How To Find Your Decorating Style
Ah, the million dollar question…what’s your decorating style?
A quick search on Google will pull up a slew of quizzes that are supposed to help you identify your style. Over the past couple years after many struggles I’ve really honed in on my style and think I know it pretty well, but even when I take a quiz, the result are always a little different. One told me I’m modern, the other cottage, and another transitional. Questions like my favorite lipstick color and my dream vacation doesn’t necessarily correlate with my home decor style. While the quizzes are fun, they probably won’t identify your true decorating style and may leave you more confused (what is transitional anyway?)
Truth is, you are likely drawn to a healthy mix of several design styles and not just zoned in on one, making up your ideal decorating style.
So, how do you find your decorating style?
Today, I’ll walk you through how to uncover your style with a few exercises. I promise, once you have defined your style you will feel a weight lifted of your shoulders because it makes decorating SO much easier when you know the direction you’re headed.
Pinterest is a great tool we’ll be using to zero in on what would be a wise, long-term decorating decision versus something you end up not liking in a year (because I can’t be the only person to do that…right?)
This is not how everyone finds their style or the “right way.” I’ve been stuck and confused before, and this is what I found to be most helpful to pinpoint my style. Recently my sister asked for help identifying her style so we went through this same process, and now she has a clear vision for her style and her new bedroom makeover!
1. Describe Feelings
Feeling plays a BIG role in your overall design and how you want your home to look. If you want a calming home where you can relax, bright bold colors and patterns are probably not the best choice. Fill in the blanks below and really think about how you want your home to feel.
I want to feel ________________ when I walk into my home after a long day. (example: I want to feel relaxed/sophisticated/calm when I walk into my home)
My ideal weekend at home would look like ________________. (Brunch followed by an afternoon reading my favorite blogs and hosting a game night with friends in the evening.)
I want my home to feel ____________ and combine styles that look _______________. (I want my home to feel clean/cozy/bright and combine styles that look beachy/put-together/laid-back.)
I want a home that makes me feel ____________, _______________, and _______________. (I want a home that makes me feel comfortable, stylish, and modern.)
2. Browse Your Home
Grab a notebook and walk around your home and write down all the things you LOVE and why. Is it your blue tufted chair? Colorful vintage rug? Be as specific as possible as to why you love it.
3. Scour Pinterest
Start a Pinterest board called Dream Home and pin images to it that make your head explode because they’re so good. This board should ONLY contain photos that you love. Rooms that you’d want to live. If you’re iffy about it, don’t pin it. For example, this image makes me burst with happiness so I pinned it to my Dream Home board.
If you see an image you like, but you don’t have an OMG-I-need-it-now moment, it goes unpinned. I have room-specific boards or you can check out my Dream Home board as an example if you’re looking for pins.
4. Analyze Results
Once you have at least 20 pins to your Dream Board you’re in love with, it’s time to analyze your pins and look for common themes.
Here are some of my Dream Home pins…
Notice any common themes? Bright and clean. White walls. Warm accents. Rustic wood. Calming.
How do your photos “feel” to you? Dark and moody? Light and airy? Colorful and cheerful? What colors and textures do they have in common?
Look at your pins and what you wrote down in your home from step 1 and find the commonalties and engrain them into your brain. This is what you will base every decor decision on.
Identifying these common themes will make decisions so much easier because you have clear direction and understanding of your style.
If you love decorating, sometimes the hardest part of making a decision is saying no to other styles you may like, but they don’t fall into your Dream Home category.
Sometimes I find myself longing over cool modern spaces like this one below, but one look at my Dream Home board reminds me that it doesn’t fit with my style in the long run.
It’s okay to admire other styles and love them! Just recenter yourself by looking back at what you’ve pinned and truly love.
5. Give It A Name
Now that you have identified your common themes, feelings associated with them, and any colors and textures, you found your decorating style!
Give it a name so you put words to your style and it feels more comfortable.
I call my style modern rustic cottage because of the mix of modern finishes combined with a slight beachy cottage rustic vibe.
Finding your style will give you direction when decorating and ensure that you love your home for years and years…not 6 months.
After you’ve identified your decorating style, you might want to check out this post on how to create a paint color palette for your home.
Once you’ve completed the exercises in your free downloadable workbook, leave a comment sharing the name of your decorating style!
Finding harmony in my home decor is not always easy, he trouble with me is I like too many things. I find this a really good idea to really zone in on your style and then take it forward from there.
I struggle with the same thing. I love many different styles so I really have to focus on my dream home board and remind myself of the style that really speaks to me, and learn to just appreciate the others.
Thank you for this post! I was skeptical because I am fickle and usually find something I like better after making a purchase. So I decided to go through my existing home decor Pinterest boards and repinned what I absolutely loved, as you suggested, to a new board called “Determining My Style.” A definite pattern emerged! Lots of neutrals — white, greige, woods — which are all calming to me. Also, a lot more yellow than I realized. I love yellow, but usually resist it because it doesn’t seem on trend. I’m also always trying to fit in dark finishes because I think I should, but light finishes ruled on the board, with touches of dark. Such a good exercise!
So happy to hear you tried it and noticed a pattern among your favorite pins! Sometimes what we think we like is a little different from what we actually like, as you uncovered after doing the exercise. I hope you have a much clearer idea now of what you’re drawn to and can incorporate some of them into your home 🙂