How to Define Your Design Style

How do you go about determining your interior design style? Before you begin any design project, you need to have some sort of inspiration in mind. Your inspiration can come from different places, different experiences, your travels, your observations of other cultures, and uncritical look at elements that appeal to you for any reason.

An exercise you can do is to catalog furniture items into two lists, one list for those items you love and another for those items you wish you could replace. Gather together things that you prize the most including clothes. Find the articles that bring you the most joy.

Picture homes you have loved and then picture your dream home. Did you have a relative or friend that had a home you particularly adored? Is there a hotel or resort that you instantly loved? For this exercise, let your imagination go. Was there a particular house or even mansion that always stuck in your mind? Was there a home you saw on television or in the movies that made quite an impression on you?

Do not limit yourself to your state or country. Think back to your travels abroad. Other countries can be excellent sources for design inspiration as Owen Jones found out. Globalization has had the positive effect of exposing other cultures. Different cultures can contribute some fantastic design ideas and pieces of art. You can take advantage of a shrinking world for inspiration.

Remember to include all the elements that appealed to you at an emotional level. Then look for the common threads such as their design, colors, materials, shapes, and their overall vibe. Understanding what you like and dislike will increase your ability to make good decorating choices.

Finding your style should be relatively easy if you’re fully aware of which design styles that attracted you. If not, it can be difficult even to figure out where to start. If you are working with an interior designer, they will help you determine your style. They will also introduce ideas and materials that you have not thought of on your own.

There are a couple of other suggestions for determining your interior design style. One is to look at pictures of different designs and pick out elements that attract you. Another idea is to ask yourself a few questions concerning different dimensions of styles.

Are you more attracted to past or present styles? For past style fans, consider contemporary, French country, or traditional. For those more attracted to present styles, look into modern, Scandinavian, or eclectic?

Do you prefer bright, bold colors or neutral colors? Those liking bold colors could enjoy contemporary, eclectic, or traditional. On the other hand, people feeling more comfortable with neutral colors may prefer modern, Scandinavian, or coastal.

Are you a “less is more” person or a “more is more” person? For those of you who are less is more, look into contemporary, Scandinavian, or modern. More is more people will probably prefer eclectic, traditional, or French country.

Finally, are you a city or a country person? People feeling comfortable in the city may appreciate modern, contemporary, or Scandinavian. Those preferring being in the country will probably like rustic, coastal, or French country.

Remember that it is perfectly fine if your preferred style does not fit neatly into one category. A talented professional designer can work with that situation.

Furniture and Possessions

How do you feel about your furniture and other possessions? Do you like them or do you have a group of hand-me-downs that have nothing to do with your style? Hand-me-downs are not necessarily bad. You can always repaint, reupholster, or reconfigure an older piece of furniture to your tastes. If you like the design of a lamp but would prefer a different shade, you can always replace the shade.

What about your valuable possessions? Can you find something in common with them? That may tell you something about your tastes. Do any of these qualify as heirlooms or have particular sentimental value? Do you have any signed items of furniture or pieces that are historically important?

In establishing what to keep and what to get rid of, finding the answers to these questions can help. Do not let inertia prevent you from removing eyesores that have bothered you for some time. Your designer’s opinion of what to keep or what to toss may also have value. These furniture items and possessions will all contribute to the “feel” you want your home to embody.

Remember that it is perfectly fine if your preferred style does not fit neatly into one category. A talented professional designer can work with that situation.

The Right Feel for You

Your choice of design style will play directly into the feel you want for your residence. Is feeling relaxed a priority for you? For some persons, that is more important than anything else. Are you attracted to minimalist style? Is arriving at the right feel for your home more important to you or for the impression that will be made on the guests that you will be entertaining? After asking yourself all these questions, maybe you have a customized style in mind that combines elements of different standard styles. You may want to take your time arriving at that feel, or you may prefer to reach that point quickly.

Your Home Defines You

Although there are some who would argue to the contrary, for most of us, our homes do define us. It is true that in the contemporary Western world, perceptions of home are consistently colored by factors of economy and choice. However, according to an article entitled “The Psychology of Home: Why Where You Live Means So Much” by Julie Beck, “No one is ever free from their social or physical environment. And whether or not we are always aware of it, a home is a home because it blurs the line between the self and the surroundings, and challenges the line we try to draw between who we are and where we are.” With this in mind, why not take the necessary steps to make your home just how you want it? What you put into it, it will give back!

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