Thursday, March 11, 2010

How to Find Your Style

How can you tell what your style is? Maybe you have a faint inkling, but you would really like to define your style more fully. And, can you have a preference for a style and not know it?
Here's an easy way to find out by simply going through what you already have, because the clues to your real style are everywhere!
Difficulty: Average
Time Required: 2-3 hours

Here's How:

  1. Look at the furniture you already own. Do you have something you cannot bear to part with such as a rickety chair, a table that has outlived its usefulness, or a nightstand that doesn't match anything. What makes you hold on to it? What made you buy it in the first place?
    Jot down the reasons as they come to you and don't revise too much.
  2. Walk around and note what you have on your walls. Old family photographs? Abstract art posters from the museum? The quilt that you made?
    The content, colors, and textures are saying a lot about what you really like. Note down what they suggest to you.
  3. As you take your walk around the house, look at your latest purchase. Is it along the lines of what you usually buy, or do you sense a departure? Something radically different could tell you that you are ready for a style makeover, and willing to venture into new territory. A single piece that is different from all the rest can also be telling you this.

    Take a good look at this piece if it is different. What do you like about it?
  4. As you walk around your home, do you like one room more than the others? Do you tend to spend more time here than in other rooms?
    Chances are you decorated this room in a style that speaks to you and puts you at ease. Look at the elements that make up this room, and see if you can repeat them.
  5. Do you notice a lot of repetition of a certain color, shape or texture? Do you see a lot of objects that are related?
    Sometimes you can build collections without really being aware that you are doing so and they are a clue to what you really care about.
    What if you have many collections and they are all different? You will still see a theme running through them. It could be a color, or shape, or something more subtle like texture, or a mood that these objects evoke.
  6. Make a note of your favorite store. Not just the one where you buy your furnishings, but where you buy other things, such as clothes. Where do you like to browse, where do you go when you want to window shop?
  7. Finally, think about where you like to go when you travel. What do you like to bring back from there? What if you could travel anywhere? Where would you go? What would you do there? What would you bring back? This can tell you a lot about what really excites you, and can help you in putting together a look for your house.
  8. Look through the stash of magazines. Don't dwell too long on anything, but tear out pictures that appeal to you.
  9. Go through your notes, and look through your pictures. You are bound to see certain descriptions and themes come up again and again. And that is what determines your real style.


  1. Your style is traditional if you see a preference for rich, dark wood finishes, and carved details. You may like fabrics such as chintz, jacquard, damask and brocade.
  2. Your style is modern if you prefer clean lines, little or no ornamentation, and a range of finishes. Leather and microfiber appeal to you more than damask and brocade.
  3. Your style is coastal if you like natural fibers and sea-themed prints, seashells, and finishes that are light, weathered or painted.
  4. If a homespun quality appeals to you, your style is country. You may prefer florals, checks, calicoes and stripes. You may also like mid-toned woods or painted finishes and vintage fabrics.
  5. An eclectic style will have elements from different cultures and eras. Strong patterns, colors, and textures dominate.

What You Need:

  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Travel and design magazines.
  • An open mind.
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