Find Your Style

6 Tips to Find Your Personal Decorating Style

6 tips to help you find your personal decorating style. If you feel confused or aren't sure what your home decor style is, read this!

Finding your personal decorating style can be a bit of a struggle. I myself, have experimented with many different styles over the years, including a mix of girly, bright and colorful, then mid-century modern, and a mishmash of all the above. It wasn’t always pretty (I’ll spare you the photos) and none of them really reflected my true style.

I'd like how my space looked for a few months, and then get the itch to redecorate and go in a completely different direction. I was constantly yo-yoing from different styes thinking the "next" one would stick for good. Definitely not the most efficient way to go about decorating. 

Now, I have a good understanding of my style and what it looks like and consists of, which has made the whole decorating process much easier – and I no longer get the urge to redecorate constantly!

The most common reader question I receive is about how to find your style – and it’s no wonder it’s the most asked! We all want to know how we should decorate our home. Without truly knowing your personal decorating style, it's nearly impossible to know how to decorate your home. It's a guessing game! Which is why most of us have such a hard time deciding on furniture and accessories because we don't have anything to guide our decisions. 

It took me a while to figure out what it meant to have a personal decorating style, but now I've created a little system and it's made such a difference just knowing what styles you are drawn to and defining a style that completely reflects you.

So, why is it so important to have a decorating style, anyway? Aside from having a beautifully decorated home, your style is about creating a home that reflects YOU – allowing you to feel truly happy and content with how your home looks and feels, and enjoying it with friends and family. Believe it or not, your decorating style will help you with all of that. Just as a personal wardrobe style gives you confidence and helps you look and feel your best, your decorating style helps you do the same thing with your home.

The goal is for you to be able to recognize what you really like and why, understand what furniture and decor looks good together, and how to shop for it. So when you find the perfect throw pillows for your living room you can say, “This is SO me!”

 

6 Tips to Help You Find Your Personal Decorating Style

1. Seek Inspiration

Who are some of your favorite interior designers or home decor bloggers? Head to Pinterest, Google, or Instagram and do a bit of research to gather inspiration from their work. Maybe you love Studio McGee’s (seriously, allll the heart eyes) clean and bright designs, with a mix of Emily Henderson’s quirky vintage pieces, and a side of Kelly Wearstler glam. Gathering inspiration from a few different sources like these are a great way to start to find what it is you like and dislike.

 

Your Homework:

Create a new board on Pinterest and title it “Dream Home.” Then, search for your 5 favorite interior designers or bloggers and pin home decor images that resonate with you most and reflect how you want your home to look and feel. Once you have at least 20 pins on your board, find the common elements. Write down the colors, patterns, textures, fabrics, kinds of furniture, etc. that appear in your pins most frequently. Chances are, these are the elements you are most drawn to and should incorporate in your own home!

 

2. Get Rid of What You Don’t Like

Walk around your home and take a look at what furniture and decor you might have sitting around that no longer resonates with you. Maybe it just doesn’t function properly in the space, maybe you don’t like the color, or maybe you just plain don’t need/use it. Whatever it may be, toss it so you can clear out space and start fresh. Then, you can refine your home with a style that reflects you that you truly love and not be weighed down by the things that don’t bring you joy.

 

Your Homework:

Grab some trash bags or boxes (and some wine too!) and start cleaning up your home of the things you haven’t used in the last year and that don’t make you happy. Donate what you can, you can even sell some of the bigger pieces of furniture or decor. After doing this, you’ll be amazed at how much better you’ll feel in your home after a little decluttering, and, you’ll start to get a better visual of your style because you don’t have the other pieces weighing you down that don’t align with what you like. Plus, you’ll make room for some fresh new pieces that will tie your entire space together.

 

3. Consider Your Lifestyle

Obviously, as you’re decorating your home, you want to take into account your lifestyle and who lives in your home. A messy husband? Do you have kids? A shedding dog? Maybe slipcovers are the best option for you so you don’t have to worry about any potential red wine stains on the couch. You can just simply throw the slipcover in the wash. Fabrics and materials are a big factor in the durability of a piece of furniture, so make sure to research and see if it works for your lifestyle and will hold up to your family’s needs.

Related Post: How to Choose a Quality Couch That Lasts

 

Your Homework:

Write down the rooms in your home and how you use each one. Is your living room where you wind up eating dinner most of the time? Is your office really just a catchall for storage? Whatever the case may be, remind yourself when you’re shopping or decluttering, how each piece fits within your space and lifestyle. If a piece isn’t practical with your everyday life, then it’s probably not the right fit for you.

