Examine How You Want to Feel in Your Space
Think about the atmosphere you want to create in each room. Do you want your bedroom to feel tranquil and relaxed? Your office to be crisp and focused? Make a list of adjectives for each space – peaceful, cozy, bright, minimalist, etc. This will give you design guidance.
Analyze Your Current Aesthetic Preferences
Look around your home and take notes on what you’re naturally drawn to. Are most of your decor items vintage? Modern? Colourful? Neutral? Pay attention to patterns and textures you love too. This can help pinpoint your style.
Consider Your Lifestyle and Needs
Your decor style should support how you want to live in your home. If you love to entertain, lean into pieces that are durable and family-friendly. If you work from home, prioritize function and ergonomics. Let your routines inform your style.
Find Inspiration From Design You’re Drawn To
Make a mood board with pictures of rooms, furniture and accessories you love. Notice any common themes that emerge – colour palettes, materials, silhouettes. This can help characterize your style.
Don’t Feel Limited to One Decor Style
It’s okay to have a different style in each space. Your overall home decor will still feel cohesive if you use common design elements like colour schemes, textures and flooring to tie spaces together.
Mix Old and New Pieces
Don’t feel like you have to overhaul everything at once. Blend new purchases with older cherished items. This creates depth and story in your decor over time.
Add Your Personality
Incorporate meaningful pieces with personal history. Display family photos, your children’s artwork, souvenirs from travels. This personal layer makes a house feel like home.
Define Decor Style Descriptors
Use specific terms like “Scandinavian” or “Mid-Century Modern” to summarize and articulate your style. This will focus your shopping and design plans.
Consult With a Designer
If you’re struggling to define your decor style, consider working with an interior designer. They can assess your preferences, lifestyle and spaces to suggest a tailored style direction.
Embrace Evolving Style
Your tastes will likely change over time. Redecorate periodically to refresh your space and realign it with your evolving style. A home should grow with you.
Defining your decorating style takes reflection but is worth the effort. When your home truly reflects your spirit and personality, it becomes a sanctuary you look forward to spending time in. Don’t be afraid to take some time to find your style so you can decorate with confidence.
How to Discover Your Decorating Style
Determining your personal decorating style is an important step in creating a home you’ll love. Here are some effective methods to reveal your style:
Take Style Quizzes
Many magazines and websites offer decor style quizzes. Answer a series of questions about your aesthetic preferences to get style category suggestions. This can provide a helpful starting point.
Analyze Art and Fashion Choices
Your taste in art, clothing and accessories offers clues about your style sensibilities. Are you drawn to sleek silhouettes or intricate details? Neutrals or vibrant hues? Modern or traditional? Identify patterns.
Study Design You’re Attracted To
When you come across a room you’re captivated by, save the picture. After you have a collection, analyze what they have in common – color schemes, materials, eras, etc. This reveals inclinations.
Understand Historical Styles
Research key furniture styles over time like Queen Anne, Art Deco, and Mid-Century Modern. Learning the hallmarks of each provides vocabulary to describe preferences.
Think About Adjectives
Make a list of adjectives that characterize your ideal space like cozy, elegant, edgy, minimalist or traditional. The words you choose offer style guidance.
Consider Your Lifestyle
Your decor style should support how you live. If you have kids, seek durable, washable fabrics. If you work from home prioritize an efficient, comfortable workspace.
Inventory Your Existing Pieces
Analyze what you already own. Are most of your furnishings vintage? Modern? Colorful? Eclectic? Identify patterns to characterize your current style.
Schedule time with interior designers. They’ll discuss your preferences and suggest appropriate styles to complement your spaces and lifestyle.
Remain Open Minded
Don’t pigeon-hole yourself into one strict style. Stay open to evolving your aesthetic over time. Focus on finding pieces you genuinely love.
Taking a purposeful approach helps uncover your innate decorating style. With some self-reflection, you’ll gain clarity about the look that makes you feel most at home.
How Your Style Should Influence Decor
Your personal style should inform every decorating decision for a home that truly reflects who you are. Here are some key ways style should guide your choices:
Direct Furniture Selection
Every piece you choose – sofas, beds, shelves, tables – should align with your style. For example, a mid-century modern fan will select clean-lined retro silhouettes.
Influence Color Palettes
Base your whole-home color scheme off your style aesthetic. A modern minimalist would likely use a neutral, black and white palette. Someone with bohemian sensibilities may go for rich, saturated hues.
Materials like woods, metals, upholstery and finishes should also reflect your style. An industrial loft incorporates concrete, steel and reclaimed wood, while a coastal cottage favors weathered woods and linen fabrics.
Set the Tone for Spaces
Every room should evoke the overall feeling you want, tailored to how it’s used. For example, make a kid’s room whimsical and an office orderly. Style sets the tone.
Define Architectural Details
For new construction or renovations, architectural choices like trim, tile, lighting and flooring should suit your style. Medallions and crown molding fit traditional style, while contemporary opts for clean lines.
