Stephanie Shares 7 Steps to Getting Out of a Rut this Summer

Stephanie Thornton Plymale
5 min readJun 16, 2022

Getting out of a rut means making a hard turn, whether it’s on the road, in your life, or a room in your house that’s driving you crazy. For inspiration, I’ve drawn upon the model created by Dr. John Kotter, a Harvard Professor who studied driving change in businesses, and I’m applying that to getting out of a rut in your home. The same lessons for change in any organization apply to us in our living environments.

Step 1: Create Urgency

Nothing gets done until you make a decision. I was recently confronted by a rut in my bedroom. I realized that the anchor piece in my bedroom, a large bed with an imposing headboard was dominating my bedroom and it had to go. I called a friend and within an hour my oversized headboard was in the back of her truck. So at that moment, I became committed to change.

Pro Tip: Don’t let fear stand in your way. You can’t accessorize your way out of a rut.

Step 2: Form an Opinion

This is the time when you need to step back and take a psychological inventory. If you are in a rut, a limiting belief of some kind is keeping you there. In the case of my bedroom, I had a limiting vision of what a headboard was. I began the process of looking for inspiration and finally found it — the piece that broke me out of my rut. I found my inspiration at an antique store which was a severely worn, chippy antique door with the original nail holes and all it needed was a splash of paint. Surprisingly, a door has the same length as a king size bed! Can you believe it?

Pro Tip: Be imaginative. Take a risk to get out of a rut.

Step 3: Communicate the Vision

With the basic elements of my transformational room in place, I was ready to paint the full picture of the vision. I selected a linen duvet with ruffled cotton shams and layers of pillows with accents of French linen and soft pink velvet. A woven blanket is tossed at the foot of the bed and flanked with a chippy work bench from my favorite antique store.

Pro Tip: If it doesn’t speak to you, it doesn’t belong.

Step 4: Remove Obstacles

Clear the space. Empty the room of everything. Sometimes a rut requires extreme measure! Now that the giant headboard and everything else that held me in the rut was out of the room, I was free to create. I also waited for a time when I could create undisturbed. I cleared my calendar, and most importantly made sure my husband would be occupied.

Pro Tip: Do something that you wouldn’t ordinarily do.

Step 5: Create Short-Term Wins

The first thing to do was to hang the door on the wall and splash some white paint on it. As I took a step back I could see that my vision was coming to life.

Pro Tip: Celebrate your progress.

Step 6: Build on the Change

With everything in place it was time to add the final touches, the diamond earrings against the perfect black dress. With my French farmhouse theme in mind, I went in search of fresh flowers and accessories that would complete my design. I placed a gold-framed mirror on the bedside table, filled a vintage pitcher with roses from my garden, and turned mini jam jars into votive candles. As I stood back from it, I realized I’d done it. I was out of my rut!

Pro Tip: Don’t overaccesorize.

Step 7: Anchor the Changes with Celebration

Now I was fully ready to enjoy the end result. I poured myself a glass of bubbly, stood back to admire my work and toasted myself for a job well done!

Top 10 Summer Trends

  1. Copper Hair
  2. Vintage Inspired Summer Outfits
  3. Fresh Vibrant Paint used in an Unexpected Way
  4. Bringing Nature Inside Your Home
  5. Untraditional Outdoor Furniture
  6. Trips of a Lifetime
  7. Travel Inspired Interiors — The Nomadic Look Is In!
  8. #1 Travel Destination: Orlando, Florida
  9. The Cutout Fashion Trend and Embracing Your Body Type
  10. Woven Lunch Pails & Bucket Hats

HSID Graduate Ronda Wiltse is Featured in Oregon Home Magazine!

Native Oregonian Ronda Rae Wiltse grew up around construction. Her father built homes in Salem and her grandfather was a Bend cabinetmaker, and the hours she spent with them on jobs or at the lumber mill set the stage for her future career as an interior designer for new construction and major remodels.

“I knew this was what I’d end up doing,” Wiltse says. “I just took the long way around.”

Continue Reading on Oregon Home Magazine!

Portland Summer Street Fairs

Spend your Summer weekends exploring street fairs and enjoying live music, food and local art! Learn more here.

Get Your HSID Summer Swag!

Contact to purchase your HSID swag!

Purple HSID Hoodie: $49

White HSID Hat: $25

Notable People to Follow on Instagram:

Jaqueline Turner: Follow @jacqueline.r.turner

Published in Entertain and Celebrate Magazine!

Laura: Follow @thespilledsugar

Published in Entertain and Celebrate Magazine!