STYLE: DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR INTERIOR STYLE IS? THIS IS HOW I FOUND MINE
It's a question I've had to ask myself a lot over the last year, really since I started the blog and my interior design course - what exactly IS my interior style?
Modern, Classic, Scandi, Rustic, the list of "categories" goes on and before now I have felt so overwhelmed and confused by what sort of interior style my tastes fall into that it's been utterly head doing.
So why bother?
Whether you simply want to decorate a room, choose a piece of artwork, go shopping for some home accessories or like me are taking a professional view point - it's great to have a good defined idea of what your style is and work out what you really love. You can then use this as an ongoing reference to keep you focused and on track. It will save you from impulse buys, having a mish mash of stuff and encourage you to create your own unique style with confidence. There is a slight contradiction here though, although it's cool to zone into a particular style which can help you if you feel overly confused, I think it's important to also embrace creating your own unique look within all of that - if you think you gravitate towards a country style but fall in love with an art deco chair, be clever about how you can slot it in, it's totally ok to have two or three styles that you love, just think about how you can arrange those pieces and looks to create an eclectic but cohesive look - the main thing is that your home represents you and your taste!
Defining your style makes buying bits for your home a lot easier and helps to create a unified and consistent look which makes for a lovely environment to live in.
It's also a lot of fun and can lead to the discovery of styles, colours and effects you may not have explored before...
Thankfully I have made use of some great tools and I am going to share these with you now - because articulating what your style is can be a real challenge. Once you've delved into all of this and explored your personality, it will give you confidence in your own style and help you make the most of your own unique look which feels good!
This is a two step process - the first is all about using your instinct and creativity to see what sorts of colours, textures and looks you are naturally drawn to using a style board. The second is to use Pinterest to help you describe your style, this might be something like Mid Century Modern with a touch of Boho etc.
Create your own Style Board
This "what is my style" question really came to the forefront when I had to start work on my first Interior Design coursework submission. Before then I had just spent my time bumbling along, not really knowing what to buy and which paint colours to choose, I hadn't been aware of what my style was at all. This project though was all about defining what looks you love and what really represents you as a person. As a result I had to present my own personal style mood board which illustrated my interior style.
All you need to create your style board is: a large piece of card, magazines of all sorts, old photos, paint charts and maybe some fabric swatches you have gathered. Whilst collecting and selecting these to add onto your own style mood board think about:
What you loved about your childhood home - I am incredibly nostalgic and this is my mum above in one of my houses as a kid - I love the piped curtain tie backs and contemporary chair.
Your favourite colours - I think being born in the Summer I'm always drawn to light, airy spaces and soft muted tones.
The kind of sofa you can imagine chilling out on - for me something quite contemporary but ridiculously comfortable upholstered in rich velvet.
Travel tales and favourite places - I love rural France and rustic accessories
The clothes you wear - for me, stripes and frills are always on show in one way or another.
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO ACTUALLY LIVE WITH?
Answering these sorts of questions will help make sifting through and whittling down images and magazine cutouts a lot easier and more personal to you.
Lay your favourite cutouts on the card, arrange them nicely and then stick down. This is a visual reference point you can take a photo of and keep on your phone to have handy at all times. You can do it for your style as a whole or for individual rooms you might be planning to decorate.
Here is what I came up with for my Design course...
I guess this is a sort of Rustic, Period, Arty, Warm sort of style...I'm still needing a little work on the right words to describe this and so the second tool I have drawn upon is this...
Describe your signature style using Pinterest
After reading a brilliant blog post on the Swoon Worthy Blog a couple of weeks ago all about how you can define your look from using Pinterest, I thought I would give it a go.
This is a sort of digital progression of the first stage and allows you to create descriptive words which you can use to illustrate your look.
Kimberley over at Swoon Worthy teaches you some really good techniques on how to use Pinterest to help you truly work out what your unique style is and I highly recommend reading this HERE. In a nutshell it's about pinning interior styles you like over a period of time, studying the patterns and common looks that run through your pins and then describing these with three buzz words. Using your buzz words as search terms when shopping your style is the end result. I'm still working on my Pinterest board and working on my buzz words to give my style a label; so far I've come up with Granny Chic with modern accents - it feels fantastic to have finally realised what my style personality is - I'm now re-decorating my living room using my style board and buzz words as a reference which is making the whole experience so much more effective, focused and enjoyable.
So there we have it, a couple of ways in which you can start to define your style. It really is a hugely helpful process and one that I recommend anyone do if you love interior design and want to nail your unique look for the year ahead.
Have you ever had a hard time defining your style? Or have you always been able to label your look easily? I would love to hear from you and help you with any queries!
Images by House Beautiful, Soho House Berlin and Pinterest.