Finding Your Personal Design Style – Step 2
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, which leads to them living with decor that they hate! <— we want to change this ASAP!!
We 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 want to start providing you with more information and exercises that you can use to start figuring out what your style really is.
This style probably won’t match ours exactly and that’s OKAY, because your style should be personal and unique to you. We started a few weeks ago with Step One: Assessing What you Don’t Love. Today we’re moving onto Step Two: Using Clues in your Closet to Identify your Design Style.
Reflection on Step 1
But before we totally move onto the next step, we would love to hear what you discovered about yourself after doing the Activity from Step One. Did you find any patterns about what you don’t love in your home? Are you confident that you can stay away from those same patterns/colors/styles in the future so that you can avoid design regret? Have you made a plan to get rid of the items you don’t love?
We have found if you don’t love them now, you’ll NEVER love them so it’s time to get rid of them (and the guilt that comes along with that). It’s easier said than done…we get it!
Closet Exercise – Use Wardrobe for Clues
When we were going through the journey of finding our personal styles, we began to realize that the people whose styles we really admired were those whose style was the most consistent. These individuals’ styles didn’t necessarily match ours, but we loved watching their style because it was consistent across all parts of their lives.
Most notably, we noticed that not only was their home’s style super consistent from room to room, but their personal clothing style aligned with these same vibes.
Coincidence? Maybe. But we wanted to dive into that observation a bit more, which is when we arrived at the idea of analyzing our own closets to identify more clues about our own personal styles.
Plus we figured that finding our style with clues from our closets, made the process a lot less intimidating and made it feel more attainable!
We both set out to find what clothing we loved by finding what styles, clothing, patterns, or textures felt so “us” while we wore them. We kept track of what go-to outfits we grabbed over and over again because it gave us an idea of which colors/patterns/styles made us feel confident.
And in doing that, we also noted what colors/patterns/styles we NEVER wore (even though you could find them in our closets) because they didn’t feel very “us”. <— we all have that corner of our closet that we’re saving for that “someday” when we may need that shirt, only to find out that when the someday rolls around we opt to buy something new or wear something different because we still hate that shirt.
After this research, we quickly realized that BOTH of us reach for neutral clothing (whites, blacks, and grays) the most and also tend to love some pops of blues and stripes. This was a total A-HA moment for us because the colors/patterns we loved in our closet (and wore on repeat) were the same ones we loved in our homes.
We also made a point to note what we didn’t love in our closets during this experiment. Nothing against these colors, but we both found that bright reds/oranges/bright and loud + busy patterns, in general, were not items that made us feel comfortable and confident. And guess what? We also found that we tend to avoid these same colors/patterns in our home decor style.
What We’ve Done So Far
Finding this information did not happen overnight, but it did provide us with some A-HA moments that have been a total GAME CHANGER for us in our pursuit to find our personal styles.
Now that we know more about our individual clothing styles, we try to only buy items that fit these standards. For example, we may see a gorgeous bright-patterned dress but instead of buying it and eventually falling victim to regret, we admire from afar but realize that it’s not our style and not for us… so we pass (and feel great about it!).
This simple strategy has made shopping SO much easier, has saved us some serious money over the past year, and has really encouraged us to only bring home items that are “so us”.
But more importantly, we have used this information and have applied it into purchasing items for our homes. The colors, patterns, and overall “vibe” of our closet now drives our decision-making process and wow, it has led to so much LESS design regret. This closet experiment has been hands down one of the most influential exercises we have implemented to find our personal style.
Because this process has been so successful for us, we are really excited to share it with you. We hope it brings you the same clarity and confidence that it has brought us… AND we hope it saves you the same time, money, and frustration while shopping. All you have to do is download this worksheet to get started.
Over the next few weeks really take notice of your wardrobe decisions, taking special note of what items/colors/patterns make you feel the most “you”. Then answer the questions on the worksheet for further clarification and conclusions about finding your personal style!
Hopefully, by the time you’re done taking inventory of your closet, we’ll be back with STEP THREE of finding your design style. In the meantime, we’d love to hear updates on your progress!
Check out the Full Series Here…
I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.