the sparkly life: I Have Decorating-Related Performance Anxiety (a.k.a. Why I Hired An Interior Designer)

Thursday, February 5, 2015

I Have Decorating-Related Performance Anxiety (a.k.a. Why I Hired An Interior Designer)

All photos courtesy of Bailey McCarthy
Okay, here's a confession: We moved into our house a year and a half ago now, and I've yet to do any real decorating. Oh, I've bought things--a bed, a dresser, a completely new living room--but almost every single item has turned out to be wrong. (Couch is too small, coffee table is too big, etc.) And, even more than that, everything feels like a big hodge podge--things that I kind of like, but that don't necessarily go together to form a cohesive, cool room. And perhaps even sadder: There are rooms in my home that are still entirely untouched, because I have no clue what to do.

It feels odd that I've made so many wrong turns (and so many no turns) in this house, because I consider myself to be someone who loves interior design. I can spend hours looking at (and pinning) inspirational photos of beautiful rooms, and I love finding cool furniture, vintage pieces, wallpaper, and home accessories. I spend so much time and money on One King's Lane and have so many ideas, so my home should look amazing, right?

Well, here's the thing I've only recently realized: I am very good at thinking of ways to decorate my home, but I am really bad at actually doing these things. I get paralyzed by all of the options out there, plus I feel burned by my past mistaken purchases, so as a result, I find it nearly impossible to actually pull the trigger on anything. Homes aren't like clothes, after all. If an outfit doesn't work, who cares? You can wear something else the next day. But if a couch or wallpaper or rug doesn't work, it's a pretty expensive mistake--and one that you have to live with every day. For years.

So, yeah. Paralyzed.

Because of my performance anxiety when it comes to home decor, my husband has been wanting to hire an interior designer for years. I've always said no. It felt weird and wrong to have someone come in and completely take over something that is as personal as your home. It also felt like wasted money. I mean, I love home decor and I have all these ideas, so why pay someone to do it, right? Wrong. Now I know that a true pro is going to have better ideas than you--things you wouldn't have thought of in a million years--and they're going to be able to sort through them, and (and this is perhaps the most important part) actually make them happen.

Once I made the decision to hire someone, the next step was to find someone, which is actually way, way easier said than done. I didn't know where to start. I met with a few local people, but no one was really exactly what I wanted, and many were booked for months anyway.

So one day last fall, I was looking at my pins and realized that so many of my favorite rooms were created by one designer, Bailey McCarthy. The photos above are some examples of her work. (So great, right? I just love her use of color and print, and the way that her rooms are gorgeous, but never sterile or overly "designed." They always look lived-in and real and cool.)

I started following her wonderful, and very popular, blog Peppermint Bliss, and became a huge fan, both of her style and of her. For months, I thought about how amazing it would be to have Bailey design our home, but I always pushed that thought out of my head because she lives in Houston...and I do not.

Then, after getting more and more frustrated with what I was finding locally, one day on a whim, I emailed her team to see if she ever did "e-design" for out-of-state clients. Even better, they told me that Bailey and her design assistant Valerie were going to be coming to New York in early 2015, and would be able to work with us! We exchanged a few emails, and just like that, Bailey was my designer.

Well, after a few months of anticipation, this past weekend, Bailey was finally in town! She came by our home with Valerie, and we met. Bailey is lovely in person--I adore her and really feel like we "clicked." After a tour, we sat down in my cluttered dining room. She had brought a stack of pictures for us based on inspiration images I had pinned to a secret board in Pinterest, and my husband and I went through it, commenting on what we did or didn't like about the pictures, so that Bailey could zero in a little better on what we wanted. It was a neat trick and really helped non-design-y people like my husband and I to better express our taste.

So, now it has officially begun! Bailey will be designing four rooms in our home: the living room, the dining room, our master bedroom, and a sitting room off that bedroom. She's now back in Houston, but has already emailed us some ideas and plans for the living room. And she told us to expect a package of fabric samples shortly! 

After a year and a half of dragging my feet on decorating our house, it's finally happening. And fast. I am so excited! I also feel an enormous sense of relief--versus the intense stress I normally feel when I think about making an interior design decision. And that feels awesome.

I'll be sharing little glimpses of the process along the way (likely on Instagram mostly, so be sure to follow me there). And then of course, I'll do a big reveal once it's complete, a few months from now.

So, what do you think? Have you ever worked with an interior designer? Or do you prefer to DIY your decorating? And isn't Bailey's work cool? I'd love to hear your thoughts!


MyBright Firefly said...

This is so exciting! She sounds like a wonderful and creative designer. Good luck to both of you. All the bright colors on the pictures are not that easy to coordinate - how fun!

Unknown said...

How awesome that it worked out for her to do your home! I did our house and liked most of it. But I did not like the paint in the family room at all-and I didn't want to paint again. So I dealt with it until we moved three months ago. Looking forward to updates-off to make sure I'm following on Instagram! 😄

Nicci said...

It sure would be nice to let someone else do all the hard planning. We tend to be too much of the DIY type to actual hire it out, but the thought is tempting! Maybe in our next house! I'm excited to see your progress.

Unknown said...

What fun it will be to have someone with a creative eye help you reach your visions for your home!

Emily | the Fielding Report said...

I am SO EXCITED to see this! I've really enjoyed following your blog (h/t Felicia) and then saw this and immediately squealed oooh yay! I've been following Bailey for ages and just adore a lot of the rooms she designs. I can't wait to see how it turns out. :)
There are some simple designs that I think us mere mortals can handle on our own, but rooms like those above definitely require a professional touch. If anything, picking out fabric is a nightmare. I've spent many Saturday's getting frustrated in a fabric store.

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