Decorating anxiety? Overcome the obsession of constantly changing your room decor.

Decorating anxiety? Overcome the obsession of constantly changing your room decor.

We may feel the urge to change our interior decor for various reasons, such as wanting to reflect our personal style, improving our mental health and wellbeing, or simply keeping up with the latest trends. While there's nothing wrong with wanting to refresh your space, it is essential to approach this process in a sustainable and mindful way, in order to not let it become an overwhelming and expensive task. In this article, we will discuss the urge to change interior decor and provide some tips on how to deal with it.

The urge to change interior decor is common among people of all ages. According to a study by Houzz, 87% of homeowners redecorate their homes within a year of moving in. Furthermore, 74% of homeowners said they redecorate to reflect their personal style, while 58% do it to improve the functionality of their space. Interestingly, the study found that millennials are more likely to prioritize sustainable and eco-friendly products when redecorating, with 33% of them citing sustainability as a factor in their purchasing decisions.

Why do we feel the urge to change our interior decor?

The obsession to constantly change your spaces might feel inadequate and sometimes even uncomfortable. However, there are several reasons why you might feel the urge to change your interior decor that show there’s absolutely nothing wrong with you. Here are a few of them:

Reflect our personal style and interest

One of the most common is to reflect our personal style and interests. As we grow older, our tastes and preferences evolve, and we may want to update our decor to better reflect who we are now.

Expressing creativity and experimenting with new trends

Additionally, redecorating can be a way to express our creativity and experiment with new styles and trends. In fact, according to a survey by OnePoll, 56% of Americans believe that changing their home decor helps them to be more creative and innovative.

Improving our indoor experience

Another reason why we may feel the urge to change our interior decor is to improve our mental health and wellbeing. Our homes are our sanctuaries, and they should be a place of comfort and relaxation. By creating a space that is aesthetically pleasing, comfortable, and functional, we can improve our mood, reduce stress, and enhance our overall wellbeing. Studies have shown that exposure to natural elements, such as plants and sunlight, can have a positive impact on our mental health and productivity. In fact, a study by the University of Exeter found that employees who had plants in their workspaces reported a 15% increase in productivity.

Place attachment

In the context of the urge to change interior decor, environmental psychology can shed light on why we feel compelled to redecorate and how we can approach it in a way that is mindful of our environment and mental wellbeing.

One theory that is particularly relevant to the urge to change interior decor is the concept of "place attachment." Place attachment refers to the emotional and cognitive bond we form with our physical surroundings, including our homes. When we form a strong attachment to a place, we are more likely to engage in behaviors that reinforce that attachment, such as redecorating.

How to deal with the urge of constantly changing our decor?

Despite the benefits of redecorating, if approached incorrectly, it can become an expensive, time-consuming, and overwhelming task, particularly if you are unsure of what you want. For this reason, we provide you with some tips to help you deal with the urge to change your interior decor in a way that is structured and conscious with our planet:

1. Define your style

Before you start redecorating, take some time to define your style. Look for inspiration in magazines, websites, and social media, and create a mood board to help you visualize your vision. By defining your style, you will be able to make informed decisions and avoid impulse purchases.

2. Plan your budget

Redecorating can be expensive if done without thought, so it is essential to plan your budget. Decide on a budget that is realistic and affordable for you, and prioritize the most important items. It may be tempting to splurge on all trendy items, but investing in quality, timeless pieces will save you money in the long run.

3. Consider sustainability

As mentioned earlier, sustainability is an essential factor in redecorating decisions. Look for products that are eco-friendly, made from sustainable materials, and produced in a socially responsible way. This will not only benefit the environment but also contribute to your mental wellbeing by reducing clutter and promoting a sense of mindfulness.

4. Declutter and organize

Before you start redecorating, declutter and organize your space. Get rid of any items that no longer serve a purpose or bring you joy, and organize your belongings in a way that is functional and aesthetically pleasing. This will not only make it easier to redecorate but also create a more calming and relaxing environment.

5. Repurpose and upcycle

Instead of buying new items, consider repurposing and upcycling old ones. For example, you could repaint an old dresser or turn an old ladder into a bookshelf. This is a cost-effective and sustainable way to update your decor while also adding a personal touch.

6. Start small

Redecorating doesn't have to be a massive undertaking. Start small by updating a few key items, such as throw pillows or wall art, and gradually work your way up to larger pieces. This will allow you to experiment with different styles and trends without committing to a complete overhaul.

7. Don't be afraid to ask for help

If you're feeling overwhelmed or unsure of where to start, don't be afraid to ask for help. Consider hiring a professional decorator or asking a friend with a keen eye for design for their opinion. This can provide valuable insight and help you avoid costly mistakes.

8. Use timeless design

One approach to achieving this is by incorporating timeless design principles into your decor. Timeless design is characterized by classic, enduring styles and elements that have remained popular over many years.

Here are some detailed recommendations for incorporating timeless, sustainable design into your home decor that won't give you the urge of constant renewal.

  1. Choose quality over quantity: When shopping for decor items, prioritize quality over quantity. Invest in high-quality pieces that will last longer, both in terms of durability and style. This may mean spending more upfront, but over time, you'll save money by avoiding the need to replace items as frequently.

  2. Opt for neutral colors and natural materials: Neutral colors such as white, beige, and gray, and natural materials such as wood and stone are timeless and versatile. They create a calm, peaceful atmosphere and can be easily paired with other colors and textures. When selecting decor items, look for those made from sustainable materials such as bamboo, recycled glass, or natural fibers like linen and cotton.

