Some people inherently know the style they want to cultivate in their lives. Others have a more chaotic relationship with design and may have trouble pinpointing exactly what aesthetic they enjoy. Not a problem day to day, but it can make home decorating incredibly difficult. Before investing in any new furniture, art or accent walls, you should stop and take a moment to consider the kind of style you want to cultivate in your home (and in your life!).
But how do you choose the best style for your home if you don’t know where to begin? Well, we’ve got you covered with some quick and easy first steps!
1. Look at your clothes
Does your closet contain a lot of a particular colour? Do you wear lots of black and white, or do you have every colour of the rainbow? Do you have a lot of casual wear, or is your whole closet ready for work? Your clothes say a lot about what style suits you best, even if all you see is the need for a closet upgrade!
2. Look inwards
Are you a bubbly extrovert, or a shy introvert? Do you like to take risks, or do you like to carefully consider all your options? Bold personalities attract bold designs, while conservative personalities may go for a more minimalist approach. It’s not an exact science, but the more you know about yourself the more open you may be to certain styles.
3. Look outside
Where do you love to go on the weekend? Do you like to sit at your favourite café with a cup of coffee and a book, or do you explore your local antique store or museum? Go to your favourite place and look around – take in the colour, the furniture, the materials, and write it down for later.
4. Pinterest is in your best interest
The best virtual mood board around, Pinterest is a treasure trove of inspiration. See boards from designers, celebrities, and friends, or create your own board and keep all the pictures that inspire you in one place. If you’re not tech savvy or just don’t care for a virtual board, create an old school scrapbook and cut inspiration from catalogues, magazines, even stock photos.
5. When in doubt – don’t!
We’ve all been there...you see something you kind of like, the salesperson offers you a one-time discount, and suddenly a ticking clock appears as you try to imagine this piece in your home. Pro-tip: ignore the clock and put your hands over your ears. Don’t let the sales pitch sway you! If you think your mind could be swayed one way or the other in the next 24 hours, you don’t need this piece. If you’re trying to establish a clear and consistent design, the worst thing you can do is let your basic impulses go wild. Take the rest of the day to think about it – you may even find a better solution!
6. Open season
Maybe you’re in the market for a new home. Maybe you’re not. Either way, open houses or model home tours are a great way to see some awesome home décor without putting it in your own house. Usually, these homes will include descriptions of the architecture or interior design too, so you won’t have to puzzle over whether that shade of blue is coastal or farmhouse.
7. Read a book, magazine or blog
There are plenty of books and magazines dedicated to interior design. Pick up your local newspaper, visit your local library, or let Google find you some blogs. Hundreds of expert designers, stylists, historians and fasionistas at the tip of your fingers – what more could you ask for!
8. Liberal sampling
Have you found yourself staring at the wall of paint chips in Bunnings, admiring the colours and imagining what they might look like in your home? Guess what...those are free for you to take, so do it! Does the furniture store you’re visiting offer fabric samples for their products? Ask for it! Does that bathroom display centre have tile samples? I’ll take three! Keep a box of sample materials, styles and colours (maybe next to that scrapbook you started in step 4?).
9. Keep it flexible
If you’re having trouble fitting your style into a single box, don’t worry! Rarely is the world black and white – your style could be clearly defined, but it’s more likely to be a mix of two or more. Perhaps you like each room to have its own style, or maybe you prefer to blend them. In any case, keep an open mind...if you really want that rustic horseshoe to hang in your modern kitchen, don’t let a style label hold you back!
10. Hire a stylist / organiser
If you find yourself stuck on your own, you can reach out to a home interior designer. This option may come with a hefty price tag, but it’s also the easiest and least stressful method. Designers will ask you what you want in your space and what’s currently not working, then they will come to your home and work with you to design the perfect space. You can hire companies like Design to Inspire to decorate your home to sell, or businesses like The Stylesmiths who will help you decorate and renovate to live in. However, if you’re not keen on buying a lot of new furniture and just want to rejuvenate your space, you could consider a professional organiser instead. These professionals help you to declutter and define your space so you can make do with what you have. As well as working with home aesthetics, professional organisers help streamline housework and combat hoarding, so they can also be a boost for your mental health!
So, what are you waiting for? Get styling! While you’re at it, subscribe to the ArtissIn mailing list so you can keep on top of the latest products and trends. Who knows...your next stylish piece might be right here waiting for you!