How to Find & Embrace Your Interior Decorating Style

The newest 2018 décor trends allow us to freshen up and enliven our homes, adding new inspiration and an unmistakable “wow” factor.

But what if the trends of the times don’t appeal to you? What if the hot shades of the year just aren’t your colours? Or you’re more into sleek acrylic than natural materials? Or you find a black and white theme incredibly boring?

Then we say ignore the trends, and embrace a style of interior décor that is as unique and distinct as your own sartorial sense of style and your vibrant personality. Trends are always changing, and what’s most important is tailoring your home to be a place that brings you a sense of joy and contentment every day, and that is a reflection of you and your characteristics.

Not sure where to start? Amidst a storm of interior decorating magazines, Pinterest boards, and articles outlining the trends of the season, it can feel overwhelming and sometimes downright confusing to pinpoint and articulate your design approach. Each of us develops certain preferences that are completely unique to us, crafted and curated over time, often continuously evolving, picking up bits and pieces of inspiration from all around us. You already have style. Here’s how to identify exactly what it is:

Decide on a few key basic themes

While your style is undoubtedly unique, identifying some common themes will help you to create a cohesive look. Ask yourself which you naturally gravitate toward:

Classic vs. modern style

Images via Pinterest

Do you prefer a classic look – something that is sophisticated, elegant, balanced, and symmetrical? Do you like things that are intricate and ornate? Or are you more into a modern style – with simple forms, clean lines, and natural materials?

Old vs. new

Images via Pinterest

Do you prefer older items – such as those from vintage, antique, and/or thrift stores – that carry with them history and a unique story? Or do you prefer things to be brand new and shiny, without a touch of wear and tear?

Clean and neutral shades vs. bold and bright colours

Images via Pinterest

Are you more inclined to stick to calm, contemporary neutrals, which bring a feeling of sophistication and classic chic? Or do you like to go big and bold with pops of colour and bright patterns?

Identify your favourite stand-out pieces

The items in your home that you love the most – whether it’s a piece of furniture, a framed painting or photograph, or a knick-knack treasured over the years – can be great clues into your ideal design style. Take a tour through your home and select a handful of items that you enjoy and simply couldn’t live without. Then ask yourself what it is about each piece that you adore – its design, its colour or texture, its history or sentimental value? The images give you a better idea on how you can bring more attention to these beloved pieces, and how you can make the rest of your home’s style complement and highlight these stand-out pieces.

Don’t be afraid to mix & match

It’s great to have an idea of your preferences and to decide on some key themes, but there’s no need to go all one way or another. Mixing and matching distinct styles is what will make your home truly unique. If you can’t decide between old and new, include some of both! These are guidelines that will ultimately help you choose the distinct combination of elements that speaks to you.

Gather inspiration from far & wide

When it comes to establishing your unique décor style, dig deep into some great sources of inspiration, from websites such as Houzz (which features over 15 million photos of beautiful interiors to get your creative juices flowing) to Pinterest boards (check out Brookfield Residential’s Pinterest page for inspiration) to recent travels or adventures you’ve been on, inspiring books or movies you’ve enjoyed lately, your favourite artists, fashion designers, magazines, and more. Visit paint stores to gather paint samples and fabric shops to collect fabric swatches. Collect all your inspiration to see common themes and threads, which will allow you to select your favourites and to begin creating a cohesive look.

Find common ground

There’s a good chance that you’re not the only one living in your home – so you may need to take others’ styles into account as well. Spouses, for example, often have different styles and preferences, so interior decorating can be an exercise in compromise and debate. The key here is to look for common ground. What can you all agree on? Which items do you feel less passionate about, and more willing to compromise on? Searching for inspiration together can be incredibly powerful, as you may both discover that you love a certain style that you hadn’t considered before. Be patient and always look for commonalities and areas of mutual agreement.

What’s your interior decorating style? How did you find or develop it, and do you have any tips to share? Join us on the Brookfield Residential Facebook page and let us know!