Inspire Creative Display
Style should inform how you artfully arrange decor items like books, plants, sculptures and pillows to enhance visual interest.
Guide Accessory Selections
Accent pieces like throw blankets, area rugs and wall decor should not only complement your furnishings, but also align with your personal style.
Allow Freedom of Self-Expression
Above all, decor that reflects your unique style lets you fully express who you are. Don’t be afraid to mix old and new pieces in unexpected ways to make a space truly your own.
Let your spirit and personality shine through in every design decision. When homes honor the inhabitant’s authentic style, they become cherished sanctuaries to enjoy for years to come.
Harmonious Decor Styles to Mix and Match
While having a consistent decor style creates a cohesive feel, blending styles in harmony can add depth, visual interest and personality. Here are some complementary style combinations worth mixing together:
Industrial + Mid Century
The clean lines and retro shapes of mid-century pieces feel right at home against the raw, utilitarian backdrops of industrial decor.
Boho Chic + Scandinavian
Scandinavian minimalism balanced with the rich colors, global patterns and natural materials of bohemian style create an eclectic fusion.
Traditional + Rustic
Rustic farmhouse elements like worn woods, galvanized metal and checkered textiles add cozy casualness to elegant traditional decor.
Modern + Vintage
Sleek, contemporary furnishings and accessories get a playful, personalized twist when blended with meaningful vintage finds.
Beachy + Bungalow
Coastal cottage style and laid-back bungalow vibes complement each other seamlessly, both preferring natural materials and unfussy spaces.
Eclectic + Glam
An eclectic decor approach allows glitzy, luxe accents to mingle beautifully with thrifted and vintage items.
Farmhouse + Cottage
The casual and comfortable charm of farmhouse and cottage styles blend effortlessly together in a welcoming, rural-chic way.
Modern + Bohemian
Sleek modern elements provide an edited backdrop that lets the rich colors and wild prints of bohemian decor shine.
Thoughtfully mixing decor styles creates the visual depth, personality and harmony that makes a house feel uniquely like home. Blend away!
How to Make a Small Space Feel Bigger
Living in a small space can feel cozy and quaint. But sometimes tight quarters start to feel confining. Try these style and decor ideas to make compact rooms feel more open and spacious:
Use Light Colors
Paint walls, ceilings and trim in light neutral shades. White and soft blues, greens and grays visually expand space. Dark hues make rooms feel smaller.
Maximize Natural Light
Take down heavy drapes. Sheer panels allow light to fill the room. Position furniture near windows and add mirrors to amplify light.
Choose Multifunctional Furniture
Loveseats with built-in storage, coffee tables with lift-tops and beds with drawers maximize function in a compact footprint.
Keep only essential furniture and decorative items. Too much visual clutter overwhelms tiny rooms. Store excess items elsewhere.
Install Wall-Mounted Fixtures
Mount shelving, lamps, curtain rods and mirrors on walls rather than taking up table space. Floating shelves are great for displaying cherished items.
Use Glass and Mirrors
Glass-topped furniture and mirrors reflect light to create the illusion of more space. Just don’t overdo – you don’t want a funhouse effect.
Choose Small-Scale Furnishings
Coffee tables, end tables, arm chairs and beds scaled down to fit modest rooms maintain flow. Avoid bulky oversized pieces.
Visually Expand With Color
Use the same wall colors in adjoining rooms and continue flooring from one space to another for a seamless flow. This makes rooms feel larger combined.
With clever styling and decor selections, you can maximize every square inch. Follow these tips to give small spaces the breezy, open feel you crave.
Choosing Art and Wall Decor
The art and decor you hang on your walls makes one of the biggest impacts on defining your decor style. Follow these tips for stylishly adorning your walls:
Select Meaningful Pieces
Choose art and decor that speaks to you personally and reflects what you value – family photos, travel mementos, favorite quotes.
Mix Media and Styles
Don’t limit yourself to only paintings or prints. Incorporate 3D elements like wall shelves or shadowboxes. Mix modern abstract art with vintage finds.
Define A Color Palette
Pull colors from furnishings and use art to complement your palette. A vibrant orange painting pops against slate blue walls, for example.
Group Gallery Walls
Arranging multiple pieces in a gallery wall collection creates an artful display. Focus on odd numbers like 5 or 7 and vary sizes and frames.
Spotlight With Lighting
Use track lighting or picture lights to illuminate cherished paintings or sculptures. This creates visual emphasis.
Consider Scale and Placement
Select art and decor scaled to fit your wall size and furniture. Place focal pieces where your eye naturally falls, like over a sofa.
Rotate what’s displayed over time. Swap lighter pastel art for cozier darker hues and winter and holiday decor as the seasons change.
Frame With Intention
Elevate art by selecting high-quality wide frames. Neutrals like white and black allow the art itself to stand out.
The interplay of varied textures, eras, colors and mediums makes for a visually rich, interesting wall display that personalizes your space.
