NOT EVERY GREAT DECORATOR IS BORN THAT WAY (PHEW!)
I’ve loved interiors for years. I got into homes magazines quiet early during university life and they've stayed with me ever since. But for a very long time, you would NEVER have guessed I had this interest by looking at my own home.
Does that sound odd? Or does that sound a little familiar?
I stuck to the daydreaming at least partly because I didn't think I had it in me to create anything close to the images I swooned over. The people behind those rooms must be naturals - like my friends at school who were 'good at art'.
So, I didn't go past the basics. I didn't give my own decorating much thought at all.
ARE ALL GREAT DECORATORS SIMPLY NATURALS?
Through digging a little deeper, I've discovered at least some designers who've had to work at things to get to where they are today.
For some, their 'talent' lay dormant before blossoming, for others it's taken them a while to find their style. They've all made and make mistakes with their interiors.
Let me give you a couple of examples.
In her bestselling book, Styled, Emily Henderson reveals that it took her years to nail down who she was stylistically. You read that right: years!
She also shares in the book that some of her risks turn out to be total disasters. She once painted out a room in a new colour before realising three days later that she really disliked it. You might imagine these people with all their experience get it right every time. Apparently not.
Lisa Dawson, who has more than 100,000 followers on her interiors Instagram account, says one of her early homes was more House of Pine than House of Hackney. Her head just wasn't in interiors at that point. It's hard to believe there was ever such a time looking at her home now, but she shares the photographic evidence. See for yourself.
Want to be convinced some more?
OK then, let's look at two of my interiors crushes, who happen to have shared quite a bit about their decorating transformations. What you see them creating now is quite different to that of years gone by.
KIMBERLY AT SWOONWORTHY
Kimberly Duran at Swoon Worthy is an interiors blogger I really admire. Her blog is fun and a brilliant source of advice. She decorates and styles her home beautifully, but admits in a blog post that it hasn't always been this way.
She's had to work at it and has honed her skills over time. Her styling has evolved from putting lemons inside wine glasses to creating coffee table displays that earn her 50k repins on Pinterest
If you're a regular reader, you know I talk about Abigail Ahern a lot. I love the deeply dark and dramatic rooms she's created for clients and in her home. Her style seems so ingrained you'd imagine it's been that way forever.
Not so! She shared on her design masterclass that there was a time, not so long ago, when she just followed the crowd and decorated in a pale and minimalist Scandi style. This is the woman widely credited with championing dark and moody decor, eclectic style and a more-is-more approach.
She also makes mistakes. On the course, she described buying furniture that didn't go in any of her rooms, no matter where she tried it.
She also once obsessed over a paint colour she saw in the Merci store in Paris, hounded them to find out where she could buy it, and then totally hated it when she used it in her bedroom.
EVERYONE CAN BUILD THEIR STYLE AND SKILLS
What this says to me is that, while there may be natural decorators out there, styling and decorating skills can also be learned and improved upon.
There are so many ways to pick up knowledge and inspiration these days. Blogs, Instagram, Pinterest, magazines and interiors books are packed full of tips and tricks.
So if you’re holding back with your decorating, why not just give it a go? Keep practising, make mistakes (everyone does), and have fun trying!
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