I have a very important question to ask you…DO YOU KNOW YOUR DECORATING STYLE? If you are like most people, you sorta know what you like and what you don’t. You can tell me what you think your style is, but you probably can’t tell me with confidence and conviction! Let’s change that!
I think it’s important to know what styles you love and enjoy living with and what styles you aren’t fond of and perhaps are living with in spite of that fact!
Let’s work together and try to get a good idea of our own personal decor style! Knowing your decor style will help you create a home you will feel comfortable in and love!
MY DECORATING STYLE
My style is a TRANSITIONAL. I love classic furnishings. Home decor that stands the test of time. Beautiful fabrics, symmetry, comfort, a little formality (a tad), calm and order, understated beauty, a refined and welcoming feel.
Don’t let the name transitional fool you. It does not mean staid or dated or too many patterns. That’s NOT transitional.
Transitional is comfortable and well-appointed and predictable in the best way possible. It is classic and the most welcoming. I bet most of us would classify your decor style as somewhat transitional!
The threads that tie my style together are certainly classic and traditional but my style runs deeper than that as do most of our styles!
Transitional is several styles rolled into one with the lion’s share of each room leaning classic!
My style is also FARMHOUSE. Farmhouse was originally a moniker for a type of house and a geographical area and not so much a style. Lately, farmhouse has BECOME a style!
I am very influenced by the gorgeous farmland that surrounds us and the style of our modern farmhouse and now our more classic home on a golf course.
I lean towards the warmth of hardwood floors, planked walls, utilitarian accents, porches, living close to the earth, large kitchens, and rockers on the front porch!
Because I put an up-to-date spin on farmhouse style I like to call my style MODERN-FARMHOUSE LIVING.
These two styles TRANSITIONAL and MODERN-FARMHOUSE influence my decor style the most!
INDUSTRIAL style often seeps into my farmhouse styling too! I like industrial metals and woods and mechanical details. But a little of this goes a long, long way. And if done right mixes wonderfully with Farmhouse style.
To dig a little deeper I also love American furnishing as opposed to French decor. And British Colonial style sets my heart aflutter! Industrial, Cottage and even a little bit of Southern Charm works for me too!
So I say my style as Transitional with Farmhouse accents. And I define it as AMERICAN FARMHOUSE LIVING! American Farmhouse Living is more of an attitude than a way of decorating.
How am I so confident about my decorating style. Well, I know what I love! But even the most confident home decorator changes his or her mind on their decorating journey.
I’ve brought in industrial, cottage, and other styles to StoneGable and the Tanglewood house, mostly in accents.
I’ve flirted with chippy and Scandinavian, Contemporary, and other interesting styles. But even though I love many styles the underpinnings of all these styles rest on classic furnishings!
HOW TO FIND YOUR UNIQUE STYLE
Here are some tips for learning about YOUR style and how to decorate to get the look you love. YOUR present decor may not be YOUR style!
The styles you love and are drawn to may not be sitting in your house right now!
If you are like me, your home is a work in progress! You may be saving for a makeover, living with a piece you spent way too much money for because you can’t afford to get rid of it now, you don’t know how to make A STYLE change or… I could go on and on!
And all these scenarios have been part of my decorating story!
To help you define what you really love and what you don’t, start by creating a couple of Pinterest boards and label them WHAT I LOVE and WHAT I’LL PASS!
Spend some time each day adding to the boards. ONLY PIN WHAT YOU REALLY REALLY TOTALLY LOVE AND WHAT YOU DROOL OVER on the What I Love board.
And only pin THINGS THAT WOULD NOT BE CAUGHT DEAD IN YOUR HOUSE to the other.
Do this for several weeks and see what you have. Find the common thread in each board. Spend time evaluating and write all your observations down.
Yes, DO THIS! IT will give you an idea of what you would love to live with… and hence, your style!!!!
Look at your list. Do you see any repeated elements that occur on your lists? These common elements will go a long way to determining your style. This exercise will give you a goldmine of decorating information!
But remember your style, like mine, is most likely a combination of several styles!
CELEBRATE FURNISHING YOU HAVE THAT YOU LOVE!
Just because your home might not be “perfect” doesn’t mean that you dislike everything! We can all get into that all-or-nothing pit!
Focus on what you do have and you love and find joy and inspiration in those pieces! And don’t forget to think “upcycle”! A great coat of paint or a wonderful new fabric can transform home decor! Look at your stand-the-test-of-time decor and update it! You will be amazed at the difference!
