Buying your first home comes with a lot of excitement and also a lot of stress. For me, the stress was due to all the extra space I had to fill. Coming from a 600 square foot condo to a home was like moving the contents of a drawer into a garage! As a new home owner you don't think of all the actual necessities you need in addition to the furniture that’s required. I’m talking about lawn mowers, gardening tools, rakes, hoses, power drills, ladders... you catch my drift. At first I was focused on all the pretty things I needed to fill all the extra space we had, like nice smelling candles, pillows, throws – so you can imagine that a lawn mower was the last thing on my mind.
However, once reality set in I started to really enjoy my trips to Home Depot. I felt so domesticated! While we were shopping for furniture, everything that I seemed to fall in love with, from magazines to pictures, ended up being custom made pieces. If I haven't mentioned this before, I tend to be quite impatient at times and want everything right away so I can start decorating, so waiting six weeks for a sofa was out of the question! As a result of my impatience, I settled and bought furniture just to quickly fill space.
Two years ago, I knew nothing really about home decor. I knew I loved it and I religiously followed gorgeous homes on Pinterest and dreamed about having a perfectly styled house, but had no idea how to actually put a room together and make it flow. After first following Pinterest for daily inspiration, I eventually came across Instagram and discovered an absolute gem of a home decor community. I was amazed with how easily inspiration came, how attainable and realistic the ideas were, and how uplifting and encouraging this community really was. I would never have known half of the DIY projects and “Ikea hacks” that I do now thanks to my talented IG friends! As a result, I have found a true passion in home decorating, and I love sharing it with all of you - it really makes me happy.
Here are some things that help me:
1. Trial and error - I have to say it's taken a lot of that, but that's okay because slowly but surely, I am finding my own decor style. Every time I take a home decor quiz, the result always comes back as "eclectic" - I guess that’s what my style is evolving into, but who knows... it’s constantly changing.
2. I also really enjoy learning about and tackling DIY projects because most of my home updates are always on a budget. I even made my own version of a tufted headboard and installed wainscoting in my bathroom for a fraction of the cost of buying or having a professional come and do it.
3. Thrift shopping and "dumpster diving" can also be so much fun! And before you say anything, no, I don't mean go jump in an actual dumpster. Or go for it if that’s your thing. What I actually mean is keep your eyes peeled for those certain pieces some people leave out on the side of the road – you never know what treasures people are tossing out that you can restore with a little elbow grease and TLC. I know I'm not alone on this one. There are so many different ways you can update your home on a budget – you just have to be creative and think thrifty!
4. Shopping the house: by pulling different items from other rooms, such as pillows, ornaments, picture frames, and flowers, you can bring a new life to not only the room, but the item. This freshens up the space and doesn’t cost a penny! Recently my living room was really starting to bother me, and all of those impulsive purchases I made when we moved in, just to fill the house, were no longer working for me. My decor style has also evolved since we bought our home. I know you probably think I'm crazy, but I knew I needed to update it! So I began listing things for sale online (after discussing it with Matt of course), and I was able to sell quite a few items for reasonable prices, and after purchasing new items that better suited the space I even ended up breaking even! (Ikea saved the day!). Since I have updated my living room with a fresh new color palette from various items I already had around the house, I have to say I am in love and I'm much happier! So overall the point is, if you get tired of a space it can always be easily updated on a budget. I think it’s important to love your home and to really make it a reflection of who you are.
5. A few more things that help me stay inspired are frequently taking home decor quizzes for guidance, subscribing to my favorite home decor magazine (mine is Style at Home), and asking friends and family for opinions. It’s always great to have a second eye. Every time I am changing up something around the house I always call my mom for a second opinion because... well you know, moms always know best!
They always say practice makes perfect, and I practice a lot around the house to get every room just right. Also, I have learned that having your home fully decorated/renovated to your liking, takes time! Lots of time. So don't stress out! I am totally guilty of getting caught up in what everyone else is doing on Instagram, and wanting my house to be just perfect like theirs. But then I remember that things will get done, one step (room) at a time. Matt also likes to keep me in check by telling me not to get ahead of myself - and he's absolutely right (but let’s just keep that between you and me).
My advice is to enjoy decorating, and to really enjoy leaning your decor style. Use photos for inspiration, but always remember to add your own flare to it to make it really unique. Shop your home to freshen up different rooms, and if you really get sick of something, sell it and buy something new that will make you happier (with the hub’s permission of course, if they’re the type to notice these things;).
If you have any tips you’d like to share that have helped you discover your own personal style – I would love to hear them!
I listed the sources if you would like to know where each item is from!:
Sofa - EQ3
Shelves - Home Depot
Rug - Rona
Nesting tables - IKEA (spray painted gold)
Weaved black and white basket - Homesense Canada
Mirror - Homesense Canada
Arrow - Rustic nest
Table lamps - Kijiji find
Tray - Homesense Canada
Blue and white jar - Value Village
Curtains- Bed Bath & Beyond
Candle sticks - IKEA
Pink love print - ssprintshop
Watercolour art - ten dollar art @sswansondesign
Vases - Homesense Canada
Throw pillows - IKEA/ Homesense Canada.
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