Whenever I get talking to someone not in the design world, they always tell me some form of "I'm clueless when it comes to decorating." Almost always, I follow this up with an exasperated sigh and a smile. One part "here we go again" and one part "no, you're really not."
Let me explain. Everyone, at some point or another, was clueless in decorating or styling or anything, for that matter. Experts are not born, they are made. I find it very annoying when the design snobs act like they were born knowing everything. Give me a break. In this day and age, anyone can become an expert in pretty much anything. You just have to do the work. What if you don't want to be a design expert but you just want to get a few tips from someone who is? Great, that's what I do! I've earned it and I am happy to share. After all, what good is knowledge if you don't share it, right?
Let me show you where you're royally screwing up and how you can fix it in a hot minute.
You Buy Too Much Stuff
It's a room, not a turkey on Thanksgiving. Do not stuff the room with tons of crap. Just because it's 80 percent off at Home Goods doesn't mean you have to buy it. If you invest in a few good pieces, you can work around them gently. A well-decorated room is often misconstrued to one which has the most "things" in it. Um, wrong! Learn to edit. You will be happier and your home will look better. Home feels good, you feel good. It's very simple.
You Use Too Many Color Combos
OK, while all the colors in the rainbow are lovely, they are not meant to always be together except, well, in a rainbow. Pick three colors in a similar family. For example... white, beige, chocolate. For the record, I'm not a beige person, but it's a neutral palette to get you started on the right foot. After you have your three basic colors, then you can add a pop here and there of something else. Maybe some turquoise pillows, a silver mirror, a Persian rug with bold reds. Try and tie in a little bit of your original three colors and see if it feels right. If it feels weird, it is weird. Start over.
You Have No Balls
Yep, I went there... and don't get me wrong, I mean this in the most endearing way! You need to take some risks on your quest of home decor fabulosity. "No risk, no reward" is the most underestimated cliche of all time. Every great designer, chef, artist, entrepreneur or performer has had to throw it all out there at one point to see what happens. What are you afraid of? It's home decor, people, we're not saving the world. If you are afraid to take risks, hire a designer and tell him or her you love beige. If not, you're going to have to just go for it one of these days. You won't fall and break your neck, I swear!
You're Too Wrapped Up In What's "IN"
Style slaves are really meant for fashion. Fashion goes in and out season after season. Last season's Prada is just that. Last year's couch? Really? This does not exist. Those of us in the media world talk about yearly trends and styles in home design partly because what the fuck else are we going to talk about? Ha! I'm only partly kidding.
OK, this is important, so please listen to this part. Trends should be for accessories. Pillows, mirrors, rugs, paint colors, tabletop, wall decor... got it? Start with quality and classically designed pieces. They will be with you forever. Change up the other items year after year or whenever you get the itch!
You Think You Don't Know What You Like
Oh Honey, you do. Any time someone tells me this, I ask them to tell me what they don't like. And like music to my ears, they start telling me all the things they hate. "I hate yellow!", ""I hate cherry wood!", "I hate that shiny chrome!" The point is, once you get closer to what you don't like, you will have a clearer idea of what you do like. The best way to find this out is to spend an afternoon in the bookstore with a cup of coffee and buy a stack of home decor magazines. You need to buy them because I want you to tear out all the pictures of whatever you see that you absolutely love. Depending on how crafty you are, put them in a file or some kind of notebook and study it, take notes. This inexpensive exercise will cost you under $50 and a few hours and will save you time, aggravation and money.
People who live in spaces they love wake up happier and more relaxed. Isn't that how you want to start your day? Me, too.
I didn't say it was going to be easy, I said it was going to be fabulous.
Check your local TV listings for more of Celeb Designer, Courtney Cachet's style ideas and tips! You can catch her frequent appearances nationwide on TV, where she dishes out all the latest in home and lifestyle! Keep up with her on Facebook and join the conversation!