When you are decorating your home, the most important thing to know is your style. If you aren’t sure of your personal style, you’ll likely end up listening to other people or looking to trends to determine “what looks good,” but then end up feeling dissatisfied with the outcome in the long run. Even when we work on a client’s home, we make sure we have a strong understanding of that client’s personal style before making any design decisions.
That’s because everyone’s personal style is different. To create a home that truly feels like you and makes you happy every day, you have to become intimate with what you like and don’t like.
While this may seem overwhelming at first, especially if you aren’t sure what your style is yet, don’t worry – the process of discovering it is a lot of fun once you know what to look for.
Here are some easy steps to help you discover your decorating style.
Figuring Out Your Decorating Style
Gather things that inspire you
The first step is the most fun part: seek out things that inspire you and gather them together, whether it’s on a Pinterest board, in a binder, or whatever other forms of organization you prefer. Whatever speaks to you, save it. It doesn’t just have to be other rooms that you like; broaden your search to things like nature, fashion, artwork, and anything else that captures your attention.
Don’t edit in the beginning. Gather absolutely everything that inspires you, even if they don’t seem to be cohesive at first. Go through magazines and photos on the internet, take your own photos of places and things, and collect fabric swatches and other textiles.
Put together an inspiration board
Once you’ve taken some time to gather a lot of inspiration, it’s time to start editing it into a clear vision. Create either a digital inspiration board (such as a Pinterest board or document) or a physical inspiration board (such as a poster board or corkboard) and start narrowing down the things you love most from everything that you’ve gathered.
You may have several photos that include marble in them, for example. Choose one to represent your love for marble, so you know to include that in your home once you start decorating. Your inspiration board should serve as your guideline or map, so to speak, every time you make a decision for your space. Does the thing you’re looking at fit with the inspiration board? If not, it’s probably not a good choice.
Think about the vibe you want to create
How do you want to feel in your space? Décor directly affects your mood and the overall vibe of a home, so it’s important to think about how you want to feel whenever you are in that space. Do you want to feel energized? Relaxed? Glamorous? Pampered? Romantic? Perhaps you want to feel the way you did when were on a vacation in a specific place, such as the Bahamas or Paris. Once you know how you want to feel, you can search for colors and decor that create that response.
Look at your closet
Often, our fashion sense is similar to our decorating style. If you love your clothes, take a look at your wardrobe for inspiration. What colors do you wear the most? Do you wear a lot of jewelry? Do you like solids and clean lines or lots of patterns? What are your favorite fabrics to wear? All of these things could inform your decorating style, too.
Pay attention to what you don’t like
Knowing what you don’t like is just as important as know what you do like. It can help you get clearer and more detailed on what you are attracted to. For example, you may love glamorous spaces, but realize you don’t like it when a space is too elaborate and prefer things to be streamlined with a glamorous touch. It will also keep you from making decisions during shopping trips that you later regret.
Take a decorating style quiz
If you follow these steps and still want more clarity, there are a few great decorating style quizzes online that will help you narrow it down even further and give a label to your style. Here are a few to try: