Design + DIY

Identifying Your Design Style

After so many months at home, we can’t be the only ones ready for a decor refresh. There is something very exciting about changing things up at home and finding new ways to enjoy your space… but the task can also be a bit daunting. If you are overwhelmed by the myriad of choices out there and not quite sure how to start – here are five tips for identifying your style and choosing decor that reflects your personal style.
February 2021
Identifying Your Design Style
Identifying Your Design Style

How to Find Your Design Style

#1 Start by Sourcing Inspiration

If you aren’t sure how to identify your design style, start by looking everywhere for inspiration and save things that you love. Pinterest is one of Amy’s favorite ways to continuously get inspiration. Create boards for specific projects or think of a dream project and start pinning anything you like. Don’t worry too much about specific items or pricing at this point – the idea is just to freely save anything that speaks to you. 

When you are ready to go deeper – visit some of the sites you pin from most often. Our favorite home design magazines include World of Interiors, Domino Magazine, and Elle Decor. (There’s also nothing quite like flipping through the pages of a physical magazine or catalog to get inspired). 

Once you have a library of images – our favorite way to edit is to go analog. Print out your favorite images and cut them up, sort them into groups and identify the common threads (pun intended)! For example, if you find yourself drawn to the same color over and over – put it onto your moodboard and start bringing in things that might complement it.  

#2 Don’t Get Locked Into One Style

Reality design shows love to identify homeowners within 1 or 2 design styles – but the reality is that you probably don’t just love one thing. Amy’s style, for example, is much more eclectic: 

 “I love travel inspired decor, mid-century funky items, morrocan looks, english cottage gardens, I wish I could say it’s more dialed in but home decor is just so fun with all the textures, colors and finishes. I guess if I had to sum it up - I’d say ‘Interesting + Old’.” - Amy

#3 Get Help

Working with interior designers is more accessible than you might think and they can be incredibly helpful. Designers are great at quickly assessing your style (and your partner’s) and then choosing items that will fit into your home and meet your needs. 

Plus, many home stores such as West Elm, Pottery Barn, or Anthropologie offer online and in-store design services (some for free!) if you aren’t quite ready to splurge on hiring a design firm or professional designer.

#4 Follow Your Instincts

Learning to trust your instincts can be difficult, but the more you ‘window shop’ the more you will naturally gravitate to items you love. When you see a piece that you just can’t live without – that’s when you know you are onto something. But finding items you love can take time. Anyone can go to a store and buy exactly what’s on the floor – but if you want to create a space that’s a true reflection of your style it almost always requires some work. Oh, and forget about those design rules you’ve heard. The new rule is, there are no rules. 

“Look everywhere and then only buy the items that you really are drawn towards and can’t stop thinking about.”

#5 Cohabitating? Communicate + Compromise 

It can be challenging to find a happy medium when you live with a partner or a roommate who has a different design style from your own. Even couples who have lived together for years still find it difficult to choose decor items that reflect each of their personal styles.  

Shopping together for items is a great way to start communicating about what you both want from your home. Be open with each other about your non-negotiables (a color you hate or a sentimental piece) and respect those differences. With a little experimentation you can learn to  play off your differences when you can (and find the happy mediums when you can’t). 

“Cohabitating has meant letting go of some of my more eccentric choices. Leo (my husband) doesn’t love some of the more colorful and frilly things I gravitate towards - so we have agreed on a more neutral palette mixed with the antiques and textiles I’ve been collecting since I was a child.” – Amy, Founder

Ready to start identifying your design style? Put on your pjs and try this journaling (or sketching) prompt to get you started:

1. What are some stores, restaurants, or places that you love going to? Describe the feeling you get when at these places.

2. Close your eyes and imagine your dream home, what features are in the home that you love?

3. Is that home traditional, modern, or eclectic?

4. What pieces in your current home sparks you joy?

5. Is there anything holding you back from designing this dream home? If so, how can you fit those things into the big picture?

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