What you need to know:
- Ultimately, your design project should solve a functional or aesthetic problem, (or both) that the particular space has.
- It should also include a budgeted figure, a figure that also should be in your personal monthly budget.
What are your home styling plans and goals for the New Year, dear reader? True, home styling is not an area that people ordinarily set goals for. We focus more on mental, physical and financial wellness, forgetting that our homes contribute a great deal to the success of these other goals.
My major home styling plan this year is to work on the bedrooms. My goal is to make them more cosy and inviting, with less clutter.
I will begin with the master bedroom. Early 2021, we sold our old bed online and upgraded to a new one. The new one is not what I wanted but I had to make do because it cost much less than what my champagne eyes had settled on, plus, it came with two side tables, which was bonus.
After the bed was in, we painted the wall behind it as a feature wall and got a new underfoot rug. We stopped the styling there because we were mentally exhausted and had burst the budget allocated for the makeover.
As you take a tour of your home, take note of what you like and what you can improve on in the coming year. Here are some gentle reminders to guide you as you embark on your projects:
Have a styling plan and goal
The biggest mistake you can make as a rookie stylist is to hit the ground running with no plan in mind. What are you going to do in your home? Why are you doing it anyway?
Ultimately, your styling project should solve a functional and/or aesthetic problem that the particular space has. If there is no problem to solve, then leave the space as it is – you don’t need to fix something that is not broken. Your styling project should also include a budgeted figure, a figure that also should be in your personal monthly budget.
Styling projects usually take a few months to complete, so spread your budgeted amount over the months you have budgeted for the project.
Illustration for a styling plan and goal
“My plan is to restyle the kitchen. It has a lot of dead space and the counters are cluttered with miles and miles of odds and ends. I will add some chairs to the dead space (I don’t have enough room for a dining nook) and style the wall above it. I will change the cabinet knobs and remodel them, the shelves I will add will create more room for the clutter that ends up on the counters. I will also declutter my kitchen more frequently. I have budgeted Sh50,000 for this project, it will take me two months to complete.”
Mentally style your accessories before you buy them
It is quite easy to get carried away when you are out and about in the streets of this town or the streets of social media. You will encounter all sorts of gorgeous pieces that may, or may not, fit your budget. You will encounter a cluster of mint votive candles for Sh3,500. A set of copper-finished vases for Sh15,000. An entryway rug for Sh7,500. These gorgeous pieces will pile up as junk in your home if you are not careful.
The question to ask yourself is not whether you can afford these pieces but where exactly they will go. Before you add that item to cart and swipe your Visa card, maybe open your M-Pesa, ask yourself the crucial question: Where exactly will this piece fit in my home?
Shut your eyes and style it while you shop. If you can’t find a place for it in your home, then muster the discipline to leave the piece and walk away.
Illustration goal for mental styling
“This vintage wall clock is everything! With its rustic finish and black matte roman numbers, it truly speaks my styling language. And the price of Sh9,500 is just right. It will go perfectly on that bare wall in my dining room. The clock is big but it is not big enough to style the wall on its own, I will need to buy another piece to balance out the wall.”
Gather knowledge in aspirational home styling
Home styling is an entire discipline on its own – you need to master the elements of art and craft to nail the styling in your home, the elements of function and aesthetics. Consider it home styling 101.
You must have knowledge on the types of handcrafting woods, fabrics of all kinds (for curtains, rugs, furniture, and beddings), finishing, wall paint and whatnot. You also need to master the basics of space, line, texture, pattern, colour, light and form. You will then need to take a step back to tie in all these elements with the needs of the people living in your home, the people who will experience the space you are styling.
Good news is, all the knowledge you need is available on the internet, most of it for free. You can also draw from your own personal experiences, learn from the mistakes and triumphs of your own home styling projects. Aspire to make your home better than what it is right now.
Illustration goal for gathering knowledge
“I will subscribe to more styling content this year: email newsletters, websites such as ‘Apartment Therapy’ and ‘The Spruce’, YouTube channels, follow home styling pages on Instagram and take styling courses on SkillShare and Udemy. I will also learn how to use the app Canva, to create my own mood boards. Lastly, I will be nipping into fabrics shops and to fundi workshops to ask questions.”
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