Our world is filled with colors and textures and shapes. Not only are the cultures around the world different from each other, but each individual has their distinguished sense of style and taste in food, hobbies, fashion, hairstyles, writing, movies … it’s endless! Media, people, and our senses in our environment influence our style. With an overwhelming array of influences however, how do we possibly determine our decorating style for our own home?
Determine your decorating style
Knowing what you absolutely love, and what you absolutely can’t stand the sight of, can help you determine your unique style. Even if it’s a home decorating style. Your home is the place in which you love spending time because of its comfort and warmth. It’s a place where you’re proud to welcome your guests and letting them be comforted by the things that you love. Some may say it’s a complete waste of time, but why wouldn’t you want a comfy home that speaks colors or bits and pieces of your personality?
#1 Gather clues that point to your decorating style
Find your most loved items
As the first step for discovering your home decorating style, walk around your home and make note of your favorite things. Ponder about what you love and what generally draws your attention. What is it about those things that inspire you? Many of us still love the things that we used to love as kids. Childhood-loved items could easily be something like certain two or three colors that make you feel the most authentically you.
Get the overall picture of your home
If colors can be included under most loved items, then lines and textures have similar value as well. Certain items reflect light in a likeable, mesmerizing way. Don’t be timid about taking pictures of these “treasures” and pasting them on a sheet of paper and writing little notes beside each picture for reference. Ask yourself whether you prefer lots of accessories and pictures around you or do you feel more comfortable being in a less decorated space? Would you prefer furnishings with clean lines or does comfort seem to matter more?
Look at your lifestyle for your decorating style
It may sound a little silly but your lifestyle can help determine your decorating style as well! When you’re having a conversation with someone, do you seem to fish out details and get the nitty-gritty or do you get confused and crazy with too much detail? If so, then you probably won’t go for the shabby chic living room with lots of pictures and decorative pillows and clutter.
Do you like to surround yourself with quirky and creative people or do you like having your more traditional friend- did you know that if you keep your friends for years upon years, you’re most likely a loyal type who feels cozy at home with sentimental, treasured items! Determining whether you prefer wearing yoga pants or dressing up also points out your decor preference.
Consider the mood you’d like to create
Letting yourself think about how you want to feel at home is definitely one of the ways of approaching the decorating style from the inside out. Your next step should be thinking about imagining what mood you’d love to create. Then work backwards. Imagine what style of furnishings, colors, textures, and comfort you’d use to make that mood come alive.
What three words would you like to hear your guests say when they enter your home? Additionally, you could ask yourself how you would like to feel when you come home after a long day of work or stress.
#2 See what the experts say and take a quiz!
Online quizzes that help you determine anything about you isn’t all that bad. Or fake. In fact, they’re kind of interesting and fun! Most of these quizzes are specially made by professionals who may also do various studies on a group of voluntary participants, allowing for more realistic results.
There are several home decorating style quizzes that you can take and they’ll ask you to choose which is your preferred look based on various pictures! This will help label the style that you have. But be warned- the pictures on these quizzes can be quite the catch and may lead you to liking more than one style!
#3 Match yourself to a specific decorating style
Modern, minimalist, industrial, shabby chic … and many, many more! The long list of the various decorative styles is quite impressive. With the variety comes the difficulty of choosing which suits you best. But the challenge also lies in not knowing or using the right vocabulary to describe your personal interior design style. That’s why the first few steps listed above comes in quite handy. It can be daunting to decipher your personal style. However, it is definitely exciting to discover the beauty of mixing several styles to figure out your ideal look!
Don’t stop yourself from exploring the various decorative styles out there, especially when it comes to deciding the “right” one for your home. Sometimes you may find yourself attracted to several decorating styles. No harm with that. Use your creativity to combine the elements that you like from the styles and be playful! It is your own home decorating style after all!
Here’s a list of some of the common home decorative styles and a brief description of each:
A simple color palette with materials such as metal, glass, and steel. It usually refers to a home that is clean with crisp lines and simplicity applied all around, including furniture. Simplicity may give off a rather boring impression, but geometric shapes in the modern style is anything but boring. Not a lot of clutter and common descriptive words include sleek and elegant. Besides, clutter means “stress in your life” therefore keeping it less cluttered keeps off some stress for you!