 

4. Shop Smarter

A couple years ago when I decorating our first home and shopping for furniture and decor, I tended to buy whatever I saw on sale at Target. Some cute pillows? Great! Random accessories to put on a shelf somewhere? Perfect! But as I brought each item home, it didn’t really work with the rest of the stuff I already had, and I ended up returning it or regretting my purchase anyway. Rather than shopping randomly for things as you stumble upon them, create a plan ahead of time. That way, you know what you need and won't pick up random things just because they're on sale or a great deal. 

 

Your Homework:

Before you go shopping, always always ALWAYS make a list of what you need and research ahead of time what it is you want exactly so you have an idea before you’re in the store, lost and confused. It helps to keep you on track and stop you from wandering and picking up random things you don’t need. I never go shopping unless I know exactly what it is I’m looking for – down to the color, size, style, etc. Only shop for what you need, what works with your lifestyle, and what you really love. If you feel ho-hum about the lamp, don’t buy it! Your home should be a collection of things that make you happy and tell your story.

 

5. Trust Yourself & Be Authentic

The single most important thing when defining your style is to stay true to yourself. Don’t focus on what you think you “should” have in your home based on trends or others’ expectations. It all comes down to what makes you most happy and how you can create a home that you truly love. Your style should reflect your life and your personality - own it and be proud of it, and express who you are. No one has to understand or like your crazy ideas except you!

 

6. Ask for Help

On your wedding day, you hired a professional photographer so you could have beautiful photos and memories of your special day. When you want glowing skin, you see a dermatologist. Don’t be afraid to do the same thing when it comes to decorating your home! Ask for advice or feedback from professionals when you’re choosing big ticket items to get a second opinion. Sometimes others bring up points you might not have thought of before, and they can help you feel more confident in the decisions you choose.

 

How to Decorate as a Couple with Different Styles (and What to do When You Disagree)

How to decorate as a couple with different styles and what to do when you disagree

We see it all the time. House Hunters is infamous for showing couples that have opposite tastes and can't seem to agree on anything. One likes rustic traditional designs while the other likes clean, modern, and light. It makes for good TV, yes, but it's also real life.

I'm counting my lucky stars Jordon and I  – for the most part – share similar decorating styles.

Learning how to decorate as a couple when you have different styles is a common question. And I get it. We each have our own style we gravitate towards, so why would we want to leave it for something we like less?

Now, you might be thinking, "I'm the expert in decorating, so I'm just going to decorate how my little heart desires." If you're like me, you just can't help yourself when it comes to throw pillows, candles, and lots of white. I still don't understand what guys have against throw pillows...

As great as it seems calling all the decorating shots, you share your home with your partner so it's only fair it's equally as appealing to both of you, right?

No matter how opposite both of your styles are and how impossible it seems to mesh them together, there is a way to do it, and ensure you both love your home in the end.

I'm going to show you exactly how to combine your decorating style with your guy, while keeping your partnership in tact :)

Create A Pinterest Board

Create a Pinterest board with pins that reflect your style and include images your guy might like, too. Pin a variety of things like color schemes, furniture, and decor ideas. Try to pin at least 15-20 images so you have enough content to work with.

If you only pin one room and it's full of pink, and then you tell your guy this is your style, he might be a little scared. In reality, your style is more than just the color pink, so pin several images that give your guy a better idea of what you like and include things you think you would both like.

If he's up for it, have your guy create a separate Pinterest board with pins he likes to give you a better idea.

Once you have about 20 pins on your board, sit down and look at your board(s) together. Start an open conversation with him asking what he likes about each pin and what he doesn't. This is a great way to discover the things he can tolerate, and what he can't stand. It might help to take notes and identify several things you both like when reviewing pins.

For example, here are a few things that both Jordon and I like that I try to incorporate when decorating:

  • rustic/outdoor elements (antlers, rustic wood around our home)
  • animals (see buffalo watercolor print in our bedroom, see horse print in living room)
  • blue colors
  • clean designs

Hopefully, you both have things you can agree on like colors and types of furniture.

Don’t worry about agreeing on one specific “style” like mid-century modern or traditional and sticking to it. Because you’re combining each of your styles, there isn’t a cut and dry label for the result. Just focus on the things that make up YOUR style as a couple. It should be a combination of each of your styles.

Take Inventory

Now that you have a better understanding what he likes, take inventory of what furniture you both currently have. Is there anything that falls under the list you created of things you like and should keep? Is it time to retire the bachelor pad sofa? Maybe your pink tufted headboard has to go. Make sure there's a clear give-and-take so no one feels pushed out or overrun by the other person's decisions.

