Defining your personal decor style will help you choose the perfect pieces for your home and create a home you love.
I’ve been steadily defining my style for years, and it’s been quite the journey. My freshman dorm looked nothing like my grad school apartment, and neither looked anything like my house does now. My house is the first place that feels 100% like me (and my husband), so I feel a lot more comfortable in it than in other places I’ve lived.
When I was first trying to define my decor style, I was a little intimidated. I thought I had to commit completely to one style – farmhouse, industrial, traditional, etc. But, I don’t. No one does! Could you imagine if everyone stuck to only one style? There wouldn’t be too many unique homes out there. You can mix and match styles to find one that’s completely, uniquely you.
Start defining your decor style with 1 question
Once I finally committed to defining my style, I started with a simple question:
How do I want my home to feel?
Two words came to mind – cozy and welcoming.
Whether you’re just started to define your style, or if you’ve known your style for years, ask yourself that question. It will help you make decisions on everything, from your color palette to textures.
Spend time in your favorite room
After you’ve decided how you want your home to feel, sit in your favorite room and ask yourself a few questions. These questions will help you pin point what you like most about that room, so you can carry those elements to other rooms.
This week, I did this exact exercise by sitting in our dining room.
Why do I love this room?
I love my dining room because of how it makes me feel – comfortable and at home. I think those feelings translate into a feeling of welcome to our friends and family who visit.
What are my favorite pieces of furniture? Why?
I love our sideboard and shelves. They’re both finished with a warm stain and have a story to tell. Our sideboard stood in Drew’s parents kitchen for years. Our shelves are homemade, and Drew and I forgave each other for a stupid argument while we were hanging them up.
What are my favorite accessories? Why?
I have two displays in the dining room that I love, and they all came from antique malls.
We have a decanter sitting on top of a 1946 copy of The Joy of Cooking on our sideboard. I have no clue who owned them before we did, but I like to imagine that someone shared some good times with their friends and that decanter. I also like to imagine all the family meals made with recipes from that cookbook.
On our shelves, we have a small bud vase that I got from The Refindery with Jaclyn – she has the matching one. It sits on top of a couple of vintage copies of Nancy Drew. I loved reading Nancy Drew (and the Hardy Boys and the Boxcar Children) growing up.
Is there a color in the room that I love? How much is in the room?
There are two colors in the dining room I love – blue and green. Blue is everywhere – on the walls and in the accessories. I only have hints of green – the wreath at the bottom of my bud case, the detail on a wooden church on the sideboard, and the painting of the church Drew and I got married at in our China cabinet.
Put it all together. What elements do I want carried into other rooms?
I want to feel at home in every room in our house. I’ll make sure the wood furniture is stained darker, warmer colors. I want accessorize with antiques and vintage finds – anything that tells a story. There will be a lot of blue in every room, with just a touch of green.
Find inspiration in everything
After you’ve determine what elements you want throughout your house, don’t stop there! Look for inspiration in everything. You can be inspired by things nature, the colors you wear the most often, and even wedding pictures.
You can also create a mood board – either a physical one or on Pinterest. Tear out pictures from magazines or pin images that you love and keep them all in one place. After you have a good collection, look at what the pictures have in common. Is there a color that shows up again and again? What about types of accessories? Are there any particular patterns or textures that keep repeating? You’ll learn a lot about what elements you love! Maybe some of those elements aren’t in your favorite room yet, but if you add them in, you’ll love it even more.
Put a name on your decor style (if you want)
You don’t have to attach a name to your decor style. Because you defined your style based on things you already love, it will be uniquely you. But, if you want to name your style, you certainly can.
Or, maybe you have no idea where to start because you don’t have a favorite room (I’ve been there!). Look at different styles on Pinterest (farmhouse, traditional, mid-century modern, etc.), and see if there’s any style that sticks out to you. If there is, start there and play with it until it feels like you.
You can flip through home decor books, magazines, and TV shows to see what sticks out to you. Emily Henderson also has an online version of her Styled quiz that will help you put a name on your decor style.
What’s your decor style? What elements do you want throughout your home?
Tell me in the comments!