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sheridan grey sofa in living room with white brick wall

Stop Waiting for the ‘Forever Home’ that Might Never Happen

The nation seems to be in a state of decorator paralysis. We’re so scared of committing to daring design in our homes that we’re left with an interior that’s in dire need of saving.

In this post I ask if you suffered from SSTD (shit scared to decorate), and it turns out that many of you do. Initially I had put everyone’s wariness to commit to the dramatic indoors down to a lack of resources that teach us to design well. But I’ve come to realise there’s another reason at play.

That reason is the notion of waiting for your forever home before you do anything risky, daring or permanent.

This epiphany came to me when I was hosting a decorating event at Metricon recently. As I was helping attendees put together a mood board for their room (with paint chips, tile samples, carpets, window treatment materials etc), one of the boards caught my eye.

Stop Waiting for the ‘Forever Home’ that Might Never Happen

white bedroom with grey bedding and white horse art by sheridan

Hang a pendant. Install a shelf.

The Fear of Colour

The mood board in question was particularly colourful while the ones surrounding it were what I’d consider quite neutral and safe. I told the guy who created it how good it was to see a splash of blue indoors, and that’s when the epiphany started to solidify for me.

The attendee told me he liked the colours but was a bit scared they would put off buyers when he went to sell his new home down the track. It was at that moment that I realised this is one of the key reasons I think many of us don’t design our homes in any way that’s considered personal.

We’re worried about resale. And we’re waiting for the ‘forever home’; holding out years and years until we find the place we’re never going to leave.

It’s a bit of a floored logic though, when you break the thought process down.

Let’s face it; we’re not here forever. So this idea that we should keep waiting for this home that we plan on ‘settling down in’ until we execute dramatic design is an unfortunate way to live.

There’s loads of personalisation that can be done without breaking the bank now OR when you have to ‘neutral’ your home down when you plan on selling.

Gallery wall on white wall with dark timber flooring and cream rug

Put nails in your walls, lay new flooring. It’s time to get ‘permanent’.

Taking the Leap

Even a house that you consider to be a ‘stepping stone’ home (one to get you onto the property ladder before you move onto bigger and better) deserves your love and attention. Five or so years is plenty of time to paint a wall, install some pendants, fork out on a window treatment you love, or install a whacky splashback tile you can’t stop thinking about.

Seriously, if your dream is to have dark floors in your home, you deserve dark floors in your home! If you want a bathroom with dramatic copper tapware, install the tapware! I believe we’re all worrying too much about it ‘what if’ when it comes to selling. And it’s stopping us treating our current homes like homes. They’re merely becoming transition spaces – void of heart and soul, and with no divine design moments to speak of.

The reality is, you’ll probably spend more time in your first stepping stone home than you expect. So why not put your stamp on it? There’s loads of personalisation that can be done without breaking the bank now OR when you have to ‘neutral’ it down when you plan on selling.

Painting a feature wall, installing new tapware, putting new carpet down, changing your window treatments and installing pendant lights are all relatively cheap ways to give your home new life. Most will add value to the home when you do choose to sell. But they can all easily be changed back to their more subdued ways if need be.

white timber wall cladding with shelf and olive green cushions

Maybe you wanna clad a wall?

Fortune Favours the Brave

And what if you end up staying in this home for 10 or 15 years? Life is not only short, but our circumstances are ever-changing. You might find your suburb boom in a few years and want to stay put. You might have a child that turns your plans to move on their head. Your financial circumstances might change too.

All the while… your current home is sitting there void of gorgeous design. I think this wariness to make your home your own needs to stop. I say there’s no time to waste when it comes to making the place you’re in right now absolutely stunning. That means not only the shell, but everything you put in it, too.

And if you need some help, call in a designer or interior stylist. I can help you map out what to change, what should stay, what we can skimp on and where to splurge.

A home is your haven to unwind, be yourself and love your life in. Not making it amazing out of resale fear is a rookie error I think we all need to correct.

What do you think? Have you found yourself in ‘transitional home’ thinking, where you’re too afraid to do what you truly want? Drop a comment below and share your opinion. I’d love to know what you think.

All photos in this post are from Sheridan’s new season releases. See more here.

Outside of writing the TLC Interiors blog, Chris is an interior stylist and author. You can also catch him on your TV screens as a designer on Channel 10's Changing Rooms. If you'd like to book a design consult with Chris, you can find out more here

Comments (5)

  • Vanessa

    Yep I can totally relate!! And the we moved into our ‘forever home’ and I was still too scared to decorate hahaa!! Only this year (after 3 years) are we getting into it, we spent so many years not decorating, we forgot what styles we liked and lost our mojo!!

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  • Susan Molnar

    You’ve hit the nail on the head Chris!!!

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  • Alicia

    My challenge is that I rent but I still want to add more ‘me’ to our place so it’s working out creative ways to do that without having to ask my landlord to paint the place or change the flooring (whoever picked the wall paint and the carpet have some explaining to do! haha)

    I’m also on a budget – I like to think of it as Jardan taste with a Kmart budget! So for me I think it is thinking about more art – combo of large and smaller pieces, depending on where I am putting them, I have even been drawing some of my own pieces to save on cost….

    Any suggestions you have would be great!

    Alicia 🙂

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