elle jupiter, interior design, commit, procrastination, design, interiors, decor

Stop Procrastinating and Pull the Trigger on a Design Concept

Years ago, when Jo & I moved into our first apartment in New York, I spent MONTHS trying out paint colors in the living room. I wanted a light gray, but I felt like I couldn’t find the one. Jo was losing it because I’d repainted the living room FOUR times before I could truly commit to one color. Mind you, the various paints were not drastically different, I just couldn’t commit to one. I eventually got tired of using my weekends to repaint so I settled for whatever the last shade was. I wasn’t 100% in love, but it worked.

Like me, feeling slightly uneasy about pulling the trigger on any concept is normal; especially if it’s a large reno. It’s best to understand now that any commitment comes with risks. As with most commitments, it’s always best to approach the idea with clarity. Get as clear as possible with your vision and the feelings that you want to evoke when being in that space. In the end, know that regardless of how it turns out you can always change it.

Cause of Design Procrastination #1: You’re Too Busy

You’ve created a vision board, you know all of the fixtures and furniture that you want for your space – you just don’t have time or energy to pull off a large project like this – so you don’t.  Lack of time is a legitimate concern for a working professional. Trust me, I get it. There are so many projects that I want to currently execute in my dwelling, however, extra time and energy are not in abundance right now. In a situation like this, where the only real hindrance is time, it makes the most sense to outsource and hire a designer to execute your vision.  

Cause of Design Procrastination #2: You’re Unable to find Common Ground w/a Partner

People always comment that Joachim and I resemble each other (first of all, ew). Aside from the very few physical similarities, he and I are truly opposites. There are very few things that we have in common. Agreeing on a design concept is probably one of the most challenging things we’ve had to do in our nine years of marriage. I love light and airy spaces with very limited color, and Jo likes whatever the opposite of that is, lol. When we first got married, Jo would frequently say that he felt like our apartment was like a museum. I took that as a small compliment, but I don’t think he meant it that way.  

If you cannot see eye-to-eye with your partner on a concept the first step is to identify what each of you all value in a space. Don’t even think aesthetics yet, think functionality. Jo is a personal trainer and so it is important that he has space to train. I am easily distracted when I work, so I need some space where I can work in total silence. Both Jo and I love that Camille is a free soul who loves to run around, so it’s important to both of us that she have open space in the common areas at home. Once you’ve identified what your individual non-negotiables, come together and see where you overlap. After identifying the mutual, desired functionality, then progress to aesthetics.  

One thing that Jo and I did to discover our blended aesthetic was to share a Pinterest board. We both pinned images of what an ideal space looks like for us. It was SO exciting (for me at least, haha) to see that we actually do like a similar design aesthetic! It was eye-opening for both of us. Blending design aesthetics is like all other areas of partnership – learn to compromise without sacrificing your happiness. Don’t let your assumed inability to find common ground stop you from moving forward with an interior design plan. Get in the trenches, work to figure it out, and execute a design concept already.  

Cause of Design Procrastination #3: FOBO (Fear of Better Options)

Most of us have been in a situation where we need to make a big decision about something, but instead of making a decision we become paralyzed with fear that there is something “better” out there. Maximization is the pursuit of every possible option for fear that you’ll miss the “best one.” This mindset only leads to indecision, frustration, stress & ultimately unhappiness. If this is your dilemma, remember this: you’ll never be able to research every potential option before making a decision.

Instead of hunting for an idealistic option, aim for something that results in a satisfactory result. Determine what meets your needs and evaluate the satisfactory options so that you can actively pursue one. Imperfect action is better than no action.

Cause of Procrastination #4: Commitment Phobia

If you are someone who has a fear of commitment, remember that the beauty of design is that it evolves over time. First rule of thumb is that you should not commit to a high-stakes design concept because it is “trendy.” This is especially true if  you aren’t totally in love with the trend. When committing to anything, it’s best to have a clear vision of what you are looking for.  

If you have hesitations about pulling the trigger on a design concept it’s best to “date” design concepts before committing to one. Websites like Fiverr have freelance professionals who can produce a rendering of a potential design. If you don’t want to invest in a draftsman, perhaps play around with something like RoomSketcher to get a feel for how your design concept will affect your space. Once that rendering is created, take some time and ask yourself if the rendering is reflective of how you envision the space.  

Understand that ANY commitment comes with risk. Commit to something so that you can free yourself from the paralysis of not doing anything. Don’t allow fear to inhibit you from making changes to your space. Small changes are better than none. You got this!! 

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