transform your space into
your personal haven



a home + living guide for the post-college, pre-parenthood, quasi-adult generation


editor's note 

o lounge 
o nourish 
o host

o send an ECARD

submit your ideas

big decorating dreams. tiny little budget. don't be a wallflower! jump on over to the discussion boards and get decorating help.

copyright ©1999-2005

have no fear how to decorate with reckless abandon
by Yee-Fan Sun
1 2 3

I am not a spontaneous person by nature. Faced with a decision -- big decisions, small decisions, and all scale of decisions in between -- my first inclination is to research and debate and ponder endlessly like the big geek that I am. I like to hem, I love to haw; I could spend forever weighing pros and balancing them against cons in an attempt to avoid making that dreaded wrong choice. It's a problem that's plagued me through most of these post-college years; it's something I'm working step-by-step to change. Because a smidge of deliberation can be a good thing, yes, but I'm also far too aware of how little ever gets done when you spend your whole life being afraid of making a bad decision -- whether it's with respect to the biggies like love, and career, and family, or something as small as decorating your digs. And while I'm a long way from having the guts to jump into major life decisions without fear, like I said: one step at a time. And in the realm of décor, at least, I've finally learned that a little impetuousness can be kind of fun, and the occasional poor choice won't result in my complete undoing.

So I can't offer much advice on how to live your life with a touch more of that reckless abandon that, so often, brings the greatest rewards. But if you've been sitting around feeling blah about your nest but feeling certain that any steps you take to fix up the pad will surely meet in disaster, I'm here to tell you: you can get over the fear … and you really should. Here's how…

1 Make mistakes. As a fellow control freak perfectionist, I know how hard this is. But until you give yourself permission to make those inevitable decorating faux pas, I guarantee that your pad will never transcend the bland. Because often, the only way to know whether some previously untested color or furnishing or accessory will work in your space is to take the big brave step of actually introducing it to the room. You may find it exceeds your wildest expectations. You might also find that you loathe it with a fiery passion. Should the latter happen, you'll also quickly discover that it's not the worst thing in the world. You can repaint, or recover, or sell off the item and buy a replacement. You might even choose to live with it, and eventually realize that it's really grown on you. Whatever happens, you will have a better sense of what works for you and what really truly doesn't; you'll find you never make the same mistake twice, and that each oops gets you a little closer to understanding your decorating style. So forget about perfection. It's just an illusion anyway. Trust me: you're the only one in the world who expects you to be perfect. And speaking of perfect…

leap on over this way!


---------------------------> lounge . nourish . host . laze . home.