There is so much design inspiration around us (TV, blogs, Pinterest, magazines) that it can often feel overwhelming. Sometimes we end up making it harder on ourselves by considering too many options. For example, if you decide to paint your living room gray, only pick up a few paint cards to consider. And don't feel like you need to paint 10 different swatches on your wall. This can make you feel crazy -- fast! Limit yourself to two or three shades, then trust your gut and choose the one that feels best.
Do you often feel stumped by whether a certain style will work in your home? You may know your decorating style better than you think. Study your shopping (and pinning) patterns. Do you tend to gravitate toward the same pieces, colors, and patterns when you shop? Look at what you're saving from magazines and on Pinterest to see if there's a common denominator. It's OK to like a lot of styles, but it's also good to just appreciate some from afar. Before making a purchase, think about how long your love affair with the color palette, sofa style, or fabric has lasted to see if you're ready to commit to a long-term relationship.
Playing it safe can be a good thing, but not always fun when it comes to decorating your space. Life is too short to not take a risk with a bold paint color or fun fabric. If you're always admiring other people's risky design choices in magazines or photos, why not try something new in your own space? It could be as small as adding some pillows in a new color or as big as painting an entire room (trim and all!) in fuchsia or emerald green. If you don't give the "what if" ideas a try, you may never feel excited about your space.
Professional design help is way more accessible than it was a decade ago, and the time it could save you is likely to pay off in the long run. More designers are offering one-time consultations and will walk through your home with you, answering questions and throwing out ideas. Or if the idea of inviting a decorator into your home seems intimidating, many now offer e-design services where you can get a little (or a lot) of help via e-mail.