When it comes to decorating, we sometimes second-guess ourselves to the point of never, ever making a change. From something as simple as introducing a color to something as complicated as replacing a family heirloom, our fears often keep us from taking action:
  • “What if I decide I don’t like it?”
  • “What if other people don’t like it?”
  • “What if I offend Aunt Jane?”
  • “What if it goes out of style?”
  • “What if it doesn’t work and I end up spending more money to make it right?”
We think it's time to say "boo!" to your decorating fears and chase them away—once and for all.

You're Not Alone

If you think you're the only person spooked by decorating choices, we have good news: you're not. “I had a client who had a real tough time parting with things,” recalls Joseph Panzer, a design consultant in our Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, Design Center. “I understand; you get attached." Joseph urged his to repurpose some pieces; they explored ways to mix them in with new Ethan Allen furniture. "Sometimes, just reupholstering a piece can make a client see it a new light and add a nice uniqueness to a space.” Julie Goss, a design consultant in our Vienna, Virginia, Design Center, had a client who needed a pair of chairs for her living room and a few things for her family room. They looked at many fabric samples together, but her client grew so anxious that became flushed, agitated, and broke out into a sweat. If you're feeling anxious about making decorating changes, we have some tips that can make it easier to take baby steps—beautiful baby steps—toward the project of your dreams:
  • Do your homework. Gather inspiration by clipping photos from magazines and tagging websites you like. If you see something that works over and over again, you'll be more inclined to give it a try.
  • Start small. A whole house redo can be terrifying even if you have all the confidence in the world. Select one room, and then make it over, one component at a time.
  • Remember less is more. Keep things simple; choose a single piece that you love and build a design around it.
  • Lead with functionality. Start with something practical, like switching out a loveseat for a sectional now that their kids are older. If it's a change you need to make (rather than just one you want to make), you're more likely to take the plunge.
  • Resist the urge to follow trends. Just because everyone is doing something is usually reason enough not to. Choose looks that will never go out of style—you won't regret it.
Eventually, Julie persuaded her client to place an order, but even when the furniture came in, it stayed in the service center for months. But when the client took a deep breath and finally accepted delivery, and the pieces were in place, she was delighted. Decorating fears are a lot like ghosts; when you turn around to face them, you see they're not real. Decorating doesn't have to be frightful with the help of an Ethan Allen designer. Treat yourself to our complimentary design service, and we'll show you our tricks for taking the fear out of decorating. HAPPY HALLOWEEN FROM ETHAN ALLEN!
It’s a classic. A perpetually fresh color scheme that bridges periods and styles. The go-to color story in every clever designer’s toolbox. Black and white is a high-contrast combination that’s potent enough to carry a room. It’s also a foundation on which virtually any palette can rely. Think black and white graced with silver or gold (got glam?); or black, white, and green (hello, farmhouse chic); or black and white with yellow and red (Ethan Allen | Disney, anyone?). Black and white has a checkered past (the checkerboard floor pattern dates back thousands of years). It also has a solid future in our book—and a simply enchanting presence. Ethan Allen Style Team Ethan Allen: Garden City Design Center Ethan Allen Style Team Ethan Allen Style Team Ethan Allen Interior Designer: Paige Elizabeth Mongar Ethan Allen Style Team Ethan Allen Style Team Ethan Allen Interior Designer: Natalie Lemier Ethan Allen Style Team Ethan Allen Style Team Ethan Allen Interior Designer: Britney Whitney Ethan Allen Style Team Ethan Allen Style Team Ethan Allen Style Team Ethan Allen Style Team