If you’ve ever undertaken a home renovation project, you’ll be aware of the vast array of choices out there. So how do you choose what style to decorate? Especially if you like lots of different styles.
Take something as simple as a bathroom. Most will have white sanitary ware, of which the main decision seems to be traditional or contemporary style. But the tiles? How do you know if you want plain white metro, slate herringbone, marble effect porcelain, brightly coloured mosaic, large scale bookmatched stone, patterned encaustic tiles or decorative ceramics? The choice is overwhelming.
So here are my 10 top tips for discovering your interior design style, which will help to guide you in making the right choices for a home that reflects your tastes.
- Think of your favourite interiors. If you think of places you’ve visited over the years, whether public buildings, restaurants, hotels or other peoples homes, and how you feel when you’re experiencing them. There’ll be a few common themes between your favourites, perhaps you love a contemporary sushi restaurant? A vibrant Firmdale hotel? Or perhaps a Victorian gothic national trust house? Do you tend to prefer traditional or contemporary buildings? Monochrome or colourful?
- Look what images are in your Pinterest/socials feed. If your feed is full of textured, natural interiors and home baked goods? Then it’s likely that you have a preference for this aesthetic. Or perhaps most of the kitchen images you like are bright open plan minimalist spaces, which you probably much prefer over a busy, eclectic, hand painted farmhouse kitchen.
- What’s in your wardrobe? A person who shops at COS and Zara will have a very different personal style to a person who shops at FatFace and White Stuff. Perhaps you love labels and have a wardrobe full of Gucci and Prada, or maybe you prefer ‘discreet chic’ like a good pair of Sweeneys and a cashmere sweater. You can absolutely translate your wardrobe style into your interiors style, no matter what type of architecture or period features you’re working with.
- Comfortable or uncomfortable? If you walk into a friends contemporary penthouse apartment and feel exposed sitting on their fixed upholstery sofa, it’s likely you’d prefer a sumptuous old linen feather seated sofa to lounge on. Or maybe the opposite is true and sinking into a classic Maker & Son sofa would actually make you feel quite claustrophobic rather than cocooned.
- Think about your favourite season. We all have preferred seasons, whether you’ve ‘had your colours done’ and know you’re a winter, or you just love breaking out your favourite pair of neon swimmers in the summer. We naturally gravitate towards colours and textures of our favourite seasons, I am an autumn in every sense of the word – I love earthy tones, tactile textures and layering up.
- Introvert or extrovert? There isn’t one size fits all when it comes to this distinguishing personality trait, but extroverts are usually keen to add statement pieces to their interior design schemes or bold talking points. Introverts on the other hand are predominantly led by how an interior feels much more so than how it looks, so their interiors tend to be more understated.
- Practicality is key. You may have a favourite pair of flip flops and a favourite pair of salopettes, but you wouldn’t wear them at the same time (unless you’re bonkers). Think about how you use the house year round, what you need it to do, the activities for each space, and this will help inform what type of decor and furnishings you choose. (Don’t forget those muddy dogs on cream porcelain tiles from my last post…)
- Texture – ahhhh or urghhh? Some clients have an absolute hatred for particular textures, velvet being the most marmite of all fabrics. Others can’t stand the fact that linen creases easily and looks ‘lived in’. Interiors schemes that mix up the textures have a very different style to schemes that are clean lines and starched corners.
- Your home tells the story of who you are. So what do you want it to say about you? The great thing is, you can decide. If you are a knitted cardigan wearing lover of old book shops and dingy pubs, but how you actually want to come across to the world is a trendy techy with a contemporary grand design style home, then you can absolutely do that. Redesigning your home is always an opportunity to reinvent yourself.
- It’s not all about you…if you live with other people, you need to consider their tastes too. Even if you are footing the bill, it should feel like everyone’s home.
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