It’s a feature of modern living that just about everyone aspires to have a beautiful home. But it’s not just about splashing serious cash in a smart homes store. (If there’s anyone left who could afford to do that anyway.) These days you’re expected to create a home which is not only chic and stylish, but which is also uniquely yours. It should be “eclectic”; filled with individual pieces, all of which mean something to you, drawn from different eras and global cultures, and yet somehow all of which
blend harmoniously together to create an enviably smart and cool interior. In the face of such pressure, coupled with the unprecedented volume of choice on offer to the would-be home designer, it’s no surprise that design indecision has become an increasing common malady.
You might be wondering whether you’re a sufferer. Is design indecision holding you back? See if any of these scenarios strike a chord:
1. Your coffee table is stacked with the latest editions of Living etc and Elle Decoration, bursting with current trends in design and sophisticated interiors ideas. Your living room meantime hasn’t seen a paintbrush in a decade and more closely resembles a set from the Littlewoods catalogue circa 2003.
2. You spent more time choosing your last sofa than you spent revising for your high school maths exam. And you’re still not really sure about it.
3. When deciding on a colour scheme you spend weeks thumbing through interiors mags and at last, feeling inspired, buy at least five paint sample pots including exciting, bold shades. Carefully heeding advice about how light can dramatically alter the shade and feel of colour, you painstakingly paint the samples onto paper, pin the sheets all around the room, and then study at length the effect in varying lighting conditions. The outcome? You opt for “blanched matchstick”. (Translation? Yup, it’s magnolia.)
4 You’ve been thoroughly seduced by the latest wallpaper trends. You’re determined to create a striking design feature. You spend hours drooling over the most fabulous designs in sample books, order up multiple samples, and eagerly await the thud so full of promise which announces their arrival on your doormat. By the time you’ve pinned them up around the room, you find that you like them all and none of them at the same time. (How is that even possible incidentally?!) Unable to commit to any of them, you convince yourself that paint is more pared back, sleekly minimal and, well, just more you anyway. (And the colour? See point number 3 above.)
5. You love the trend for vintage and decide to incorporate some in your latest scheme. You source a wonderful mid century display cabinet in a local thriftshop. (You’re really working this unique, personal, aesthetic thing now!) But how on earth do you choose decor to make your new acquisition more an item of desire, less your Gran’s cast off? You stall. Is your room exuding a cool contemporary vibe with a gracious nod to retro? Nope. A set from the Royale family? Arrrrgh.
Towards design decisiveness
If any of these scenarios sound familiar, know that you are not alone and that there is no need to despair. Over the years I have hit on some relatively fool proof strategies for unlocking design paralysis. In truth, dealing with my own design indecision is still a work in progress. But like so many ventures, getting started is the hardest part and perhaps like me, you’ll find that once you get going, you’ll find a momentum which will propel you closer to the home of your dreams.
What symptoms of design indecision have you experienced? Any advice for fellow sufferers also gratefully received.