The Joy of Happy Decorating

Recently when out and about browsing at a home furnishings store I came across this Kantha throw pillow that was made using scraps of fabric that were sewn and then embroidered together.

pillow that says I love this place placed on a chair

It grabbed my attention right away, I smiled and thought, how cute it would look on the white slipcovered sofa in my living room. I couldn’t stop thinking about it even though I usually don’t go for decor items with sayings on them.

But this pillow spoke to me. It said it all – I love this place (my home) and how I have decorated it to make it a haven for Ed and I, as well as for family and friends when they come to visit.

I knew that it fit my style… do you know why? Because I liked it, it made me happy. Not only did the saying make me smile, but so did the mix of colors and the handcrafted appeal.

What’s more, it was unique and not the latest selling throw pillow trending at Target or a home decorating catalog that everyone has.

Many readers often write to me asking:

1. How I figure out what I like when there are so many decorating styles and items too choose from?

2. How do I know an item will work or fit into my decor?

My answer to these questions is always the same. If it makes me smile I know it is for me. I never worry if an item is trendy or on the “IN” list of decor. In fact, I probably have more furnishings in my house that are on the “OUT” list which is fine with me.

I would rather my home reflect both my husband and my interests along with what we need in the way of comfort and function. I don’t want to follow the dictates of a famous designer or magazine editor that doesn’t even know me, my personal decorating style and my interests.

I also tell readers that are having a hard time making a room come together is to come up with a decorating name for what they like. I outlined the process in this post, Discover Your “Unique to You” Personal Decorating Style.

Even if you can’t come up with a unique name for what your personal decorating style is all about, no worries as your design style is anything that makes you happy.

Maybe what makes you happy when decorating is following trends and that is “a-okay” as they are what makes you smile when choosing items to decorate your home. There is no right or wrong choices, only what feels right to you.

The Home Decorating Golden Rule to Remember

The reason I am sharing this pillow find with you is I want you to see that when it comes to decorating and seeing something we like when shopping or browsing through a decorating catalog, we sometimes place too much weight on the question, “Will it go with my decor?” Instead we should be asking ourselves, “Do I love this and how can I make it work with my decor?”

It’s okay to love what you love even if some so called “design source” says it is out of style or in their mind doesn’t go with a determined decorating style – traditional, farmhouse, modern, etc.

I agree with this quote from Bobby Berk, author of the book, Right At Home.

If you love it, it will work!

What Makes You Happy?

What makes you happy when choosing items to decorate your home may not coincide with the latest design trends. Your home decor shouldn’t be dictated towards what is in or out, but 100% about your style and what you like.

It could be your grandmother’s quilt or a piece of furniture you lovingly refinished, not something simply to fill a space or to keep up with trends… which can be exhausting and expensive.

Trends come and go and using them in small ways can be fun to switch things up when you are looking for an update or change, but your true personal style should always be the number one thing that should guide you when decorating as it will always uniquely fit you and never be out of style for you.

The elements of design – balance, proportion etc. are important when choosing decor items and can make or break the way a room looks, but in the end, the most interesting rooms are usually curated with the owners unique picks and placements that create a unique and harmonious mix that works.

Decorating with what makes you happy may not create a magazine worthy room, but instead, one that makes you feel happy, cozy, secure and whatever else is important for you.

Learning to trust your own instincts to bring in that mix of items you love to create a cohesive look is what every good home decorator has learned to do. When you gain the confidence, you can be out and about at HomeGoods, a thrift store or a cute boutique and see something and grab it as you know it is just right for you.

There will no longer be the need to ask a friend who is out shopping with you, “What do you think of this?” Why should their opinion matter. It is your home after all – not theirs.

The best thing you can hear them say though is… “oh! that is so you!”.

If you are wondering if I bought the pillow, I didn’t as the little DIY voice in my head was telling me, “Oh Diane, you can make that yourself” :-)

I haven’t made it yet, but was happy to have been inspired to make a pillow like it. Now when I make it myself I get to choose the fabrics and colors that will make it even a better fit for my personal decorating style. :-)

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If you enjoyed this post, then you may also enjoy my other decorating with personal style posts.

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  1. I love what you said about if something makes you smile you know it is for you. I totally agree with that and with your thought that we should decorate our homes to please us and not just to keep up with current styles. I think following that advice results in our homes giving us a feeling of comfort that lasts for a long time. By the way — that pillow speaks to me, too!

  2. So very true!! Love the pillow and I can see it being a fun project 💜.

  3. Julia@Cuckoo4Design says:

    Totally agree with everything!

  4. Christina Todd says:

    This is amazing, What a cute and different idea, I just love your kantha throw pillow, fabulous work, thank you so much

  5. Michele M. says:

    Amen to that! And as Marie Condo says “Keep if it sparks joy, let it go if it does not.” And surrounding ourselves – our TRUEST selves – with what we love is essential to love our homes for certain. Really liked this post.

    And my deepest wish when continuing reading it was “Oh Diane, you can sooooo make that!” I can’t wait to see it when you do!

    1. I agree with this post so much. The best compliment my decorating ever got was when my 18 yr old neighbor said, ” I love your house! What is this style called? I told her I needed to think of a name. I decided to call it the “treasure box style.” My home is filled with things I treasure.

  6. Good idea for Christmas pillows
    with holiday sayings and fabric!
    Thanks, I am stealing this! Yay.

  7. Totally agree with this post. No body wants their house to look like everyone else…..or at least I don’t!

  8. Thank you Diane for helping me do my own thing in my home. You always inspire me.