What's a green table got to do with it?

What's a green table got to do with it?

Making Decor Decisions

Wondering if the brave choice is the right fit for you?

Dear Art Lover,

As I get older the one thing I learn is that life is too short to play it safe.

Hold up. Let me qualify that: there are some things you definitely want to play safe - like driving to the road conditions or small kids near swimming pools.

But table colours? Go wild - or green (which is kinda the same thing 🌿). 

A high gloss green dining table injects colour and reflects the lush views outside this New Zealand farmhouse

While I've been painting my table, in my Instagram stories I've had chats with you about your pink hallway, bright blue kitchen cabinets, orange bathroom, black walls and whether or not to paint Grandma's dresser. Family heirlooms perhaps stand outside the rules of this framework, but I applaud those of you who have been able to reject the 'safe' choice and do something you love! 

The good news: decor that follows your heart's desire is just one decision away.

To help you make a decision that's going to be true to your heart and not swayed by convention, I've got a checklist of questions to ask yourself.


Would I wear this?

  • If that paint colour was a skirt, would I wear it?
  • What if that wallpaper pattern was a dress?  
  • Are the colours and textures of my wardrobe reflected in my home?

Your home is a reflection of your personal style in the same way your outfit choices are. Do you enjoy wearing bright colours because they bring you joy amidst society’s black norm? Chances are a colourful home will bring you joy too. Perhaps wearing natural fibres and neutral colours helps you feel peaceful and grounded. It stands to reason that a neutral home with plenty of natural materials will also help you feel calm and centred.

How well does your wardrobe match your home décor? If they don’t align well, it may not be the home décor that needs to change! Which one gives you the feeling you want to feel?


If someone told me they hated it, would I still like it?

If you’re on the fence about a home décor decision, have a think about which way you’d tip if someone whose opinion you valued told you they hated it. Would that nudge you away from going for it, or would you ‘go in to bat’ for the decision.

It’s the same principle that applies to flipping a coin: heads I paint grandma’s piano, tails I leave it original. If the coin lands tail up and your gut reaction is <dammit> that tells you what you want to do.


What are the stories I want my home to tell?

Do you want your home to reflect your love for the outdoors, your passion for the region you’re living in or your love of entertaining? If so, you might make decisions that look like:

  • Framed photographs of the last hike you went on, baskets made from rustic + natural materials and potted plants rather than vases of flowers.
  • A home full of the work of local craftspeople and/or locally purchased furnishings. You’re often bringing things home from markets you attend and follow local makers on Instagram.
  • A wine rack that never gathers dust, open shelves with an array of mix-matched ceramic platters, and a candle-laden coffee table between sink-into couches that are arranged facing each other (not the tv) to create that perfect conversational ambiance.

What’s the opposite?

Opposites introduce contrast and keep life interesting. They and help draw the eye to your favourite décor choices.

Make bold, brave statements by playing with pairing opposites in your home.

When you’re making decisions, whether you’re wondering what to put on the coffee table, what colour to paint to use or whether or not to buy that artwork… think about its opposite and how you can pair them in your home, with what you already have or finding something new-to-you.

  • Hard, smooth coffee table (perhaps it’s metal or wood) – layer it with soft, textured items like this basket, a string of rustic beads or a plant.
  • Paint colour choice – look at the colours you have in your home already and then at the opposite side of the colour wheel for their complementary colour. This is where you’ll find the ideal accent colour to really set off what you already have. One you’ve named the colour, also think about the opposite depth of colour (tone) and saturation of colour. For example, if your home is full of soft muted pinks, try a pop of a deep, rich green shade to make a brave décor statement in your home.
    Starting colour  Opposite
    Colour Yellow Purple
    Blue Orange
    Red/pink Green
    Saturation Muted, soft Bright, rich
    Tone Light Dark
  • Monochromatic artwork will blend in to a monochromatic colour scheme, but really stand out in a home full of colour. Imagine the juxtaposition of this painting on a pink wall.


What can I repeat?

This might sound contrary to the previous question, but we don’t want our home to be too jarring and competing. Repeating colours, patterns, shapes and materials throughout the home helps to draw the eye through and around. Think about shelfie-styling with repeating elements – perhaps round objects - helping to draw the eye around the unit. Punctuated with a few contrasting sharp, angular pieces for interest of course.

If round is a shape you’re repeating, perhaps an artwork with lots of circles is a way to draw the eye from the shelves to the walls and on to the round dining table etc.


Making sense of it

Here's a Checklist to help you assess whether the bold decision you're umm-ing and ahh-ing over is the right one for you.


Decor decision checklist to help make sure the bold choice is right for you

Just as you might not like my choice of green for my dining table (that's ok! We love it 😀 - what would your choice be for you?), you also might not agree with the framework I've suggested here. Don't be shy - do share your thoughts in the comments, I'm always curious.

x Mel


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