When it comes to decorating their homes, many people don’t know where to start. But decorating is more about knowing yourself than about knowledge of interior design. You can find your own decorating style in a variety of places. Here are seven ideas on where to look from the Akron Beacon Journal and HGTV.com:
1. Magazines and catalogs: Spend some time tearing out photos you like. Study the pictures and think about what you find appealing in each image, what feeling it gives you, and what you noticed first. You’ll probably start to see patterns of furniture styles, colors, or room layouts that you gravitate toward.
2. Your prized possessions: Think about what you love about your favorite rug, dish, artwork, etc. If you love the colors, that can give you a palette for your room. If it’s the style or feel of the piece—contemporary, romantic, etc.—that can guide your design of a room.
3. Your wardrobe: Go through your closet and pick out your favorite garments, perhaps trying them on. Your clothing will give you a sense of your style and color preferences—trendy or conservative, colorful or neutral, etc.
4. Where you love to shop: Are you a flea-market junkie? You may have a vintage style. Do you like to browse sleek, trendy stores? Your style may be more modern.
5. Furniture retailers: Most furniture stores are set up in room vignettes that allow you to evaluate a variety of styles.
6. Films: Studying the houses you like in movies can help you recognize your own decorating preferences.
7. Travel destinations: Where you go on vacation—and the souvenirs you take home—are great indicators of your personal style. If you visit Mexico often and purchase cobalt-blue wine glasses, you like the hacienda look. If you always take beach vacations and bring home jars of seashells, you have a coastal cottage style.
Pay attention also to the types of hotels you tend to choose. If you often stay at modern city high-rises, you like contemporary looks. If you love bed and breakfasts, you may have a more cozy, country style.