For the decoratively challenged

Adulting is so not ideal. It does things to you… you start to worry about things you never used to give a second thought. For instance, when I lived with a roommate, home décor wasn’t really at the top of my priority list. Basically, I was just along for the ride while my roommate turned our [so college] single-futon-and-tv-in-the-corner into a damn Pintrest dream room packed full with a gorgeous sectional, pillows, flowers, candles and lights strung from sheer curtains over the window. No, I’m serious, the girl was an interior decorating genius. And while I was fine being the simpleton with the lonely futon next to the TV, I quickly learned just how nice it felt to sit in a living room that was so damn beautiful.

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Our apartment was a picture out of a magazine, I shit you not.

When I moved into a place of my own, I had to start from scratch in basically every aspect of décor, from wall art, to curtains, to pillows and seating. And after living in the fairytale space pictured above, I knew I couldn’t fill my new-found space with just any old crap. I needed to make my living space beautiful because I knew just how relaxing it could be. Magazines, and Pintrest, and my old roommate all made it look so easy… I had anxiety just thinking about it. There are so many options — where do I even begin? Then once I started my planning and buying, I couldn’t help but think, is this really what I want? What if I change my mind? Below are some key tips I learned throughout this entire process:

  • Plan ahead.

The Home section in any store can be so overwhelming. If I don’t go in there with a clear idea of what it is I am looking for, all of a sudden I want to buy everything in sight. At least have a vague idea of color schemes and patterns if you’re browsing, so that you don’t fall prey to buying something that really doesn’t go with anything just because you thought it was cute. This also comes into play when comparing prices. Do your research and you won’t get suckered into anything!

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Hold your breath and proceed with caution.

  • All neutral E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G!

When it comes to your couch, your bedding, and other staple furniture around your house or apartment, stay neutral. That way, if you ever feel the itch to change up the colors in a room, all it will take is for you to buy new pillows, a new lamp shade, or a new painting for the wall. This is way less expensive than replacing entire pieces of furniture or bed sets.

  • You really should hang curtains.

At my old apartment, we had curtains in the living room and my roommate hung some in her room. I never hung any in my room, and it never really felt homey to me. They say the room isn’t finished until the drapes are hung… and it’s true. Some Pro Tips for hanging your curtains:

      ◦If you rent, and don’t want to put a hole in the wall, or are just too lazy to do it—try Command Hooks! I did this in my apartment and it was so easy and painless.
      ◦Always hang from ceiling to floor, and wider than you think you should. It will open up the room and make the window appear much larger.

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  • Don’t settle – Unless you have to.

You don’t need to decorate everything right away – it’s a process. So when you don’t find something that makes your heart completely flutter… don’t settle for just anything. Because you will be sitting there on a Monday night with your glass of wine waiting for the latest episode of Pump Rules to come on, and you will be staring at those pillows that you reeeeally weren’t sure if you liked, and now you know you absolutely hate them. And you’ll “accidentally” dump your wine all over them. And “accidentally” rip them to shreds. And then you’ll have an unexpected visitor. And then you’ll have to explain your craziness which COULD HAVE BEEN PREVENTED HAD YOU NOT JUMPED THE GUN ON THOSE UGLY ASS PILLOWS. See what I mean? The exception to this is if you have a really clear idea of what you want and you just can’t seem to find it anywhere. Then it may be time to settle and get crafty: turn your attention to the interwebz. Use Pintrest, Google, whatever, and try to turn something you weren’t 100% sold on into exactly what you envisioned.

  • Keep your receipts.

Kind of a no-brainer, but sometimes we don’t realize something won’t look right until we actually get it home and see it in the space. Decorating is hard to envision (especially for the impaired), so don’t ever throw a receipt away or remove the tags unless you are absolutely sure you want to keep it. And even then, it’s good to keep the receipt just in case.

And there you have it! Proof that even the most decorating-challenged of people can beautify a space like an adult. Hopefully these tips will steer you in the right direction, or at least alleviate some of the anxiety involved with figuring out how to decorate your house or apartment. Remember, even if you don’t really believe you’re an adult yet, you can trick all of your family and friends into thinking you are by having a well-assembled living space.

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