that make you feel happy and surround yourself with them.
3. Do more with less. I'm a big fan of simplicity. This is a personal preference and I'm sure some people would find my apartment to be a bit cold and un-homey with its lack of pictures and knick-knacks, but I really believe that a simple aesthetic in the home can help cultivate a simple, pure mindset. Clutter can be overwhelming to the mind, causing our brains to take in a lot of information at once. Therefore, I think one of the best things we can do to create a positive living space is to reduce that clutter and focus only on the things that matter most to us. For example, I love books so I've made books the focal point of my place with an wall of bookshelves. Figure out what is most important to you and make that the center of your decor.
4. Keep an open mind. One of the best things about decorating is that there are so, so many options. No matter what style you prefer or what colors you gravitate towards, there is a decor design for you. If you feel torn between a variety of elements -- say, hippie chic and slick modern -- don't fret. The great thing about decorating your own space is that it's yours to do what you want with. You can mix and match and choose the things that are most inspiring to you. Don't be limited by what you read in magazines or online. Be open to new ideas and fresh ways of looking at design. For example, I probably will never live in a beach cottage where the image above would really work, but that doesn't mean I won't someday find a way to incorporate that amazing chair into my decor. I collect images of things I love and know that someday I will find a way to make my mix-and-match decor come to life.
5. Screw objectivity. It might be tempting to want to take a step back and look at what you've designed from an objective perspective. Don't. Life is too short to live in a place that other people have designed for you. There's nothing wrong with getting input and help from others, but when it comes down to making the final decisions on the decor of your living space, keep a subjective point of view. After all, you'll be the one living in the space, returning to it time and time again for inspiration. If you don't feel happy and alive in the place you live, you'll be missing out. Ignore design "rules" and the well-meant advice from interior decorating magazines. Do what feels right to you and you will always feel inspired in your home.
6. Listen to your heart. Yes, this might sound like the most cliched advice on the planet, but it's been around forever for a reason. When it comes to decorating, your heart can be a great guide. Deep down, you know what inspires you. You know what you want to see first thing when you wake up in the morning and what you want to welcome you when you return home each evening. So many people asked me, "Are you sure you want to commit to an orange couch?" but I never doubted the decision for a second. Pay attention to your gut instincts. If something appeals to you instantly, there's probably a reason for that. Don't settle for furniture or decor just because it's convenient or appealing to others. Listen to what your heart is telling you and you'll be sure to create a living space that really feels like home.
7. Be ready for change. Over the years, some things will remain constant. For example, I have always loved the color orange and, though many people have told me I will tire of the color, I haven't yet. However, there are certain elements of decor that I once loved that just don't suit me anymore. We grow and we change and so do our tastes. What you like today, you may not find appealing in ten years or so. And that's okay. You don't have to commit to a decor style for life. You are allowed to change your mind -- and you probably will. Keep this in mind when you're buying big ticket items. If you have even the tiniest inkling that something is more of a phase than a life-long passion, incorporate that element in smaller doses. You don't want to overdo something and then hate it later. Move slowly and thoughtfully when it comes to incorporating new decor into your life. Seek inspiration, not instant gratification.
Decorating -- especially one's home -- is an very personal, very important aspect of life. So many factors can impact our choices and sometimes we have to take into consideration the wants and needs of others. Whether you're a teenager waiting to redecorate your bedroom (as I did many, many times) or an adult living with roommates or a significant other, don't forget to take into consideration what others might need or want when it comes to your decoration desires. It's tempting to dive in head-first (especially if you're the type of person who gravitates toward #5), but it's also important to weigh the pros and cons of your choices against others' desires. If you're not living alone, keep in mind that others may want to have a say in how you decorate. Use the tips above as a team (or group) and do what you can to make the most of whatever space you have.
Whether you're living in a multi-bedroom mansion or a tiny one bedroom apartment, whether you're in the poshest of neighborhoods or in an area you'd rather not be living in at all, you have the power to make your place a positive one. Even if you're limited in resources or funds, there are small things you can do to improve your living space. Where you live -- the place you call home -- should be a source of inspiration, happiness, and comfort. You cannot control everything about your home, but there are a few things (like decorating!) that you have the power to improve. Use that power to bring positivity home and create a place that will always inspire an optimistic outlook.
Looking for some home decorating inspiration? Click below!