In my last blog post I talked about how your closet and your sense of style in fashion can help you determine your Interior Decorating Signature Design Style. Today we’re going to take a look at some various styles of Decor and I’ll be giving you some guidance for finding YOUR signature style at home.
What is your Starting Point?
Very rarely do I meet a client who is looking to start from Ground Zero. You already own SOMETHING (or more than one thing) that’s going to be incorporated in to your new decorating plan. So what is it? Do you love it? Are you happy it will be staying? What style do you feel it is? Does that work with where you’re wanting your decor to go? Can it be updated if necessary? Does it have to stay no matter what, or can it be relocated within your home?
Which of these Design Styles Inspire You Most?
Rooms can evoke a feeling just by seeing a photograph. By paying attention to which photos you find feel “right” to you, you can start to pinpoint where you’d like your decorating to take you. It’s perfectly fine to mix & match Design Styles – in several of the examples below you’ll see that sometimes one style blends in to the next.
Design Style: Transitional
The Transitional Design Style features symmetry, clean lines, and very little clutter. It is an “updated” version of the Traditional Style, and has a more contemporary feel to it. Edges of soft furnishings tend to be slightly rounded, and even though it feels simple, Transitional Design has a sophisticated-ness to it.
Design Style: Traditional
What defines the Traditional Design Style? It’s usually cozy and calming. The furnishings are sturdy and well-crafted. Often the woodwork is intricate, like Queen Anne or Cabriolet Legs, millwork within the room, and an easy elegance to the space.
Design Style: Arts & Crafts
The clean lines and plenty of woodwork make the Arts & Crafts Design Style distinct. In the photo above, a Morris Chair (originally designed by William Morris) is the perfect example. Plenty of wood, exposed joinery, and organic curves are signatures of this style. Frank Lloyd Wright and Gustav Stickley were other well-known Arts & Crafts designers.
Design Style: Coastal
The Coastal Design Style features plenty of whitewashed wood, soft blues, driftwood tones, and beachy accessories. You’ll also find shiplap walls! Unless you’re decorating an actual beach house, stay away from overdoing this with the accessories – you can still get the look and feel without going “overboard”.
Design Style: Mid-Century Modern
When I think MCM, I think Brady Bunch. The Parent Trap. Bewitched. Furnishings and Decor from the mid-1900’s brought in this era of clean silhouettes and natural colors like Harvest Gold, Avocado Green, Oranges, and Browns. Don’t create a museum to the past with this decor style, unless you are truly blessed enough to own a true Mid-Century-Modern home, and even then, mix it up with some more contemporary pieces.
Design Style: Contemporary
Sleek lines. Reflective surfaces. Hidden Lighting. Lots of black, gray, and white. These are classic elements of the Contemporary Design Style. It has it’s own level of sophistication and is more often seen in a Bachelor Pad than a home with children. Not to say you can’t… but trust me, you’ll enjoy it more if you wait to go all-in on this one.
Design Style: French Country
Ornate carvings. Turned furniture legs. Toile fabrics. Roosters. Pitchers full of flowers, especially Hydrangeas. If those are your signature pieces, then your signature design style may very well be French Country. I have a personal obsession with it, but it is a style that is built over time if you want to pull it off to perfection.
Design Style: Farmhouse / Rustic
Another personal favorite of mine is the Farmhouse Design Style. Rustic woods. Wire baskets. Painted furniture missing most of it’s paint. Ticking stripes. Farmhouse sinks. Barn doors. Mason Jars. Think Joanna Gaines from Fixer Upper, as it’s a mainstay of her signature style.
Design Style: Industrial
What is it about the Industrial Design Style? I used to not care for it, but over the years it’s grown on me. The exposed brick, the rusty lights that belong in a 1940’s factory and not over the dining table… are perfectly acceptable! No makeover required! It’s all about opening up the walls and the ceilings to expose those building elements you would usually cover up. Think loft apartments that are being created from old warehouses. And it’s a close cousin to the farmhouse style when you look at some of the details, making those two design styles very easy to mix together.
Design Style: Shabby Chic / Cottage
I’ve grouped these two together, although they are very similar they can also be very different. Look for lots of soft fabrics that mix well more than match. Distressed furnishings. Flowers, candles, and soft lighting. Ruffles and skirts on furnishings. And if it’s more Shabby style, expect lots of pink, white, and perhaps lavender.
You Can’t Choose Just One, Can You?
Neither can I! Which is why you’re working to develop your OWN signature style. By pulling together elements from your current furnishings with new things that inspire you, in time you will have developed your OWN signature Design Style that is uniquely you, and no one else.
Q&A: My Signature Design Style
Here are a few questions to think about as you start pinpointing what you feel your Signature Design Style might be:
- If you could only shop ONE store, what would it be? Why?
- In what style is your home currently decorated?
- What style of HOUSE do you live in?
- Find an inspiration photo of your dream room. What is the first thing about that photo that draws your attention?
- What do you see as a common theme within your closet? Is that who you really are?
- Have you created a Pinterest Board? Do you see a common theme in the photos you’re adding to it?
Still Not Sure?
That’s what I’m here for – to HELP YOU blend your current collection of furnishings and accessories into a cohesive decorating plan that blends who you are and how you want to express yourself. I specialize in Traditional – French Country – Farmhouse – Cottage styles and blending those together seamlessly.
Be sure to subscribe to future posts via Facebook or the Newsletter! Next blog: Part 3 – Finding Your Signature Color Scheme…