Are you scared to death to initiate any changes in your home? Perhaps petrified of making a mistake? Are you convinced that the scary and unknown process will become an absolute nightmare? As every Halloween, let’s discuss the most common phobias we have about making improvements to our haunted houses.

The idea of making changes in our living environment can be frightening, tormenting and downright spooky. We don’t know where to begin and are afraid of making a deathly mistake. These trepidations can cause us to postpone any decision at all, and as a result our homes become cluttered, rickety and overall, quite creepy.

The thought of inviting a deranged decorator into your home may also frighten you, as she will undoubtedly find cobwebs in your corners, creaks in your doors and skeletons in your closet. She may cackle hysterically at your earthly possessions, or wickedly cast a spell, combusting your modest hovel. She may declare the energy so out of whack that an exorcism is scheduled. Who knows what horrors a strange decorator may bring?

After all, an initial consultation will reveal the hidden secrets that have been deeply buried, such as the hatred you have for the old recliner, the resentment you harbor for a family heirloom, or the creepy crawling you feel when you spend time in the most haunted areas of your home. Unearthing these buried frustrations can relieve the darkness and lead to a less tortured life. Imagine: Simply rearranging furnishings, re-hanging art and repositioning accessories can banish years of haunting memories.

A common, bone chilling phobia: What if I make a horrendous mistake? As use-what- you-have decorating involves working with your existing things, it is not a life-or-death process. The ghastliest scenario would be returning all items to their original locations, which is a highly unusual and unnatural phenomenon. The idea of change can be paralyzing, but once it is begun, a person rarely yearns for the chaos of years gone by. After all, a bad purchase can be returned, a hideous color can be repainted, an inappropriate choice can be re-thought; but stagnancy, inertia and paralysis can be anguish everlasting.

Next phobia: I will need to spend a frightening large amount of money. If that is your deepest and darkest secret desire, you may do so. However, may I suggest it is much less agonizing to utilize the things you already have in the most delectable way possible before you venture into the bottomless cauldron of retail shopping.

The final phobia: once I get started, it will become a never-ending nightmare. This fateful decision is up to you alone. You are allowed to decide: Just where do I require an objective (glass) eye, what eerie space do I want to transform, and when will the witching hour end? A 90-minute consult or a four-hour room makeover can result in a huge difference in the look and feel of a dark and depressing space, and the torture may forever end there.

Why not be silly, be brave and shake things up at your house this Halloween!

Linda Lawrence is the owner of HouseCalls for Redesign. Contact her at housecalls4redesign@comcast.net or (209) 728-2732, or visit housecalls4redesign.com.

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