How to listen to intuition when decorating

Intuitive collage - Dala MusesAt several points in my life I had to take major decisions: should I resign from my 9 to 5-job and start a creative business? Should I move to Sweden? Should I sell my business? Should I start a coaching business? Should I start a blog? I managed my way through all those decisions but oh boy, did I feel some decision anxiety! The one thing that helped me through all this was intuition. I learned how to trust my instincts, to follow my heart.

I see a parallel with creative people’s decorating decisions! I see the same thing happening over and over again: a fight between their intuitive and rational side. I bet some of you recognize the same pattern.

Maybe you’re a furniture painter. You let a piece speak to you and it says ‘blue’. But then you start to think about potential customers .. blue maybe doesn’t sell really well lately. You start to doubt, because this piece would look really good in a shade of blue, but what if customers don’t want it. Maybe you stall the decision, you put this piece away until you have figured it all out and you start something new that is easier to decide.

Or maybe you are redecorating a room at the moment? You want to apply all the ‘interior design rules’, yet for some details your gut tells you something completely different. You get all confused and don’t know what to do anymore.

I believe that the most beautiful things come straight from the heart, they’re unique, original and soulful. But I acknowledge that it’s hard to listen because some of us weren’t brought up this way, or society told us to decide differently.

I would like to share with you how I keep in touch with my heart and intuitive side: an intuitive collage. It’s very similar to a moodboard, though a moodboard seems less intuitive to me. I think a moodboard is supposed to be closer to the real decorating result and often made with a specific room in mind, while my intuitive collage isn’t.

Exercise: intuitive collage

You need:

  • your phone with a meditation app
  • a pile of magazines (combine decorating magazines with other themes such as craft or garden)
  • scissors
  • glue
  • a journal or  cardboard or a piece of paper

Intuitive collage - Dala Muses

I always start with a 5 to 10 minutes short meditation or relaxation exercise. I have a few apps on my phone, there are so many to choose from. A well-known exercise on all those apps is the body scan and I like it a lot!

After the relaxation exercise you can grab a cup of coffee or tea. Now go sit down with your pile of magazines. Don’t think, just look and rip an image out of a magazine as soon as it speaks to you or excites you. I prefer not to use scissors because it slows the process down. I seem to put my thinking hat back on again when things go to slow. So you can just flip through the magazines and rip as fast as you can, without wondering why you’re drawn to that image specifically. You can stop when you have about 15-20 images. Cut them out and combine them into a collage.

This is what I came up with after one of my exercises. It was only when I was finished that I realized that a ‘style’ emerged: white, blue, green combined with plates and strong indigo patterns. It was a very refreshing and surprising result for me, because lately I chose pastels with neutrals and felt a little unsatisfied with my choices. It seems that I need more colour!

Intuitive collage - Dala Muses

Some additional thoughts:

  • I don’t like Pinterest for this exercise. In that case you would constantly look at picture-perfect homes and it would be hard to get out of your head and into your intuition. That’s also a reason why it’s best to mix decorating magazines with other types of magazines.
  • Judgment and an intuitive collage don’t go very well together. Don’t judge your collage when it’s finished. It isn’t supposed to be ‘oh wow that’s how I’m going to decorate my living room’. It’s only there to learn you something new about your own style, to get you out of your regular choices. I learnt that colour and strong indigo accents are definitely worth a try!

If you have tried this exercise and you would like to share it with me, please do so on the Dala Muses Facebook page or send it to me in an email. I’m curious about what you come up with :).


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