Earlier this year, our NC Craft Room/Home Office was thiiiiis close to being featured in a small shelter magazine. The pictures were provided, the interview was conducted, and even the 6-page layout (!!!!) was finalized before the whole magazine (not just my feature) got pulled in the days before printing. It was a major, major bummer for me, to say the least…and while I can’t share the full interview and spread (there is still hope it might get picked up again), there was one particular question they asked me that I loved answering and thought you guys might find useful as you try to move in, settle in, find your style, and/or decorate whatever home you’re in right now!
The question: What Is Your Creative Motto?
My answer: “Just try it!”
I didn’t even have to pause and think for a second before answering the question because it is a phrase I use all.the.time. It is the phrase I say to myself when I am staring at a pile of supplies but am too worried about failure to get started. It is the phrase I say when I can’t make up my mind between paint colors, wallpapers, furniture makeover plans, etc. It is the phrase I say when I’m standing in the store and can’t decide if I found THE right curtains. It is the phrase I tell friends, family and clients who are stuck, unmotivated or lost with what to do first (or next!) in their home. These three words are my key to moving past paralysis and actually getting things done in our home(s) time and time again.
Partly due to my perfectionist personality but more so because of this blog, I feel a pressure for every project to turn out perfect and totally Pinterest-worthy. There are times when the fear of a DIY failure or not creating the ultimate “wow” moment keeps me from making decisions and moving forward. I also hate to waste my precious child-free hours and my hard-earned money on something that isn’t going to work out. But most times, after overanalyzing, sketching, playing with colors/fabrics/patterns/ideas and procrastinating, it ultimately comes down to a chat with myself that ends with “Megan, you will just have to try it and see.” Sometimes I score a home run, and other times I strike out. But at least I’m playing, right?
Admittedly, because we are perpetual renters and move every few years gives, I have the freedom to be bold and carefree in my color and design choices. Knowing that I get a different home every few years to start over or try new things is incredibly freeing, and that alone has given me the courage to try some bold and crazy ideas. However, even if you’re not a renter or moving anytime soon, you still don’t need to be fearful or paralyzed by your decor decisions. Most changes or projects you’ll likely take on yourself aren’t anything major (right!?!), and most aren’t permanent. Bad paint colors CAN be repainted, seams CAN be ripped out, fabric CAN be re-bought and re-cut, and those seemingly perfect curtains CAN be returned. Yes it’s frustrating when things go wrong – boy, do I know a lot about that! – and it can feel wasteful (both in time and money) to re-do things, but I have learned that just trying out my ideas to see how they look ultimately gets a lot more done than not trying at all!
I’m sharing my creative motto with you guys today to not only put a little more pep in your DIY step, but also to remind myself to “JUST TRY IT, MEGAN!!!” I’m not sure if it’s that pressure I talked about above OR because we are only here for a year, but lately I have been over-analyzing and second-guessing every single project and design choice I’m making. I know I don’t have the luxury of time to re-do things I don’t like here, so I am feeling the need to knock each project out of the park on the first try (are we sick of the baseball metaphors yet? 😉 I’ve accomplished so much in this house already because I have shaken off the doubt and moved forward with ideas, but I feel myself stalling out lately. While I can’t and shouldn’t be reckless in my decisions, I also don’t want the months to slip away with projects undone because I am too scared of failure to simply get started. So today is all about telling you all AND myself….”just go try it!”
I am such a visual person. I need to see things come together in real life to figure out if it’s right or I like it or not. What works in my head (quite often!) doesn’t translate into real life. But I can never see what I like/don’t like or learn from my mistakes if I don’t try them out first. Some (maybe even most?) of my best projects have truly been a “well, let’s just try it and see where it goes!” experience… In fact, all of the pictures in this post were complete and total “just try it” projects. Whether I was unsure of the paint color, makeover plan, how things would hold up, or look when completed, in each one I ultimately just decided to try it (knowing I could always change it if I didn’t like it) and ended up with something truly spectacular. To really make my point, I probably should have filled this post with the projects that didn’t go right despite my “just try it” attitude, but I thought we could all use a little “pretty” motivation on this Wednesday, am I right?!?
Whether it’s a wall you’ve been dying to paint, a fabric you’ve been yearning to bring into your home, or a Pinterest project you’ve been eager to try, just go try it (within reason, of course!). Even if it turns out a complete failure, you have learned more about what you like/don’t like, enjoy/don’t enjoy, have/don’t have the skills for, etc! And isn’t that…the process…just as much a part of making a beautiful, personal home as the final, pretty end result?!?
What do you guys think? What’s your method for getting past design/project/housework paralysis and moving forward again? I’d love to hear your tricks!
Happy Wednesday, friends! See you back here Friday with a closer look at our laundry room!