Determining Your Design Style | Home Design Find

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Determining Your Design Style

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The first thing required, before embarking on any design project, is to determine your design style. It can seem rather a complicated exercise, especially with the media bombardment about what we ought to like, how we ought to dress, what we ought to buy, how we ought to live, and so on. The thing is, each of us already has a style – you just can’t be a person without having your own unique style – it may not be the one they advertise on the billboards, but, rest assured, you have one. The trick lies in dimming the outside noises, refusing to ape prevalent fashions, being perfectly aware of past and present fashions, designs and trends, and going with what gives you joy.

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To determine your design style for your home, there are several questions to ask yourself –

  • What kind of atmosphere do you want to create? Peaceful and contemplative? Vibrant and cheering? Old world and traditional? You can create different moods in different parts of the home. Identify your desire and purpose.
  • What kind of space do you have and what kinds of space arrangements appeal to you?
  • What kind of furniture do you like? Modern, Contemporary, Traditional, Country, Casual or Fusion? Do you care more for looks or for comfort, functionality and convenience? A futuristic glass and steel chair, for example, may look pretty far out, but a stuffed arm-chair will be more inviting to nestle down in.
  • What kind of colors, patterns, shapes, textures and fabrics do you like? You can get a good idea by checking your lifestyle choices – the clothes you wear, the accessories you have, the pictures, collectibles and books you own, the car you drive, etc.
  • What kind of materials do you fancy? Natural or synthetic?

You also need to consider –

  • Your life-style – Do you have an easy-going or very hectic schedule? Do you have a small or large family? Do you entertain a lot, in a middling way, or rarely? What would suit you, a high maintenance or low maintenance interior?
  • Your budget – Are you rolling or reeling? Having plenty of cash on hand is convenient – there are so many beautiful things out there – but, if not, no problem. Just acquire one good thing at a time.

Nothing like knowledge to help you along, so –

  • Peruse interior design books, magazines and online resources.
  • Visit interior design stores, home improvement shops, flea markets, antique shops, art dealer stores and auctions.
  • Keep a tab on the different design styles available in the market. You don’t have to follow any specific style, but knowing the various ones can serve as a guide.
  • Familiarize yourself with different designers and their creations.
  • Have an idea about current prices for the items you want.
  • Keep your eyes open for beautiful interiors when visiting friends or acquaintances.
  • Learn the fundamentals of interior design – why something works, in what combination or why it doesn’t work.
  • Read up on interior design history – it’s fascinating to know how and why things developed and evolved.
  • Make a folder of photographs and cuttings of designs that represent most what you’re looking for. You’ll find a common theme developing.

Once you have gathered together enough ideas about what you want

Follow any one or more styles. Or, better yet, you can pick and choose and mould them into your own unique vision. Don’t be afraid of experimenting.

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Photos used

1. Irish Living Room

2. Utsein Kloster – Photo by Frode Inge Helland

3. Eleanor Roosevelt Living Room – Photo by Rolf Müller

4. Bedroom – must add link to

Written by Sonal Panse

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3 Comments so far to “Determining Your Design Style”
  1. Kate Says:

    Thank you for this article. I am about to move, downsize, and I really don’t like anything I have. Realizing I don’t have to do it all or know it all is a true confidence booster.
    Now I can look forward to the process .

  2. elayne Says:

    This might sound stupid, but does anyone know of some kind of a helpful, interactive style-matching quiz or website? I have no idea whether my preferred style would be called “this” or “that” or “the other,” but I can point out what I like best if there’s a lineup of photos. The problem lies in the fact that while, say, my favorite sofa might be “this” style, the accent tables I like best are in “that” style, while the paint, windows, and lighting fixtures are in “the other” style. I can’t seem to pull it all together!

    I can look at photos and see what I like or dislike about them, but I can’t seem to make it cohesive, nor to convert those preferences into an indwelling knowledge of what my style is. Magazines and books usually show overwhelming designs or schemes (or styles that would require an entire decade’s salary for me to finance).

    I am considering hiring someone to help, particularly with two problem rooms in my house (awkwardly shaped and awkward traffic flow), but I’d like to understand my own preferences better first. Every time I try to figure it out, though, I get bogged down in the details and distracted by all the options. Anyone have any suggestions?

  3. HDF Says:

    @elayne – Here is a site where you can take a quiz to help you find out what style matches your personality best.

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