First let's talk about why decorating is hard. Oh the pressure! So many Pinterest pictures to compare your house to. So many options, so many looks you like... what style do you really want? There are so many options, it's quite hard to decide how you really want your space to look and how to make it look that way. I am going to help you zero in on what you really want and help you figure out how to make it work.
Before you begin, ask yourself three questions...
What colors would I feel comfortable surrounding myself in?
You might really like colorful accent walls in other people's houses but you wouldn't feel comfortable living with that. Or you might love the look of all white walls but you might need color to feel cozy. This happened to my mom once, she loved the look of white walls in magazines and books but when she got the color she thought she wanted on her own walls she couldn't stand it. It was an expensive lesson to learn because she didn't like it so much that she had it repainted a couple weeks later.
MY RECOMMENDATIONSModel homes are the perfect place to "feel" wall colors. If possible, take the opportunity to visit some local models and ask about the wall colors you really love. Or, ask your friends about their wall colors. You can discover a lot about what colors you really like, outside of Pinterest, if you spend a little time surrounded by them.
What elements do I feel comfortable being surrounded by?
Once you decide what colors you like, think about what design elements you love! Do you have a serious crush on gold accents like me? Or is all white your thing. Pops of colors against neutrals? Are you super in love with all things nautical, modern, traditional, country? Decide what your favorites are and then try them out.
Maybe head to Home Goods and buy a few accessories that fit into your top couple styles and place them in your home and see which you really love! Keep your receipt and take the others back. You could even borrow a few things from a friend. OR print some pictures off the internet and hang them on your wall for a couple days, see how you feel.
What is the overall style I want?Once you decide what colors you want to live in and what elements you love, you can determine your overall style. Determine your style, take your time, and then don't look back. When we first decorated our house (pre-Pinterest) my husband and I both tore out photos from magazines and then compared them to determine what style we both love. In the end we came up with a style we like to call "Romantic Beach House." Collect what you love and then look at what it all has in common and figure out how to define it. Then just GO WITH IT!
MY RECOMMENDATIONSI still love magazines even if we don't really need them anymore (thanks Pinterest). Go invest in a few and rip out the photos you really love (free catalogs are great too). Then spread your photos out on the floor and start grouping them into categories. Soon you will start to see patterns emerge. Once you have categorized them, rank them according to your love for them. If you can, find one or two photos you love the most and base your room design on them. Use it as a guide for your own room design and it will make the process so much easier. Good luck!