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have no fear how to decorate with reckless abandon by Yee-Fan Sun | 1 2 3
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4 Repeat after me: color isn't scary. Landlords and property managers love decorating in whites, off-whites and other neutrals. Why? Because these colors are guaranteed not to offend. Of course, the chances of anyone rhapsodizing over these shades are also pretty much nil. And that's why when it comes to decorating your own abode, it pays to go to that little extra effort of delving into the amazing rainbow of color possibilities that extend beyond the white-beige-gray-black spectrum. Sure, the options can seem overwhelming at first. But don't let yourself get intimidated: the fact that that there are so many possibilities means that you're sure to find something that suits your own unique sensibilities. So jump into the color fun. Repaint or recover one blah item in a color other than the safe neutrals you've been sticking to up till this point. Choose a hue you've long been kind of curious about -- something you've always thought was kind of pretty or funky or soothing or otherwise appealing … no worries that it's never before graced any object in your home. On the off chance you hate it, you can always repaint or recover. More likely, though, you'll discover how much more you the object is, now that it's actually swathed in a color that genuinely does something for you.

5 Silence your inner censor. We all have that hypercritical inner voice that likes to tell us how dumb are ideas are. Ignore that voice. Don't dismiss your crazy decorating ideas without giving them a whirl; thinking outside of the box is good. Use objects for purposes for which they were never intended -- co-opt that dining room sideboard as your bedroom dresser, or take that fab 60s bedsheet you found at Value Village and throw it over your table for an instant retro tablecloth. Inject your dwellings with a sense of humor, and hang that cheesy disco ball you picked up for 50 cents at some yard sale -- in the bathroom. Quit worrying so much about what's appropriate; stop obsessing over whether your choices show good taste. Good taste is overrated. Seriously. See, tastefulness is all about other people's ideas of what is considered proper, or attractive, or cool. Good taste isn't half so important as your taste. So let the wacky out. You just might discover some brilliant, unconventional solutions to your decorating dilemmas.

6 As time goes by… Change is different. Different isn't bad. But different does force us to experience something that's unfamiliar, something that might push us out of our comfort zones. We humans are a funny lot though, a gazillion times more adaptable than we generally give ourselves credit for. With enough time and exposure, we can grow to like almost anything. So give those decorating changes a little time to settle in once you've taken the bold step of implementing them. If after a reasonable amount of time has passed and you still feel like your new sofa, wall color, painting, whatever just doesn't work in your space, return it, sell it, donate it, give it a makeover. And make way for another change.


check out these related articles: 
begin the begin getting started decorating | in living color color inspiration | a great personality | the real deal | style and stylishness | variations on a theme

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