Joanna Gaines’ Best Home Decorating Tips

living room

Joanna Gaines advises decorators to design a space that looks and feels like you. | KatarzynaBialasiewicz/iStock/Getty Images

If you’re looking for inspiration to decorate your home, Fixer Upper’s Joanna Gaines has some great tips to help you get started. The designer often shares advice on her blog and more recently in her latest home design book. Here are Joanna Gaines’ best home decorating tips from her book Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave.

Go with your personal design style

Futon couch

Futon | AnikaSalsera/iStock/Getty Images

Resist the urge to try to decorate like someone else. The only way to make a space truly yours is to design it in a way that reflects your personality. It’s fine to look to others for inspiration, but you should be careful about copying someone’s style. You might decide later it’s not for you. Joanna encourages readers to “create rooms that look and feel like you.”

What exactly is style? This is what Joanna had to say about what defines style: “It’s defined by how we feel when we enter a room—the things we notice, feel drawn to, or even find ourselves resisting. These subtle prompts help to inform our own personal design bent. And once we understand what it is, we can work to create a home that is not only inviting but feels meaningful to us as well,” she says in her book.

Don’t aim for perfection

Your home design doesn’t have to be picture perfect. Just create something that looks and feels like you. And don’t forget to have fun doing it. “Allow yourself the freedom to mess up, whatever that means, or simply change your mind. Go ahead and paint the room a color other than beige… You tried, you risked, you learned—and hopefully you had fun with it,” Joanna says.

Create a space that makes you feel good

Joanna Gaines

Joanna Gaines | Joanna Gaines via Facebook

If your plan is to design the dining room, for example, make sure to keep in mind how you, your family, and guests might feel sitting there for meals. For Joanna, the dining room is more than a place to eat. In her book, she advises home decorators to design their space in a way that makes them and their dinner guests feel good:

If your house has more than one dining space, think about transforming one of these areas into something you would use more often. If you have a formal dining room that you rarely sit in, consider giving it a new purpose and build out your breakfast nook to serve as your primary dining area instead. This can work both ways. Perhaps it’s the formal space that remains while the nook becomes an extra sitting area or a useful coffee bar. When considering these types of changes, whatever makes the most sense for your family is really all that should matter.

Engage in critical thinking

Joanna recommends taking time to understand why you want to design your space a certain way. Instead of just randomly picking out designs or colors, think about what you’re doing and what certain design elements mean to you. She suggests thinking about why you like certain designs and why they resonate with you:

Thinking critically is not about being critical. Rather, it’s with thoughtful consideration that you can begin to identify the things you’re drawn to and find yourself resisting. This approach will have you take stock of the design choices that really resonate with you.

Read more: How Do Chip and Joanna Do It All?

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