Decorating Mistakes


Are you hiding the inner decorator in you? Let me start out by saying that I have made so many mistakes when it comes to decorating my own home! I’m talking, BIG decorating mistakes! Like the time I painted the exterior of my home sunflower yellow with red trim! Or painted all of my walls in food colors, as in, sage green, paprika and mustard. Remember the “Tuscan” colors of the 90’s anyone? Yes, I have made some doozies! Why am I sharing this? I mean, I am a professional decorator and this doesn’t sound very, well…”professional” now does it? I’m sharing because I think that each mistake was a great big learning experience! Every time I made a mistake, I was experimenting and playing and pushing my creative boundaries. In fact, I call my own home my Decorating Lab. It’s a concoction of ideas that I experiment with.


DECORATING MISTAKES: EVERYTHING IS FIXABLE

I have learned through my own set of experiments that I can fix anything. I have also learned that some mistakes are “happy mistakes”. That take a project can go in a direction that I hadn’t anticipated and in the end made the final result way better than my original vision was! That bright yellow house I mentioned earlier? Well, I learned to love it that color actually and so did my neighbors! I even named my first corporation, “Maison Jaune” (yellow house in French) after it since that’s where the idea for my business was hatched.

DECORATING MISTAKES: NOT TAKING RISKS

So many of my clients are so afraid to decorate. They are paralyzed by this fear. Let’s talk about mistakes. I love to take risks in my own home. We are thrifters, flea marketers and estate sale junkies so my house changes often. I’m bringing in new items, rotating out others and sometimes the new thing doesn’t quite work. I’m totally fine with that too. I can a) quickly change it back to how it was, or b) go on a treasure to find that perfect thing to make it work. My home is happy and it’s authentically us. It’s not a show house, it’s home.

DECORATING MISTAKES: LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES

Mistakes are great teachers. They help us pinpoint our personal style and most of them can be pretty easily fixed once we get our heads in “solution mode”.

DECORATING MISTAKES: HOW TO FIX THEM

You can always repaint a wrong color. You can return a lamp or accessory that does not work. In fact, you should see how much time professional decorators spend returning items. When I’m installing a client’s room, I like options so I always bring in more items then I will need knowing that I will have to spend time in the returns line afterwards. You can always resell, recover or repaint a piece of furniture (especially if you like to purchase vintage like I do). I takes time, it takes energy but you are also honing your skills!

DECORATING MISTAKES: WHEN TO BE CONSERVATIVE

When it comes to investment items I tend to be conservative. Flooring, sofas, wall color are things that I now like to choose neutrals. I like to change things up often so if I’m conservative on the investment pieces, I can go to town on the layers!

DECORATING MISTAKES: NOT HAVING FUN

Don’t let fear or perfectionism get you stuck! Start small. Those small wins will build your confidence. Reframe decorating your home as an experiment or a lab where mistakes are an expected part of the process. Be creative, be resourceful and have fun with your home decor!

I hope this has encouraged you to be a little more daring and so that you can begin creating a home you love!


If you live in the San Diego area and want some practical and actionable tips on how to decorate your home, I'm teaching a decorating course called, "Style Your Home Like a Pro!". You will learn how to implement the same design methods in your own home that I use with my clients!​

  • Rearrange furniture and break up matching furniture to obtain a more efficient and pleasing flow.

  • Style your bookshelves and tables like a pro!

  • Create and style the perfect bar/beverage cart

  • Find creative storage solutions

  • Fabulously chic ways to fill your vases (without breaking the bank)

  • Make beautiful wall art

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