How to Find Your Decorating Style

6 steps to find your decorating style by examining your personality, your lifestyle, your inspirations, and what you already own to create the home you love. #decoratingstyle #findyourdecoratingstyle

Confession:  I don’t have a clue what I’m doing. I don’t have any sort of formal interior design training. If you ask me what my decorating style is, I’ll shrug and say, “I really don’t know.”

But I do know one thing. I know what is “me”. And somehow that works.

This is honestly a hilarious post for me to write because 5 years ago, I felt so lost sifting through my overflowing Pinterest boards as Robert and I were about to move into our first house. Wouldn’t you feel overwhelmed too in this big blank slate?

6 steps to find your decorating style by examining your personality, your lifestyle, your inspirations, and what you already own to create the home you love. #decoratingstyle #findyourdecoratingstyle

I had boho and farmhouse and glam and industrial and every kind of decorating style you could imagine crammed into my little room planning folders. And. I. was. so. overwhelmed!

I wasted so much money doing the trial and error thing for a while buying things that weren’t “me” because I didn’t take the time to really decide what my style actually was.

Is this familiar to you? Have you gone through the identity crisis thing? If not, click that little “x” in the corner because this post isn’t for you. If you have, settle in, friend, because I feel ya, and I hope this helps in some way so that you don’t keep making the same mistakes over and over.

6 steps to find your decorating style by examining your personality, your lifestyle, your inspirations, and what you already own to create the home you love. #decoratingstyle #findyourdecoratingstyle

Out of all of the thrift projects I’ve done, furniture makeovers I’ve finished, room redesigns we’ve pulled off, the best money-saving advice I can ever give you is this:  If you don’t figure out your decorating style first, you will never be totally happy with your home, and you will waste so much time and money trying to work backwards.

Okay, whew! That was long-winded, but I had to tell you that because I eventually had to tell myself the same thing. Want to know how to break out of that though? Here we go…

How to Find Your Decorating Style:

1. Look for commonalities among your inspiration photos.

When I first tried to figure out my style, I looked through my home inspiration Pinterest boards to try and decipher traits many of them had in common.

6 steps to find your decorating style by examining your personality, your lifestyle, your inspirations, and what you already own to create the home you love. #decoratingstyle #findyourdecoratingstyle

And I discovered most of the photos had these:

  • Natural textures like cotton, linen, and woven baskets
  • Neutrals with hints of blue and green
  • Furniture with clean lines and a slight nod to vintage
  • Open, airy spaces
  • Black or high contrasting accents
  • Medium wood tones
  • Simple, understated or nature-inspired fabric patterns

Boom! That was me in a nutshell. And I’m betting, if your Pinterest boards feel all over the place, that they actually have a lot of similarities that will point you in the right direction for your home’s “game plan”.

2. Check out your own wardrobe.

When I looked through my closet and sifted through some of my favorite clothing pieces, I found the same thing I’d discovered in the commonalities among my inspiration photos: natural fabrics, textured details like fringe and lace, simple fabric prints (if any at all), and neutral colors with hints of blue and green mingled in.

6 steps to find your decorating style by examining your personality, your lifestyle, your inspirations, and what you already own to create the home you love. #decoratingstyle #findyourdecoratingstyle

I’m a jeans and simple T-shirt or light blouse kind of girl with casual booties or sandals. That’s my comfort zone.

If you love bright colors and fun patterns and sequins and glitz, embrace that same style in your home! Because that is YOU!

3. Examine your home’s architectural style.

If your house already has some character, make it shine.

6 steps to find your decorating style by examining your personality, your lifestyle, your inspirations, and what you already own to create the home you love. #decoratingstyle #findyourdecoratingstyle

If you live in a midcentury modern house, mingle in some midcentury mod furniture. If you have a more traditional home, lean traditional in maybe your light fixtures.

You don’t have to totally box yourself into one type of decorating style just because your house’s already established architectural style dictates that. Just throw in a nod to it and it’ll feel like it fits.

And if you have a builder grade house that is rather character-less, consider it a wild card and have fun with whatever style you want. 😉

4. Consider your and your family’s lifestyle.

We are a laid back bunch with little kids, so it makes sense for our family to have weathered tables that the kids can scuff  up, slipcovered furniture that can be cleaned up in the wash, and vintage style rugs that hide stains really well.

