A Pop of Color: Home Decor Tips from Cara

I have commitment issues. Well, at least when it comes to home decor. Steven and I have been living in our home now for almost one year and I still haven't finished one single room in the house! My problem? I simply don't know how to go about decorating a home! There are so many options and resources that I find the whole process a little overwhelming... So for the last 8 months or so, this is what our living room has looked like.
I know, pretty boring and lifeless. Hey, at least Herschel enjoys the carpet. I always liked the idea of white, on white, on white. The problem is, not only is that not very practical for someone with 2 indoor animals and a desire to procreate on day, but it is also very limiting. Basically, I'm stuck in a home decor rut.

But not too long ago I saw a post by Cara on her blog In Search of Sunshine. It was filled with beautiful photos of her finished living room. I was taken about by how much I loved it and how quickly she seemed to put it all together!

I love the pops of color she used against the neutral walls and furniture and how it makes the room come to life (a huge contrast from my current living room above!). So I decided to ask her to share a little bit of her decorating process and some tips to help fellow home owners (with commitment issues like myself) along the way.

So here's Cara! Enjoy!
When my boyfriend and I moved to San Francisco in December from Seattle, I was so excited to be back in California, but also to decorate our beautiful new apartment. It was a blank slate and I had so many ideas rattling around in my head. You can be sure that I'd spent a fair amount of time on Pinterst in preparation for this. I wanted to keep everything neutral- creams, beige, browns, metal, rustic wood- very Restoration Hardware meets Pottery Barn. When I finally had the chance to see the apartment (yes, I let Evan pick it out without seeing it- brave, I know!), he forgot a few small details... like the ceiling coves were dark red and that the living room was small (the couch I originally bought wasn't going to fit through the door). I knew that I'd have to go back to the drawing board on this one. The idea that I had created in my head just didn't feel right in this apartment. 

I took my time and did a lot of research before I made any big decisions. It took me weeks to find and decide on an area rug, I bought the throw pillows from 3 different stores and I checked design sites like One Kings Lane, Wayfair, and Gilt Home every day to see if anything screamed at me. I anchored the room by keeping the large pieces neutral and bringing in color with accents (rugs, pillows, etc). I bought the bigger pieces first, like the couch and the 2 club chairs and decided on colors after I got the neutral pieces in the room. I ended up adding lots of color- very opposite to my original ideas. It seems that I always gravitate towards red, and I still managed to bring in other colors completely out of my comfort zone. 

It doesn't take a lot of money or even time to spice up a space that is feeling a little plain. Don't be scared to bring color into a neutral room.

Here are some of my tips for adding color into a blah room and finding that perfect color scheme or design theme:
  • Don't rush it- everything doesn't have to be done in one day. Take some time to think about what you want to do and what would look best in the space. 
  • Start small- add throw pillows, a rug and curtains and see how much this changes the room- it might just be enough.
  • Shop around- stores are always having sales. You don't have to spend a ton of money to have a cute space.
  • Look for pieces that will last- don't buy a ton of stuff only because it is the cheapest thing, I guarantee you it won't last.
  • Start with one thing for inspiration- maybe it is a rug or a picture- pull colors out of it as inspiration for a theme or color palate. 
  • Craigslist is great for re-purposing- you can find inexpensive furniture that can be painted or stained for a whole new look.
  • Paint does wonders- you'd be surprised what a change an accent wall or a new color in a room can do for the overall feel.
  • Mix up finishes- use light and dark woods, metal, different fabrics, etc.- everything doesn't have to be matchy matchy.
  • Keep it personal- bring things into the space that mean something to you- pictures of family, your favorite books, etc
To see more photos of Cara's living room tour, go here! And if you have any home decor tips of your own feel free to share them in the comments section. I'd love to hear what has helped you make your house a homey home!


Sarah and Stewart said...

Oh my gosh I am in the exact same boat with decorating a new house... it's so overwhelming!

Corinne said...

We moved into our house in July and we definitely aren't finished with a single room yet! We have major commitment issues as well when it comes to furniture/decor. We love the idea of hunting at second-hand/thrift stores and "DIY"ing but reality is our area doesn't have great access to those types of stores so we wait and wait and wait...and nothing gets done.

Pinterest doesn't help at all, either. I love it and use it so much, but it definitely adds to me becoming overwhelmed. Glad I'm not the only one!

Lauran {The Real Young Housewife of Southern VA} said...

We've been in our home for almost 4 years and it's the same way with us!!! I get overwhelmed with all the options and choices and decor ideas!!!! I like the idea of really investing time into the development of the room and then go from there!!

M. at Making Sense of Cents said...

We're working on adding more color as well!

Cara said...

Love it!! I love that your living room is a completely blank slate though. You can do ANYTHING from here :)

michelle said...

i am the opposite! i have everything i want picked out so i told zac that when we are house hunting, it better fit the furniture i want! it is a process. you should check out the everygirl today because alaina's living room is very neutral and it may give you ideas. (plus she has two dogs so you know its pet friendly!)

LoveCaroline said...

Love Cara's living room! It's so cute and colorful! Thanks for sharing!
New follower! I can't wait to learn more about you and would love for you to visit my blog!



Holly said...

We've been in our house for 5 years in July and I still haven't completely decorated a single room. I plan to do the bathrooms/entryway this month, then attack the rest of the house! Great tips :)

Kristine said...

Cara has some great ideas! I've always depended on Pinterest for my decor ideas (not that I've ever followed through on any because I feel my "roommates" wouldn't be too keen on it...) but I get a lot of good ideas for my own place (one day).

fahim ali said...

Hey!Thank you so much for your original post! Its was so helpful and I love the way these turned out! Thanks again!
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LWLH said...

I'm going through the same thing with our house. Trying to figure out what direction I want to go in without it being bland.

Sam | ashore said...

oh, those pillows are too cute! You're right, a perfect pop-of-color (in my favorite color!)