How many times has this happened to you?
You find the perfect piece while you’re out shopping. It’s that gorgeous blue lamp, you know, the one with the tapered shade that’s so on trend right now. And, it’s on sale! I mean, destiny. You pop it in your cart, swipe your card and head for home.
You walk through the door, take it out of it’s packaging and.. disaster. It matches nothing in your home. Even that artwork that’s got shades of blue in it. Somehow, it’s all just off.
I can’t tell you how many clients that have come to me who have bought tons of pieces that they absolutely love, but at the end of the day nothing looks cohesive or even more importantly nothing feels peaceful, right, or complete.
This problem boils down to a few simple mistakes that are easily solved. Ready? Let’s jump in.
Mistake #1 You don’t bring photos with you while you shop.
Our memories are not nearly as good as we think they are. Having photos with you while you shop helps you remember that “Huh, that rug has a lot more orange in it than I thought”.
I like to keep a file on my phone of house pictures that way they’re ready when I need them and I can compare them against that brand new must have item.
Mistake #2 You don’t ask for help.
You’d be surprised how many knowledgeable people you have access to, for free, right now. Do a quick google search in your area for home furnishings stores. Check their websites to see if they have designers on staff and if so, pay them a visit. Most would be glad to help steer you in the right direction. Of course, ask before hand how they offer their services. Some charge an hourly rate if you need a lot of help but if you’re just asking a few questions, many will be happy to help for free. Keep in mind that their knowledge is intellectual property and they likely spent years cultivating it, so please respect and honor their help.
Mistake #3 You’re trying to match too hard.
The very best spaces have a level of dissonance to them. By that I mean, nothing matches too literally. Swipe through pinterest and look at some of your very favorite rooms. Notice that there are a few key pieces that don’t look like they should work in the space but yet, somehow they do. That’s how you know someone with a talented design eye planned the space. My suggestion to recreate this concept for yourself is this; if you find a piece that you love, let’s say an antiqued wooden end table with turned legs, but everything else in your home is more contemporary and modern, don’t totally abandon the idea of bringing it in. Just know that you’re going to have to find other supporting pieces that favor that antique table. So, maybe a few antique decorative objects, another small furniture piece with turned legs, or even throw pillows that have more of a traditional vibe. Mixing styles, colors, and scale makes for a very interesting room, so don’t be afraid to create a little dissonance.
I know it can be frustrating to make your home feel put together, peaceful, and just right, but you CAN do this. Follow your curiosity and have fun with this process! Afterall, it is art.
PS: If you’re buying a sofa or upholstered piece of furniture, before you order, reach out to the manufacturer and request a fabric swatch! Most of them would be happy to send you one. Test it out in your space in different lighting before you pull the trigger!