I get a little nervous whenever someone asks me what my decorating style is. Not because I’m afraid I’ll answer wrong – there IS no such thing as a wrong answer since it’s personal – but rather because I don’t think that my style fits into just one predefined category. Traditional? Shabby Chic? Transitional? Can I choose All of the Above, or better yet, how about I define my own style!
I decorate with the philosophy that it doesn’t matter what you call your decorating style, so long as you know how to identify it. And let’s be honest, no one really perfectly fits into the standard decorating styles. Two rooms both defined as “Traditional” can have very different looks depending on each owner’s interpretation and personal taste. Instead of using traditional terms, I prefer to make up my own decorating style that I feel are a better reflection of me.
Defining your style starts with knowing the basics and then sprinkling in your own personality for a design recipe that is all YOU!
5 DECORATING TIPS You Should Know!
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Here are three easy steps for defining your decorating style.
Step 1: Know the Basics
As a first step, it’s helpful to know and understand the general decorating styles, which act as a universal language and give others an idea as to what your decorating style. This is a particularly important step if you have no idea what your style is and want to look for inspiration. One look online and you’ll realize that the number of decorating options and ideas is overwhelming! It can be a daunting task to look through tons of images, so it’s helpful to filter them a bit by style.
One of my favorite resources for learning various styles is Houzz.com’s “So Your Style Is” series. Each article is dedicated to a different style with lots of information and pictures so that you can narrow down which general category appeals to you!
Step 2: Get Comfortable with Combinations
Defining your style as “Eclectic” might be true for some, but just because you mix and match styles doesn’t necessarily mean that your style is Eclectic. You might be Traditional with a touch of Vintage. Or maybe Farmhouse with a dash of Glam. In many cases, one particular style will appeal to you the most, but you might like parts of others as well, so don’t be afraid to mix and match to make your own combinations!
Step 3: Add a Feeling
To me, decorating your home shouldn’t just be about a look, but should also encompass a feel. Everyone wants to have their home reflect a certain feeling and the furnishings and accessories that you choose help create that overall feel. That being said, don’t shy away from including a feeling in your style definition! For example, you might like the look of Relaxed Traditional, or maybe Cozy Cottage, or even Warm Modern.
I call my personal decorating style Casual Elegance. It’s a little bit Traditional, mixed with European vintage and Industrial Chic to create an elegant space with a “lived in” look. I love to sprinkle in a little bit of the old with the new. To me, vintage pieces have a beauty of their own with their time-worn appearance and silent stories of years gone by. I tend to layer more textures than colors and also like to mix high-end pieces with discount or bargain items, which to me, is both practical and affordable!
How do you define your decorating style?
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Love this post! I always have the hardest time with this and dread being asked to define my style. I will have to check out that “So your style is” feature on Houzz – haven’t seen that before!
How about this:
Relaxed Traditional with a huge, authentic mid-century Cado wall unit filled with vintage Provençal pottery, a touch of chinoiserie and a clutter of well-loved vintage – all ending up looking like a cozy English cottage.
This is great information because I always wonder what my style would be called by a designer. I am looking forward to reading the Houzz piece for some tips. I’d say I consider it English Country, with a bit of French for good measure!
Hey Karen! English Country is one of my favs, especially when you add in a bit of French for good measure! :) The Houzz articles on style are fun to read and will give you a foundation from which to build your custom style. Enjoy!
I’m a new follower and blogger. I appreciate the simplicity of the definitions you provide and the examples you share are more than just inspirational! I describe my decorating style as Simply RED (Rustic-Elegant Décor)…with a French Country twist and I look forward to ‘staying in the know’ as I follow you!
Hi Vickie! Thank you so much for being a new follower! I absolutely love that you have an acronym for your decorating style and Rustic Elegant Decor (RED) sounds gorgeous. :) Have a wonderful week!
I define our home style as French Farmhouse. We are rustic (we live in a stacked log home-not rustic round logs) but refined in our remodeling with nicer finishes. I use black accents, oil rubbed bronze hardware and am adding reds to the mix with fabric and one wall. I’m almost at the stage of decorating by way of unpacking boxes from our year ago move. It’s gonna be like Christmas! :) Love your blog, by the way!
Hi Amber – Your home sounds beautiful! Unpacking boxes when you’ve forgotten what’s in them really is like Christmas, isn’t it?! Have fun unpacking and arranging everything and thank you so much for your kind comments! :) Kim
I’ve actually been working on a design style post. Our “Irishman Acres” style is called Nature-y Tribal Farmhouse. Weird , huh? But if you took my House Tour on my blog, I bet you would agree that this style name fits us perfectly! :) ~ Kim
Hi Kim – I took your home tour and Nature-y Tribal Farmhouse is a great description for your style! You have so many wonderful finds in your home – beautiful! And congrats on your Liebster Award Nomination!!!
Very thought provoking post. I’ve often wondered how my style is defined. Thanks for including the link to Houzz, it was nice to have the styles defined with examples. I would say I’m currently, Transitional with a dash of Modern. I refer to your blog often, you provide both inspiration and encouragement. :)
Great post, and very informative.
I’m so glad you liked it, Marty! You have such a beautiful taste, I’m curious to know what you call your decorating style?