Decorating? Here’s how to use your cycle to make the best design decisions

Decorating? Here’s how to use your cycle to make the best design decisions

A friend recently asked me for advice regarding her home. She’d fallen in love with an older house, but it needs quite a bit of renovating–including new bathroom tubs and vanities, kitchen cabinets and flooring. She and her partner have been finding it challenging to decide on styles and budgets as they’ve gone along.

I can relate. When my husband and I bought our home here in Saint Petersburg, Florida after having left NYC, we also fell in love with a house that needed a lot of work. So, we know firsthand the challenges that come with deciding on colors, schemes, textures, materials and price.

So, my friend asked me if there’s any way to use her monthly cycle to make all the many design decisions easier.

I think so!

Whether you’re renovating an entire house or redecorating a single room, there are several ways you can use the different phases of your monthly cycle to help you decide on design elements and cost. Here’s how:

1. Need to keep your eye on the money? If sticking to a budget is a priority and you want to resist the lure of peppy salespeople, unnecessary add-ons and overpriced-but-oh-so-gorgeous options, then your design decisions are best made during Week 3 of your cycle (which is the week immediately following ovulation). Why? During this phase, the combination of rising progesterone plus lower levels of estrogen makes you less impulsive and less likely to splurge on items you don’t need. By comparison, you tend to be more free-spending during your Week 1 and Week 2 due to rising estrogen, which pumps up your optimism about how much cash you have to spare. At the same time, you don’t want to go too cheap and opt for materials that won’t hold up. So, it’s wise to make your money decisions before your premenstrual Week 4 kicks in and plunging estrogen starts highlighting money worries, making you tempted to cut corners.

2. Want to focus on your personal style? If matching your decor to your personality is a priority, then try making your design decisions in the weeks of your cycle that best match who you are and the style you prefer. Which means this: If you want to go bold, artsy, out-of-the-box and make a statement, make your design decisions during your Week 1 and Week 2 (the first half of your cycle). This is when rising estrogen pumps up your confidence, extroversion and ability to brainstorm creative and ingenious ideas, making you want to experiment. However, if you prefer a space that’s decorated in a subtler, more conservative fashion, then make your design decisions during your Week 3 and Week 4 (the second half of your cycle). This is when lower estrogen and mellowing progesterone put you in a more cautious, play-it-safe kind of mindset, making you want to stay with the tried-and-true over trying anything untested.

The reason? If you’re a wild child who loves the “wow!” factor and then you make design decisions during your conservative Week 3 and Week 4, you may end up with boring choices you ultimately don’t love in the long run.

And the same is true the other way: If you’re generally a mellow person and tend to prefer a traditional or conservative style and then you make design decisions during your more experimental-loving Week 1 and Week 2, you could end up impulsively making bold choices that you ultimately don’t love in the long run. I’ve done this. I’ve regretted this. I’ve painted over this.

3. Need help making a big decision? Having difficulty making a final decision on a style, color, pattern, texture or fixture? If you have the time, then think about how much you like your top choices throughout each of the four weeks of your cycle. If you find you love a particular option in all four weeks–through all the ups and downs and when you’re feeling both bold and conservative–then it’s the decision for you.

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[Photo credit: Carrie Stephens]


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