Defending Your Design Ideas

Most of us can agree with and understand choices of logic. However, when it comes to personal creativity, acceptance and compromise tend to go out the window. Baby names, what-that-story-plot-should’ve been, movie ratings, art, and fashion — it’s hard not to get defensive over our tastes when they’re linked so closely to emotion. Our choices in these areas define who we are: you’re not going to wear that pink pencil skirt with the slit in the side unless it “feels” like you. The same goes for decorating. You inevitably design your home as a place that’s comfortable to live in and expresses what you like. But how do you respond to someone whose style is in direct conflict to your own? For example: your mother’s.


1. Go for it anyway.

The vision you have for a certain space is only in your head, so the image others get — no matter how well you explain it — is just a guess at the real thing. In decorating and fashion, planning and explaining should basically go out the window. If your friends hesitate at your plan for a dining room with red walls, ignore them. Tell them they can just make their final decision when your project’s completed. Odds are that in the end, they’ll like it.

2. Go all out.

Go all out: don’t hesitate if people don’t like your ideas. This goes for life in general. If you don’t throw your all into a project because you’re worried about other opinions, you might not be happy with the end result. Focusing on your own thoughts and analyzing your work in a constructive manner can really make the difference between an “I’ve-got-this-decorating-thing-down” attitude and swearing to never decorate your own house again.

3. Stay determined.

Don’t get discouraged at your setbacks. Decorating is work, but it’s fun work. Don’t quit if a room doesn’t look the way you want it to. Your idea doesn’t suck; you may just have to tweak a few things or rearrange a table. I would know, with the many fond memories I have as a child of waking up at midnight to find my mom staring at the dining room curtains. There are no terrible decorating ideas, and they don’t deserve to be given up on.

4. Accept the fact that styles are different.

Accept the fact that styles are different, and brush it off. Taste is mostly subjective, so if a guest makes a comment about how they dislike your decorative fireplace mantel, just chalk it up to a difference in opinion and leave it at that. You might not like everything at their house, either. This isn’t an insurmountable hurdle.

5. Most people won’t say this but…you can pick your advice.

It’s okay to disagree with people. If you want guidance or are curious for others’ thoughts on a developing idea in your head, feel free to ask your friends’ and family’s opinion! And if someone mentions they don’t like how you put something together, it can be beneficial to consider their words. Maybe what they said was nagging at you, too, or you come up with something even better. But at the same time, just like I mentioned in number 4, tastes are different. We see the world through a subjective lens, and at the end of the day, it’s what you think that counts — and the people who count know that, too. Going full force with your ideas and thoughts when not everyone agrees on them can be stressful, but in the end, that kind of confidence will make you happier.


Decorating is fun…so get into it, don’t give up, and enjoy it. Most of all: don’t forget to be yourself — through your words, your actions, and your decorating!


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