5 Signs You Are Decorating Out of Fear

1. You put off non-life-altering decisions for long periods of time. {eg: it takes you 2 years to decide on a paint color, hang something on your wall or buy a sofa}

2. You ask EVERYONE their opinion and instead of that helping you it confuses you more.

3. Once you know everyone’s opinion you are now afraid to do anything because whatever you do will be the opposite of what someone else told you to do.

4. You are more concerned with the current trend and abiding by those rules than surrounding yourself what you actually enjoy.

5. You don’t start, don’t finish or don’t try because you are terrified of imperfection.


You don’t have to decorate out of fear. You can decorate out of freedom~knowing that a paint color isn’t the most important decision you’ll make today takes the pressure off.  Don’t let the fear of making a wrong decision override the fun you can have creating a beautiful home.   Decorating is an art, not a science.

It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.



Winners of the DaySpring & Jones Design Company giveaway announced here.


  1. I think too much time and energy is spent on getting a “look.” Sometimes I see homes that look so pretty and serene, but I can’t identify anything that looks personal. I have things I’ve collected from travels to Tanzania, Egypt, China, Thailand, and Cambodia. There’s a touch of IKEA here and there. I’m originally from Montana, so there’s a dash of Western. I think about colors (earthy tones and RED) and leather and practical (3 kids and pets) and that’s it. Everything I look at in my home–I can remember where we were and what we were doing when we got it. I don’t think I have any decorating “flair” but I do get compliments about how my house feels welcoming and comfy, so I guess it’s going together OK. If I like it, it comes home with me!

  2. Thank you SO much for this post! I have done all of those things and am trying to break the vicious cycle of assuming a design decision is life threatening!! You are quite right, paint is not a lifetime choice nor is it by far the most important decision we make everyday. I dare say that what we put in our childrens lunchboxes is more important than what color we put on our walls, cabinets or furniture. Thank you for eh reality check.

  3. Well said about the fear. It applies to many other life decisions too………clothes, cosmetics, activities, choosing a church home……….very rarely is something so earthshakingly WRONG that it can’t be changed with few consequences!

    So, do what you LIKE!

  4. Speaking of paint color :) What color is on your walls? I love the subtle taupe color. I also love your curtains—–how wide are the stripes. I have trouble finding a pattern that I love. Thanks for your blog, I love reading it.

  5. I am appalled to discover too many of these hit home. I’ve been fussing over such things for much too long. What an eye opening post.

    • From what I hear about Concordia these days, there is some cesnrovorty among Missouri Synod Lutherans about their identity – a cesnrovorty that centers on liturgy: For more traditional LCMS churches, the Lutheran Confessions and traditional liturgy are most important. For a growing group, though, evangelical-style belief and worship (i.e., more biblicistic belief and more informal liturgy) are seen as the key to evangelizing.By this, I mean to affirm Paul’s comment above but to clarify that neither the traditionalists nor the “Southern Baptists with sacraments” have yet won the day.

  6. OMG this is soooo me. I love the thought of it all, but putting it into practice is a slow painful process. I love looking at blogs, magazines, but think it will never look like that so why bother. Example, we did buy a new couch, i bought some pillows – a bit diff and quriky, showed a friend who is very switched on design wise and she said uh…no. Well those pillows stayed in the cupboard for a month, and only thsi last weekend did i put them out. I love them. Yes they’re different, but they are me!

    Jane in NZ

  7. Wise words, and something I’m trying to break out of myself. But also remember, some of us are just beginning – and we still take other’s opinions to heart. Gaining the confidence – and finding your own style – takes time and practice, I think. That’s why blogs like yours are so inspiring. I see things you do and no longer think I could never do that. I wonder how I could do that.

  8. Guilty. On all accounts.

    Thanks for the post. I needed the jumpstart, Nester! I re-opened my vinyl business since Dan’s been home from Deployment. Its been refreshing to be back in business. I was one of the businesses on your first giveaway day, will you be doing another one soon? I’d be so grateful!