Go Shopping Together

When buying big-ticket items, always go shopping together. That way you both can look at many options and decide on the best fit you both like. Going together gets makes you both feel involved and it prevents hard feelings if you come home with a big purchase he doesn't agree with.

One tip I suggest is make sure he has at least one comfortable piece of furniture in the living room he likes. The last thing you want is a tiny couch he can’t even sprawl out on, if that’s his thing. You’ll never hear the end of it.

He Probably Won’t Care As Much As You Do

Us girls can lose sleep over paint colors, but honestly, your guy probably doesn’t care THAT much. If you ask him to choose between Benjamin Moore White Dove or Cloud White, he’ll laugh and tell you there is no difference. Find something your guy cares about, like perhaps the electronics, and have him contribute in that area so he feels involved.

Compromise

Most importantly, you have to compromise to make it work. Discuss the most important things to you and listen to the most important things for him. If he absolutely hates the floral throw pillows, maybe keep them in the spare bedroom instead of the living room. Or just because he loves old records, doesn't mean you need an entire room dedicated to them. You can frame a few of his favorites on a wall as a personal touch without going overboard.

If you’re patient, open-minded, and willing to find a happy medium, you will! Don't be afraid to mix your different styles by incorporating all your favorite elements and personal touches.

I hope these tips are helpful for you and keep the peace in your home as your decorating.

With some patience and lots of compromise, you will find an aesthetic and style that suits you both perfectly.

What was the hardest part for you when decorating your home with your guy? Do you have any tips that made it easier for you? Did you buy something without his consent and now won't live it down?  I'd love to hear your stories!

 

How I Developed my Home Decor Style + 5 Steps to Find Yours

How I found my home decor style + 5 tips to find yours

I was doing it all wrong in the beginning: I was trying to mix many different styles because I couldn't decide on one, I had no clear direction, I was buying decor because it was on sale and not because I really loved it...

It was a hot mess.

No wonder our home frustrated me. It didn't reflect our style, but I wasn't sure how to fix it.

I wanted a change. I wanted a sense of direction when decorating so I didn't feel so overwhelmed.  I wanted to stop filling my home with useless decor because a magazine said I "needed" it. I wanted to stop putting pressure on myself that our home had to be perfect.

So, I started researching how to find your home decor style and see if I could get down to the root of the issue. Between Googling and my sister introducing me to capsule wardrobes last year (more on that in a bit) , I was able to come up with a structure that worked: only fill my home with things I truly love and need.

Now, let's back up for a second. How did capsule wardrobes help me narrow in on my home decor style? Well, a simple definition of a capsule wardrobe is a mini wardrobe made up of versatile pieces you love to wear. When my sister was explaining it to me, a light bulb went off.

If I fill our home with things I love that work well together and fit with our lifestyle, decorating suddenly seems easy! 

That simple mindset shift was just what I needed.

Pulling elements of a capsule wardrobe from Un-Fancy and combining them with my own ideas, I was able to build a system that helped me develop my true signature home decor style and simplify decorating.

As I started on this new mindset, I noticed a sense of contentment. I wasn't constantly looking for more, more, more to add to our home. I was only focusing on incorporating things I love, and that was refreshing.

We've been conditioned to want the newest, biggest, best house with huge vaulted ceilings, and walk-in closets (ahem HGTV).  And even though that's pretty cool, you can be happy without the best of the best if you know how to decorate with your signature style and incorporate your favorite elements.

I'm going to share with you my system to finding my home decor style that completely transformed my approach and totally simplified decorating, and how you can too.

I even created a free workbook for you to download and fill out as we go. You'll want to make sure you grab your copy because it makes the next steps soooo much easier. 

How to Find Your Home Decor Style

1. How Do you Want your Home to Feel

Your style is more than just how you want your home to look. It's about how you want your home to feel. This may seem dumb, but it's actually SUPER important and that's why it's step number one – so don't skip it! Your answer to how you want your home to feel can dramatically affect what colors (or how much color) you should use in your home.

In your free workbook, I created a little mad lib section that helps you put into words how you want your home to feel.

2. Take Note of your Favorite Pieces

What items in your home make you happy? What items in your home do love? Write it all down in your workbook and give a reason why for each. If you don't have anything, then we've got some work to do!

I can honestly say I love just about everything in our home (except our kitchen because we haven't tackled that yet). This step was one of the biggest contributors in turning my mindset around about our home. Incorporating your favorite pieces suddenly boosts your energy and happiness.

Think about it – if you walked into a room full of your favorite colors, furniture, and decor, how would that make you feel? Now, imagine walking into a room that wasn't your style and had traditional furniture when you like modern styles. You probably wouldn't have the same excited reaction as you did with the first room, right?

