A mantra in the creative industry is that you don't adopt ideas, you adapt them. Seek out inspiration but instead of looking to replicate what you see, put your own spin on it and do something with it that makes it uniquely you…
When I first started setting up my own space I spent a lot of time browsing websites and flipping through magazines looking for ideas. I would find something I loved and set out to recreate it without giving enough consideration to how it would work for me. I picked out furniture in dark wood without realizing that I would have to commit to keeping it dusted and polished (something I hate to do) and while I love having color in my living room, the space would feel a lot bigger with a lighter shade on the walls.
You home is a great canvas for self expression but there are a few things that you should take into consideration when you first set out to furnish and decorate a new space.
1. How does it need to function? Do you like to entertain guests or do you just want to cozy up on the couch and watch TV. Will you be working from home?
2. Maintenance. Certain styles are a lot easier to keep up than others. Like I mentioned, dark wood shows dust a lot faster than a blonde or a medium tone. Brick-a-brack tends to be a dust magnet as well… I have an open bar cart that I coveted for a long time and while I love it, I find myself dusting the bottles individually on a weekly basis, not something I really have time for!
3. Does it reflect your style and personality? I remember back to school shopping as a kid, you would see something on the rack that looked so cool. Then you would wear it out and it would be so not you. It can be a lot of fun to "try on" styles but selecting a large piece of furniture is a long term commitment so make sure the style is really all you.
Take these considerations and apply them when you find a idea or look that you love. Most rooms in magazines are highly "styled" and not necessarily livable. Adapt, don't adopt and make your home uniquely you.
Image: Bethany Nauert, from Interior Designer Craig Olsen's Hancock Park Home