Getting Started: Part I

I bought this book for the sole purpose of having it in my collection. I see it everywhere; on just about every blog about decorating out there and even on coffee tables and bookshelves in the most popular design magazines like Veranda and House Beautiful. I figured every designer must have this book! I had never even read it until just last week. Boy, was I missing out. Other than being a pretty book on your shelf, it’s packed with enlightening information about where to begin with decorating your home.

As most of you know, I’m moving into my first home (a townhouse, but a home to me) in February. It’s different that an apartment because it’s bigger and more homey. I know I want to go all out on furnishings but there’s really no budget for that. I’m finding that I could use all the help I can get using Pinterest for DIY ideas and browsing thrift stores for “treasures.”

It occurred to me that I don’t really know how want to decorate my new home. I know I like certain colors and textures, but what will my theme be, if any. Domino: The Book of Decorating encouraged me to really think about what I want in my home. The first chapter is called “Getting Started,” and it lights a path of inspiration and creativity for a wild imagination like mine. It encouraged me to look beyond trends and “what everybody else is doing” and allowed me to put together a collection of things that I love and want to incorporate.

If you don’t have this book, I encourage you to stop in your local bookstore and pick it up. It has some really good pointers that everyone could use. Just because I am in school for design, doesn’t mean I’m a professional. I still have trouble getting started. We all do! So I wanted to take a couple of blog posts and share the first chapter with you all. I think it will really help you when you are thinking about finding inspiration, determining your style, and setting a clear budget. Basically, you’re getting a free look into the first chapter of this book. I am going to divide these posts up so they aren’t so long and drawn out so make sure to stop back in and see the rest.

So… you’ve got a new apartment or home and you’re completely lost on how to decorate it. Typical. People say it comes easy, but sometimes you can be a little indecisive. You might like traditional style furniture and loud bright colors. So how does these two things go together?


Well, just like that! Who would have thought you could take a wing chair and put that bold turquoise fabric on it or paint that antique chest of drawers such a bright golden yellow? Anything is possible, you just have to be inspired. The first step in decorating your home is to find inspiration. Find things that make you smile. I call it the Feel Good Moment. When you’re out shopping and you turn the corner and see the [insert imaginary fabulous piece here] and your body gets all warm and you grin from ear to ear: that’s the Feel Good Moment. When a piece makes you feel that way, it’s a good sign.

Magazines and books are a great place to begin when looking for inspiration, but movies, art, fashion, nature, and travel are also rich resources. The most important thing is to not think: just do. Print out pictures of rooms you love, go to a home improvement store and collect paint chips, and cut stripes of fabric from old shirts you can wear anymore. Anything that sparks interest: save it.

Next, find a way to save these ideas. Start a file of these favorite things. Baskets work great if you’re a tangible person, but if you’re like me online files work best. I’ve created a bulletin board like the ones you see above and it’s a nice reminder when you seem to get off track. The best system is the one you’ll actually use.

ook for themes. After you’ve gotten a nice big collection, lay it all out and take a step back. Do you have a lot of aqua color things or geometric prints in your collection? Are there signs of Aztec or modern themes? Ask yourself: “Do I really love this? Is this too wild? Is this realistic?” Take out the stuff you’re uncertain about because there is no such this a good doubt. If there’s any doubt at all, trash it.

I challenge you to go out to a hobby store, buy a box or basket, and get to collecting! If you’re tight on money, like most of us, start a new Pinterest board and get to pinning things. Remember: don’t think. Just clip away! Your collection doesn’t have to be perfect, but it needs to be you. If something is clashing with the real you, trash it. Just because something isn’t in style or isn’t the fad right now, save it because history repeats itself. One day it might the next big thing.

Happy Collecting!

Stay tuned for Part II: Finding Your Design Style

xo Natalie

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