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Taking Risks in Life & Design

Learning to take risks sounds scary…and it is scary.  But it’s also exhilarating and freeing.  I’m talking about taking risks in both life and design.  When experimenting with design in our own homes, sometimes we are afraid to take risks…What if this color doesn’t look good?  What if I hate the new piece above the fireplace?  What will my neighbors and friends say?  Taking risks doesn’t mean that everything will always turn out rosy, but I guarantee it will make life pretty darn exciting. Let’s tackle design first…I saw an image a few weeks ago, and at first, I didn’t care for it very much.  But my eye kept going back to it.  Why is this so interesting to me?  There was an ornate Victorian settee paired with mid-century tulip chairs and a rustic table.  It’s interesting because its unusual…someone took a risk and paired things together that most people wouldn’t pair.  The more I looked at this though, the more my mind expands to the possibilities of doing something similar.
 
Then there was this amazing desk situation.  The ornate lighting with the extreme rustic desk and rather modern looking leather chair (and the dark walls)…Wow.  Definitely risky business, but oh so interesting and exciting, even if it seems little uncomfortable for some of us.
 
Taking risks with design doesn’t mean we have to incorporate these particular ideas in our homes.  However, these images do serve as a reminder of the exciting things that are possible if we do take a few risks.  How about mixing some unexpected things together?  Leave them for a few days to see if it grows on you.  If not, change it up…no harm done.  I’ve often found that some of my most creative ideas come about when I take risks, try something new, and let go of the “expected.”  Sometimes that’s a little scary, but I’ve rarely found a time when I couldn’t undo it if I didn’t like it.
 
What if we decided to live our lives in this way?  What if we decided to start taking risks in our personal life?  I’m not talking about skydiving (although that would be fine), but I am talking about doing something new such as taking photography classes, learning to play the guitar, talking to complete strangers, switching to a new career, etc.
 
You might ask, why should I?  You should because taking risks comes with many benefits, one being that it will make you a more creative individual.  When you do things out of the ordinary, you become more flexible, which opens your mind to new possibilities.  This increases your ability to brainstorm new ideas and to see things other ordinary people don’t see.   We put ourselves in uncomfortable situations when we take risks, but these situations stretch us as individuals and show our true character.  And finally, taking risks also makes life more interesting.
Start small…in both your home design and in your life.  Add something new to your coffee table or mantle.  Decide to say something nice to a complete stranger, take a new way home from work, or learn a new skill.  When you make the conscious decision to take a risk, creativity will surely follow.

Wendy Conklin

I'm Wendy Conklin, The Chair Stylist.

What brings me joy is helping others live more creatively. I design antique-inspired, boutique chairs, and I teach others how to do what I do. Check out my shop, services, and courses to bring more whimsy into your home and life!

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Styling Guide

Bring the Chair Whimsy aesthetic into your home with our styling guide!