Many clients don’t necessarily always know what they want in their homes, they just know what they DON’T want. They’re not even sure if they have a style at all much less what it is. Our friends, Greg and MaryAnn used to laughingly call their style “early discontinued”, because it was a hodge-podge mix of hand me downs from family and friends. Sound familiar? (Their style has since evolved!) But, most people do have a “style” whether they know it or not, they just don’t know how to define it. So do you know what yours is? Is it contemporary, traditional, transitional? Maybe eclectic, Old World, Tuscan? French, Hill Country? Any idea? The best thing to do to help define your style is flip through magazines and books. Tear out pictures from decorating magazines and make copies from decorating books that appeal to you. Place them in a file and begin collecting colors, fabrics, photo’s….whatever you find appealing….and odds are you’ll start to see a definite style start to develop. I can’t go over all the styles in one post (I will try to hit each and every style in future posts), but take a look at the ones below and see if they can begin to help you “define your style”.
Do you prefer clean lines? Do you prefer a minimal amount of “stuff”? Take a look at these pictures above and below. Do these looks appeal to you? And do you prefer the monochromatic scheme above or the vibrant loud colors below? Would one of these rooms make you smile and unwind at the end of a long work day? Then you prefer a more contemporary look. Maybe you just haven’t had the inclination to nail down your true style or the vision to make this look a reality yet. Well, now it’s time to get started.
Or maybe you prefer a little more “stuff”. You like mixing different fabrics and colors, prefer pleats on your upholstered pieces, and more curves and detail work in your furniture. Decorative clutter makes you happy and if there’s an empty corner in the space – it simply must be filled. Does that sound like you?
Then maybe you are American Traditional like the picture above or more European Traditional like the picture below.
Picture from Southern Living Magazine
Or, perhaps you prefer a mix of different looks and want to have fun combining different styles together. You can’t stand the idea of being “boxed in” to one particular style or “theme”. Then you might just be “eclectic” like the pictures below.
Victorian sofa mixed with the African art and contemporary stairs.
Pictures from Southern Living Magazine
Contemporary rug and chairs mixed with traditional chairs and accessories.
Or maybe, just maybe, you love a wallowy, slip covered look. You like the cozy charm of ruffles and flowers mixed with checks and plaids. You like lots of decorative clutter in different shapes and textures filling your shelves and table tops. If this sounds like you, then your style would be a “cottage style”.
If any of these pictures define your style take a careful look at the one that appeals to you most and note all the details you like in each space. Print out the picture and place it in your file for future reference (or better yet – come back to my blog!). That way when you are ready to tackle the project you will have done all your homework. Whether you are doing it yourself or working with a designer – the pictures and notes will come in very handy in honing in and creating your own specific style. If none of these pictures “nailed” your style keep checking in for future posts. I’m going to have an ongoing category post, periodically, called “Define Your Style” that will point out different design styles and looks that will help you realize your own style and determine what you’d like to see in your own home. Hopefully it will motivate you to jump start your plans to get that space you’ve been stressing over decorated in a style that suits you - down to the last detail. No more “early discontinued!”….it’s time to “define your style” and make it happen!