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Decorator’s Paralysis

My grandmother was, and remains, one of my most profound influences in both my personal style and in my life. She was an exceptionally talented interior designer and her houses–and the houses she designed for her friends–were impeccable. From her I learned to love chintz, antique furniture, little enamel boxes with sweet sayings, and much more. But looking back now at the spaces and houses she designed, I’m realizing that the things I hold onto still from her come down to three essential lessons:

Decorate deliberately.

Embrace maximalism tastefully.

Pay equal, careful attention to the big things (color schemes, fabrics) and little things (wastepaper baskets, bric-a-brac, etc.).

It’s easy to get lost in the large number of decisions to make when decorating a home–I know that I’ve often felt that way, even though so many of my family members embarked on careers specifically to do with creating and decorating spaces. But perhaps that’s why. I’ve had no formal training and I’ve been so influenced by my mother, grandmother, aunts, that it’s hard to tell what I would do on my own, especially without their guidance. It’s been helpful to look at the spaces they have designed and try to distill a few lessons I can remind myself of when embarking on new purchases!

When my parents sold their house in 2017, we cleaned out the accumulation of 20-plus years of fairly peripatetic living (#ArmyBrat) and found my mother’s design archives. I also stumbled across a box of Kodachrome slides that my grandmother had made of the houses she and my grandfather designed and lived in. I’m really looking forward to scanning these at some point in the (hopefully) near future and sharing them with my family members!

In the meantime, I’m trying to overcome some mental decorator’s paralysis and finally commit to a new fabric for reupholstering these slipper chairs! DecoratorsBest has proven to be both a blessing and a curse–so many wonderful, affordable options, but, well… so many wonderful, affordable options! I’d love to make a decision on this sometime this year, but who knows. However, I am hopeful!