How to Overcome Design Analysis Paralysis

Megan Hersch
September 1st, 2022

You know that parenting book that preaches about too many choices making kids feel uneasy...and the other one about too much of a good thing not actually being a good thing?

Turns out, it's really true for all of us.

If you know what you like but the flood of options available today has led you to analysis paralysis, we have 5 TIPS for you on how to best begin!

1. Before you buy anything, decide what your primary goal is for the space.

So many of us are living in multi-purpose rooms (home office/gym and bedroom/home office being the top 2). While you can make it work, decide which is the most important function in that space. This will help inform all of your decisions. 

But don't worry!

If you've already purchased and/or are using furniture that you already have, like most of our customers, there's a different first step...

(Image courtesy of Allie Provost via The Spruce)

1. Which piece(s) is/are your favorite?

A table you inherited that has been with you since your first apartment, a piece of art that you bought traveling the world? When you base your design decisions around one "must-keep" piece, your path will become clearer and clearer, the more options you eliminate.

2. Then, start with the selection of the largest pieces for your new space.

The style and direction of the largest visual elements in the room will be commanding and will inform the next decisions and options.

For example, if you're selecting a media center that will take up one entire wall, and you fall in love with a modern, black unit with clean lines, you won't likely select a traditional, walnut, turned leg coffee table to place in front of it.

3. Limit your searching to what's in your budget.

While it's fun to fantasize, when you're ready to purchase, you will muddy your head with a lot of pieces that you don't want to actually purchase in the end.

Good news! If you google image search something pricey that you love, the power of the search engine will spit out similar options and a little trip down the rabbit hole, you may find the perfect fit!

4. Get your ideas out of your head (and off the computer screen)!

As cool as it is to search the world of available options on the internet, our brains cannot hold more than 3 to 4 decisions at one time. This means if you have picked the sofa and rug, confusion and overwhelm sets in when you're trying to hold those 2 choices in your head and start to look at coffee tables and paint colors.

If you can, print your choices and selections in color and lay them all out in front of you. Take away those that are definite "no's" and mix and match the options in as many scenarios as you'd like (if this sofa and rug then this coffee table or this one...).

Move through selections in this orderly manner and I promise, the process will be delightful as your dream space begins to come together! 

Incidentally, this concept is exactly the reason roomLift sends out printed cards and samples (furniture, fabric, paint, wallpaper, tile, etc.) in our design boxes. Setting yourself up for success is a great Step 1!

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Stay Lifted!