Finding your own personal design style can seem daunting, but it is an important part of the design process. Your design style reflects your tastes, perspective and creative vision. Developing a cohesive design style takes time, but following some key steps can help guide you.

Determine Your Inspirations

Think about designs, art, architecture, fashion, and decor you’re instinctively drawn to. Make a mood board with images, fabrics, color palettes, etc. that appeal to you. Look for common threads that connect them like geometric shapes, organic lines, a bold color palette, maximalism or minimalism. Your inspirations reveal the foundations of your style.

Analyze Current Trends

While you want your style to reflect your unique perspective, it also needs to align with current design tastes. Look at trend reports, popular designers on social media, architecture magazines and runway fashion. Take note of up-and-coming styles, colors, patterns and textures that excite you and could influence your aesthetic.

Identify the Design Features You Love

Make a list of all the design elements that appeal to you, no matter how minor. This could include things like vintage hardware, macrame, pattern mixing, gallery walls, exposed brick, bold wallpaper, lucite chairs, warm woods, terrazzo, and more. Recurring favorites will shape your style.

Understand Your Priorities

Determine what matters most to you – is it comfort, visual interest, eco-friendly materials, ease of cleaning? Defining priorities will help inform your style and prevent choices that don’t align with your lifestyle. If you love light and bright spaces but also have pets and kids, performance fabrics may take precedence over white upholstery.

Envision How You Want to Feel

The goal of any design is to make you feel something when you experience the space. Do you want to feel calm and relaxed, energized, inspired, sophisticated? Whatever the desired emotion, let it guide your choices to create an environment that elicits that feeling.

Start Collecting for Your Space

Begin gathering items that speak to you – your style inspiration, color swatches, samples of wood floors or countertops, furniture images, artwork, etc. Display it all in one place, whether a physical board, online or in a notebook. This helps visualize how pieces will come together to form your personal style.

Evolve Your Style Over Time

Your design style is not set in stone – it will likely evolve as your tastes change. Revisit your inspiration board regularly and update it to reflect your current style. Tweak your previous choices with new pieces, artwork and accessories to keep your environment aligned with your growth. An ever-changing style board fuels your creative spirit.

The key is realizing you don’t have to commit to one defined style. Follow your instincts, choose pieces you connect with and soon a cohesive style will emerge that represents the very essence of you in design form. With confidence in your vision and consistent nurturing of your personal style, you will create spaces that wow.

Common Design Styles to Get You Started

While developing your own style is key, there are some common design styles that may resonate as you explore your aesthetic. Here are a few to consider:


Clean lines, neutral colors, functionality and minimal ornamentation are hallmarks of modern style. Lots of natural light and open floor plans allow the architecture and design to take center stage. Think woods like ebony paired with leather and lucite for dramatic contrast.


The emphasis is on simplicity, functionality, and natural elements in Scandinavian style with blonde woods, neutral hues, natural fibers, and organic shapes. Natural light is maximized and decor is minimal. Handcrafted and vintage pieces add warmth.


Exposed bricks, ductwork, reclaimed wood, metal accents and minimal decor embody industrial style. Neutrals like black, white and grey mix with wood tones and concrete for an edgy, sleek look. The structural elements take center stage.


Elegant lines, rich wood tones, ornate accents, and luxurious fabrics like velvet define traditional style. Antique and vintage furniture, chandeliers, plush carpeting and soothing colors like navy and burgundy create timeless, opulent spaces.


This adventurous style blends items from different eras and cultures like vintage maps, exotic textiles, retro furniture and modern artwork. Bold patterns and vibrant colors collide in an energetic, layered look where anything goes as long as it’s unique.


Comfortable distressed wood furniture, vintage accents, checkered fabrics, and metal finishes give farmhouse style its casually elegant vibe. Soft white walls and natural elements like woven baskets and dried botanicals keep the look airy and welcoming.

Mid-century Modern

The 1950s and 60s popularized mid-century modern style with sleek silhouettes, refined lines and sculptural shapes, along with “conversation pit” seating. Neutral wall colors and an organic color palette of blues, greens and browns keep the focus on the unique shapes.


Light, whitewashed wood furniture, weathered finishes, and accents in shades of sea glass, sky blue, and sand capture the breezy essence of coastal. Accents like woven baskets, driftwood, seashells and jute rugs add organic texture. The goal is casual relaxation.

Design Experiments to Try

Immersing yourself in the design process is the best way to refine your style. Try some of these hands-on experiments to spark inspiration:

  • Rearrange a room in a completely different layout and live with it for a few days. The shift in perspective may unlock new insights.
  • Sketch out ideal room layouts and color/furniture arrangements – don’t overthink it. Just let the ideas flow.
  • Borrow or purchase sample-sized paint pots and swatch key colors on your walls. Live with them and observe the impact.
  • Search Etsy or flea markets for unique pieces that catch your eye. Incorporate them and analyze if they enhance your space.
  • Create vision boards of different potential style directions. Let the one that feels most “you” shine through.
  • Use computer apps to visualize your space with new layouts, color schemes and furniture arrangements virtually.
  • Archive current design magazines or blogs that you love and can reference anytime for fresh ideas.

