I recently had clients engage me to decorate their beautiful home. They had lived there for 10 years, had grown their family there, and adored the house and the location. They were both professionals, and had been too busy working and raising their family, (aren’t we all?!), to pay much attention to decorating or renovating. They felt that their home was looking and feeling tired.
They told me that they often spent their Saturday mornings going to open homes for inspiration, but would then come home and feel depressed about their own home. There are so many sources of inspiration to draw on these days, such as Pinterest, Instagram, blogs, and TV shows. Real homes, however, can also be a great source of inspiration. Open homes will be displayed at their best, and have often been styled, so it’s a great opportunity to have a walk around, and decide for yourself what works and what doesn’t. If allowed, you can also take some photos that you can reference later on.
There are, however, a few things to keep in mind when using open homes as inspiration:
The first is that nobody lives like that! No wonder my poor clients were feeling depressed when comparing their much-loved and well-lived in home to houses that have been buffed, polished, and styled to be ready for sale. It’s great to draw ideas from, but remember, it’s not reality.
Another area to be weary of is applying design that you have seen, that may not be appropriate for your house. You may be confusing styles, or going over the top in costs of the renovation. Make carefully considered decisions about what will work in your home.
There’s nothing like walking into and through a real home for getting some great ideas, but just make sure it will translate well into your home and lifestyle.