Educate Yourself on Design - How to Decorate Honestly

I have been giving a lot of thought to the idea of Honest Decorating/Living that I shared in my previous post.  And it occurred to me that the reason so many of us have a difficult time with this concept has to do with the internet. 

Now, don't get me wrong.  The internet is a wonderful place to learn and to seek inspiration.  I write a blog...I love other people's blogs.  But, is it just me, or have you noticed that so much of what we see on blogs, or on Pinterest, or on Instagram, looks very similar?

This light fixture is from a Parade House that I worked on a few years ago.  ( I use this as an example of the popularity of white walls and panelling - I love them too)

It's as if people are afraid to embrace what they love for fear of not fitting in with what is popular at the moment.  Or that they don't know what they honestly love because everything they see is so similar.  We like what we are exposed to, right?

So here is my first suggestion on your road to Honest Decorating...

Educate Yourself About Design.

The best advice I got on my road to becoming an interior designer came from an adviser that I worked with at the New York Institute of Art and Design.  
She asked me what shelter magazines I read...
at the time it was basically
Better Homes and Gardens and Country Living.

I still read Better Homes and Gardens  and Country Living
they are two of my favorites.  But my adviser told me that I needed to be familiar with other shelter magazines as well.  Because each one has a different design focus and features different sorts of design.

In addition to the two magazines I already mentioned, I now subscribe to or read
Elle Decor, House Beautiful, Traditional Home, Veranda, Architectural Digest
Cottage Living  and more.

This photo is from the same house - I'm sharing it to illustrate the popularity of industrial elements.

I also frequently read posts by One Kings Lane, Ballard Designs, Apartment Therapy and several other bloggers/ websites with widely varying design aesthetics.

You see, as much as I love many of the looks that we see on Pinterest, on Instagram and in Blogland, there are a world of other decorating styles and design aesthetics to choose from.

So reach outside your decorating comfort zone.  Read everything you can get your hands on.  Peruse the work of the great decorators of the past.

You will find that you can make a beautiful space without having to have the latest and greatest of everything.



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