Ever since I was a little girl, there was something I found so fun and interesting about interior design. How walking into a friends house I could instantly feel calmer and homier by their decor, or how I could get an idea of how their life worked. My parents were mostly good about letting me move my bedroom furniture around and repainting the walls for the millionth time, and looking back, I’m grateful for them allowing the expression.
We have lived in Florida for a few years now, and I’ve really honed in on my design style. I’ve always gravitated towards the traditional, and living around palm trees and water has impacted my decor too. You can call it “Coastal Grandmillennial”.
To start, I want to be clear about a few things:
When decorating a home, I like to start room by room as much as possible. This doesn’t always happen, but it’s a lot harder to get overwhelmed by renovations and changes you want to make if you stick to one room at a time.
If renovations are on your horizons for your home, my advice is to start with the most necessary renovation, or the room with the most ROI. I don’t believe you should decorate or renovate with the sole thought to please a future buyer (unless you’re flipping), because you need to design for you and your family first! But with renovations and how expensive they can be, be honest with how long you plan on living in your home and how much time + money you’re willing to invest in the bigger projects. Like us, if you plan on living in your home for ~5 years, maybe start with the things that will update your home the best, and see if you get to the other renovations. We did the kitchen first, because the kitchen is the heart of them home and ours was in really rough shape.
When designing “coastal grandmillennial”, I like to reference decor and styles that are more timeless, and to stay away from extremely trendy decor. Flip through older magazines, research homes from decades ago and take note of the fabrics, prints, furniture, and colors that have stuck around. We picked things like flooring + kitchen style that have stood the test of time over the years. This is absolutely just my preference, and love to see people use their home to express whatever brings them the most joy.
A fun tip that gets you in the mood to decorate is moodboards! Make moodboards for each room and reference them when you shop, and mark things off as you go. I use canva.com.
If you’re decorating on a budget, I cannot recommend using Facebook Marketplace enough. We furnished basically our entire first home as newlyweds from FBMP and I still find great goodies that are at a fraction. It learns your style as you search, so use words like “traditional” “antique” “vintage” or any brand names you like. I have found many Ballard Designs, Pottery Barn and Henry Link furniture.
Another shopping recommendation: if you’re not popping in antique stores, you need to. Not only for the amazing finds, but to support local. I am an Amazon girl through + through, but love to shop small businesses when I can. My advice for antiquing is have an idea of some things you need, bring your patience to dig through aisles, and clean your car out in case you find a large piece that you can’t pass up 😉
Be mindful of your wall decor sizing. There is nothing worse than a large wall and a small painting. If you’re filling up a wall space behind a couch, make sure it takes up enough space! Instead of one painting, what about three? Or one large painting with sconces on either side? Use the set of 3 rule to create balance in your decor.
Sometimes less is more. For shelving, for coffee tables, for kitchen counters, etc. Be sure you’re not over crowding your space with TOO much in certain places!
And depending on the elements, sometimes more is more! 😉 Bedding, couch pillows, throw blankets, texture, layers, coffee tables (I know, I just said less is more but it really just depends!) etc. Do not be scared to try and add more than you think, as filling up a certain space can look balanced just as much as leaving it minimal. As long as something is kept tidy and thoughtfully decorated, you can truly be as “maximalist” as you’d like. Some of my favorite designers can’t seem to leave well enough alone when it comes to decorating, and I love it. To me, I like my spaces to feel lived in. Move some things around, look at what other designers and your favorite home decor stores do and try to emulate it with the things you have first.
And finally, as you finish up decorating your home (although if you’re anything like me, you’ll never be done!), it’s all about keeping your space tidy. I use the 10 second rule in my home: if it takes less than 10 seconds to do, do it now. Putting those shoes away, folding back up that blanket, cleaning the counter after making lunch. Life is messy, absolutely. I don’t have children, and can imagine how tough this will be to continue when we do, but I try to make good habits.
I hope these tips have been helpful and can’t wait to see what you create! Happy decorating!