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Do you know what your interior design style is? Could you sum it up in a few words, or even a sentence?
Well, maybe you should be able to. Not because it's the kind of thing you can nail down forever and ever, (and actually, who'd want to do that? that's so boring!) but more because for the reason that 'fitting in a design box' could help you to crystallise the ideas you have whirring around your brain.
Now, that's not to say that you should pigeonhole yourself into a particular style. And actually, if you've any confidence in your judgement, you'll quickly find that it'd be impossible to fit into one neat little box... but, labelling your style to some extent is quite helpful. Knowing your interior design style will help you to:
- focus your ideas
- have confidence in your decision making
- only spend money on things you truly love
- not be unduly swayed by trends.
So, there is a little bit of sense in figuring out what your style is. But, how do you do it?
Well, here are a few ways that work for me...
Read up on different styles
You've probably heard of terms like 'mid-century', 'contemporary' and 'industrial', but do you actually know what they mean? You might not know what you like if you don't know what everyone has collectively 'named' it. So, start googling those kinds of terms, ask your favourite bloggers or take a look on Pinterest.
Knowledge is power, so get to know the lingo. That way, you can actually use that information to start shaping what your style might be.
Make Pinterest boards
Secondly, use Pinterest (in the right way) to help you nail down what your interior design style is, as it’s useful for figuring out what you do and don't like. As you pin each image, try to be disciplined enough to jot a quick note down in the caption area about what it is that draws you to the image. Analyse it. What don't you like? That's important as well.
Then, step away from your newly created boards for a few weeks, then come back and dig deep into those captions. Can you spot any recurrent themes? Is there anything you're re-pinning over and over? This kind of thing can shed some light on what your interior design style is.
Explore the real world
As much as I love the internet - it's a treasure trove of information and inspiration - there's nothing better than getting out there and experiencing things. Explore coffee shops, antiques centres, museums, art galleries, restaurants, woodlands, holiday homes and more to give some big clues to what your personal style is.
It's hard to say whether your environment influences your preferences, or whether your preferences dictate the kinds of environments you choose to spend time in... but either way, it will quickly become obvious that you like a certain style.
Photo credit: with permission from @gingerhearts via Instagram
Look at what's already in your home
As well as doing a bit of exploring, don't overlook the things that are a little closer to home... or in your home, in fact. Take a look around your house and see if you can identify ten things you think are truly, truly beautiful. Is there a colour or a shape you seem never to tire of?
And what about the things you don't like? Are there any rooms you tend not to spend time in, and can you figure out why? Are there any pieces of furniture that just aren't really clicking with you? Paying attention to these kinds of questions - and more importantly, acting on the answers - might help you to pinpoint your interior design style.
Finally, the surest way to figure out your interior design style is to just try things out. There’s no need to put too much pressure on yourself to nail it: style is an evolving thing, and it's no different in the context of interior design. Try things out, make mistakes and try something new. You'll know when it feels right, if only by stumbling upon it.