I Quit Trying to Keep Up With Home Decorating Trends

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trendy home

Have you ever viewed a friend’s home and it is absolutely beautiful, on-trend, and well… perfect? You get a tour of their home and they show you how they replaced “absolutely hideous” things. They tell you, “The cabinets and trim were honey oak. Ew. The carpet was so dated. We used to have those typical, ugly, builder-grade kitchen lights from the early 2000’s. It was laminate flooring, not even real hardwood. The drawers weren’t even dovetailed.” 

(Excuse me, dovetailed?)

And then you come to the realization that your house is filled with those “absolutely hideous” things they replaced. Not that any of my friends would actually point that out to me. It’s my own insecurities that cause me to hop on the “treadmill of trend” and wonder how I’m going to catch up. I start to spiral into deep shame and think I should be embarrassed of my home. 

But who says I need to include home design in my list of “having it all?”

It’s challenging to hop off a track we feel pressured to be on. The design catalogs arrive,  HGTV is playing in the waiting room of every office, and home design stars are as popular as fashion designers. We assess the background of people’s social media posts, and start a good old game of “keeping up with the Joneses.”

We see the Instagram posts, perfectly staged and filtered. Then, we compare and then reassess our own homes. As we have spent more time at home, things has gotten even worse and the pressure is real. It’s no wonder furniture is on back order for months as people scramble to perfect the place they spend the most time. 

Ask Yourself, Why Do I Want to Change?

When I start hopping on that treadmill of trend, thinking I need to update, remodel, or change aspects of my home, I try to ask myself why? What is my motivation? Am I embarrassed that so-and-so might see my 20-year-old carpet, or is it something I truly want to change? Does the layout of my home really not achieve the function I’d like it to, or am I just comparing the layout of my home to others? Has my style in furniture and decor changed, or am I just trying to “keep up?”  

And is all of this even worth it with how quickly trends change?

Trends may come and go, but function and livability never goes out of style. People don’t come to your house to see something out of a magazine. They come to see you. Your house should reflect your style. Let your soul tell you how to furnish your home.

But how do you find your personal style? If you’re like me, you’ll worry everything you choose is ugly, even if you like it. Or you’ll hate what you choose after you buy it and you’ll realize you don’t know what the heck you’re doing. Heck, I don’t even know what my style is! There are so many options and now I have 125 tabs open on my computer and I’m just trying to buy ONE rug. 

I was feeling overwhelmed. How am I supposed to narrow this down? This must be how people feel at the gym when they look at all the equipment and just leave because they feel like they don’t know enough to start. So some people hire a trainer, just to get them started. To get comfortable and to trust that they know what to do.

Finding Design Help

I looked up design consulting businesses. A design consult can get you started by asking key questions and offering direction, providing a place to start. And hiring a designer might actually be a way to help you save money in the long run, as well. 

So, I sought out a design consultant to help me prioritize. I wanted to narrow down my options, determine what I could live with in my house, and decide what I felt like absolutely must change. I discovered that I personally value the ease of cleaning above many other things. And my 20-year-old laminate floors are so easy to clean. So, we determined the floors could stay, since they add to the function and livability of my home.

Then I reviewed my kitchen. My cabinets are dated and they are honey oak. But I have enough cabinets; they are not broken. And I don’t actually hate the look of my them, I just think I should hate the look of them (likely because they are not on-trend). I found I could live with the cabinets, also. And the layout of my kitchen functions for my family. So overall, we determined there was no need to make drastic changes in the kitchen.

Easy Updates

My design consultant then helped me to use paint to give the house a fresh update, without a major renovation. She assisted in selecting paint colors and flooring to replace damaged carpet (which allowed us to keep our existing laminate that was functioning just fine). She made me feel confident in “listening to my soul” and figuring out what style and functionality I wanted for my home.

If you think a design consultant could help in updating your home, below is a list of business in the Fargo-Moorhead area who offer design consultations.

Local Design Consultant Options

Scheels Home and Hardware

Monica Hart Designs

Designing Women 2

Scan Design

Trever Hill Design

Sassi Cassi Designs 

Design consultant fees typically range from $80 to $200 for an hour visit with you in your home. And many designers will apply the consultation fee to any furniture or decor items you purchase through them, if you decide to do so.

A Place to Be You

There is no need to compare or chase trends. Your friend’s beautiful home doesn’t mean your home is ugly. Our homes blur the line between the self and the surroundings, challenging us to compare WHO we are and WHERE we are. Your friend with the beautiful house likely finds your house beautiful as well, because you bring your own beauty to it. 

And overall, the value of your home is in the comfort it provides to you and your family.

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Erika Buckhouse Hanson
Erika has worked in the educational setting as a physical therapist for 17 years, after attending UND and NDSU. After recognizing difficult behaviors in her third child, she became an advanced trainer of the Nurtured Heart Approach®. Professionally, Erika is also a mentor, course-captain, and clinical instructor, and has served students in the Autism magnet program for 10 years. She recently served on the Pediatric Advisory Board for Curriculum Development at UND, and on a task force with the Department of Instruction to create the first school-based PT/OT guidelines in the state. She also is a mentor with BioGirls, leads a group of teenage boys at confirmation, leads a Girl Scout troop, and has coached baseball. For the past two Mother’s Days, Erika has hosted a Neighborhood Chalk Party, an event designed to further build relationships in neighborhoods on the principle of “it takes a village to raise a child.” She was born and raised in Hankinson, ND, and has lived in the Fargo area for over 25 years with her husband (who you may know as the radio DJ on Bob 95 FM: "Chris, John and Cori in the Morning"). Together they have four children: girl-boy-boy-girl, ages 10-16. Erika is passionate about empowering kids, preventative health, hiking, and national parks.

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