  9. Guilty. On all accounts.

    Thanks for the post. I needed the jumpstart, Nester! I re-opened my vinyl business since Dan’s been home from Deployment. Its been refreshing to be back in business. I was one of the businesses on your first giveaway day, will you be doing another one soon? I’d be so grateful

  10. This spoke to me, but my problem isn’t so much that I’m afraid about what people think as much as it is fear that I’ll make an EXPENSIVE mistake! I’ve been looking at flooring for almost 2 years now and chicken out because this purchase is going to cost over $10K! That’s enough to strike fear into the heart of anyone, right? Besides that, I want to LOVE whatever I eventually get, and it’s so hard to visualize the look with a 3×3 foot sample. Maybe I’m just unimaginative? I think I have finally made a decision and am ready to get on with it…I think.

  11. Fear of wasting money is also a factor–particularly when there is little of it left after the paycheck is all budgeted. When we have sooooo little to spend on home decorating/improvement projects, it amps up the stress factor that much more for me. It really just paralyzes me. Example: We’ve lived in this home for 9 years. I have never painted our bedroom. It is still the off-white color the builders painted it (we have a sort-of spec home). We did paint our kitchen, the children’s rooms (pink for the girl’s and blue for the boy’s–I know. Creative!) and our bathroom. The kitchen was a huge project, and I’ve never really LOVED it. I think it is hard to get motivated to take a step when I feel like I just don’t have natural skills/gifts/instincts in this area. I’m afraid I might choose another color that I feel stuck with because I’ll feel like we shouldn’t change it immediately since we spent money on the paint! I grew up in a handful of various Methodist Church parsonages since my dad is a Methodist minister. The homes came furnished, painted, decorated, and we just brought our knick-knacks, clothes, etc and plugged ourselves in. My parents attained some art work and small pieces of furniture over the years, but I never saw anyone work on home decor. As an almost 35 year old wife and mother of two, I feel like I struggle in the area of creating a vision, a feel, an us-ness for our home. Anyway, obviously money isn’t the only hang-up I have, but it is one that you hadn’t mentioned in the post, so I thought I’d mention it.

    • well said, such good insight, Adrienne

    • It sounds like you are not comfortable living in your house. Most people don’t have natural decorating gifts, but like playing the piano or anything else, you can learn. Pick one of your favorite colors for your bedroom walls. Then lighten it up a little. You can’t go wrong with light gray, light taupe or khaki, or pale green. Throw things around your house, like strange pillows on the sofa. After a week, see if you like it. It is not rocket science. Good luck.

      • I know those feelings all too well. It is scary when limited money is involved. We are learning our style as we go too. I grew up in a military family, mom didn’t decorate much because she was afraid the moment she got it how she wanted we would have to move and they would have to paint everything back.

  12. Guilty.
    Some people have clothes they never wear.
    Me? I have a spare bedroom full of cool stuff I don’t know what to do with.

    Last year I pulled a PB shelf out of the box and asked my husband to hang it like a faux fireplace. I wasn’t sure, but I love it. But, get this – that shelf WAS IN A BOX FOR ABOUT 6 YEARS.

    Here’s the really horrible part. I have two more of those shelves…in a color I’ll never use. I’m thinking I might paint them.

    Let’s see if maybe I can accomplish that faster…
    Like maybe by Christmas – lol!

  13. Oh Nester, you have pegged me good. Did you overhear my conversation with my husband tonight? I think you listed each of the topics I covered. We moved 6 months ago from a cute starter home that we loved, into a home more suited to our growing family(but less my style). God provided us with a house though, that meets the needs for the mission He has given us. My struggle is that it hasn’t felt like “our home”, but more like just a ‘house’ with our furniture, and I find myself longing for the cozy feeling of our little house. I have so little time to work on the house, that it has to be done right the first time, which has paralyzed me. Thank you for the encouragement and perspective! I followed that advice in our little house, and it worked…now how to apply it in our new house… :) Time to go pray.

