5 Things You Should Ask Yourself Before You Start Decorating Your Home

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I can't take it any more! There are too many pretty things out there and I WANT THEM ALL!

This is what my brain was screaming as I was in the process of decorating my studio apartment. And frankly, it still does tend to scream that, but I think I have it under control now. And part of why I have it under control is because I sat down and took a long hard look at what I wanted from my home. With all the gorgeous styles out there, you have to really focus down and think about what will make YOU happy in your space.

If you're in that brain-screaming state of overwhelm with your home styling process, I'm with you. I'm so with you.

These 5 steps will help you organize your loud brain and get to the bottom of what you really want out of your home decor!

1. What are 5 words or phrases I would use to describe my interior decor style?

I realize this can be tricky for a few different reasons. Maybe you have no idea what your style even is. Maybe you do but you don’t know how to describe it. Or maybe there are just so many styles out there that you love and you don’t know how to narrow it down. Either way, it’s okay! That’s why it helps come up with 5 words or phrases that describe what you’re going for. 

If you have no idea what your style is or how to describe it, these words can be words that just appeal to you aside from having to do with decor. If you like the ocean, write down “ocean”. If you like the color pink, write down “pink”. Let’s say you came up with the following 5 words: ocean, pink, blackberries, salad, and Sheryl Crow. Trust me, these things may seem irrelevant to interior decor but there are ways to translate them into an aesthetic. I can already picture what the room would look like, and I have a feeling that whichever words you come up with, you'll be able to picture that room too simply because those 5 words mean something to you.

If you are plagued with the issue of being fully aware of the all the different kinds of styles out there and loving way too many of them (guilty), then I actually recommend listing out ALL those styles on a piece of paper. Getting it all out there visually can help put things into focus for you. Once you have this style mega list, take a look at it and see which words jump out at you. Which words make your heart skip a beat? Which words make the most sense for your specific space? Try to choose 5 words based on your gut feelings about them.

Once you have 5 words to describe your decor style, it will be tremendously helpful while you’re shopping for your home. You’ll find that your shopping experience is much more focused and manageable, both online and in person.

2. What do I want my anchor color to be?

In my opinion, your anchor color is one of the most important decisions you’ll make in your decorating process. This is the color that anchors the whole style of your home and makes it all cohesive.

I recommend using one anchor color for all the large pieces of furniture in your space.

A living room with a creamy white as its anchor color.

A living room with a creamy white as its anchor color.

For example, the anchor color in my apartment is gray. My couch is gray, my bed comforter is gray, and my area rugs are multiple shades of gray. This makes it so my whole apartment ties together regardless of the accessories I use. Speaking of accessories, choosing an anchor color gives you the freedom to switch out as you feel like it because everything is more likely to match when there’s a uniform color that ties everything together throughout the space.

I also recommend your anchor color to be a neutral.

The more neutral your anchor color, the more fun you’ll have accessorizing. Gray, white, taupe, black, brown - all these are great neutral anchor colors.

3. What do I want my accent colors to be?

Ah, this is where it gets fun. This is where your personal style gets to shine through - in the accessories, which is where your accent colors live. While you want one anchor color, you can choose as many accent colors as you want, depending on how colorful and eclectic you want your home to be.

This is where it comes in handy to have a neutral anchor color. It just gives you more freedom to use color in your accessories, without have to deal with the whole "I love this throw pillow but will it match my couch?" dilemma. If you have a gray couch, or a white couch, or any neutral color, a throw pillow of any color will work.

Green is the accent color here, anchored by gray.

Green is the accent color here, anchored by gray.

You do, however, have to think about how your chosen accent colors work together. A neutral anchor color makes it easier for everything to feel cohesive, but you do still have to think about the risk of getting too chaotic with your accessories. Don't get me wrong, some well curated chaos can look super chic, but ironically, this kind of chaos takes a meticulous amount of planning and control in order to look aesthetically pleasing rather than a total mess. If you're up to that task, go for it!

For the sake of cohesiveness, try limiting yourself to 3 accent colors while shopping and see how it looks in your home. If you end up craving more color, you can always expand your accent color palette from there.

4. What textures and materials am I drawn to?

Do you ever watch HGTV? If you're reading a blog post such as this, I bet you do indeed watch HGTV. ;-) 

Do you notice how often the word "texture" gets thrown around on any given HGTV show? Designers love the word texture. And for good reason! Using a variety textures adds depth, visual interest, and a level of luxury to a home. The way you use texture can be the difference between a flat, boring space and a rich, interesting home.

Here’s another little exercise for you.

I've made a list graphic of some of the common types of textures and materials out there. Take look at it below and make a list of the ones that appeal to you. Or you can print it out and circle them, and take the graphic with you when you're shopping.

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Of course, there are many more textures and materials out there than what I've listed, but for the sake of simplicity I've kept it to the basics. If I’ve missed any textures that you like, go ahead and add them to your list too (and let me know what the textures you’ve thought of are in the comments!)

The shopping process for home decor can be daunting. There's just so much out there. Having a solid list of the textures and materials you love while you shop will just give you a more focused mindset on what to be on the lookout for.

5. Why does interior decor matter to me?

Big question! I bet you didn’t think this post would lead you to such an introspective place, but here we are.

This is an important question to ask yourself (and I recommend writing down the answer somewhere) because the interior decor process is a tough one. It’s financially taxing, time consuming, and overwhelming. And on top of that, if you’re in the process of decorating, it means you’re also likely in the moving process, which is a whole other stressful situation.

So it helps to take a moment and address why you think it’s worth the time, money, and energy to undergo such a process. Whether you want to get your decor locked in all at once or you decide to spread it out over time, it’s a big thing to commit to.

Why decorate your home?

Are you doing it because you have a busy, stressful job and you need a peaceful retreat to come home to? Or is it important to you to come home to a place that expresses who you are and what you love? Or do you want a home that impresses your mother-in-law?

All answers to this question are valid. And whatever your answer is, keep that with you. It’ll make all the logistical complications, design mistakes, financial stress, and time dedicated worth it.

Chill moments in my home like this one are why interior decor matters to me.

Chill moments in my home like this one are why interior decor matters to me.

Now that you’ve answered these questions, you have a solid foundation to build upon as you start your interior decor journey!

Still feeling kind of lost? Are you doubting any of your answers? If so, take a look below to see how I would fill out these questions. I think it can be helpful to see how someone else answers them if you're totally stumped. 

1. What are 5 words or phrases I would use to describe my interior decor style?
Rustic, vintage, rock & roll, moody, & cozy

2. What do I want my anchor color to be?

3. What do I want my accent colors to be?
Green, yellow, chartreuse, silver, & gold

4. What textures and materials am I drawn to?
Sequins, tweed, faux fur, iron, & rustic wood

5. Why does interior decor matter to me?
It's a way for me to express myself creatively. I love coming home to a place that is an extension of who I am and what I love. I'm in a better mood when my space is organized, beautiful, and reflective of me.

How my answers manifested in my apartment:


For more interior styling inspiration to help you find your own answers to the 5 questions to ask yourself before you start decorating, check out my post 5 Trending Interior Styles and the Instagram Accounts That Do Them Best. If you're totally lost on what you want your style to be, those Instagram accounts featured in the post are sure to get your inspiration flowing!

What do you consider your greatest struggle when it comes to interior styling? Tell me in the comments and I’ll do my best to give you some good ol’ moda misfit advice!



Hey there! I’m Steffi, creator of Moda Misfit - a lifestyle blog that aims to inspire you to embrace who you are and express your creative self through decor, fashion, & music. We're all Moda Misfits here!

let’s hang out on instagram! @moda.misfit

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