Where To Start When Your Style Starts Changing

Following up from yesterday’s post, where do you start if your style is changing but a complete overhaul isn’t an option? Here is some practical advice and a few steps you can take now to change up your home:

Where To Start When Your Style Starts Changing

Take inventory. How much of what’s in your house is there because you truly love it? What drives you crazy every time you look at it? What’s been handed down with no sentimental value whatsoever?

Remove road blocks.  If you feel like you have to work around a certain fabric or piece of furniture, it may be worth donating (or recovering) so that you can move forward with creating a room you really like.

Strip away the excess. Get back to the basics by removing all of your accessories from the room. Box them up, take down your curtains and look around. Live with it for a few days. Only bring back out what you really like instead of just placing something because that’s where it’s always been.

Start fresh with paint. Sometimes, neutralizing your wall color can give you room to think. Consider white or neutral walls (even temporarily) to give you a fresh perspective on the space. I wrote more about that here.

Replace what’s on your walls if it doesn’t make you happy. Adding artwork to your house doesn’t to be expensive (one example), and what hangs on your walls can really create a whole new mood for your room. (If you need ideas for placement, you can find my tips here.)

If you’re going to make an investment. . .  New furniture may not be in the budget, but if it is, I would put my money into one or two classic pieces. A well-built sofa with clean lines is a good example. (I still haven’t gotten there yet. Our $150 Craigslist couch is hanging on!) A dining room table is another. If you have a few anchor pieces that will stand the test of time, you can always change up the other things in the room (dining chairs, pillows, curtains, accent tables, etc.) around them.

Break up sets. If replacing what you have isn’t an option, you can still move things around or just break up matching sets for a new look. A bedroom “suite” doesn’t have to all stay in the same room. Change up your dining room by just replacing the chairs and fabric. (I did this in our last house with the help of Craigslist.)

Don’t box yourself in. You don’t have to identify your new “style.” I still have no idea what my style is, and I’m not really that concerned. I always think it’s better to buy what you like instead of what you feel like you need to create a certain look. Go window shopping and see what makes you excited about decorating.

Slow down. You’re not in a race. Decorating can (and maybe should) be a gradual process.  Instead of  just “doing a makeover,” think about creating the feeling of home for you.

And, remember. . .Life’s too short to hate your house. Sometimes, I wish I had made this my blog tag line. It’s really true. You may not love everything about your home, but you can do a lot of things that will make you feel a lot better about it. Ultimately, you only have so long to live in your house so you might as well enjoy it while you do. “Risky” decorating choices aren’t really all that scary when you think of it in the long scheme of things.


  1. says

    Love these ideas, especially removing roadblocks. I had wallpaper that I couldn’t remove in my kitchen for 10 years and I finally hired someone to get rid of it just last month. Now I’ve painted and it feels so good to walk in there!

  2. says

    Amen to this. I’m in my late 20s, and it’s startling me a little how much my taste has changed already since I finished college. I’m in a place where I want our house to feel fun, yet sophisticated. These are great tips, especially the one about clearing out the room and hitting the metaphorical reset button.

  3. says

    good advice – and I totally agree with it all, especially the last one.. my husband was nervous when I wanted to paint the dining room the “hi sugarplum” pink.. he’s a contractor and had not seen that in any of the homes he’d worked in. I told him I didn’t care what the “rich people he worked for were doing”– I wanted to enjoy the room and I wanted it pink! It’s gorgeous and I do love it every single day and have NO regrets! :)

  4. says

    When I first bought a house I thought it needed to look more grown up (just like you). My husband and I were engaged at the time and just out of college and I thought our house needed to look like it was in a Pottery Barn catalog! Fast forward 7 years, a dog, 2 kids and a new house later I am rethinking what my style is. I think in a way growing up I decided my house didn’t have to be any certain way…it just has to be something I love. Thankfully I don’t take this house as seriously as I did the last house and I love that its equal parts of everyone who lives there (dog included)! We are a wild, creative and messy bunch so our mixing of new, old and everything in between just fits!

  5. says

    What a great topic to discuss! It’s so true that our tastes change as we get older and that is the fun part in design, to see things keep changing and improving. I know my taste has changed too. I don’t feel bad about saying a room ( or many) is not done, because I know it will keep evolving. I guess we shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves since it’s such a creative process to put a room together.

  6. karen sunday says

    Thanks to you and many other blogs I was able to go from the country barn reds a few years ago when looking for paint for my kitchen cupboards I stumbled on a blog on how to and paint selection which led me to clicking around and I start everyday now looking at your blog and many others it has been life changing. I was able to redo every room in our home its been so fun and rewarding.I had a couple of garage sales for my country primitives and now they are gone! thanks again for helping me find my way!

  7. says

    I have needed these tips! Thank you! I’m trying to work around red couches (I loved your post on how to incorporate them), but everything just isn’t working together.

  8. says

    I’m so glad you said you had no idea what your style is! I feel like I love so many different styles that I can’t really pin my particular style down. I guess this is what’s considered “eclectic” but I’ve never felt like that word really fit my style either. I figure I know what I like and what I don’t like, so I’m done trying to contain my style into one or two particular terms. :)

  9. says

    This is such a great post and it resonates so well with me right now. It’s HARD to change up your house when you grow tired of a look…..so much harder than I imagined. Thanks for sharing your expertise and also the reminder that life is too short to hate your house! That is so true!

  10. says

    I so needed this post! It was like you wrote it just for me, so thank you! ;) I am feeling like I need a fresh slate all around our home. Great tips!

  11. says

    Oh, I so love this post! I recently painted something and it all clicked. For so long, I had been doing the “popular” thing or what I thought my mom liked that I couldn’t ever, ever, ever paint!

    Anyway, thanks for this reassurance and perspective!
    Amber :)

  12. says

    This is great commentary. I often get caught up in the design hoopla of constant change, and comparing with decorators who have grand budgets to get it all done now in time for photo shoots, etc. It’s easy to lose sight of the fact that it IS our home, our place of comfort as well as our laboratory. :)


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