Are you like me and have a hard time settling on one style? Struggle with narrowing down the style you want a particular piece to be in? Contempoary? Traditional? Bohemian? Today, I will show you how you can find your style and the inspiration board I did trying to finally pick a rug for my living room. Plus, stay tuned for a confession…
I made this inspiration board because I’ve been trying, but failing, to pull the trigger on buying a new area rug for my living room. I really appreciate all the years of loyal service my old rug has given me (its light but hides dirty like a champ) but it’s time she moved on. Trying to figure out how to replace her has been harrowing.
Full disclosure time: it takes me months (sometimes years) of research to find a piece I like and then even after I find it it can take me even many more months (and sometimes years) to finally pull the trigger to buy it.
Here’s a perfect example: when Mr. Man and I first moved in together I took him to Pier One to show him a rug I’d been eyeing and wanted his input (I was still trying to be a good partner back then). He liked it a lot and said I should buy it. I told him I still wasn’t sure and would continue to think about it. Then he asked me if the rug would still be there when and if I came back. I told him I was pretty sure it would be because I’d been looking at it for 2 years…He made me buy it that day. And I have to say I still love that rug. It now lives in my son’s room.
About a year ago, I decided it was time for a new area rug for our living room. A less beige-y one. (Need a reminder what it looks like? Go HERE.) Naturally, I turned to all of my favorite bloggers/designers for inspiration. It seemed they were all crushing on Persian/Turkish/Oriental rugs. (I’m looking at you Jenny, Amber, Yellow Brick Home, and Young House Love.)
So naturally, I started looking for Persian/Turkish/Oriental rugs. Over the course of the last year, I’ve looked at hundreds of rugs. And in all that searching I’ve only found one Persian/Turkish/Oriental rug that I truly like but the colors are so specific I don’t think I can justify spending that kind of money on a rug I’ll probably tire of in a few years.
All of this searching has lead me to one conclusion. An absolute truth if you will: I do not like Persian/Turkish/Oriental area rugs…for the living room at least. There. I said it. I know this makes me a design pariah but what can I do…
Oh my god. This post has gotten three times longer than I’d planned. Let me get back to business.
When I hit design blocks like I was having with trying to find my rug, I employ this technique and it usually works. Suffice it to say, this technique worked this time too.
Results: I want a light colored, neutral area rug with some texture and some subtle color variations. This means I’ll end up getting a darker couch/sofa. Phew. Two decisions down.
Here are my rejects. When I put them all together for you I realized they actually look pretty good together though it needs a little bit more color for my taste.
Find Your Style:
Step #1: Identify the room or piece you want help with.
Step #2: Choose a site like CHAIRISH that has a lot of different items in the categories you’re searching for. (I am in no way affiliated or sponsored by Chairish. Aside from getting their daily email announcements that I subscribe to, they don’t know I exist. ) You could use this technique on 1st Dibs, Overstock, Home Decorator’s Collection or Wayfair. I would avoid store’s websites because they generally don’t offer a wide enough range of styles and colors for this technique.
Step #3: If you’re shopping for a room, identify the largest piece in the room that you’lll need to buy and go to that category. Do not narrow your search in any way (price, color, size, location of piece, etc.). Same thing even if you’re only looking for one thing.
Step #4: Now start looking at the pieces and imagine that you will truly and actually buy something if you see it. When you find a piece that you would not hesitate to buy, copy/save the picture of the item on your desktop or in a folder on your computer. It is critical that you not look at the price, size or any other information during this process because invariably it will influence you. You can stop “shopping” the instant you find The One or you can go through all X pages. It’s up to you. I often go through all X pages. I also try to do this really quickly because I want my gut to do the picking – not my head. This means I usually just scan the pages with the small tile pictures and only quickly opening ones that seem promising.
Step #5: If you’ve selected more than 3 pieces after step #4 then you’ll probably need to whittle it down in rounds. #poetandIknowit In this process, you only ever look at two pieces at a time. In Round # 1 look at just two pieces and decide which you like more. Then take the winner of that round and put it up against another piece for Round #2. Then repeat. Try to get it down to no more than 3 pieces. Or go back the next day and try this again with the remaining pieces until you have 1 or 2. If you’re lucky, all the pieces you’ve picked look so similar you can avoid the lightening round.
After I’d found the rug, I decided to try finding couches. I’ve started to think about couches but I have a layout dilemma. Two couches or sectional? I said to hell to the dilemma and searched anyways. I got lucky and found this couch right away and love it. So I think I’m heading for a two-couch solution. (Question: what’s the difference between a couch and a sofa?) And then I went a little crazy and picked everything else out.
After I’d picked everything I started peeking at the prices and all the other details. I usually find everything is beyond my price point which then begins the fun part of trying to find cheaper versions of them. This time I was pleasantly surprised by how inexpensive the art was. If you’re curious, this living room round up would cost $10,735*…
Links for each piece in my living room round up
floor lamp – *correction: this lamp actually costs $550; I know this because I tried buying it.
Let me know if this technique helps you or if you buy one of these pieces. Part of me will hate you a little but most of me will be happy for you.