“I think I missed the decorating gene when it was being handed out,” she said to me with an embarrassed chuckle. One of my Decor Coaching clients and I had just hopped on our first FaceTime call to tackle the topic of her living room. We chatted for a while as I shared my suggestions for a new floor plan. She showed me a piece of artwork that she loved, and I helped her narrow down a color scheme. More than coming up with a plan for the space, what stuck with me about that conversation was the shift in her demeanor from the beginning of that session to the end. This bright, accomplished and otherwise confident woman started off the call down on herself and almost apologetically she said…
“I’m just not creative.”
When I hear bright, savvy women say this it makes me sad. I work with women from across the globe, and this is one thing I hear consistently from so many of them. Women who are business owners, doctors, teachers, stay at home mamas, work from home mamas…all juggling 5,000 things and managing to run a household.
(If that’s not creativity, then I don’t know what is.)
This is the lie we’ve unwittingly told ourselves, “If I can’t do something that seems effortless to other people, then clearly I’m just not creative.”
Maybe you can identify with this. Maybe you’ve felt it about yourself. Perhaps you’ve really struggled in the area of your home and made some choices that just didn’t work out. Your efforts seemed to fall flat or worse. Even if this is true, it does not mean you aren’t creative nor does it mean that you’re not capable of creating a home filled with meaningful beauty.
I believe that creativity is essential to decorating. But more importantly, I feel that anyone who recognizes beauty and desires it to be a part of their life is capable of engaging in the creative process.
Let me break it down for ya’…
Decorating a home that speaks to your style and works for your family is NOT a simple task, even though some people make it seem that way. (Unless you’re a fan of “builder grade beige” paint and bed-in-a-bag sets. In which case, you wouldn’t be reading this blog.)
There are so many factors involved in creating a space that resonates with you on a personal level and works for your people (and your budget). After several failed attempts at decorating, you might wrongly believe that you are not creative. When the truth is this...Creativity often needs a framework in which to grow. This might seem like a contradiction at first. Isn’t creativity all about thinking outside the box and going with your instinct?
Yes, but only in part.
Creativity is also very much about knowing your tools and the “rules” in the area you wish to create something. Pablo Picasso famously said, “Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”
But if you’ve never been introduced to the “rules” of decorating, then it’s no wonder why this has been a struggle for you, sweet friend! A little dose of #toughdecorlove here…If you don’t invest in honing your skills in this area, then how can you expect to get better? (And no, aimlessly scrolling on Pinterest does not count.)
Once you have guidance, then the guesswork and doubt are eliminated and you can begin to imagine things differently in the space. You engage with known things in a new way. THAT is creativity at work.
So many times my clients have confessed that they depended on HGTV or Pinterest or design blogs to help them figure out why things weren’t working in their home. All these things are great resources for inspiration, but very few (if any) take an in-depth approach to teach you the “whys and hows” of decorating and show you how to engage with the things in your own home.
The missing link is not inspiration or effort (because lord knows you’ve tried). What’s missing is education. Anytime we attempt to learn a skill that doesn’t come naturally to us, we need basic knowledge in order to be successful. Education paired with inspiration and effort is the sweet spot.
Inspiration (found via Pinterest, HGTV, design blogs) +
Education (found via training or consulting with a pro) +
Effort (putting your new knowledge to work in your home) =
THE ROUTE TO AN INTENTIONALLY DECORATING HOME
So back to the Decor Coaching session with my client…By the end of our call and after I had given her some guidelines and a bit of direction, she had a totally different outlook not just on her space but her own ideas. She began making suggestions. She expanded on some of my ideas, and I could see that her creative confidence had grown in just one hour.
It’s not that she wasn’t creative…she just needed a foundation of information to begin using her creativity.
THE BOOKSHELF STYLING CLASS (Enrollment Opens in One Week!)
Helping women feel empowered in their home is the reason I LOVE my job. It’s also why I’m creating online decorating classes. My Decor Coaching is based around teaching people how to make decisions for their space, BUT I can only work with so many people at a time.
This is why I’m so, so, so excited to be launching The Bookshelf Styling Class just one week from today. (Finally!) I’ve been working hard behind the scenes for months on a class to help you get clear on this one area of your home. (A very tricky one, I’ll admit.)
The truth is that decorating is one part learning process & one part creative process. If you want to get better at decorating, then I’m excited to teach you what I’ve learned over the years. I bring the decorating 411, you bring your doubts, and together we’ll plunge through the creative process together.
Sometimes it’s messy.
It usually feels uncomfortable at first.
But if you stick with it, the creative process leaves you energized like nothing else. And its gifts are the tangible results you enjoy in your home and share with your people. (Yes, it’s more than possible:)
I hope I can help you along in this process.
(PS: Pop your name in the box below to get a “sneak peek” of the styling class in your inbox tomorrow:)