I recently received a reader question that made me stop in my tracks. She had been taught that you either have good taste or you don’t. And that you have the eye for design or you don’t.
I was almost brought to tears thinking that she had been brainwashed into thinking that perhaps she’d never be able to create the spaces she wanted because she wasn’t born with the correct skills.
Never before in my life had I wished that I had a photograph of the bright yellow, Hawaiian themed bedroom we created in our first home. There was literally a plastic tiki from the party store on the wall.
Approximately ZERO people who saw that space would have thought “wow, she really has a natural gift for this” or “what great taste she has!”.
They would have laughed me right out of my own house if I told them one day I would make a living having a website talking about decor and organization.
We are all born with a unique blend of skills and talents, and some people absolutely have a more natural dose of design-sense than others.
But guess, what?
YOU can still create a beautiful home that you LOVE to live in regardless of where you fall on the “have the eye” spectrum.
You see, we worry too much about whether things are “right” and not nearly enough about how our homes make us feel.
We worry about whether something is “good” instead of worrying if we have a connection to it.
We worry about whether something is IN style versus OUR style.
We worry about making mistakes like decor has the consequences of brain surgery.
You may have noticed that as we update our house, I say things like “the mirror was no longer our style” or “the fabric didn’t match the feel of our house”.
It’s not by accident that you don’t see me say “that mirror is SO UGLY I don’t know why I ever thought it was a good idea.”
Because you know what? The same mirror that I get disgusted seeing every morning could be the perfect addition to your home and make you smile every morning.
And you know what else?
At the point we built that house, I very much enjoyed that very same mirror.
What about in 2001 when we created the (in my 2018 opinion) tacky school-bus yellow bedroom?
At 21, I LOVED having that fun space that we took the time to decorate.
I still love that we weren’t afraid to make bold decisions, try out a crazy color, and create something unique with a TINY budget. I lost that boldness for a decade and I’m so glad we’ve found it again.
When it came time to sell the house a few years later, it only took a day to repaint it to a neutral color that wouldn’t send buyers running.
It’s hard to explain the value of the mental shift that happens when you:
stop seeing design as good vs bad
and instead as
right for my house vs wrong for my house.
Sure, there are people that more naturally have what is considered “good taste”.
But, I bet we’ve all seen rooms that magazines have deemed to be amazing despite the fact that we would NEVER want to live in them.
In fact, there are entire magazines dedicated to styles of decor that I don’t enjoy. Does that make them in bad taste? Not at all, they just aren’t MY taste.
That said, there are design guidelines and colors that are naturally more pleasing to a larger subset of people.
I’m a great example that those things CAN be learned and are very helpful no matter your style.
We have lots of posts coming up with tips and tricks to help you.
But at the end of the day, I’m not here to create a tribe of technically proficient designers. Although they have their place and are certainly very valuable to hire.
I’m here to create a movement of people that get to experience the joy that comes when you create functional spaces that make YOU happy.
If you haven’t downloaded the Feel & Function worksheet yet, make sure you pop over to this post to learn about my first step to decorating. Filling out the form to get the worksheet will also add you to the weekly newsletter list. You’ll receive all the upcoming tips to really implement these things I’m talking about in a way that works for you!
Did you ever think you’d read a design post without pictures? I sure never thought I’d write one! But I didn’t want to distract you with photos of MY style when you could be spending that time absorbing the words and thinking about YOUR style.
If anything from the post resonated with you, I’d love you to share it in the comments below!
She does this by sharing easy home organization tips, home decor tutorials, and creative ideas to help readers think outside the box, no matter their budget.
Her work has been featured in print in Better Homes & Gardens and Room to Create Magazine, and online by HGTV, House Beautiful, Buzzfeed, & more.
In 2018 & 2019, Melissa was named as a Style Maker by Better Homes & Gardens. In 2019, Polished Habitat was shortlisted for the Amara Blog Awards Best Interior Styling Blog - International.