Do you remember the feeling you had when you first moved into your own place? Perhaps it was halls or it may have been with a friend or it may have been with a partner, but never mind, it was yours.
The sheer excitement of having your own 4 walls and no longer having to answer to parents outweighed the fact you may have been too broke to properly decorate it.
So now, you are a little older and a little wiser. The cheap Swedish superstore furniture has literally and figuratively lost its gloss and those hand-me-downs from mum just aren’t going to cut it anymore. In your 30s, you are meant to find yourself, find your personal style and that should be carried over to the items you choose to decorate your home.
Do you feel confident in your decorating style now that you’re in your 30s? If not, don’t fear! I’m here to guide you through this time of discovery and ensure your home reflects the fabulous person you always knew you’d grow up to be.
Design Lesson #1 – You need some proper storage
Sure, milk crates and plastic boxes might have worked just fine in your 20s but now you realise that you actually need some great pieces that will stand the test of time. You may have a sideboard in the dining room to house your fancy dinner dishes (you do have a matching set now, right?) or an investment chest of drawers in your bedroom to keep all your cashmere socks free of dust but no matter what, you’re finally buying quality furniture that lasts.
Design Lesson #2 – Your art should go in frames
Bluetack or washi tape may have been fine for those band posters you loved in your teens and 20s but now it’s time to ditch the cheap poster frames and get your favourite pieces professionally framed. Whether you choose a few larger pieces or a gallery wall, art finishes off a room and makes it look more grown up. (The only time this wouldn’t apply is if you buy canvasses which can remain frameless but anything else, a proper frame is a must!)
Design Lesson #3 – You need a proper dining table
Entertaining friends at home is now more than just a pizza delivery and sitting in front of the telly. You finally have a dining table that can seat more than 2 and with that, you have a spot for casual dinners and somewhere for your guests to relax in style.
Design Lesson #4 – You decorate with experiences
By the time you’ve reached your 30s, you’ve probably travelled a bit and have experienced life outside the area you live. You bring back those experience and use them to add personality to your home. So, whether it’s a coffee table book on your new photography hobby, the ceramic bowls you picked up from that little boutique in Lisbon or the stylish cushions you haggled for in Marrakech, your home reflects the places you’ve been and the experiences you’ve had.
Design Lesson #5 – Nothing beats high-quality linens
Of course, you may have picked up a set of sheets whilst doing your daily shop when you were in your 20s but now you’ve realised that nothing beats a great set of quality bedding and you’ll never go back to those cheap sets again. You may have stayed in a nice hotel and discovered a scratchy duvet just doesn’t cut it anymore. You buy the best you can afford and that investment is entirely worth a great night’s sleep.
Design Lesson #6 – You plan for guests
Whilst the sofa (or floor!) may have been just fine for overnight guests in your 20s, now that you are a little older, you realise that investing either in a decent pull out sofa or a room that doubles as a proper guest bedroom is the only way to treat friends and family. And you actually have a separate set of clean bedding and towels ready when they arrive.
Design Lesson #7 – You no longer kill off your plants
When in your 20s, you thought your plants were all committing mass suicide but now you realise that with a little extra research, care and attention, your plants are finally starting to thrive and grow. Sure, it takes a little more time but the beauty and life they add to your home is worth it. You might even have a few herbs growing on the windowsill in the kitchen for all the cooking you’re now doing or perhaps a garden that you’ve tamed into submission. You realise taking care of a living thing is not wasted time at all – it can actually be rather fulfilling!
Design Lesson #8 – Your style is your own
Of course, you may still love homes you see on Pinterest or on magazines but you’ve finally realised your home doesn’t need to come out of the pages of a catalogue and that the best style is one that’s truly your own. You know it’s finally time to stop caring about trends and start caring about the best way to express the person you are through a style you’ll continue to develop in the decades to come, making all the harder parts of ‘adulting’ just a little bit easier.
How many lessons have you learned in your 30s?
All images courtesy Swoon Worthy and used with kind permission.