Finding Your Personal Design Style – Step 3

The Problem

Far too often we chat with readers or receive emails asking for advice on how they can figure out their personal design style. These readers usually report that they know they don’t love what they have in their current space, but aren’t sure what to replace it with because they don’t know their style.

And because they’re afraid to make the wrong decision, they become frozen in a state of indecision. This leads to them living with decor that they hate! <— we want to change this ASAP!!

guest-room-1We understand these concerns all too well because we have been there! And since we’ve gone through those same experiences (the struggle is real), we started providing you with more information and exercises that you can use to figure out what your style really is. To catch up check out:

Finding Your Personal Design Style – Step 1 (assessing what you don’t love)
Finding Your Personal Design Style – Step 2 (using your closet for clues)

family-room-hydrangeasToday we’re going to pick up where left off and continue the fun by diving into Step #3 – Using the information from Steps Finding Your Personal Design Style – Step 1 and #2 to start collecting inspiration and making a plan. You ready for this?!

Compiling Data From Step #1 and #2

After figuring out what you definitely DO NOT love (dark furniture, bright colors, and super busy patterns for us) and then what you DO love in your closet (neutrals, classic patterns like gingham, and a relaxed/cozy feel for us), you need to put this new information into action for home decor.

However, before you start making a plan for a specific room and making changes, we want you to complete this next step. We think this simple exercise will help you decorate with intention, which will help you avoid design regret in your future.

Pinterest Homework

We love Pinterest but we also realize that it can be extremely overwhelming. Is it just us or is almost every room on that gorgeous platform magazine-worthy?! But instead of scrolling through Pinterest without a plan, we want you to use it for this next exercise. typing_on_laptop_computer-2

Make a new board and title it “MY DECOR STYLE” and if you want, you can do this same thing for your “WARDROBE STYLE”. Once you have your new decor board, you need to collect images as carefully and mindfully as possible. Instead of just pinning all the cute rooms you see on there, ONLY pin images that you are obsessed with. Images that literally stop you in your tracks. Images that you feel are “so you”.

bedroom_headboard_Pillows_nightstandThese images should also reflect the new information you found about yourself from Steps 1 – 2. If you don’t love dark furniture, you should not be pinning images with dark furniture because that is not “so you”. If you don’t love bright colors, the room on Pinterest may look pretty but it does not deserve a coveted spot on your decor style board.

Making Notes

Be as selective and intentional as you can as you gather these images. When you do stumble upon an image that is “so you” that has almost stopped you in your tracks, pin it and note in the description of the pin WHAT you love about that photo.

If you love the white subway tile, the mixture of furniture, the rug, the color scheme — note that on the pin for reference later on! The more specific you can be while you add pins to your board, the better! <— (both for decor style and fashion style)

Conclusions & Reflectionsplanner_bedroom_coffee_flowers-2

After you have pinned at least 50 images (yes, the more images the better!), take a break from pinning and review the pins. Here’s a list of questions you can ask yourself to try to find clarity from this collection and more about your personal style moving forward:

  • What color interiors were you drawn to?
  • What common themes did you notice? (color, texture, furniture color, etc.)
  • Is there a texture or pattern that keeps re-occurring throughout your board?
  • What do these images have that you already have in your home and love?
  • What do these images have that you wish you had in your home?
  • Do the colors, textures and patterns match the trends you saw in the closet activity?
  • What trends are consistent? (shiplap, lots of plants, gold hardware, etc.)

Moving Forward

Now that you have found some recurring themes, colors, textures and interior trends that fit your style, it’s time to use this information as you move forward planning a new room.

Even if most of the pins gave you inspiration for a family room, you can still use this information to design a kitchen, nursery, patio… anything!bathroom-round-mirror

It’s important that you take the “vibes” (colors, finishes, textures, patterns) and incorporate them into both your current and future spaces. The information and collection of pins is now your Design Style. Once you nail down your personal style, you’ll be able to keep your style consistent across your home and create a home that is cohesive and “so you”.

Finding_your_personal_StyleWe’ll use Step 4 to dive into strategies you can use to be more intentional with your shopping, decorating, and DIY-ing so that everything you bring into your home moving forward is “so you” and will not lead to design regret in a few months. In the meantime, happy pinning!

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Leave a Comment

  • Trang

    Shoot, this assignment is easy. I just copied both your home décor style boards! LOL My style is very similar to you gals’ style. My friends have said it’s obvious what I like in my house (grays, coppers, simple/sleek designs with a splash of mint/aqua color throughout). Pinterest is the devil. I pin so much with so many ‘bright ideas’ of DIYs and then I don’t actually do those DIYs. Yet, I keep pinning more daily (a lot of recipes too!).

    • literally laughing out loud over here! Hahahaha! You’re right, pinterest can be so overwhelming at times. And don’t sell yourself short..it seems like you’re always DIY’ing something awesome for that house of yours!

  • Sara

    Love this series! This is a much better process for me than trying to find one already named style, or trying to figure out how to mix styles. Thank you. I know I love preppy prints, lots of color, brass, rattan, traditional symmetry, and a key west vibe. I struggle with how to make choices that won’t lead my house to look like a circus.

    • Happy to help Sara! It’s good that you know what you like. That’s key! Hopefully these steps will help you as you put it all together.

  • Pinterest homework? Why wasn’t there pinterest homework when I was in university? I would have my PHD by now! I love this series, so helpful. I feel like I “like” alot of styles, furniture, accessories, etc. but I am slowly figuring out what my style is and what I like in my home. Can’t wait for step 4!

    • Haha right?! We couldn’t agree more!! Bring on the homework =)

  • I love this advice. I always thought I was more of a colorful home person until I realized almost everything I was pinning was heavy on the neutrals or just pops of color and now that’s slowly making it’s way into my house! And I like it! Pinterest isn’t just for wasting time. Woo-hoo!

    • We feel the exact same way Diana!! Glad it’s helping. Pinterest Research is our favorite kind of research 😉