The clock in my family room is an excellent example of upcycling and upscaling furnishings! The clock was once brown. Not a great color for my decor. Very drab but good bones. I think I bought it out of desperation and it’s $47.00 sticker!
BUT the clock had great styling. So I painted it! Now it looks like “my style”!
You can see how I painted my clock HERE.
ACQUAINT YOURSELF WITH DECOR VOCABULARY
Get to know decor styles and what makes them distinct. Here are just a few styles…
- TRADITIONAL – see above. Think refined, familiar and comfortable.
- TRANSITIONAL- a mix of styles with the most furnishings falling in the traditional/classic sensibility. Eclectic, a mix of a few styled married beautifully together.
- COUNTRY – traditional time-worn furnishings, warm, flea market, milk paint, ironstone, a feeling of comfort and home, NOT your mother’s or grandmother’s country! Think of small estate living.
- CONTEMPORARY -sleek, clean lines and subdued colors, pop of color added, low to the ground furnishings, few extras. Think urban living.
- FARMHOUSE-inspired by farmland and utility. Functional items, lots of galvanized metal, wood floors, white paneled walls, big kitchens, porches, rocking chairs. Think of StoneGable!
- MODERN- minimal furniture, stark, uncluttered, white with black accents. Think George Jetson!
- COASTAL- influence by the sea, airy rooms with light fabrics, whites and colors of the sea, nautical accents. Think beautiful homes on the ocean.
- COTTAGE- furnishings that show a little wear, botanical prints, wrought iron beds, quilts, cozy feel, fresh white paint on planked walls, open windows. Think sheer curtains wafting on a light breeze!
- INDUSTRIAL- raw unfinished look, lots of metal, exposed pipes and pipes in design, open shelving, unfinished look. Think warehouse.
- ECLECTIC- a mix of styles and periods that work together because of a common element like color. Think mix and match!
And there are many more!
Know what elements constitute decor styles…especially the decor you love!
I had a little crush on Mid-Century Modern style for about two minutes!
Although my crush on MCM did not last long, there are so many things I’d love to use at Tanglewood! Here’s what I find so attractive!
- function follows form
- juxtaposition of materials
- wide color palette
- clean lines
- industrial task-type lighting
- wood mixed with other materials
This style worked perfectly in my sunroom. Our sectional has a bit of that Mid Century styling I love! Low profile, functional, deep seating, clean line with classic MCM legs.
And this sofa in a neutral color makes it very generic and able to play nicely with my more classic furnishings!
DON’T FEAR A DECORATING STYLE CHANGE
My style, like most of yours, has EVOLVED!
Decor goes out of style EVERY YEAR!!! Yes! Some things you bought last year are already “out”!
BUT DON’T FEAR CHANGE!!!
Some things you are holding on to right now might be the very things that are choking your style.
Let go of furnishings and accents that are tired or very very out of style… IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT.
And now, on the other hand, don’t get rid of wonderful things you love and are happy to live with if it’s out of style. If you love it WHO CARES!!!
Here’s on of my best decor secret!
Choose classic big-ticket items like sofas and chairs and beds in solid, neutral colors. These pieces will stand the test of time (or at least 10 years). I tend to buy trendy accent pieces that are very inexpensive to fill in my decor. They are easily replaced when I get tired of them. The hallmark of transitional styling!
I think the secret for keeping a home look “fresh” or “updated” is to not let your accent furnishings get too tired! Think about replacing things like a lamp or a tray or a pillow more often. Wow! What a big bang for you buck and a real boost to your home!
Don’t fear change SMARTLY embrace it!
I found these pretty classic and modern chairs and knew they would add lots of style to my home. And they will stand the test of time!
Here’s why the furnishing in the image above will stand the test of time…
- classic lines
- comfortable seating
- neutral color
- interesting detail- nailheads
- pretty legs
- works with the rest of my decor
LIVE WITH WHAT YOU LOVE!!!!
The bottom line is live with what you love no matter what trends dictate! It’s your home and should be YOUR SYLE!!!! Live in it and love it!
Even the smallest decor item in your home can give you joy so hold on to them!
I love the sunflowers in the StoneGable dining room. So I…
Took them to the Tanglewood house!
I know that sunflowers are a little thing, but for me, they are a must in my home during summer and fall! And they bring me JOY!
Did you notice I updated the container they were in? Because our new home is a bit more modern and open the urn just looked a bit to “traditional” for the style of our Tanglewood house. The interesting fun wooden container works so much better in our home now!
Again, just a little thing but lots of little things add up to big style!
The more articulately you can define your style the easier it will be to transfer the style in your head to your home. Remember it takes time, practice, and lots of making choices to create the home you love!
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