Creating Focal Points in Your Decor
A focal point draws the eye to an element of design significance within a space. Follow these tips for creating impactful focal points:
Site the Focal Piece Thoughtfully
Strategically position your most eye-catching furnishing or art so it lands where the viewer’s gaze naturally falls when entering the room. Above the sofa or fireplace are prime spots.
Spotlight With Lighting
Use track lighting or position floor and table lamps to bathe the focal point in a pool of light. Illumination enhances visual emphasis.
Choose a bold, sizable piece of art or an oversized architectural fixture like a stately fireplace mantel or ornate mirror as a focal anchor.
Try High Contrast
Make the focal element stand out from its surroundings with contrast. A vibrant red accent chair pops against subtle earth tones, for example.
Pull Out All the Stops
Combine multiple techniques like hanging an enormous chandelier as a light source over a commanding dining table centered under a ceiling medallion.
Enhance With Color
Introduce showstopping accent colors only on the focal feature. Vivid chartreuse bookshelves make the saturated hue the obvious center of attention.
Leave Space Around It
Don’t crowd other elements too close to the focal point. Allow it to be the design star and breathe visually.
Limit Focal Points
Resist choosing multiple pieces to spotlight. Having too many competing focal points creates visual chaos. Stick to one clear star.
Well-orchestrated focal elements provide respite for the eye while adding drama and flair to your decor.
How to Pull Off Eclectic Style
Blending seemingly mismatched pieces into a cohesive whole is the art of designing in an eclectic style. Follow these tips:
Choose a Unifying Color Scheme
Tie disparate elements together with a consistent, soothing color palette. Neutrals are a classic choice as they allow vibrant pops of color.
Select Similar Furniture Silhouettes
Maintain cohesion by sticking to a common theme with your furnishing shapes. For example, pair sleek midcentury items with funky retro finds.
Layer Light and Dark
Anchoring darker hues with plenty of light prevents heaviness. Try a dark sofa balanced with a light rug and linen drapes.
Mix and Match Patterns
Go for bold, contrasting patterns but stick to a clear palette. Florals, geometrics and animal prints with shared colors complement each other.
Incorporate Meaningful Collections
Display your personally curated collections like unique artwork, vintage dishes or old books rather than random trinkets.
Eclectic spaces require thoughtful editing. Eliminate excess accessories and clutter so key furniture and treasured items shine.
Pick Timeless over Trendy
Choose classic pieces with enduring appeal rather than what’s trendy. Vintage and antique finds add character.
Create Interest With Textures
Introduce varied tactile elements like nubby wool throws, reclaimed wood shelving and ceramic vases. Just maintain a sense of harmony.
Embrace your unique finds and trust your instincts. Done right, eclectic decor conveys polished whimsy and charm.
Tips for Using Mirrors in Decor
Strategically placed mirrors serve both form and function in home decor. Here are inventive ways to incorporate them:
Brighten With Light Reflection
Position across from windows to amplify incoming natural light. This makes spaces feel more sun-filled and open.
Angle mirrors to create depth perception in small rooms. Reflections make space seem larger.
Accentuate Architectural Details
Use mirror shapes to frame and call attention to room features like fireplaces, pretty wallpaper or corniced ceilings.
Enable Discreet Monitoring
Put an angled mirror near your front door to subtly see who is outside without directly staring.
Show Off Collections
Arrange decorative items like vases, candles or artwork on mantels or shelves against a mirrored backdrop to double visual impact.
Expand Gallery Walls
Incorporate mirrors into wall displays of various sizes, frames and orientations to add light and dimension.
Provide A Focal Point
An ornate floor mirror can anchor an empty corner or stark wall and serve as a striking focal feature.
Add Illusion With Infinity Mirrors
Pair mirrors opposite each other to create a dazzling infinite reflection. Just take care not to create a dizzying effect.
When thoughtfully integrated into your existing decor, mirrors become much more than a utilitarian object – they amplify and elevate your style.
Decorating on a Budget
Creating stylish rooms doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Follow these budget decorating tips:
Shop Discount and Consignment Stores
Places like HomeGoods, thrift shops and Habitat for Humanity ReStores offer major savings on quality furnishings and decor.
Prioritize Versatile Neutrals
Choosing furniture and accents in creams, taupes, blacks and whites ensures pieces mix and match effortlessly down the road.
Mix High and Low Price Points
Invest more in foundational durable items used often, like sofas or kitchen tables. Save on occasional chairs, side tables and decor.
Display Collections Creatively
Use your own books, photos, artwork, dishes or textiles to personalize. This is often free or very low cost.
Reimagine and Reuse
Give hand-me-downs, flea market finds and old furniture new life with fresh paint, reupholstery or simple repairs.
Work in Phases
Tackle one space at a time. Completing a room affordably is motivating and prevents analysis paralysis.
Take Advantage of DIY
With YouTube tutorials, many projects like refinishing floors or building shelving are totally DIY-able at a fraction of the cost.
Buy Secondhand Art
Score inexpensive original art, prints and frames at estate sales, thrift stores and online auction sites. Or frame kids’ art!
With savvy sourcing, resourcefulness and elbow grease, you can craft rooms