We spend the majority of our lives at home - especially in quarantine. But decorating can be a challenge for anyone. What is my personal home decor style? And how do I bring it into my space? Save yourself a very expensive meeting with an interior designer and find your style with the four steps that I used to decorate my studio apartment in 2017, and redecorate this past month. They're that timeless! Oh, and it costs you $0.
Before we begin, personal style is not defined by a magazine or influencer Instagram grid. You don't have to match anyone, and no one else needs to like it. What you like is amazing already! So time to banish every negative thought you've had about your home not looking like an Architectural Digest spread and open your mind to creating a space that is unique to you!
1. Find Your Enthusiasms
You know what you like, so it's time to pin everything that catches your eye. Pinterest is a great application for this, as well as cutting out pictures from Home & Garden or simply scrolling through West Elm and taking screenshots. The more you expose yourself to different styles, the quicker you'll find your personal decor. For me, I like to type 'dining room' into Pinterest and then pin everything that I like. Even if it's just the console table in the photo. I save those pins in boards according to rooms of the house (do not try to label the decor style for this exercise) and when I'm redecorating I have a place to go for room-specific ideas.
2. Narrow the Common Denominators
Now that you've found everything you like - that wooden end table, a statement wall - it's time to condense your likes into categories. What common denominators are in your choices? Are circular mirrors a theme? Is there a lot of industrial piping? Are you looking at a sea of blue tones? These similarities are your style, what you are most drawn to. Try to find 7-10 themes that really resonate with you - even if it's just "all cream". This is your style, there is no wrong way.
Some themes from my own personal home decor journey were "Scandinavian" "neutrals" "one big statement piece" "cozy/hygge" "minimalist" and "gallery wall".
3. Research Style Types
Okay, so we have our 7-10 themes. Congratulations - you're over halfway to discovering your personal home decor style. We're over the hump! Split up your themes and identify the style they typically belong to. Some common styles are:
If you are using a website like Pinterest to identify your style, often the pins will have links or descriptions that can make this identification easier. You can also reverse image search on Google to find similar items. Identifying these common themes will help as you begin decor shopping, as you now know that you like French Country couches, and that's a super easy online search or filter for a furniture website.
For something like "gallery wall", look closer at the individual options and find a bigger similarity. Are they all white framed? Or are they more antique frames? The details are where you'll find the style category.
So you now know what you like and what it's called. Now what? It's time to get creative! Everyone's style is unique to them, and while you may be very Shabby Chic, you might have touches of Contemporary in your style. Part of this exercise is just realizing where your interests lay so you can better search for items for your home.
Your style is also continually changing, especially when you move into a new space. For years you could be a Mid-Century Modern decorator with a hint of Rustic, but when you move into an extremely modern home, you could ditch the Rustic and add more Coastal vibes. By identifying your style now, you will have the tools to adapt when the time comes so that your space always feels special to you.
What is your style?