Tuesday, September 26, 2023

How to choose your own decorating style

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When it comes to your decorating style, do you feel like you have a lot of ideas but don’t know what to focus on? Do you feel that your style and taste are somewhat reflected in every major theme? Or do you feel attracted by all the decorating trends that come along?

Believe me, there are times when I could say yes to all of these questions! But I’ve found that learning how to choose a design style makes decorating your home so much easier!

It’s definitely worth taking some time to find your design style before you start making decisions about your interior design. No more wasting time and money on decorative items that end up looking “ugly” once you bring them home!

Learning to choose a decorating style that fits your personality allows you to decorate and furnish your home or apartment with confidence, knowing exactly what will please you and make you happy!

When I talk about finding your design style, I don’t mean limiting yourself to a particular look, label or trend. I’m talking about figuring out what you like so you don’t get overwhelmed by all the choices out there.

I’m one of those people who likes to take personality quizzes and learn about personality types. This not only helps me understand myself better, but also helps me understand others better. This kind of information can translate into all aspects of our lives, including the style of decorating we are drawn to.

I believe that our homes should be a reflection of who we are at our core. As with everything in life, getting in touch with your personal decorating style means listening to your inner wisdom and trusting your intuition, rather than following the crowd.

Keep reading my simple tips, and soon you’ll be creating spaces that are authentic, beautiful and, most importantly, make you feel fully fulfilled!

1. LOOK IN YOUR CLOSET

The first thing I recommend to find your design style is to look at what is hanging in your closet!

For years, my favorite “uniform” has been white jeans and a blue or white shirt in the summer and blue jeans and a white or gray sweater in the winter! I also like to wear anything with stripes. And I like a pop of black! If you look around my home, you’ll see all of these elements reflected in my decorating style.

So the first step to learning how to choose a decorating style is to take a look in your closet and notice the colors, fabrics and patterns you turn to again and again.

Comfort and ease are important to me, which is why I wear cotton clothes almost exclusively, and that preference is reflected in my home. My white slipcovered chairs are one of my favorite things about our home because they are soft, comfortable and easy to care for, just like my clothes!

I love that there is a relaxed feel to my interior, with deep, comfortable seating, lots of baskets and natural textures, coastal artwork and touches of blue and white.

Yes, your wardrobe can help you learn a lot about yourself and refine some trends that can guide you in choosing your interior design style.

2. CREATE A “THUMBNAIL STYLE” FOR YOURSELF

A vignette style is an arrangement of objects in a home that reflects the personality of the people who live there. It tells a story about who you are.

So the next thing I recommend is to walk around your home, go through your closets and gather everything that can give you the look and feel you are going for. Bring it all together in one place in your home. Then stage a space, corner or vignette to help you define the decorating style you like.

For example, I realized that this space in our dining room, below, makes me happy every time I see it! So whenever I find myself distracted by what others are doing, I refer to this space. It reminds me of the overall mood, tone and color palette I want to achieve in our home right now.

I know I am happiest when I decorate in a way that expresses my personal taste and style. You can see that I’m currently drawn to a light, bright and decidedly beachy look!

3. INTEGRATE YOUR TRAVEL OR PERIPLUS INTO YOUR THINKING

Whether it’s where you live or abroad, what places have meant the most to you? Which ones did you find most special? Where would you move to, if you had the choice? Which of these places inspire you?

Does your heart belong to the beach or the mountains? Do you want to go back to Florence, Provence or Barcelona? Are you passionate about any of these places? Have you been inspired by the art of Florence, the aromas and colors of Provence or the architecture of Barcelona?

Think about colors, textures and styles… They say a lot about your personality and should translate easily into your home d├ęcor.

4. LOOK FOR INSPIRATION

Next, gather outdoor inspiration to help you refine your design style. You can scroll through interior design hashtags on Instagram. Or create a board on Pinterest with rooms and places you love. See if you can spot a trend, a common color scheme or an overall theme in your pins.

Sometimes, though, Pinterest can be a little overwhelming because there are so many choices! Often, I just flip through a magazine or book on that theme to remind myself what I like.

Since your design style can change over time, don’t force yourself to stick with a look that is no longer yours! If you find that your magazine clippings or framed photos no longer appeal to you, get rid of them and start over! 

But my favorite way to hone my style is to look at home decor catalogs. Sometimes just knowing what catalogs you’re drawn to can help you define what you like.

5. CREATE A VISUAL REMINDER OF WHAT YOU LIKE

The last thing I recommend is creating a mood board or some sort of design board to keep on your phone. Seeing the colors, patterns and objects you love all together in one image can give you a surprising burst of clarity as to your home decorating style.

Having your mood board with you will also help you stay true to your decorating style when you’re on the go. This way, you won’t mess with your mind and come home brain-fogged with a whole bunch of equally different ideas.

Keeping a mood board on your phone will also help if you want to refer to a certain color scheme, furniture, rug, or artwork so you can match it when you’re shopping.

To make a mood board, you can use photo editing programs like Photoshop, PicMonkey or Canva. A few months ago, my daughter showed me how to remove the background of photos using the website remove.bg 

Since then, I’ve been using it to create almost all my mood boards.

Here is an example of a collage I made on Canva. Whenever I feel conflicted about my style, I just refer to it to remind myself of the look I’m going for.

If you don’t feel like making a collage or mood board, just take screenshots of the spaces you love. Or take a photo or two of your inspiration vignette from step 2. Then reflect on it as you shop for your home.

Remember, when it comes to expressing your own style in your home, there is no right or wrong. So I hope you’ll start experimenting until you find a look that works for you.

By learning to choose a design style that fits your personality and preferences, you discover a lot about yourself, which opens the door to more courage and creativity in all areas of your life.

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