Is your fear of commitment paralyzing you from making design decisions?

Apr 27, 2021

Dear Designer Marisa,

I think I found the one… the wallpaper of my dreams! I have been seeing this wallpaper for the past six months, I’ve been wanting to pull the trigger and commit. It is everything I could imagine in my house, not to mention the perfect starting point for my home’s design future. Color, movement, texture, all things that I don’t find with paint. Every time I want to buy it, I see another wallpaper in a design magazine and it makes me second guess myself. I always think of the walls I painted in college, and the fun I have had with paint, that now I am not sure if I can commit to gluing something so permanent on my walls. Please Designer Marisa, tell me how you choose ‘The Wallpaper’ for a space when there are so many out there? Sincerely, Sleepless over Style

Dear Sleepless over Style,

A predicament you have indeed. With so many design choices out there and not enough walls in one’s home to adore with all we love, you must choose what is right in YOUR home. I advise ‘The Wallpaper’ is tried and true and going to withstand any changes made to the room in the future. Most design decisions are approved by the feeling that is created upon seeing the chosen product. The client approves the vanity because the legs remind them of a cabinet their grandmother had, I get two thumbs up from a set of twin girls when I suggest fuchsia wallpaper in their bathroom because to them pink is everything or an oversized chenille sofa is given the green light as visions of football and movie nights dance in the clients’ heads. Your ‘one wallpaper’ is to evoke the same feeling. Second guessing one’s self on a design decision is natural, but to keep searching is unnecessary when you have answered the question. It fulfills all the design goals and you like it. End of story. Sincerely, Designer Marisa

An ever present emotion that is assure to arise at some time on a project is doubt. Doubt halts the decision making, has crews ripping out beautiful inlayed tile patterns or produces 2 A.M. emails complied of comments the client got from the mailman. As humans, it is natural to look to one’s peer for approval, however unless you are running a commune, your home is to be an extension of yourself. So if this is your sacred space why are you afraid to commit?

I believe people have problems committing to their style and become paralyzed when they do not know the type of home you are trying to create. Do you view color as a neutral? Your heart pitter patters for patterns? Will adding new or existing furniture enhance your wallpaper choice not turn it into a mistake? With all of these points running through one’s mind, it is easy to become stuck in the decision making. Yet rest assure, that there are no rules in design, and your choices turn your home into your design masterpiece. If you are still perplexed and the idea of choosing something so permanent in your home worries you, here are a few tips:

  • When in doubt, leave the pattern out… As fantastic as pattern is, it is not for everyone. When first jumping into the lovely land of wallpapers and fabrics, I advise going with basics: the grass cloths, linens, velvets and textured cottons. Pops of color add interest to the space, and will be the added element you need to have a personalized look.
  • Quality over quantity… Invest in the pieces you are going to get the most use out of. Most investment pieces are an investment, but will last you a lifetime. Handwoven rugs, and handcrafted lamps will be heirlooms that you can give to your loved ones. While you may chuckle at the idea of passing along pieces these days, I am sure this sparked a memory of a family member’s item you coveted at holidays.
  • What’s the fifth wall?… If home design was not scary enough, do I dare you to create a focal point on the ceiling? The fifth wall aka the ceiling, the ageless testimony paint the ceiling white and move on. As this is true, it is also an opportunity for design. Your options are endless, with wallpaper, paint, or metal tin. If another design decision is not in your brain space, finding a fabulous chandelier, something that speaks to your personality.

There you have it. Reassure that your design choices are not wrong. Design is what speaks to you and invokes something in your soul. I believe you will make the right design choices for you, and your home will turn out delightful. Reach out if you need more assistance.

Best, Marisa

Find me at Marisa Orlich Interiors. Happy decorating.