Everyone’s been there.
You look around your home and you feel like it either doesn’t reflect who you are (anymore) or worse, you have collected so many different things over time and/or combined them with the style of everyone else that lives in your house and there is no cohesive look or decor style.
You now have a lot of things (that may or may not have meaning to you, or that you may or may not love) and none of it seems to make sense together.
Your home has a serious identity crisis and you are left wondering what your style even is, how you can combine your style with the other (often not welcome) opinions in your home, and create the home you want.
The problem is that with so many ideas being constantly thrown at us, it is really difficult to decide which ideas and inspiration to carry out in our own home. Pinterest is definitely a culprit.
Too many ideas leave us feeling paralyzed and not knowing where to start.
Well today, we are going to talk “discovering your decor style.”
And I’m going to make it easy on you because discovering your home decor style does not mean that you have to choose just one.
Nope. The most interesting homes layer different styles one right on top of the other. They have a way of weaving a few styles together to tell a story, create interest, and reflect the personality of the people who live there.
Over the next couple of weeks we are going to dive into what it means to discover your style and how to use your definition to create the feeling in your home that you are after.
RELATED: (WEEK 2) HOW TO DEFINE YOUR HOME DECOR STYLE
The focus is going to be on the feeling you want to create in your home.
We are not going to use fancy words like, traditional, transitional, or even eclectic. Those don’t help you one bit when making decisions about what stays, goes, or comes into your home.
Instead we are going to focus on what you love (that you already have) and why you love it so that we can do more of it! Typically that involves some sort of warm and fuzzy feeling and editing what is in a room down to (mostly) the things that give us those good feelings is going to get you loving your home.
It may reqire some homework on your part. Some soul searching. Some tuff decisions. Even some compromise (ugh…compromise.)
Why you need to discover your home decor style:
In the end, my hope is that everyone feels like they’ve won. And that they are now living in a space that feels good and reflects who they are.
Having a clear definition of your home decor style will help you avoid making random purchases for your home just because you like something. We can like a lot of things, but that doesn’t mean that they all need to end up in our homes.
Sound good? Let’s get started!
One way to figure out your home decor style.
Let’s start with figuring out your home style and how to gather a clear vision of what that style looks like.
The first thing I want you to do is grab a notebook or a sheet of paper and go sit in your favorite room.
Once you are there I want you to look around and really think about the following…
Why do you love this space?
How does this room feel to you?
What is your favorite thing about the room?
What are your favorite pieces of furniture in the room? Why? And what do they have in common? (color, texture, style?)
What are your favorite accessories in the room? Why do you love them? What do they have in common? (color, style, sentimental, beautiful, functional?)
Is there a color in the room that you love? Is there a lot or a little of it?
Is there a texture in the room that you love?
Is there anything in the room that you don’t like or would want to remove to make the room feel more you?
Write down the answers to each question and then next to each element answer the follow up questions. Really think about how they make you feel/ why you love them and a short description. This will allow you to see on paper what they have in common.
Here’s my example. (I’m in my family room.)
I love this space because it reflects my style the most out of all the rooms in my home. It feels comfortable, fun, and organized. My favorite thing about the room is the rug because it adds just enough color to the room to make it fun without being too “in your face.” I’m also a huge fan of pattern and geometrics, which this rug has. I also love the built ins because they allow my kids to keep a lot of their toys right here so we can play and make big messes, but at the end of the day it can all be put away and I can have my adult space back. My favorite piece of furniture in the room is the small white side table. I love that it is round (since everything in my home is so square) and I love the circle detail on it. Bonus that it holds all of my kid’s puzzles so it is functional too. My favorite accessory in the room is probably the fiddle leaf fig tree. It adds height to the corner and I’ve always wanted a fiddle leaf. They are just cool and it goes with the slight mid century vibe that I’m drawn too. The room is mostly neutral which I love because it feels calm to me. I love the little pops of color that make it feel fun especially the little bit of yellow and pink that I’ve added recently. There isn’t a ton of texture in the room. I would love to add some maybe on the walls to give some character. I would remove some of the accessories on the built ins because they are no longer my style. I’ve kept them because I haven’t found other things to replace them (time and budget) and I’m constantly thinking that I need to edit the shelves to feel less cluttered and hap-hazard.
