Ok. So, Im assuming now that you’re like me. You really like looking at other peoples homes. Not in a nosy way, in a “looking for inspiration” way. It’s why we all love Pinterest. So like me, I reckon you like looking at other people’s ideas and wondering if they would work in your house. Right? I guess that’s why I follow certain people. Or is it?
I follow a lot of Interior Design folk on Instagram. And when I say interior design folk, I just mean, folk like me. Folk that hashtag #interior design, simply because that’s their interest, not necessarily their profession, and their photos are their own, not pulled off the Internet. I don’t really follow “the professionals”. Not “the proper ones”. Because they’re not like me. They don’t do ikea hacks or upcycle furniture and they certainly don’t go to carboot sales or shop off ebay. Well, I unashamedly do! So I follow the folk who I can relate too and who I think are like me. The ones who have a mortgage, kids, job, car, normal life etc etc and they happen to love spending their free time on making their homes look lovely. Like me! And I reckon, that’s why you’re reading this blog. For exactly the same reason. It’s a little bit of harmless voyeurism and intreague.
But recently, I’ve noticed that it’s started getting me down a bit! It’s setting a bar that sometimes I feel as though I can’t reach. I post pictures of my #shelfie or #myhomevibe as thousands of others ‘just like me’ do, but mine don’t look anything like theirs. Comparison. What an evil bitch she is. It’s got in my head recently and it sometimes stops me from posting anything for a couple of days. I think to myself, my house doesnt look like their house and they’ve got 50X’s more followers (or likes) than me, so people must think their house is lovely and my house must be rubbish. *Evil little head monkey*.
What im noticing is, there’s a common thread in their house compared to my house. It’s even been given a nickname; “the dark side”. Dark interiors. Black, grey or navy walls and ceilings. Dark woodwork. Dark. Dark. DARK.
EVERY THING DARK.
And, dont get me wrong, I love it! I am not, I REPEAT, NOT slagging off “the dark side”. It looks AMAZING! And I wouldn’t follow 30% of who I follow if I didn’t think so.
I love how confident they all are! You’ve gotta have some pretty big cahoonas to be painting 4 walls and your ceiling black or grey. We’ve been taught, no, we’ve had it drilled into us, from 90’s Changing Rooms and beyond, that light colours make a room look bigger, dark colours make a room look smaller and nobody would want a smaller looking room. WRONG! “Dark siders” are saying, “Bollocks to that, I want my room to look small and cosy” and you know what? They do look bloody cosy and SO inviting.
But, one things for damn sure, they certainly don’t look like my house. Not even close. My house is about as about as opposite to ‘the dark side’ as you can probably get! So if we’re moving towards a ‘dark trend’, I’m wondering, where does that leave me? (And you, if you like colour). Are we now out of date? Behind the times? Not forward thinking? Not ‘on point’? I wrote a post a couple of weeks ago about how I feel the opposite! So you can see where I am conflicted! I can see before my very eyes that more and more folk are turning to the dark side but I’m still quite happy and content waving my big, fat, multicoloured flag! And I’m noticing that not many others are with me. The colourful homes accounts I follow tend to be in America and Scandinavia. The UK? Not so much.
Pause for thought. *Me. Not you.*
Days after pondering these thoughts and letting comparison (the second most evil C word) get to me, I concluded by thinking that actually, it takes equally big balls for someone to paint a wall bright yellow or bright pink as it does to go dark. Yellow or black. They’re both bold as fuck and quite brave. They both make a statement. They both make someone walk into that particular room and say “wow”. Isn’t that what us “interior design folk” want? To just create a little bit of interest and an impression.
I also realised that I was concerning myself FAR too much in what other people were doing. Why was I seeking validation that my home was enough? Why was I equating that the popularity of a dark home meant that my bright home must then surely be unpopular? What nonsense goes on in my head! There is no right and wrong. There is no dark vs colour. It’s just people doing what they hek they like. How wonderful too! I love that the rule book has been thrown out the window. I love that we’re all doing what we like in our homes and not accepting that “it should be like this” or “it should be like that”. Yeh? Says who?
Social media can be utterly brilliant and it can be wickedly horrible. Our outlook and attitude determines that. I definitely must stop myself being jealous of an account because it got 300 likes and I only got 60. It DOES NOT MEAN THAT THEIR STYLE IS BETTER. I’m talking to myself as well as to whoever is reading this. Just do your thing. I’ll do my thing. They can do their thing. We’re not in competition. You don’t need to pick a side, dark or colour. Let’s just appreciate what each of us are doing and be thankful for the freedom and the outlet to be able to express ourselves however the fuck we want.
Going dark is definitely going to increase in popularity. There’s no doubt about it that it’s heading that way. And as a massive colour fan, it’s probably not a shock that I’m resisting it in someway and perhaps feeling slightly threatened by it. (Wow. This is quite deep, psychological stuff here! 😂)
Will I ever paint a whole room in battleship grey? Probably not to be honest, but then stranger things have happened so I’ll never say never! But what I mustn’t ever do again is compare my colourful, bright home to a fellow IG users dark home. It’s just ludicrous. It’s as insecure as a girl disliking her latest selfie because not many people commented on it or liked it. So, she deletes it, thinking “what’s wrong with me?” and completely over thinks the whole scenario. We all do it, perhaps not in exactly the same circumstances. Our hair, our home, our dress sense, our car, our fuckin eyebrows for God sake?! It can sometimes get a bit much can’t it? This ‘need’ to be “enough”. To be liked. To get approval. To be validated as good at something. We need to worry less about what others are doing and focus much more on what’s making us happy.
My multicoloured home makes me happy! Anyone else’s viewpoint on my home shouldn’t matter. They don’t live here, I do! It’s so fantastic that we don’t have stupid, judgemental DIY programmes on our tellys anymore showing us how to do it properly. That ship has thankfully sailed. We’re all given licence to do what we want. So, don’t follow trends. Explore the little crevices deep in your imagination that are perhaps closed because society has taught you that there is a blue print (or should that be a magnolia print) that you should be sticking to.
The dark vs colour title is actually completely wrong. We’re not in competition with each other at all! We’re actually on the same team! We’re both saying “just go for it! It’s just a room!”. Be bold, be brave. Just do it. Make that statement. Wow your house guests. If they’re not wowed, who cares? (But seriously, what’s wrong with them 😞)
It’s your house. Do it for you. Do it for your inner child who was told to colour in the lines.