By diving into hands-on design experiments, you’ll gain clarity on what excites you while eliminating what doesn’t. Eventually, this process reveals the design language that speaks to your spirit.

Integrating Your Style Into Any Space

The beauty of defining your signature style is you can infuse it into any space and transform it to align with your aesthetic. Here are tips for making your style shine, no matter the setting:

Focus on furniture placement– Position furniture to maximize comfort and usage. Float pieces away from walls for an airy, functional flow.

Incorporate signature materials – Maintain design harmony by repeating your favorite materials and textures throughout the space via furniture, pillows, throws, accessories.

Display meaningful art – Choose pieces that reflect your spirit rather than generic hotel-style art. Gallery walls make a personalized statement.

Add pops of color – Vibrant pillows, vases, books, and floral arrangements enliven neutrals. Repeat key accent colors to pull the space together.

Mix high and low – Blend Target finds with investment antiques or custom pieces so no element feels off-limits. Eclecticism reflects your authentic style.

Maximize natural light – Use mirrors, glossy surfaces, glass media cabinets, and lighter colors to amplify sunlight and achieve an airy ambiance.

Reupholster/refinish – Transform existing furniture by reupholstering, painting, or staining to imbue your personalized style vs. replacing everything.

Curate carefully – Only display your most beloved items rather than filling the space. Thoughtful curating results in a tidy, purposeful look.

Plant life brings joy – Greenery instantly boosts mood and relates to nature. Potted plants, dried botanicals and fresh flowers add organic vibrancy.

By infusing these touches that speak to your spirit, you can transform any rental, drab office or cookie-cutter space into an inspiring retreat. Your style shines through without starting from scratch.

Find Your Design Style: Key Takeaways

  • Look to your favorite aesthetics for inspiration – this reveals the origins of your style.
  • Take note of current design trends and how you may incorporate trends you love.
  • Identify specific furniture, materials, colors and styles you are repeatedly drawn to.
  • Understand your priorities and goals for the space to guide choices.
  • Envision how you want the space to make you feel – calm, inspired, etc. Let this emotion steer your style.
  • Curate a collection of tear sheets, samples, images that represent your personal vision.
  • Accept your style will change over time as your tastes evolve – allow this fluidity.
  • Experiment hands-on with paint colors, layouts, mixes of old and new furniture to gain clarity.
  • Infuse signature materials, artwork, textures and colors throughout any space to reflect your style.

The process of discovering your design style is a joyful exploration. By following your creative instincts and finding inspiration everywhere, the pieces will come together to form a cohesive style that authentically celebrates you. Trust your vision – you already hold the key to designs you’ll love.

Frequently Asked Questions About Finding Your Design Style

Finding your personal design style can feel overwhelming. Here are answers to common questions to guide your journey:

How do I choose a style if I like so many different aesthetics?

Eclecticism is a valid design choice. Blend your favorite elements from various styles using colors, textures or era as a thread to tie the look together.

What if my style changes over time?

Allow your style evolution to reflect your growth and changing perspectives. Modify your space in phases rather than overhauling everything at once.

How can I define my style if I’m decorating on a budget?

Prioritize key investment pieces like a sofa or bed you love. Style the rest with thrifted accessories, discounted textiles and inexpensive paint colors.

I’m a renter – how much can I customize my style?

Use removable wallpaper as backdrops, incorporate portable furniture you can take with you, utilize fun textiles and vibrant accent colors.

How do I make a small space reflect my style?
Bold wallpaper or painted patterns add drama. Minimize clutter and position furniture creatively to maximize every inch. Go vertical with floating shelves.

I share my home with family – how do I blend styles?
Give each person creative control over certain spaces like their bedroom. Tie it together with common neutral backdrops and some signature shared pieces.

Can I still be eco-friendly if I have a specific style in mind?
Yes! Source vintage and reused furniture, use low-VOC paints, and invest in high-quality pieces you’ll cherish for years.

Where do I begin if I’m starting completely from scratch?
Define your color palette to steer all purchases big and small. Choose an investment sofa or bed as the starting point you can design the rest around.

The design process should stay true to what inspires you most. Embrace what speaks to your spirit and you will create a space that reflects the very essence of you.

In Summary

There are infinite ways to express your personal design style. The key is to embrace inspiration everywhere, experiment fearlessly and stay true to the aesthetics and feelings that you are instinctively drawn to. As you immerse yourself creatively, you will uncover a style that authentically celebrates your unique perspective.

Trust in the journey and have confidence in your vision. Your comfort with design choices will grow with each room you finesse until finally your surroundings feel like a seamless extension of your inner self. When you infuse that level of intention into the foundations and finishing touches of a space, the result will be magical.