6 steps to find your decorating style by examining your personality, your lifestyle, your inspirations, and what you already own to create the home you love. #decoratingstyle #findyourdecoratingstyle

Think about how your family functions, what your storage needs are, how you use each room in your home daily to decide what to do with it.

5. Think about what decor you already have and KonMari it.

Pick up each piece of decor (candle holder, throw pillow, vase, whatever) you have in your stash, one at a time, and if it doesn’t “spark joy”, right in the donation pile it goes.

6 steps to find your decorating style by examining your personality, your lifestyle, your inspirations, and what you already own to create the home you love. #decoratingstyle #findyourdecoratingstyle

Don’t waste time and money trying to make your existing decor work (only do that, if you really do love your existing pieces). Have a yard sale or sell it on Facebook marketplace and use that money to buy decor that does spark joy for you.

6. Decide what feeling you want your home to have as soon as you walk in.

When I come home, I want to feel peace and calm, so it makes sense that I stick to soothing blues and greens and accents that are more nature inspired. But maybe you want your home to feel energetic and upbeat or nostalgic with eclectic collections.

6 steps to find your decorating style by examining your personality, your lifestyle, your inspirations, and what you already own to create the home you love. #decoratingstyle #findyourdecoratingstyle

If you want more decorating guidance, you can subscribe and join the Bless’er House Budget Decorating Group. If you’ve been struggling with the style soul-searching, I hope this helped steer you a bit, at least.

I’m no Martha Stewart, but finding my style was the best thing I ever did to finally get some clarity and confidence on this decorating journey.

Didn’t Dolly Parton say, “Find out who you are and do it on purpose”? Find out your style on purpose while you’re at it too. 😉

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6 steps to find your decorating style by examining your personality, your lifestyle, your inspirations, and what you already own to create the home you love. #decoratingstyle #findyourdecoratingstyle

 

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43 Comments

  1. Great advice! Thank you! I’ve moved so much in the past 10 years things I didn’t LOVE were gotten rid of, because frankly, packing and unpacking stinks, but, it sure helped clear out some stuff :). Now, if I don’t love it, I don’t bring it home.

    1. Hi Sharon.

      I just went through a move after a looong time of living in our old place. I was able to get rid of lots of things I hadn’t dealt with (looked at, lol) for years! I’m really in the mindset of bringing nothing into my new house that I don’t love!

  2. Lauren, What a super wonderful post. You pointed out so so many good things….pets (me) are similar to having forever kids; I love patterned rugs and I am going to go around and take pictures of everything I really really like and do what you did. Somehow, my pinterest board ended up with a bunch of stuff on it that I didn’t put there??? so I stopped it…they send way too many emails anyway. I truly value the advice in this post and am really grateful you took the time to put it all in print. Thanks

    1. Oh no! What a bummer! I wonder if it got hacked somehow? So glad to hear that my post helped though! Those furbabies totally count as babies. 😉

  3. Great post and excellent advice! I’ve gone through many phases over the years with my decorating, but I have also discovered that there are certain elements I have always love. Inwasn’t Quite spossibly Ute what t call my type either, but between reading my favorite decorating books and looking at room photos on Pinterest, I’ve decided my style could be called “Casual European Country Cottage”, or maybe “Cozy Grandma’s House”, lol, because I love vintage/antique items, warm colors, lots of texture, and solid classic furniture pieces.

    1. Haha! Honestly, I’ve seen some REALLY beautiful “cozy grandma’s house” styles out there. You keep on rockin’ it!

  4. What a fab post, thank you. I’ve so many boards on my Pinterest that it is overwhelming. However looking at them now with a new eye, I go for making a room as light as possible whilst still keeping it warm with accents of green, and blue. Living in Scotland the winters are dark and I can’t bear it being dark in a room during the day without the winters making it worse. I’ve used Farrow and Ball colours which give colour without sapping light.

    1. I totally get it! I feel the same way about winter too. It is so amazing how decorating a room can totally change your mood. Also… I’m kind of fan-girling over the fact that you live in Scotland.