Instead of classifying your style under any formal name, it’s best to think about the things you love and what you’re naturally drawn towards. A decorating style is usually born out of your own design exposure, upbringing, social circle, and lifestyle you lead. It comes with attention to detail, looking at how pieces relate to one another, and to the entire room. Whether your style has a popular name, or it doesn’t fit into a standard mould, finding it will help focus your decorating efforts. Try these techniques to discover your interior decorating style so that you make the best design decisions for your home:
1. Lifestyle Mapping
The homes in interior design magazines may look beautiful but if you really think about it, may not be the most practical choice for your lifestyle. That’s why you should really sit down, think and note down what you need from your home before you go about designing it. You might wish for a farmhouse-white, impeccably arranged home. But you may have kids who are bursting with energy and a super-playful dog who will have muddy paws and crayon drawings all over the pristine white furniture in a matter of minutes. You may want a number of beautiful, heavy furniture, but you happen to own a tiny 1,000 square feet studio in Mumbai close to your workplace. You’ll have to think twice about the heavy furniture if you want any space to move! Love dark walls but your home hardly gets any natural light?
With all such ‘constraints’ in mind, map out your lifestyle (or desired lifestyle) or ‘a day in your life’. Put down your family’s needs, budget, memories, hobbies, things you do together, daily routines, social circle, the size of your home, lighting conditions, your environmental concerns, and other things specific to your life. Also, map out what you think will change in the next few years. Just the way interior experts profile their customers before starting the design process itself.
Your home layout, furniture choices, paint colours, materials, and accessories will depend on these lifestyle choices. Shop for things close to your heart and fitting your desired lifestyle. Make it a well-planned, well-curated home, bringing elements together cohesively in a style that can be shabby chic, industrial, art deco, urban modern, or whatever else you choose to name it.
2. Mood Boarding
This is perhaps the easiest way to unearth the type of interior design you love. If you own a lot of design magazines, then get a corkboard or magnetic mood board and start pinning up all those room pictures, colours and design snippets that make your heart flutter.
Easier still, start a Pinterest or Instagram account, follow some of the leading interior designers and curators for inspiration. As you pin/like more and more pictures that appeal to you, a trend is sure to emerge. Notice what kind of images you have pinned over the months, and the colours, patterns, and materials you have gravitated towards. This will help us understand whether you are traditional, contemporary, modern or eclectic, a wonderful mix of it all.
3. Inspiration from Outdoors
Step out for more inspiration. Visit a tastefully decorated palace, restaurant, design store or any other place that catches your eye. If you’re lucky enough to travel a lot, look around beyond the sight-seeing spots, visit small cafes, art houses, and local design fairs. Notice how things are put together, and what ties them together. These inspirations and the memories associated with them will inform your tastes in the long run.
If you have a maximalist, global eclectic style, it’s a well-traveled look that will catch your eye – One that showcases elements from various parts of the world, bringing together bold colours, a mix of interesting patterns, and art deco pieces. If you have a minimalist style, you’d be excited at straight lines, negative spaces, colour-blocking with bold and neutral shades, and modern silhouettes. Natural and weathered finishes in wood, leather, or marble will excite you if you’re a sophisticated, yet rustic or industrial style decorator.
4.Favourite Pieces as Anchors
Pick a few favorites from your decor accessories and furniture for each room. Naturally, these are reflective of your inherent style. Start decorating around them to give you a reference point to return to while shopping.
Suppose you have a few traditional heirloom collectibles and want to keep the décor ethnic, traditional. Having this in mind will help you stick to traditional style furnishings when you’re faced with choices. Or it will make you think of clever ways to mix in contemporary accents. Achieving that balance in an unexpected way is where your unique style begins.
5. Being Clear About What Your Style is Not
Be open to the fact that a decorating style is not constant. But change definitely is. Gather furniture and pieces as you go – editing constantly, and curating ones that are meaningful to you. Sell, refurbish or upcycle older pieces that you had collected, to fit your evolving style. Don’t be tempted to hoard items that don’t give you joy anymore, or have no further utility. Even if you’re still searching for things that you love, be clear about what you don’t want, and dispose of them off cleverly.
If you are still confused about what style of interior design is for you and your family, the best thing you can do is get the help of experts, like the ones at HomeLane, who will sit with you and figure out the best way forward. Your home is a long term investment that you must look at and live in, so make sure that you design it just right.