Designing your dream home is absolutely wonderful but can be pretty challenging. You know you’ve got an eye for design but the tough question to tackle is; which specific design style will define you forever and perfectly incorporate your personality into your home?
Articulating your design style is essential when creating a home that truly reflects it. Here is a fun and useful exercise to help you determine where to begin.
1. Take a tour of your home at its present state and make an honest love/hate list. See what pulls you, what talks to you and what you wish you could replace.
2. Identify items and places you love and cherish. Start by making a collection of clothing, accessories and knickknacks you adore that make your world feel beautiful and blissful. Then, think about the places you find irresistible and define why you’re so attracted to them. This will move you beyond the confines of your lifestyle and budget and into a new realm of creativity.
3. Look through magazines and see which pictures most jibe with you. You may find that a number of styles appeal to you so keep an eye out for features that especially pull you. This will help you translate your taste correctly.
Once you have your collection gathered look for common styles, vibes, materials, colors and shapes among the things you treasure. Choose your favorite items and zero in on your taste and style preferences.
Study the items you’ve chosen and see which category you best fit.
A. Classic Formal: If your drawn to timeless pieces, upholstered seating, beautiful rugs, elegant clothing and old world places your style is definitely classic and formal. You need a home that offers an elegant blend of refined traditional furniture, intricate accessories, light hues and antique elements. This look will evoke the feeling of a more formal lifestyle- think Jacqueline Kennedy, Grace Kelly or Vancleef & Arpels.
Tips: Use medium to dark woods with a polished finish and vertical lines in accessories (tall candles, mirrors) to add height to a room. Brass and crystal accents on light fixtures and dressmaker details, such as tassels and tapestry add authentic elegance.
B. Vintage Liberal: You go for history, passion, quirks, and bold statements. If your collection features flea-market finds, furniture designs from various time periods, ornate decanters, and a diverse collection of unique accessories and artwork appeals to you this is your style. Use dusty colors, handmade fabrics, and objects and souvenirs you’ve collected, that have meaning to you, to create the vintage, lived-in feel.
Tips: Browse antique markets and estate sales to create a genuine experience and acquire valuable pieces at affordable prices. Meaningful accessories are necessary to achieve this style but be careful to avoid cluttering by over accessorizing.
C. Modern Contemporary: You’re attracted to color, contrast, and clean, sleek lines- imagine a downtown loft. Use simple furniture forms that balance out bold accents and patterns. Employ neutral colors for large spaces highlighted by sparse brave colors. Keep your rooms open and airy. Visit the Museum of Modern Art or browse images of designs by the world famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright for a real education.
Tips: Modern design does not have to translate into stark, cold and sterile. Use smooth clean surfaces combined with simple asymmetrical design to add interest. Today’s updated contemporary look is a blend of comfortable, livable elements that create a sophisticated, fresh and luxurious feel.
With all the décor available today it’s hard to define what style you love most. The above exercise is fun and will help you determine your taste. Know that it’s perfectly okay to mix styles in your home as long as each room is defined and the design flows. Most importantly use this time to get to know yourself and have FUN!
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