Decorating can seem like a daunting task when you don't have a vision for where you are going. Even experienced decorators can get discouraged when things don't seem to come together.
It isn't easy to name your style, especially in this day and age.....We are bombarded with so many images and ideas that it is easy to be confused about what it is that you really like. And most people are leaning towards being more ecclectic and taking on more than one style at a time. But how do you make things cohesive? How to you find what you are really drawn to?
If you Google "finding your decorating style," you'll see there are a ton of online quizzes claiming to be able to tell what your style is....but I think it is better to uncover it for yourself. Although it may help to guide you, a five question quiz can't really tell you what you should be purchasing for your home.
Discovering your decorating style is something that can take years and requires both thought and trial and error. I know that I am constantly influenced by other people and things that I see. There is a lot that I LIKE, but that doesn't mean that it fits into my style. So how do you separate your real style from everything that you like? I've put together some tips to help you with the process.
Get a box of colored pencils
Dump out a box of crayons or colored pencils and see what colors and combinations speak to you. With the variety of shades that come in a box, it is easy to see what colors you are drawn to, what colors you don't like, and which you enjoy seeing mixed together.
Collect your favorite decorative pieces from around your home and put them together. Gather fabrics, accessories, dishes....whatever you think is "you". What do you notice? When you are looking at just what you love, do you sense a style?
Are there things that you have multiples of? If you've purchased more than a couple of something, chances are that piece is a good indicator of your true style.
Which pieces would you have a hard time parting with (aside from sentimental reasons)? What do you see yourself still loving ten years from now?
What stores do you feel most comfortable in? Which are the ones where you'd buy everything if you could? I love looking through the Pottery Barn catalog (although I've never had the chance to visit their store). But I feel that their "look" is my look. I could live in any of the rooms pictured. You may even have noticed as you gathered your favorite things from around the house that a lot of them came from a specific store.
Or maybe it isn't a specific store, but a blog that you feel is totally you....one that you have to visit frequently because the posts speak to you and what you love. What do you connect with about that blogger's style?
Magazines are also a good place to "find yourself". They are fairly consistent in the style displayed on their pages. Are you a homey, simple-styled Country Living fan? Do you prefer Better Homes and Garden with their brighter, trendier look? Or are you a classy and elegant Traditional Home reader?
Look at Pinterest
For most of us, we don't have to be told to look at Pinterest. But when searching for your decorating style, it is really one of the best resources. Create a Pinterest board filled with things you truly love....not just things that you are pinning because you think you might like them. You may want to make this a secret board since you'll be pinning a lot to it. Go through the pictures you've pinned in the past and repin to this board. Go through other people's pins. Visit your favorite blogs and pin.
Then take a look at everything as a whole. What style are you really drawn to? Do you notice a pattern? Are you pinning things with a lot of color or do you prefer more neutrals? Pattern, plain or textured? Do you seem to be drawn to one decade of style over another? Is there a specific place (farm, France, beach) that speaks to you? It is so much easier to visualize your style when you can look at things you like all together.
Create a list of words that describe the feeling you want your house and style to have. Choose descriptive feeling words (like cozy, simple, sophisticated) as well as colors words (blue, neutral). Include phrases that you'd be excited to hear a guest say about your space. Does that list describe the things you've pinned or collected from your house?
And while you are at it, list words that describe what you know you don't like. Sometimes it is easier to figure out what you want in your house when you consider what it is you don't want to see. Knowing what you aren't looking for keeps you from being tempted to stray unnecessarily from your style.
Decorating now is a lot of mixing and matching, which makes it nice if you find that you are drawn to a few different styles. Take a traditional couch, pair it with a distressed coffee table, and add a few brightly colored, trendy pillows. You don't want your style to look like you went to Target and bought every piece of the Nate Berkus line that was available. What you want is your space and home to look like you. You want your style to be authentic.....a collection of treasures that have caught your eye and your heart.
And don't forget that you need to experiment with what you love. Sometimes things you think will look amazing together end up looking horrible....But other times you pair two things that don't seem like they would coordinate and end up with a fantastic display! It is okay to make mistakes on the road to discovery.
It has taken me quite awhile to really get a grip on what my style is, but now that I have, I'm finding it so much easier to purchase items and come up with projects to create. I even notice that what I'm pinning seems to be more focused and coordinate together. These are the steps that I took to discover my style, and my hope is that they will help you as well!
Happy discovering!! I'd love for you to share what your style is and whether or not this post helped you!