Feb 12, 2013

What's your style?

In order to be successful with using furnishings and materials that suit your home and life, you should know your personal design style. Why?  Let's use the example of going to buy a new car. When you walk onto a lot you're faced with cars in all sizes, colors, body shapes and with an array of functional options.  When you don't have an idea what you're looking for, frustration and confusion set in. If you opt for one that isn't right, unhappiness will pervade your life. For interiors that we don't change often, selecting the right products and styles, enriches your life, satisfies and grounds you, and reflects who you are. You will certainly save time, save money, and have a home that provides comfort, happiness, enjoyment, function, and pride. Here are some tips to guide you.  

1) Look at professionally designed rooms:  Buy magazines and clip out rooms you like. Go the your local bookstore and browse the home and design section.  Look for things that please you; the color of the room, the feel of the design, a specific light fixture or piece of furniture, the way the room looks overall. Is there something that grabs your attention? 

Cottage style. Casual and classic with, bead board, white hues, warm woods.
2) Visit furniture shops and walk through the room arrangements noting what you like.  You can ask questions of the sales representative or take brochures about the arrangements to help identify specific items.

3) Take a design style quiz.  These are more superficial but do guide you in overall style.  Putting a name to a style can often help you during shopping trips when you are able to ask for "a Neoclassic style lamp." Do back-up research on-line through blogs, furniture and design web sites, and image searches.

Traditional living room with antiques, rich hues, classic furnishings.
4) Attend design shows, lectures, and events.  Your local chapter of The American Society of Interior Designers often schedules lectures for the public. Is there a show house nearby? Are there Home & Garden shows you can attend? Visit them and take notes. 

5) Call a local designer and schedule a consultation. To really hone in on your style and get immediate design advice, sit down for an hour or two with a design professional. It will set you on the right path and give you peace of mind when you start your project.