This is the second part in a two-part series about defining your decorating style. The goal of this 2-part series is not just about figuring out your style, but to create a home that you love to live in.
The second goal of this series is to finally determine your style once and for all, so your husband can stop asking when you’re going to just stop switching up the living room every other week.
It’s been a rough journey to nail down my style among the noise of home decor inspiration floating around the internet. The amount of time, money and energy wasted on items that don’t fit my existing style over the last few years makes me cringe. Luckily, there were no drastic investments made along the way (i.e. a farmhouse themed bathroom renovation featuring shiplap walls). Saying that out loud makes me shiver.
Some of you may be able to relate to this, some of you may not. If you’ve already nailed your style, consider yourself blessed af.
When my husband, Angelo, and I moved into our home, we had nothing since we both lived with our parents.
Actually, I lied – I had a cheap looking faux flower arrangement and a painted mason jar to store q-tips. Talk about starting with a blank canvas.
We had to build up the rooms slowly, which is a big no-no, as I now realize that one of the biggest design mistakes you can make is buying one-off items for your room. And having never owned a house before, I had no idea that I was doing it all wrong.
You don’t know what you don’t know.
All I have to say is…thank god for Facebook marketplace. I’ve been slowly getting rid of the impulse items that I *thought* were my style for the last few months (a mirrored credenza, gray and white shag rugs, cheaply made coffee tables, etc.).
Anyway, after making plenty of mistakes, dragging myself through different styles and feeling frustrated with the lack of progress in our home, I took my learnings and slowly started to nail down what I now consider to be my style – traditional glam. But it wasn’t until I made those mistakes and played around with different styles that I realized what I actually loved.
These are a few iterations of how our living room has evolved since we purchased our home…
I know these photos may depict someone else’s style, but considering them my own style just wouldn’t be true.
Nearly a year later and after finally figuring out my style, I pulled through a complete design plan starting from scratch and this is how our living room looks today:
How did I know that this final design – the way it looks now – is actually my style and not just another phase?
Because none of those other designs made my heart flutter like the way my living room does now.
The other designs were just placeholders until I could achieve the look I longed for but didn’t actually know or recognize was my style.
Every time I step into this room, I instantly feel happy. It’s a complete and true reflection of my style and I would not change a single thing about it. I never would have thought this would be our living room if you showed me this photo a year ago, but I have a feeling I would have recognized my style a lot sooner if I had seen a photo that was similar.
That’s the beauty in always evolving.
Since I’m passionate about helping others trying to nail down their style, I want to share what helped me to finally nail down my own style. Let’s get to it.
1 // Let me ask you something. Have you ever gone back and actually looked at your Pinterest and IG boards that contain photos you’ve saved for your home? And by look I mean – really pay attention to the photos you’ve saved.
Ask yourself: what common design elements are repeated? What colors, patterns, and furnishings are abundant throughout? Is there a common theme (i.e. white walls, antique art, wall paneling, tribal rugs, etc.)? Are you drawn to jewel tones, pastels or neutrals? What are the keywords that are used to describe the photos?
Paying close attention to these details on your Pinterest/IG boards can help narrow down your style.
A glimpse into my “Living Room Ideas” board
2 // Find other home influencers and designers that resemble what you believe to be your style. Last year I stumbled upon a few home influencers that captivated me with their photos and style. Something just clicked and I started consuming their content, becoming more infatuated with every second spent scrolling through their feeds, thinking “this is exactly how I would design a room in my home.”
There are a ton of home influencers out there, but the key is to find one who’s style captivates you and you feel your style may resemble.
3 // Fully embrace the idea that your style can (and probably will be) a mix of styles and can also be described as a reflection of who you are.
My style isn’t just simply traditional glam – it’s always evolving, pushing limits and including maybe an item or two in each space that makes me uncomfortable. It’s my bold personality. My personal history. It’s how a room makes me and others who are in that room feel – that’s my style. You may have to dig deeper for this one…but maybe this post can help.
4 // Only buy what you truly love for your home. Doing this takes time and patience, but how many times do you buy something that you aren’t head over heels in love with? You may think you need it in the moment, but when you bring it home, you realize you just wanted to buy something or needed to fill a void.
So how do you know you’re not head over heels in love with that item? Because you’ve been head over heels in love before. You know, kinda like real-life relationships with humans. Compare your feelings to past head-over-heels-in-love experiences with decor and furniture that you love. If you don’t love it – don’t buy it.
5 // Keeping it short and sweet with this tip: rule out the styles you don’t like, as doing so may help you nail down your style by process of elimination. Yes, I’m encouraging you to focus on the details of rooms you don’t like, not to be negative, but to think about why you don’t like something.
If you’ve been struggling to find your design style, I sincerely hope this post was helpful.
Have you struggled (or are currently struggling) with finding your style? I’d love to hear from you.
Until next time…have a great week!