Easy Ways To Get Out Of An Interior Design Rut

Interior Design Rut

A man’s home is his castle, but even the most handsome of castles gets stale over time. Waking up in the same old sheets, sitting on the same old sofa, staring at the same old art… it gets, well, old.

You hear about artists falling into ruts and writers battling writer’s block. Your home can fall into the same design doldrums, cursed by a creative stalemate that’s a scourge on your stylish mind. A magnificent bastard’s pad deserves to be just as magnificent as he is.

If your home is trapped in an interior design rut, or you’re just in the mood for something new, try one of these tricks to get it back to castle status.

Steal From Social Media

Interior Design Rut
Trust in the power of the Pin

Social media is a constant source of interior design inspiration. Scour Pinterest and Instagram for ideas you’d like to incorporate into your own abode. If you like a certain person’s style, see who they follow… and so on, and so on… until you’re deep in the rabbit hole of dapper homes. While you’re online, you may also want to check out blogs for fresh ideas (ahem).

Go On Home Tours

Interior Design Rut
Shh… don’t tell real estate agents we suggested this

An easy way to learn your likes and dislikes is to see how others do it. Look at local real estate listings for home tours that let interested parties take a peek inside. You don’t have to be in the market for a new pad to learn something from an especially chic open house. Take a picture of anything you like so you don’t forget it.

Hit The Cinema

Interior Design Rut
If it was good enough for Gatsby, it’s good enough for you

Perhaps you lusted after Tony Stark’s hillside home, or the chic interiors of Tom Ford’s A Single Man, or the quirky colour palettes of Wes Anderson’s oeuvre. Use the movie dwellings that most catch your eye to inform your own interior design. You may even be able to find interviews with the set creators that reveal exactly what’s inside.

Switch Up Your Accessories

Interior Design Rut
Cat pillows never shed on your sofa

Small changes can have big effects. You’d be surprised by how much swapping, adding, or taking away accessories can transform a room (and it’s a much less expensive makeover than redoing the whole thing). Mix things up with new window treatments, throw pillows, blankets, rugs, and other adornments.

Buy Something Unexpected

Interior Design Rut
You’ve always wondered what “chartreuse” is

Your comfort zone is the reason you’re in your rut in the first place. Break out of the former and you’ll break out of the latter. Paint a door a crazy colour, buy the neon chair you spotted at a thrift store, hang something on the wall that would make a stuffy art critic weep. An out-there design detail could be exactly the jolt needed to jumpstart your style.

Get Back To Nature

Interior Design Rut
Opt for a low-maintenance cactus if you’re concerned – you can’t possibly be less nurturing than a desert

Bring the outside inside. Just one or two plants go to a long way to sprucing up a home (pun definitely intended). If your thumb is particularly green, you may want to go all-out on a vertical garden. Pantone’s 2017 Colour Of The Year is Greenery – consider it a sign.

Scout Out A New Store

Interior Design Rut
Not your average Ikea

That store you’ve passed a thousands times and never explored? Explore it. Look both at individual items that catch your eye and the big picture of how they’re arranged. Take note of interesting mixes of colours and textures. Speak with employees for ideas. It doesn’t even have to be a home decor store that sparks your imagination. Anywhere that puts the focus on design – think Apple – could be a source of inspiration.

Put On A Coat

Interior Design Rut
A teal-y easy way to liven up a room

A new coat of paint is a guaranteed ticket out of an interior design rut. Redo an entire room if you’re feeling ambitious. If that’s an overwhelming undertaking, create an accent wall or repaint a piece a furniture.

Get Inspiration From Art

Interior Design Rut
Install a gallery wall inspired by an actual gallery

Who has a better eye for the beautiful than artists? Visit a local museum or gallery, take an art tour, or simply walk through your city looking for street art. Any kind of artwork could be a potential source of inspiration for colour palettes, styles, shapes, periods, and perspectives. Or you may find a piece that’s begging to be on your wall, delivering a much-needed refresh to a familiar room.

Get Away

Interior Design Rut
Treat yo’ self

Check into a design-minded hotel. A quick staycation in your own city will do the trick if a proper holiday isn’t in the cards. Hotel designers are some of the most creative and in-demand talent in the biz, and they generally have higher budgets to work with than home designers. You may not be able to afford the exact same splurges, but there’s no shame in borrowing ideas and adapting them to your bank account.


Interior Design Rut
A makeover you can do in minutes

It doesn’t get easier than this. Play a game of musical chairs (and other furniture) to revamp the look of a boringly familiar space. Turn a living room chair into your desk chair. Move a piece of art from the hallway to a bathroom. Swap the living room rug for the one under your dining table. A bit of rearranging can completely reset your design palate – not to mention that lifting all that furniture is a classic primal-style workout.