How to Overcome Your Fear of Interior Styling

For as fun as decorating our homes can be, it can also be intimidating. Since we want our homes to be a reflection of our unique personal styles, figuring out what items to use (and how to use them) can be tricky to say the least. To help ease your anxieties, we gathered up a handful of ways to overcome your fear of interior styling. Whether you’re a first-time decorator or a seasoned designer, here’s what to do when you’re discouraged about how to approach a home design project.

interior styling tips and ideas

Image by @em_henderson via @barnandwillow

1. Look for inspo.

Design inspiration is everywhere—you just have to look for it. Whether it’s the hues of the sunset or the pattern on your favorite dress, the first step to designing your home is deciding what colors, shapes, and styles you’re most attracted to. Fortunately, the internet is an endless ocean of inspiration for anyone working on honing their design skills. Head over to Pinterest for tens of thousands of easy-to-search-for images of beautifully designed spaces, DIY projects, and décor ideas. Or, if you’re want to search for design inspo from the convenience of your smartphone, log on to Instagram and follow any interior designers, lifestyle bloggers, or decorating enthusiasts who’s style speaks to you.

2. Gather samples and swatches.

Once you have a better idea of what colors and patterns you’re drawn to, it’s time to collect and request various fabric and paint swatches that you might like to use in your project. Whether in-store or online, virtually all paint suppliers provide shoppers with free swatches of paint colors, while many textile companies offer free swatches of cloth or fabric so you can see what they look like in person. Barn & Willow allows you to order up to ten free five-inch-by-five-inch fabric swatches at a time—no credit card information required. Simply visit the Barn & Willow swatch page to scroll through 50 different styles of swatches, ranging from sheer Belgian linen to blackout-lined to velvet, any of which will be shipped out within one business day.

3. Make a mood board.

If you’ve never made a mood board before then now’s the time to start. A visual collage of inspo images, paint samples, fabric swatches, and other items that will serve as inspiration for the design of a specific room, creating a mood board will give you a better sense of what the finished space will look like, while providing you with some direction about how to get there. To create a mood board the old-fashioned way, pin your pick of snaps and swatches onto a corkboard with pushpins. Or, for a digital mood board, log onto Pinterest and create individual boards for each room you’ll be designing. Either way, you’ll be able to see how all your inspo items look together, and then add or edit accordingly.

4. Start small.

If swatches aren't quite enough to help you make a decision about certain fabrics, then consider decorating just a small area of a room, such as your windows. With Barn & Willow’s Try Before You Buy program, you can rent up to three 25"W X 50"L sample panels at a time to see which ones best suit your space without having to commit to a color or style you’re unsure of. Or you can practice mixing and matching other decor accessories and textiles throughout your home, such as throw pillows, accent rugs, and bedding.

5. Ask for help.

When all else fails, you can always ask friends and family whose taste you trust for help or advice about a design project. Or, if you prefer a professional opinion, chat with a Design Specialist at Barn & Willow. From measurement questions to style advice, their team of Design Specialists are available to chat online—or you can Book a Virtual Appointment with a Design Specialist—so you can get tips from decorating pros from the comfort of your own home.

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