When I walk into a room, I almost immediately start dreaming up ways to bring new life to a space—projects that need to be done, paint choices, even how to rearrange the flow of a room. That is, unless it’s my own space. When it comes to my home, the design process can be painstakingly slow—or so says my daughter. And she might be right: It has taken me an entire year to design a room before, and that’s no joke. But when it’s my own space, the design process becomes personal—I don’t want to live in a design that losses my affection over time, so I get stuck.
It happens to the best of us. Designer’s block can suck the vision for a space right out of us. Ideas become blurred by skill-level limitations, trend expectation, and time restraint, leaving us with a scary blank slate. Well, after years spent as a professional at getting stuck in my own designing fog, I’ve come up with a few tricks to bring life back to the design process and brush away uncertainty.
No More Pinterest. Pinterest is design crack—It can get you high on inspiration but also cause you to crash and burn into design disaster. My recommendation? Only use Pinterest to look for inspiration on specific projects. There is beauty to being able to draw creativity from previous creations but when we scroll aimlessly through our Pinterest feed, our vision can become buried under piles of pretty pictures that have nothing to do with our space.
Make a List. I’m a big believer in the idea that our spaces are more than places to reside. They stand for more—for who we are, where we’ve been and where we are going. So make a list of the ideas and words you want you walls to hold and then center your design around that list. There is power in writing these things down, they become tangible evidence of what our creative purpose for a space is.
Designate Time. As a parent, I know this one can be hard, but also SO important. Make time to dream up your space and execute it. So many times I talk to mamas who have become discouraged from decorating and making their homes their own because they’ve started so many projects and have left them unfinished. Don’t do this to yourself! Talk to the hubs, tag team with friends, and lean on the in-laws, but invest in your home and family and finish your projects. The feeling you get at the end of a project will give you the fuel you need to continue.
Empower yourself. Finally, the most important antidote to designer’s block is ridding yourself of self-doubt. Anyone can be a DIY master with a little help. Take a class (maybe with me?!), pick expert brains, Pinterest (with caution!). Stop letting those negative thoughts get in your way and just do. I promise that empowering yourself is never time wasted, and something we all could do a little more of!