3. Look for Inspiration

Now the fun begins! Go to Pinterest and create a board called Dream Home and start searching for pins you ABSOLUTELY love that make you happy and pin them to your new board. The key is only pin images of rooms you would actually want to live in. Emily Henderson is a talented designer who I adore, but her style is quirky and totally mid-century modern so I probably wouldn't want to live in a home decorated like that. That doesn't mean I don't like and appreciate her style, I just wouldn't want to live there as my dream home.

This is where we often get off track and think that because we like a certain style, we suddenly want to start decorating our home like it. This isn't always the case. We can like many different styles, but that doesn't mean they make up your signature home decor style.

Keep pinning to your Dream Home board and be ruthless. If you kind of like a pin but you aren't 100% sold, don't pin it! Every pin must make you burst with happiness that you immediately pin it without question. Try to pin at least 20 pins to your board. You can see my board here as an example.

4. Identify your Style Elements

Let's review quick.

You've asked yourself what you want your home to feel like. You've taken a look around your own home and identified the things you love that make you happy. Then, you browsed Pinterest for inspiration to get an idea of what rooms you would like to live in. Now we need to look for commonalities among steps 1, 2, and 3 and identify your style elements.

It's time to get super detailed. You know in job interviews when they ask what's your weakness, but what they really mean is, "What's your weakness that you turn into a positive?" Mine was always I'm detail-oriented. It's true. I notice every last little thing and obsess over it. It drives me crazy, but it can be helpful at times.

In this step we need to dissect every pin on your dream home board and look at it with a magnifying glass. Why do you like each pin? What do you like about it? Write down every last detail you like about every pin, starting with 1 and going from there. Your list can be one comprehensive list. Each time you come across a duplicate, like, "I love that it's bright and airy", just put a tally next to it to keep track.

Your list could look something like this:

  • I like the cognac leather chairs.
  • I like like white sofa.
  • I like the vintage Turkish rug colors.
  • I like the soothing feeling in the room.
  • I like the neutral walls with the bold patterned rug.
  • I like the gold floor lamp.
  • I like the rustic beams.

Once you write down everything you like about your pins, you should start to notice common themes between them and your answers for steps 1, 2, and 3. Circle the elements on your list that show up in all the steps or steps 1 and 3 (taking note of the items with multiple tallies). The things you circle are your style elements that make up your signature home decor style.

For example, if you wrote down you want your home to feel relaxing in step 1 and then in step 3 you wrote you listed you like the relaxing vibe, then you should circle that and know that it is an important characteristic for you to focus on in your home.

You can do this by taking items you see in your pins with relaxing vibes, like the neutral color palette and cozy pillows, and apply a similar color palette and pillows in your own home. See how that works?

This method helps you pick types of furniture, paint colors, fabrics, and more, thus making decorating easier because you have direction. If you see certain elements popping up in several pins (which you should), then you can use those same elements in your home to recreate your dream home look that you love.

When looking at my Dream Home board, you can see the pins all share similarities: white walls, clean lines, modern, pops of prints, shades of blue, warm wood accents. These are my style elements that I incorporate into my home to achieve my dream home and it has totally transformed how I decorate.

Remember, the circled items are gold nuggets –these are the elements that make up your home decor style.

This step should help you understand why you like something so you can recreate it in your home. And that, my friend, will lead you to the path of your dream home.

5. Name your Signature Home Decor Style

Now's the easy part. Give your signature home decor style a name. I call my style modern rustic cottage because I like clean, modern designs and a little rustic lake house cottage vibe.

I constantly refer back to my workbook and my Dream Home pin board any time I'm questioning a decision or when I feel like I need to rein it in a little.

It took me a year of experimentation before fully understanding and developing my style. Now I'm comfortable with my home decor style and I love my home because I know how to achieve my dream home look.

What are you struggling with most when it comes to decorating your home? Are there things in your home you don't like that you may be better off eliminating? How many of your style elements can you find in your home right now?

I hope this was helpful for you to really hone in on your style and give you a sense of direction.

Let me know in the comments if you have any questions come up while working through it. I think step 4 is the hardest step so I'm happy to help if you have trouble identifying your elements!

You might find this post helpful:How to create a cohesive color palette for your entire home.

 

 

How To Find Your Decorating Style

How To Find Your Decorating Style with Workbook

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.

And I even created a free workbook for you to follow along with the post and fill out as we go:

Download and print your workbook and let's get started!

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.

damsel in dior white bedroom

via

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...

calming neutral living room
modern kitchen
white beachy house
modern boho rustic living room

via

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.

amber interiors kitchen

via

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!