Just as it sounds, industrial draws its name from a warehouse or an urban loft. It has almost a raw edge, with elements such as exposed brick or ductwork, distressed wooden furnishings or elements, and a copper-tone palette. Furniture ranges from old timber, dangling metal light fixtures, and rustic furnishings that are complemented with descriptive words such as unrefined or unpolished.
This design pays homage to the simplicity of life back in Nordic countries. There’s often a feel of art, although simple and not exaggerated. It’s minimalistic and incorporates furniture that isn’t only for decoration but for functionality as well. Textures and lines, all-white or greyish palette popping with playful accent colors, natural elements of wood, plastic or real and lush greenery, steel and wide plank flooring create a clean and spacious feel.
Adventurous, relaxed, and serene. Descriptive words for the style that basically says “live life with little rules and follow your heart’s desire”. Vintage furniture and light fixtures, textiles and well-worn rugs that are globally inspired, rich and vibrant colors or tones of red and purple, and collections of various sources from flea markets, thrift stores, or one’s travels!
Popular hit amongst both young and elderly women, this vintage-like style can be quite similar to the bohemian, but with a more feminine, delicate, and soft influence. The color palette is filled with pastels, white, and cream. Furnishings are dressed in distressed, aged finishes and ornate wall hangings to continue the feminine vibe of this chic style.
What’s not to like about anything that reminds you of the beachside area? Inspired by the sea or deep blue ocean, this style features an airy and light color palette with cool neutral shades paired with blues and greens. White or beige furnishings accentuated with elements of wood and accessories of the sea such as sand and seashells, or even whole coconuts, easily fill the space of this coastal style. The environment is relaxed and comfortable, just like sunbathing on the islands of the Bahamas.
You’ve got your home decor style. Now what?
Get started on how you can put it all together to create a more homey abode! Decorating may seem like it’ll cost an arm and a leg sometimes, but don’t worry. You’re not the only one who has that thought. In today’s society, we are all about saving money and fixing something on our own. Thrift-store shopping and bargaining at garage sales are becoming a more common practice these days. Thanks to the growing population of DIY-inspired friends out there, you can create and fix furnishings that fit your personal decor style and potentially sell these to those who may share the similar style or styles as you.
Find DIY projects that suit your style
The list is long and endless and rarely regrettable. If you’ve never done a do-it-yourself project before, especially for your home, you’re in for a treat! DIY gold-dipped or wood slab end tables, hat racks made out of wooden dowels, a curbside dresser turned into a bar cart, or a crate bookshelf that is easier to put together than it looks … the list continues. Get on Pinterest and word search “DIY home decor projects” and you’ll be amazed by what you see.
Example 1: An unbroken table in the community garbage dumpster
Perfect piece of art to refurbish and renew for your personal use at home! Before you begin your DIY love for this coffee or side table, take a “before” picture. You’ll be impressed when you compare it to the “after” picture. All you need to give this unwanted, old, possibly slightly chipped table is some character and remodeling using: sand- or grit paper, coats of white paint for the base, sanding block and more sanding paper to give it a distressed look, finishing glaze, and stain and seal for the top. Voila!
Example 2: Dining chairs needing a “shabby chic” makeover
Another awesome DIY project that calls for a before picture. Dining chairs with cushions eventually get worn out, dirty, and don’t look inviting to sit on. To remove the cushions, you’ll need to flip each chair over and unscrew them from the base. After detaching the cushions, give your chairs a paint makeover- something you can easily look up on YouTube and follow the instructions. If you have old cushions or pillows that you’re most likely going to throw away, use the stuffing or fillers to replace the old stuffing in your dining chair cushions. Staple on new fabric over the old fabric and snap your “after” picture!
Shine brightly with your home decor style and DIY hobby
Finding your home decorating style may not be easy at first and for all you busy bees out there, it may even seem like a waste of time. But your home could actually be a reflection and extension of who you are and what personality you have that makes you unique. Picking up a DIY hobby to accentuate your home with more of your uniqueness further reflects who you are to your guests and it breaks the ice of discomfort for them.
Be proud of your DIY skills and spread it around!
Don’t be intimidated by the possibilities of what you can create and fix for your home; there are many sources online and in magazines to help you. Keep in mind that a decorating style isn’t just something superficial, especially when you teach yourself how to distress furniture and upholster a dining chair. And above all else, enjoy learning about the different styles and try to combine various elements to make it fun for you to explore!