I’ll be the first to admit decorating can be hard. You spend countless hours browsing Pinterest for ideas and shopping online to source the perfect furniture, hoping it all comes together. Not to mention the expense that comes along with decorating a home! The thought of making a—dare I even say it—costly purchase mistake is enough to make one stop decorating all together. Girl, I hear you.
I struggled myself for a few years as I hopped from one style to the next with each new apartment, never settling on just one style that felt like me. So when I moved into our first house I was determined to get it right this time. I finally took the time upfront to find my signature style and created an entire plan before I started decorating. What a game changer!
Knowing your signature decorating style gives you clear direction and an action plan so you feel confident when picking out a couch (and no longer debate between a lucite or a tufted coffee table). Here are five steps to help you uncover your signature style and un-complicate the decorating process. And I’ve created a workbook for you to fill out as we go through the five steps! Download your free workbook, grab a pen, and get ready to find your decorating style!
1. How do you want your home to feel?
Source: Lauren Konrad
It sounds strange, but how you want your home to feel plays a big role in the designs you choose. For example, if you want a calming and relaxing room, you probably wouldn’t paint the walls bright red. Fill out the mad lib exercise below to describe how you want your home to feel.
- I want to feel ________________ when I walk into my home after a long day. (Example: I want to feel relaxed/sophisticated/calm when I walk into my home.)
- My ideal weekend at home would look like ________________. (Brunch followed by an afternoon of reading and hosting a game night with friends in the evening.)
- I want my home to feel ____________ and combine styles that look _______________. (I want my home to feel clean/cozy/bright and combine styles that look beach-y/put-together/laid-back.)
- I want a home that makes me feel ____________, _______________, and _______________. (I want a home that makes me feel comfortable, stylish, and modern.)
2. What items do you currently have and love?
Source: FrenchByDesign for Domino
Start by recognizing the items in your home you love and ask yourself: Why do I love this piece? It can be anything from furniture to decor to rugs. When I first did this exercise, it was the color blue throughout our home, our coffee table, and a blue tufted chair. Walk around your home and fill out your workbook with the things you see that make you happy.
3. Start a Pinterest board.
Source: Tracey Ayton for Style at Home
I’m giving you permission to spend an hour on Pinterest just perusing. Make a Pinterest board and pin at least 20 home images you absolutely love. You should only pin images of spaces where you would truly want to live. There’s a difference between liking a style and liking it enough to want to live in the space. It’s super helpful to pull inspiration and get an idea of what you’re drawn to.
4. Identify your style elements.
Source: Helynn Ospina for Homepolish
Looking at your pins and the current items you love from step 2, you should start to see a few common themes emerge. These are your style elements! You can use your answers from step 1 to make sure your elements align with the feelings you imagine for your home. Looking at my Pinterest board, it’s clear that light walls, neutrals, pops of blue, jute, and warm rustic wood are my style elements.
When decorating, incorporate these style elements to achieve a home that reflects the style you love.
5. Name your style.
Source: A Beautiful Mess
You’ve just uncovered your signature style! Give your style a name and refer to it as you’re decorating your home. I named my style “modern rustic cottage” because I like rustic cottage elements combined with modern design. You can use words like traditional, modern, eclectic, mid-century modern, colorful, rustic, casual, sophisticated, etc. to name your style.
Putting in a little extra time up front to uncover your true signature style will save you time and money in the end as you decorate.