Defining Style

Pulling together a look by defining your style

If you’re a normal, everyday homeowner with a family and pets, chances are your living room has no particular decorating style.  Cottage décor is a dream and contemporary decor a frightening prospect of a total room makeover.  You have a mish-mash of furniture and accessories that you try to pull together every once in a while and then get discouraged. 

You might not be stylistically challenged, you just started decorating by filling the room and didn’t realize it.  So now what?  You need to define your decorating style.

Style in its true sense is about your essence - your personality, your family and your lifestyle.  Chances are if you have a mish mash of looks in  your living room, you just never defined your decorating style.  How do you do it?

Analyze your Furnishings

Stroll through your living room and dining room and choose your favorite pieces.  What style are they?  If you’re choosing chintz and florals, you may prefer country, but don’t care for the complete country look.  If you’re choosing the more simple furnishings, chances are you prefer contemporary but didn’t have the nerve or money to commit fully to that style. 

Analyze your Life

If picking out particular prized pieces isn’t helping you, look deep within yourself to find your style.  Ok, barring that, how about opening your closet and taking a look in there instead.  What color do you see the most of?  Chances are, that’s one of your favorite colors.  Perhaps part of a new color palette?

What about your favorite vacation?  Was it in a luxury resort or a charming country inn?  What was it about the room that you loved?  Answering those questions can define the space in which you enjoy living or have felt the most comfortable.  If you loved that B&B and never wanted to leave, perhaps a country or casual rustic style is what you crave.  If you loved the Old World elegance of your luxury hotel, perhaps you’re looking for a little culture or formality in your living space.

Analyze your Choices

Go through decorating magazines and tear out pictures of rooms you like.  Don’t think about what’s actually in the room and how it could work in your home, just choose your favorites.  Do you see any trends ?  Are the couches all soft and upholstered or straight lined and contemporary?

Hopefully, somewhere within these exercises, you at least defined if you prefer casual or formal and came up with a preferred color.  Use these to start pulling the room together.  You don’t necessarily need a total room makeover.  Just being decorating your room to match your style by getting rid of the pieces that are holding you back and keeping you from defining your living room style.