Use Inspired Design to Stop Your Doubt

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cookie cutter houses neighborhood

 Yesterday I got back to the gym for the first time in months. While I was there I was so hyper-conscious of the other 40-something, in-shape women , I found myself frustrated with my current out-of-breath self before I even began on the treadmill. This whole scenario got me thinking about how we do the same thing with our houses.  We have that “Keeping Up With The Jones'” thing going on all the time. Constantly comparing the lawn, the upkeep, the style, the furniture, the decor, the layout, the kitchen, everything to the point that we hate everything about our own space. Don't you get so frustrated with that feeling of “not good enough”?  That awful pit of the stomach sensation.  While you are told over and over the dangers of comparing yourself to others (and deep down you truly know you shouldn't), in that moment you just can't help yourself.

Throw out those design “rules”.

Throw out those design “rules”.

How do we get here?  I believe it's because we’ve forgotten to trust ourselves.  We need to remember that just as copying someone else’s workout may not be a good fit for us, neither is duplicating someone else’s living room design. Somewhere along the way we forgot that we had a dream of what our unique space would feel like, and decided that we would try to copy someone else.  Our own personal stamp on our homes took a backseat to falling in line with the “trendy” style.  Just look at all of the cookie-cutter houses popping up all over today. Have you ever driven through a new neighborhood and noticed that every house is virtually identical?  Same architecture, same color, same yard, same fence, same wreath, same everything. Whenever I drive through one of those neighborhoods I always try to find a house that stands out, one that has something different about it, one that screams “look at me!”   Try it yourself. You’ll know when you find it because you’ll say to yourself, “Wow, that’s cool. I wish I had the guts to do that!”

You don’t need this in your life!

You don’t need this in your life!

So how do you trust yourself to go off the beaten design path and create something you love, but that also looks great?  It starts with tuning into your intuition.

  1. Pay attention to those quiet heart tugs when you see something beautiful. Try to discern what it is that draws you to its beauty. Is it the shape? The texture? The color?

  2. Trusting your inner judgment also starts with remembering places from your past that filled you with such joy that every time you think of it, you can't help but feel peaceful. What was so special about it? Think back to those visual images and try to identify tangible items that stand out in your memory.

  3. Make a point of noticing your surroundings any time you feel at peace. What elements of that place can you incorporate into your home?

  4.  Don't dismiss these thoughts as whimsical fantasy. Isn't that what you're trying to bring into your space? A feeling of calm and peaceful joy, a memorable space, one that nurtures your heart as well as your head.

Just like a regular physical work out, this new way of thinking takes mental practice. Once you’ve begun to identify some of these moments and tease them apart, you’ve begun to create the backbone of a great personal design style. You will easily be able to recognize future purchases as “smart” or “wasteful”, “unique” or “faddish”, “authentic” or “dust collector”. The same goes for the current items in your home - the ones you really dislike but can’t bring yourself to get rid of. Run these pieces through your new mental filter to see if they still “belong” to you. If not, you know what to do.

turquoise front door white brick house

Trust yourself. Go ahead and paint your front door that favorite shade of turquoise you keep dreaming about. And if you need help, don’t hesitate to reach out. My Design From Within online course will walk you through the steps to take to become your own best soulful design advocate.

Monique Becker