When I read what I wrote it is evident that the things I love are
- pretty neutral in color
- have clean lines and geometric pattern
- and that I like a space to feel comfortable and not cluttered.
It becomes evident that I like to have a place for things that feel overwhelming and cluttery (like toys) and I can do my best relaxing when these things are put away and out of sight.
When I think about my least favorite room in my home, my office, I realize that it doesn’t include any of these elements. It is cluttered, lacks color, organization, and isn’t somewhere I ever want to hang out. (Which is totally sad since this is the space where I muster up all of my creative ideas and do all things business related. – Clearly I need to get going on an office overhaul.)
Now it’s time to analyze.
Once you’ve sat and thought about it and taken some notes, read what you wrote down and from it I want you to make a short bullet list (like I did above) about what it is you love.
Take note of what it is in the room that you don’t love, the things you would take out to make it more you, or something in the room that bugs you. (These may be things that your significant other does love, so don’t take them out just yet…we’ll get to the blending of styles and compromising in a couple of weeks.)
Defining what you love is one thing, but being clear about what you don’t like is equally important.
For example I tend to gravitate toward furniture with clean lines. You probably won’t find any furniture in my home with ornate details because to me, ornate details scream breakable and delicate. Not something that is necessarily relaxing with a 3 year old that we’ve nicknamed “distructo” running around. But to someone else ornate details could scream feminine and calm so those details in their home would be spot on.
My point is, your style and what the things in your home make you feel are particular to you. I can’t tell you what to put in your home. That is up to you, but I can help you define what it is you love (and why) and help you bring it all together to create a space that makes sense.
From this list we can further define our styles and when we have a clear definition of our style, it makes future decisions instantly easier because we have a guideline. Anything that doesn’t fall into the limits of the guideline, doesn’t make it into the room.
Gather inspiration and edit.
The last thing I want you to do this week (before we jump to the next step next week) is to create some sort of inspiration file. Your personal “style file.”
There are a few different ways you can do this, a Pinterest board (make it secret if you want to,) a small box, a binder, or notebook with images from magazines that you’ve clipped, or even a posterboard or cork board that you pin or tape inspiration elements to.
- Start by gathering anything that you see that you love.
- Next, go through your file and edit. Only keep your favorite things. It is easy to say you like something, but what ends up happening is that you like one thing, until the next idea comes along and you save that one too. You end up with a lot of ideas and inspiration that often contradict each other. So give yourself a cut off point to stop gathering inspiration and ideas and go back and edit your file so that you only have your absolute favorites left.
- Group your favorites. Look at your inspiration and find your themes. Is there a specific color that you are drawn to? Is there a style of furniture that you gravitate toward? Is there a lot of print and pattern in the rooms you love, or a lot of solids? You get the idea.
The rule is that every element of inspiration that you gather must be functional, beautiful, create interest, or bring about the feeling that you are going for for your home.
Each one should fall into the guidelines of the short bullet list that you made today.
Go beyond things looking pretty and tap into how it makes you feel. This will allow you to edit much more often and not just end up with a bunch of things that look good, but rather tell your story and reflect your personality in a much more cohesive way.
And one last thing. If you find that you are up against the styles of someone else in your home have them do the exact same exercises that you just did here.
They will most likely be in a completely different room, but in a couple of weeks I’m going to walk you through some steps to mix your styles together to create more rooms in your home that you both love.
You’ve got your work cut out for you, so get to it!
CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE: (WEEK 2 OF THE SERIES) HOW TO DEFINE YOUR HOME DECOR STYLE