Decision Making Tips

Why Design Decisions Can Be So Difficult and What to Do About It

Photo: Michaela Satterfield

Photo: Michaela Satterfield

Do you have trouble making decisions for your home? It can be difficult to choose a color swatch, a fabric or a sofa. If you’re like me, I tend to agonize over decisions—even the little ones.

I mean, when it comes to picking things out for my home, I have to consider that I spend a lot of time there. What if I choose a rug that I think is hideous two days later and am forced to stare at it forevermore? That could be disastrous.

Our environments impact us more than we realize, so it’s important to take care when designing them.

As it turns out, there’s a science behind why some choices can be so difficult.

According to Siobhan Smith, author of the article “The science of decision making (and how to overcome indecision),” the average adult makes around 35,000 decision a day. With each decision, decisions get a little more difficult. This is called “decision fatigue.”

All decisions contribute to this phenomenon—whether major life decisions or trivial decisions.

Smith suggests simply going with your gut when making a decision. If nothing else, it gets you to make a move, rather than spending ages in analysis paralysis. She explains that making the wrong decision is better than doing nothing at all, because we won’t always be right all the time. Wrong decisions are necessary for growth.

However, it is wise to spend time weighing all the options, especially for big decisions. Smith says it’s okay to sit on the fence, but you shouldn’t stay there forever.

So, when you have to make those tough decisions about designing your home, the place where you will be spending much of your time, how can you get off the fence?

Interior designer Jordan Edwards offers some tips for making design decisions on her blog.

Before beginning, she suggests figuring out a few things about your space: the mood you’re going for, the purpose of the room and why you’re having trouble achieving those things with your design.

Then, when designing, make sure you only choose pieces that fit with those things. If a piece doesn’t contribute to the mood you are going for or fit the purpose of the room, then it’s not for you. If it doesn’t help you achieve what you think is missing from the space, leave it out.

Next, she says you should set a budget. She emphasizes that the budget should be realistic, so that you can actually achieve your goals.

After that, have some fun! Create a mood board or look on Pinterest for some ideas. This will also help with figuring out exactly what you are wanting from your design.

Her final tip is to only buy things you absolutely love. Don’t settle. It’s worth it to save a few extra dollars for that piece you really want. Otherwise, you might end up regretting it.

Hopefully, these tips will help you make some decisions for your home.  

If you’re still having trouble, that’s where interior designers come in. When in doubt, let your designer take care of it all for you. They’re in the business to help you figure out exactly what your space needs and make it a reality.

Choose a designer, and the rest of the decisions will take care of themselves.


Michaela Satterfield

James Décor Writer