How to Determine Your Decorating Style
It goes without saying, we do alot of designing for our clients. Whether it be designing an event for them, or assisting them with home'(s) interior design. It’s an easy process for us to determine our clients’ style within a few minutes of our first meeting… but we do this for a living!
So to help you “see” what we see, we’ve included some room designs from some fabulous designers in this article for inspiration and to also help you determine your home decorating style(s) and combine them into one home “look”.
Don’t despair if you are can’t nail down your specific home decorating style. It may differ greatly from your personal style! You might be a super stylized high fashion “dresser” but your might LOVE to be surrounded by Antiques at home. The more design ideas and style you have, the better, you will never get bored with your surroundings that way! Our job as designers (and event planners) is to help streamline your ideas and styles into one cohesive design in your home, wedding event design, or even attire. You don’t have to be matchy-matchy for things to “work”.
There are so many choices and directions to take! And if you are like us, depending on your mood on any given day, your feelings about your style could change too. We are here to help so you don’t have half-finished design projects floating around your home trying to decide which look is best.
Here’s where to start: Think about what type of images speak to you, try not to think about it too much. We’ll walk you through it along the way through this article.
Let’s start with your own personal style to get you warmed up.
Think about who you both are before you start:
As a designer, wedding and event planner, I’ll tell you a little secret. As soon as we meet you, we are sizing you up to determine your style. Using this couple as an example, I’d say their combined style is Traditional & Contemporary at the same time.
So we would need to do a little “bridging” of the 2 styles… which is easy!
Urban Chic for the Bride, Urban Traditional for the Groom.
We are already “bridged” as they both have a good base in the Urban Contemporary area. So the accents in their design elements would be a base of Urban, add some traditional notes for the Groom and some Edge in the Design for the Bride….. Easy!
Below is a totally different look, leaning more towards the Traditional, but also bridges the Styles as well.
If you have read our Bridesmaid Dress Color articles, you’ll know how we can break this down and make it easier for you too. We’ll start here to introduce the “styles” and then we’ll come up with Segments dedicated to each “style” to help explain it further. If you are just learning about design, you know there is many subtle differences to the various style descriptions.
One would think – Oh! Decorating is so fun! I can’t wait to set up my new house! And YES! it is, but then the reality sets in and it can become overwhelming. There is a lot to think about (and sometimes agonize over!) We understand how it could be stressful from time to time especially as you don’t want to disappoint your partner if you are taking the decorating job on for the both of you.
We won’t let you down!
We are here to help you! So check back frequently and we’ll keep writing about the individual styles to help compartmentalize the process for you. It will be easy once you determine your style(s).
Okay – here we go! We’ll help you with this little exercise below. Grab a pen and paper. Note as you look at the images which appeal to you with the note of “what kind” of design/style is projected in the room. You will probably have conflicting information as you write your notes, but don’t worry!
It’s fun to have more than 1 just blah “style” (like soley traditional for example) You could be Traditional-Vintage, or Urban-Eclectic, etc. That’s what will give your Home decor YOUR style notes and energy. And the most important thing at the end of this process is, you will have a direction, and you both will be sure to be comfortable in your new shared living space!
Do you like bright colors? What does your partner like?
Clean lines? Flat Colors?
How about Color? ….Muted?… Bright? ….Monotone?
or do you like alot of colors mixed all together?
How about a pop of color?
And what setting do you feel more comfortable in?
Rural/Country Setting? …..or a combination of the two?
Generally decorating styles are broken into 2 categories first:
Traditional (above) and…Contemporary (below). If you had to pick 1 – which would you lean towards more?
*keep taking notes!
What are your interests?
Do you like skiing, hiking, race cars, horseback riding, dining, wine tasting, travelling, sports, or are you just the kind of stay at home couple? (this will help with the “feel” you are trying to create for both of you in your room)
For example, if you like to travel, you might classify yourselves together as Adventurous types and include some “travel” themed items in your decor. As illustrated in the image above, you might want to incorporate some of your shared personal interests into the room decor.
or do you have alot of chochkies scattered about?
What setting do you feel most comfortable in? (and yes, we ask the same questions again:)
Country? Lots of light?
Rustic/Country? Dark, Warmer feel?
Now….taking it a bit further from this point… keep taking notes!
How would you describe your home style? (if you are more than 1 that is okay! for example: Elegant – Explorer-type?)
Now if you have been taking notes on the side while reading this article, you should have some ideas about yourself and your style by this point.
Still need a little help?
To confirm what you have determined from the above, there are 3 quick quizzes to take online (they take about 2 minutes and are fun). They are all similar, but take them all to see if you end up with the same style answer.
Click here to follow the link to the Better Home and Gardens quiz
Click here to follow the Real Simple quiz
and this is our favorite: Click here to take the Ethan Allen quiz.
Whatever your style is, remember you are decorating as a couple now and to bridge your 2 styles together.
You want to both feel comfortable in your space.
For example, if you have determined your style is Traditional Romantic Vintage and your are most comfortable in a country setting….BUT your fiance’ is from the city and likes clean lines and a modern approach to decorating… then you have a little work to do to bridge your 2 styles so you BOTH feel comfortable in your new home together.
For more information click here for our article on how to get started on bridging your 2 decorating styles together.
Next Article: Breaking down each Style Category!
Traditional, Contemporary, Urban, Country, Elegant, etc.
Article: Lisa Sammons – Owner/Principal Planner & Lead Designer – Lisa Sammons Events/Contributor & Features Editor: Style, Inpsiration, & Design
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