Don’t Make a Single Decor Decision at Home Without Doing This First

published Jan 9, 2021
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image

Apartment Therapy’s January Cure is a free 20-day program all about loving on your home and preparing yourself and your space for the new year. Sign up now to get daily lessons sent straight to your inbox!

Good decisions take time. That’s true for a lot of things, but especially for me when I’m making choices about how I want my home to look and feel. When I need to make a choice like, say, a new paint color for the wall or which nightstands I want to buy for the bedroom, I find that I’m usually much happier with my decision when I take time to visualize and research my options.

That’s not to say there isn’t benefit in being impulsive sometimes. But you still have to do a little work to fine-tune your instincts. That’s why, even if I’m making a quick choice about a throw pillow, I do one thing first: Sit quietly in the space.

Yep, just sit! I try to get a fresh perspective by finding a spot I don’t sit in often or facing the room in an unusual way for me. Then, I just put on some music and let myself examine the space.

Taryn's Tips

Point of view matters a lot when you’re planning how you want a space to look and feel. Instead of sitting in your usual spot, examine the room from a different seat, a spot on the floor, or even peeking into the room from the doorway.

So that’s what we’ll do today for the January Cure…

Credit: Minette Hand

Day 6: Take a mini-meditation and pick a project.

Take some time tonight—at least 10 minutes, but it can be up to an hour or more—to really see your space without the usual distractions. Then, use that fresh perspective to choose a project from the list you made last week.

The first part of this assignment—the mini-meditation—can take as long or as short as you want it to take. Just choose your favorite room, or the one you spend the most time in, and sit in a place in that room you don’t usually sit. Turn off the television, silence and hide your phone, and just stay in that spot for as long as you’re able. You can listen to music or enjoy a drink—just don’t engage in any activities that might prevent you from focusing on the room.

From your perch, think about your space. You can employ the five senses, if it helps. How does the air smell? How does the lighting look? How does your seat feel? Try an envision things changing: What would the room look like with nothing in it? What would be the first thing you’d bring back in?

You might want to move around to the other rooms in your home. Spend time standing in doorways and picturing what each of your rooms look like to somebody stepping into them for the first time.

Once you feel like your mini-meditation has run its course, part two of today’s assignment involves revisiting your to-do list from last week’s work. I want you to choose one project that you want to complete during this January Cure.

A good choice is one that will fit these criteria:

  • A project that can be completed this month, in a few hours. Remember, you’ll be busy with the rest of your Cure assignments, so don’t get overly ambitious in your choice—stay mindful of the time commitment required.
  • A project that will make a noticeable difference in either how you use your home (organizing, flow), how something works (repairs), or how things look (decluttering, cleaning, decorating).

Once you know what it is, highlight it or circle it and make a commitment to getting it done.

Remember that your to-do list is a roadmap to many satisfying projects you’ll do for your home in the coming year—right now you just need to choose one small thing to take on during the Cure.

You can work on your chosen project anytime, of course, but we’ve built in time during the Cure specifically for you to spend on this task, so don’t worry about getting it done immediately. If you’ll need special materials or tools that you don’t have, consider taking the time to order them or shop for them this week. But that’s all you have to do for now!

More Ways to Participate in the January Cure: