Monday, August 24, 2009

Defining your Decorating Style

When it comes to defining your taste and style in decorating, I have found most people don't know where to begin.
I often meet people who want to make a change or redo a room but don't really know what to do first. I have heard women say "I know what I don't like but I am not sure what I really want". If this sounds like you, I can help. My advice for clients I meet is simple. Start a notebook filled with magazine pages. Not just any magazine page mind you, specific pages. Gather up your favorite decorating magazines, and as you flip through them tear out pages that have things on them you like. Even if there is only one item on the page that grabs you tear it out anyway. (I know that destroying a magazine is going to be hard for some of you, but bear with me it is so worth it). It could be a whole room on a page you like, or just the sofa on another page, perhaps there is a vase, or a painted chest you love. Work on this over the course of a few weeks, don't do it all in one day. Doing it over the course of a few weeks will be a more realistic picture of your style verses doing it all in one day where your mood that particular day may sway you one way or another. You can also take pictures of vignettes in your favorite decorating shops. Always ask permission first prior to snapping pictures in retail stores. Most retailers don't mind, but I have run into a few that would rather you don't. During the course of this project you will begin to see a common theme occur. For example, you may notice that almost every page you picked had brown walls, with white trim work. It would be safe to assume that you would then be drawn to that scheme. Maybe you picked pictures that contained lots of antique furniture or pictures with wood floors in them. Maybe you are drawn to rooms with draperies and lots of pillows etc.
You will begin to narrow down your likes and dislikes and as you go through your notebook again and again you will definatly begin to see your unique style. I have done this process many times over the years. It always amazes me how many times what I think I might like to do, changes by what I see in the pictures I find. For years I thought that when I remodel my kitchen I wanted warm cherry cabinets. As I began the process of tearing out pictures of kitchens I loved every single kitchen I pulled had antique ivory cabinets. I would not have realized this without the process and could have been disappointed with the result of cherry cabinets. See where I am going with this? It really does help you to define your style.
If you are still having trouble, I do offer online decorating services, leave me a comment and I will get back to you with details and pricing.
You can see how this process will help you figure out what it is you really like, helping you create a home you'll love coming home to.


  1. Very cool post ~ love this process!


  2. That's such great advice, Debbie! Before I started my kitchen redo, looked online for some inspiration photos. It really helped.


  3. I have done this by bookmarking sites such as Rate My Space, etc. Then in looking back, I see almost all the bedrooms I have bookmarked had a white bedspread. I now have my own white bedspread.

  4. I used to do this when I was younger and dreamed of having a house. Maybe it's time to do it again!!

    Stopping by from SITS!

  5. What a great idea. Can't wait to give it a try.

  6. This is a really great idea. I had done this several years ago, but haven't recently. I've been wanting to change up some stuff in my home, but was unsure what to do. I think this is a good starting point.

  7. What a great post...very helpful. I started collecting pictures of decor from magazines when I was in high school My tastes in 20 years haven't changed too much. But, I agree...that's the way to go.

  8. Oh yea, I already started this! Glad to know I am on the right track!

  9. When we built our first house, I cut out pictures from magazines to help determine room color. I never changed those rooms. However, the rooms I didn't do that to, well I painted like 3 times! The key is to consistently do it for all your rooms! Excellent advise!