We all have a friend or relative who has a sense of style that makes decorating their home seem effortless. You may scratch your head, how did they make it look so together? Do they have some inner sense that tells them the perfect spot to hang that picture or how to mix those patterns? They have the special touch to place, choose and arrange furnishings and accessories in their residences.
But when we shop for a particular item, bring it home & place it in the intended room, it just doesn’t fit in. How do some people just know what will work ?
Is there help available for the style challenged? I am here to tell you, “YES”! Help is available!
We can learn some simple guidelines & tricks, like for an example; never group items or accessories together in even numbers, only group with 1, 3 or 5 items together.
You can learn a lot from looking . Look at home decorating magazines, decorating TV shows. Look with a discerning eye, analyze what you see and like.
Another good place to start is becoming familiar with different decorating styles. Here’s a few popular ones; Contemporary style, Retro, Traditional style, Modern , English Cottage, Romantic, Urban, that’s just for starters. Lets take a quick look at a few of them & discuss some areas that tend to define them.
Contemporary- It can fall within a wide range. What comes to most people’s minds are black and whites with the focus on-line, shape and form, providing a good backdrop for bold colored accessories and art. That’s what you were thinking, right? Well certainly. Let us forge ahead, however.
The furniture pieces often have clean lines and smooth surfaces, more rounded than the lines of Modern style.
Color palettes may lean towards tone-on-tones, with heavy emphasis on brown, cream, taupe & pure white. Shots of color are sometimes found on a single wall, a colorful rug or with striking art.
Those drawn to contemporary generally want to make an artistic statement. You’ll notice art is a theme running through this description, because they are frequently drawn to displaying art as a focal point of the room, perhaps original, if within their means.
Modern-differs from contemporary with more stark lines, clean, streamlined furniture, polished surfaces, strong geometric shapes. It may include stainless steel & chrome. There is a lack of clutter.
Modern design can be minimalist or it might be inspired by the bold colors used in abstract art.
Often it has a neural color palette that make the art and accessories extremely important. They need to have striking shapes or forms to make a statement.
Romantic, English Cottage, Shabby Chic-These are all closely related. There will be lots of delicate lace and florals. They are very feminine, lots of florals; in the wall papers, art and furnishings. It has an old-fashioned feel, lots of white-painted furniture, ruffled throw pillows, slip covers, floral or soft colored quilts and ruffled skirts on big over stuffed chairs and couches. The art is often floral as well, big cottage roses & peonies. Think English cottages with brass beds, white wicker chairs with big fluffy faded floral cushions.
This barely scratches the surface. Try browsing the internet, google some of these styles, there so much info available, look at the pictures. If you look at enough pictures you’ll find yourself starting to recognize various styles and identify them. You’re well on your way, to knowing what goes with what, when armed with some basic style awareness.
You’ll find what fits you and your life.
Here’s a few fun quiz’s to help you to find your personal style. The first one is a link to a quiz from Real Simple online magazine and the second is from Ethan Allan’s web site. Look around those sites while you’re there, see what you like.
Above all have some fun with it. It’s not rocket science!
What’s Your Decorating Personality? from Real Simple
Another fun quiz from Ethan Allen -What ‘s Your Signature?
Here’s a great article to look at from Real Simple-Your Decorating Style Defined