Back before I trained in interior design, I was pretty useless at decorating my home.
I'd have an idea in my head, and I'd start to decorate, buying new things and bringing them home, painting my walls or changing out my décor.
But once I'd finished, I'd stand back and be disappointed. The end result never really turned out how I wanted (or expected it to).
I couldn't understand it.
I would spend hours drooling over the stylish pictures in magazines (I had a serious magazine subscription habit) and I'd spend hours in Pinterest, only to be disappointed and frustrated that I couldn't achieve the same looks.
What I didn't know then, but I do know now, is that there is a process you need to follow when you are designing a room.
You can't just start with buying a few things and hoping for the best.
It starts with a plan!
And that plan has to have an end vision of what you want the room to look like.
And that means, before you do anything else, you have to be crystal clear on the sort of style you want to achieve in your home.
But I don't know what my style is!
So you've probably heard words used to describe different styles like, 'shabby chic', 'farmhouse', 'boho' and 'mid-century modern' design styles, for example, but it's difficult to know what all of the styles mean, and whether they are a good fit for you, let alone how you start to achieve them.
You see, style is about so much more than the clothes you wear or the items you choose for your home. Style is about who you are as a person. If you're a relaxed, laid back and casual sort of person you're going to have a very different home décor style to someone who is a go-getting, city-slicking kind of person, right?
And that's why it's so important that you define your style before you begin to decorate.
The starting point to find out your style is by working out the sorts of things you like to have in your life and your home, the elements of your personality that you want your home to reflect.
Start by creating a Pinterest board, full of home decor images that you LOVE. Once you've spent some time doing that, try to draw out the elements you love. Do you love neutral colours, bright colours, high contrasts? Do you like wooden furniture? Upholstered furniture? Do you like scandi design or classic shapes?
Once you can name the styles you like, you will be much clearer about how to create a cohesive looking design scheme.