  14. I decorate out of fear – – fear of creating more work. We own a house that we’re not going to be able to live in forever so at some point we’re going to have to rent it or sell it. I’ve painted one room and have sample paint colors on 2 other rooms, but fear painting because I don’t want to have to repaint when it comes time to rent/sell. I keep telling myself this is MY home (provided by the Lord of course) and that I can paint the walls any color I want! It hasn’t worked so far because I keep thinking of having to paint a 2nd time to something that others will find more appealing. I’m not even talking about doing orange or dark red. I’m talking a brown and a pale green/blue! Why am I so paralyzed? Paint store, beware :o)

    • Painting again is not the worst thing! You also might have to paint again if you paint now and then don’t move for 5 years or more. You are wasting too much energy worrying.

  15. These seem to be signs that you are Living in fear. Perhaps a person should designate one or two people for opinions and act on their decisions. The bigger job is that you want to create a nice home for your family. Dancing around in indecision for two years doesn’t help anyone and drives the husband crazy. Get on with it. Ann

  16. Note to self: Hang Mother’s day clock sometime this weekend, or at least this lifetime.

  17. Note to self: Hang Mother’s day clock this weekend, or at least this lifetime.

  18. You’ve been to my house have you? I must admit, I do not decorate out of fear. I don’t decorate! The fear paralyzes me! I am not over exaggerating. I painted my bedroom 2 years ago. I have had bare walls ever since. We actually just bought a dresser…our clothes have been in piles on the floor. Something about making that decision makes me freak out! Baby steps right…we have a dresser…yay?

  19. Hubby and I have put off buying a new dining room table and chairs for 10 years! We can’t agree on one as we know it will have to last forever, and now that we are moving around a bit and renting we are putting up with the midgy little one we have – a glass top table and four chairs that we agreed upon for our kitchen at our old house. Not conducive to entertaining!

  20. This couldn’t have come at a better time. We keep saying we’re not going to live in this house forever so we aren’t investing too much in it. Yet five years have gone by and because of circumstances beyond our control, we’re still here! We need so much work (landscaping, decor, furniture) that we never make a decision on anything and we live in a permanent ‘temporary’ state. It’s just not healthy!

  21. Wow-I could answer yes to almost all five statements…(I have trouble deciding what to order at restaurants too.) One thing that’s challenging for me is my husband and I don’t have the same “taste”. I love all things white; he goes for that dark, lodge look. After 28 years we’re still practicing compromise…Thanks for this great post! I’ve been told I’m very “color sensitive” and my hubby is the painter-man so I know I have to choose wisely-I spent six weeks deciding on a paint color for our bedroom..

  22. We bought a house sight unseen (apart from our realtor walking through with a shaky cell phone recording). There are many ways my husband and I are different, but I love that we both are pretty carefree with this sort of thing.

  23. Oh no! You described us to a t! It took several years to find our first real bed! Now that we’ve been married for 25 years, we feel confident the house will be done before I’m 70!

  24. You were looking at my picture when you wrote this weren’t you? haha

  25. I am the reigning Queen of Indecision. I often think about something so long that by the time I’m ready to do something, I’ve seen or thought of something else that I like better, so nothing gets done. I read somewhere that Perfection=Procrastination=Paralysis and I think that describes me very well. Also my husband and I have polar opposite tastes in decor, so that is a problem. Funny thing is, I am a Graphic Designer and have no problem throwing together art for a brochure or newlsetter, but then, that isn’t for me and I don’t have to live with it!

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  31. This is so me! I know I’m afraid and yet I let it stop me. I really love the color teal or aqua, but so much so that it’s everywhere. I want to introduce new colors but I’m afraid to. I have no clue what goes with teal and browns. I so badly want to liven it up, but just can’t seem to pick anything that is outside my comfort zone. I am paralyzed to say the least. I love rustic, shabby chic and country cottage. Can I possibly mix these and have it all come together?! I am so beyond myself it’s pathletic really. I didn’t know someone could be so afraid of messing it up.

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