  3. Prefer enduring styles over trends: Trends come and go quickly, and incorporating them into your decor can lead to the need for frequent updates. Instead, focus on enduring styles that will remain relevant for years to come. This may include styles like mid-century modern, Scandinavian, or traditional.

  4. Be mindful about patterns: Patterns can quickly become outdated and overpowering, so use them sparingly. Opt for classic patterns like stripes, polka dots, or herringbone, and limit their use to one or two statement pieces in the room.

  5. Incorporate vintage pieces: Vintage pieces add character and charm to a space and can be a sustainable option as well. Look for vintage decor items such as mirrors, frames, and vases, and incorporate them into your decor for a unique touch.

  6. Choose multifunctional pieces: When selecting furniture and decor, opt for pieces that serve multiple functions. For example, a side table that can be used also as chair a place to store blankets or books.

By incorporating these timeless, sustainable design principles into your decor, you can create a space that is both beautiful and environmentally responsible. Remember that creating a sustainable home is an ongoing process, and small changes can make a big impact over time.

What does environmental psychology say about the urge to constantly change interior decor?

Research has shown that our environment can have a significant impact on our mental health and wellbeing. For example, a study by the University of Exeter found that adding plants to an office space can increase productivity and reduce stress levels (University of Exeter, 2014). Similarly, a survey by Houzz found that 74% of homeowners believe that a well-designed home is important for their overall wellbeing (Houzz, 2021).

However, the urge to redecorate can also have negative consequences, particularly when it is driven by consumerism and a desire to keep up with the latest trends. This can lead to overconsumption and waste, as well as feelings of dissatisfaction and stress.

To address these issues, environmental psychologists suggest taking a mindful and sustainable approach to redecorating. This can involve defining our personal style and values, setting a budget, considering the environmental impact of our choices, and avoiding impulsive purchases. By doing so, we can create a space that not only reflects our individuality but also promotes our mental wellbeing and reduces our impact on the environment.

Overall, environmental psychology highlights the complex relationship between our physical environment, our emotions, and our behavior. By understanding this relationship and approaching the urge to change interior decor in a mindful and sustainable way, we can create a space that is not only aesthetically pleasing but also promotes our mental and environmental wellbeing.

Expert advice to deal with decorating anxiety

It's easy to get caught up in the momentum of decorating, but when it becomes an anxiety, it's time to take a step back and find balance. Follow these expert-recommended steps to help you achieve a sense of completion and calm in your space by Martha Beck for Oprah Magazine.

Step 1: Plan your end result with pictures and floor plans.

The momentum of decorating can have a hypnotic effect that keeps people fussing long after a room is finished. It's easy to get caught up in this loop when you don't set an end point before you begin. Envisioning a state of completion helps you know when it's time to stop.

Do this in two dimensions, not three. Find pictures of rooms that have the look you want. Draw a floor plan or sketches of the finished space. Don't worry about your artistic ability; all you're doing is imprinting a mental model of "doneness." When your 3-D space matches your 2-D plans, you'll know it's time to stop.

Step 2: Know your motivation to redecorate: Is it attraction or aversion?

Motivation can be divided into two categories: attraction and aversion. Attraction draws us towards positive things, such as curiosity, delight, love, and desire, while aversion drives us to escape negative things, such as fear, disgust, worry, or anxiety. When decorating, it's important to distinguish between the two. Decorating with attraction will create a sense of comfort and beauty, while decorating with aversion will lead to unsettling results.

To determine whether your decorating is driven by attraction or aversion, take a break and observe your surroundings for 15 minutes. If you're prone to anxiety, you may notice flaws and feel the need to fix them. However, if your decorating is based on attraction, you will appreciate the beauty and notice details that were previously unnoticed.

If you discover that your decorating is driven by aversion, take a step back and address the negative emotions that are surfacing. Write your thoughts in a journal, or discuss them with a friend or therapist. Once you've found a sense of calm, repeat the exercise of observing your surroundings. If you can accept your home as it is, you'll be able to decorate out of a love for beauty, rather than a fear of being present. The end result will be a space that feels like home and is appreciated by everyone.

Step 3: Learn to enjoy work in progress 

Relax and enjoy the unfinishedness of the least satisfying space in your home. When you finally change the space, do it as an outlet for your creativity and as an adventure in change, and don't fixate on "finishing."

What you do to your home is far less important than your state of being while you're doing it.

Find peace and tranquility in your home and reacquaint yourself with nature. Take a walk on the beach, stare at the clouds, and listen to the wind. From that calm place, see your home as just right. Enjoy fixing it up, but in no hurry because every part of your home is fine as it is—and all of it is getting better. If you accept your home as it is, you'll be in a position to decorate out of a love for beauty.


In conclusion, the urge to change interior decor is a common occurrence. Whether it's to reflect our personal style, improve our mental health and wellbeing, or keep up with the latest trends, redecorating doesn't need to be a daunting task. If we approach this process in a sustainable and mindful way, we can update our decor while also promoting our mental wellbeing and reducing our impact on the environment. By defining our style, planning our budget, considering sustainability, decluttering and organizing, repurposing and upcycling, starting small, and asking for help, we can create a space that is not only aesthetically pleasing but also reflective of who we are and what we value.


  • Houzz. (2021). 2021 U.S. Houzz & Home Study: Renovation Trends.
  • OnePoll. (2018). New Study Finds That One in Four Americans Believe a Change in Home Decor Leads to an Increased Creativity.
  • University of Exeter. (2014). Office Plants Boost Productivity by 15%.
  • Vogue. (2022). How to Redecorate Your Home Sustainably: 8 Top Tips.


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