My Interior Decorating Philosophy & How To Craft Your Own

Gain clarity and confidence when decorating your home with an interior decorating philosophy!

A look at Katherine's interior decorating philosophy and tips to create your own. Katherine in pink shawl arranges magnolia on her mantel

Do you ever find yourself stymied by your decorating choices?

Feeling like there are too many options... too many products?

Staying true to your style can be daunting amongst the endless trends and design dos and don'ts!

Or give into your every decorating impulse.

Buy furnishings without a plan in place, and go wild choosing paint colors before testing. Sound familiar?

Why you need a interior decorating philosophy...

No matter your decorating roadblock, spelling out your ideas and beliefs about how you want your house to look is a helpful exercise to gain clarity and confidence. I call this an interior decorating philosophy, and it can help guide you through those endless decorating decisions or curb those wilder impulses.

I wrote my beliefs out about a year ago mainly to explain my aesthetic to design clients, but over the last months I've noticed myself repeatedly returning to them as I've made decisions about my own home. Whether I've been rearranging furniture in the living room (see belief 5) or buying furnishing for the guest bedroom renovation (see belief 6), I'm checking my decisions against my philosophy to ensure they hold true to my style.

An interior decorating philosophy isn't a one size fits all gimmick. My philosophy should look different from the one you write. Think of it is a personal framework that helps you make decorating decisions and take ownership of how you decorate. It is a prioritizing tool that brings clarity around your decorating beliefs and your goals for the look of your home.

My Interior Decorating Philosophy:

Belief No. 1

My home should be filled with happy colors that make me smile!

Belief No. 2

Patterns should be mixed for interest, especially florals.

Belief No. 3

Heirlooms and antique collections deserve pride of place.

Belief No. 4

Balance, tradition, and symmetry should provide restraint.

Belief No. 5

Furniture should be arranged for conversation.

Belief No. 6

Auctions, thrifts, and consignment are the source for one of a kind deals, but always hold out for the classics with longevity. Don't buy just to fill voids.

Belief No. 7

Filling my rooms with mementos plus art and decor that speaks to me will create a home that reflects my personality and provides inspiration.

Belief No. 8

Details matter!

Belief No. 9

Barren walls are a missed opportunity.

Belief No. 10

My home should be delightful, but it will take time and creativity to get there!


Designers flatlay with graphic "How to craft your decorating philosophy"

Crafting your own interior decorating philosophy is a personal exploration into your style and tastes. Start by thinking about what you want your house to look like and feel like. Jot down a few descriptive words.

Take a walk around your house. What happy details jump out at you? Are there commonalities from room to room? Can you see any underlying themes or motivations for the decorating decisions you have made? Could those themes or motivations be turned into beliefs?

If you are bombarded by decorating problems and details you aren't happy with, use those as an opportunity to identify what you want instead! Look at the problem area and say, "I wish this was...." Finish the sentence with a descriptive word like brighter, more colorful, more comfortable, organized, prettier, etc. Those descriptive wishes will help you identify what is important to you in terms of look and feel.

If you need help decorating around problems or finishes you can't change, read this post.

My Tips To Craft Your Interior Decorating Philosophy:

  • Make this philosophy personal! Don't write beliefs because you think you should. This needs to be YOUR guide.


  • Try starting each idea with "I believe..."


  • Make your statements general enough to apply to any room.


  • Take some time to familiarize yourself with classic design principles. Decide what you agree with and what you don't. How could those principles help you improve your home?


  • Try to avoid negative statements. Keep the philosophy positive, so that it empowers you.


  • Make it appropriate to your life now, considering your age, who lives with you, your house style, etc. Your philosophy can change and adapt as you grow.


  • Consider the function and flow of your home and the purpose of furnishings and decor not just how they look, but don't make this about cleaning and chores.

Are you ready to start writing? Let's do it!

Take your time crafting your interior decorating philosophy. It may come very easy to you, especially if you are already very self-aware and versed in your own personal style and tastes. If not, take this as an opportunity to delve in and learn about yourself.

Your home should reflect your style and voice. It should feel like you! Writing out your decorating beliefs is a helpful exercise to bring clarity and confidence to your decorating decisions.


I bet you've got something to say! Comment below!