Americans spend countless hours and dollars developing their personal style and wardrobe. I’m often asked if there’s a secret to blending your personal style with your home decor. Well… I don’t think there’s anything secret about it!
Two Parts to Personal Style
Here in Part One, I’ll share with you my favorite tips for transferring your personal style to your home. Then next week in Part Two, we’ll get into merging styles, designing limits and enduring design.
Three Tips for Establishing Your Style
- Start with the basics. Your first investments should be the pieces you’ll use most, especially a sofa, dining table and bed. Consider your favorite piece of clothing when investing in this piece. The style of your jeans is a great way to decide upon a sofa. Crisp, tailored jeans? Go for a clean-lined sofa. If your jeans are slouchier or baggy, you’d probably appreciate an oversized comfy couch most. Invest in one or two of these key items and then build your style around them.
- Add some warmth. Select rich fabrics to add warmth and signature style to your living space. Eclectic types may prefer unconventional fabric wallcoverings, while those that love to change with the trends can look to accent pillows to quickly modify a room’s look.
- Finish with details. Like an outfit, your style isn’t complete without the right accessories. Choose unique side tables or elegant vases to provide a touch that’s uniquely yours. If your red pumps are your favorite accessory, consider a small piece of art or furniture that mimics the bold red statement. Prefer diamond earrings? A crystal vase or sparkly chandelier could be the perfect finishing touch. Keep in mind the three “F”s of establishing style: fabrics, furnishings and finishing touches.
Ask the Right Questions
Consider these questions before investing in the pieces that will define your home.
- What aesthetic do I want to achieve? Comfy? Luxurious? Chic?
- What colors am I drawn to? Calming colors like blues and greens or warm tones like browns and reds?
Avoiding Cookie-Cutter Style
You would never buy all of your clothes at just one store – half the fun is mixing and matching to find just the right combination. The same should be true for your home. Avoid purchasing sets of furniture or complete lines by the same company or designer.
Instead, shop at stores that have a variety of styles and items. Also, take a moment to reflect on your personality. Assess whether you’d like to bring out your wild side, showcase your interest in eras past, or keep things clean and simple. Purchase pieces whenever they strike you – they don’t need to match or be of the same line. This way your style – and not a designer’s whom you’ve never met – will show through.
I love to challenge my clients to look beyond the obvious to find inspiration for their homes. Consider sights, scents and textures from recent travels. Flip through magazines and tear out pages that speak to you.
It could be a picture of a landscape, a portrait, or even a very funky advertisement. Look at your favorite articles of clothing. Is your little black dress worn most often? Select sleek pieces that invoke an Audrey Hepburn ambiance.
Use your regional surroundings to bring out your home’s style. On the west coast you can incorporate the look and feel of a California bungalow. Homes in the south can take on the sweeping grandeur of plantation-style homes.
Coming Up: Merging, Limits and Enduring Design
Now that we’ve covered the basics of personal style, we’ll take a look at merging style, designing with limits and creating enduring design in Part Two next week.