Spring is in the air (despite the snow still falling from the sky!!).
It's the time of year to be thinking about all things new. Time for a refresh, to celebrate nature's rebirth. Despite the weather outside having not quite cottoned on to the fact that it's now April, we can still celebrate the season on the inside.
It's time to cast a critical eye around your home and ask yourself - Is it possible you're stuck in a bit of a home decor rut?
People are always sharing their fears with me around home decorating and asking me how to overcome them.
They say ‘Lynn, I love what you do. I love how you pull things together and you know just what will work with what. But me? I’m not brave enough. I wouldn’t know where to start so I just stick with the same old stuff.'
Does that strike a chord with you too? Are you well and truly in your comfort zone with your colours, designs and choice of home accessories?
You end up sticking to the same colours and decorating style you’ve always used, feeling bored and frustrated. All the while envying anyone else who seems to be able to effortlessly make the impact in their home you’re longing for.
Why should we expand our comfort zone?
The Cambridge English Dictionary describes the comfort zone as “A situation in which you feel comfortable and in which your ability and determination are not being tested”
So if we’re so comfortable there why would we want to leave it?
Well if you're reading this, chances are you know why.
You’re bored with your decor. It feels bland and unsurprising. You crave something new, different, better, but you’re not sure where to start.
Expanding your comfort zone puts you on the road to curbing the boring, the bland and the unsurprising. We’re talking home decor here but the principles could apply to any area of your life — your social life, your personal style, your food choices….the list is endless.
What are the advantages of pushing your boundaries?
• You’ll discover new things you like and that bring you joy.
• It helps you let go of perfectionism.
• It increases your creativity.
• You will have fewer regrets.
• You will learn and grow as a result.
• It’s fun!
How should you start expanding your home decor comfort zone?
Many people mistakenly believe that in order to move out of your comfort zone you need to do something radically different like painting your walls black or buying a sofa in a wildly garish print.
This is absolutely the wrong way to go about it.
Our comfort zone is where everything is familiar and we feel safe. Yep, those safe neutral decor colours and standard accents you keep choosing over and over again!
In trying to expand our comfort zone, the best practice is to push out a little at a time. Just enough so that we feel stretched but not so much that we terrify ourselves and risk scuttling back into our safe space again.
The same rules apply whether we're talking about our social life or our style boundaries. The space just outside our comfort zone is the first place we should push into.
In time, that space just outside of your original comfort zone, the bit you moved into, will start to feel familiar and safe. From there you’re ready to push out a bit more.
Mid-grey walls and some gentle print cushions this time?
Have you ever started an exercise regime? Have you ever trained for a 5K, 10K, a marathon even? You started slowly right? You ran a little bit further each time so that your body got used to the new distance.
You started lifting smaller weights first then worked your way up to the big daddies, right? Your muscles got used to your routine, then you were able to push on a bit further, lift something a bit heavier.
You would never dream of attempting to push yourself way beyond your physical capabilities too quickly. Your body just couldn’t cope.
When it comes to flexing those style muscles people often make the mistake of pushing out too far too soon. This time it’s their mind that can’t cope. Things are just too different for them. It’s too hard to adjust. They scurry back to their comfort zone thinking ‘Never again! I’ll just stick to what I know’
Best tip? Start slowly.
Here are a few simple ways to start you flexing those home decor style muscles and push you just outside your comfort zone.
1. Add a pop of colour
Bored with your neutrals? Find an inexpensive way to try out some accent colours. Add a cushion or a throw in a colour you might not normally choose. Pick out some flowers in an accent colour you want to try. Pay attention to the colours that bring you joy!
2. Get to know your own decor style
3. Add seasonal accents
Changing your decor accents seasonally allows you to to try out different looks and keeps things fresh. Look for core pieces which allow you to do this. A multi-container piece will let you add daffodils in spring and berries in the Fall. A great, glass hurricane vase lets you add sand and sea shells in the summer or bright baubles at Christmas.
Related content: Why decorate seasonally?
4. Update your wall art
When was the last time you switched up your pictures and photos? If you’ve been looking at the same prints for years (or even decades!!) it’s definitely time for a change. New art on the walls or some updated photos in frames can make a huge difference.
Related content: How to create personalised wall art
5. Be (just a little bit) daring!
Experiment with one small piece which you love but is definitely outside what you usually go for. Think quirky. Think unique. Think talking point. Something like these RSPB Seabird Cushions perhaps. They'll add a pop of colour and a touch of quirky all in one go.
It’s just home decor people! We’re not saving lives here!!
Honestly, what’s the worst that can happen?
So you need to repaint the wall because the colour was just too dark, too bright or whatever.
So your local home-start project benefitted from those transparent stools you bought because they looked fabulous but weren’t as comfortable as you thought they’d be.
But You LOVED how that funky mirror looked in your hallway. You’d never have picked out that design before.
EVERYONE is complementing you on that great bright aqua rug in your family room. It’s such a great colour — something you wouldn’t normally have chosen.
Home decor should be fun! It needn’t be expensive either. Have the courage to try something new and don’t let your anxieties and the ‘what if’s’ stop you.