Apr 15, 2013

What's your style?

Do you know your style?   To be successful in selecting the materials and items to be used in your interior decor, your should know what your personal design style is. 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 types and features.  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, being happy in your home is essential. Selecting the right products and styles, enriches your life, satisfies and grounds you, and reflects who you are. Knowing your style and working your spaces with elements of that style will save time, money, and give you rooms that are exactly what you want. Here are my 5 favorite ways to help you find your style:
Arts & Crafts is clean and warm.

1) Look at professionally designed rooms:  Buy magazines and clip out images of rooms you like. You can do the same from on-line sources. Go to a library or bookstore and browse the design section.  In each image, look for things that please you; the color of the room, a particular piece, the feel of the design, a specific light fixture or treatment, or even the way the room looks overall. 

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 through blogs, furniture, and design web sites

Traditional living room with antiques, rich hues, classic furnishings.
4) Attend local design shows, lectures, and events.  Your local chapter of ASID - The American Society of Interior Designers  - often schedules lectures and events 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.