How to Develop Your Own Design Style
Discover tips for uncovering and integrating a style that is true to you within your living space.
What distinguishes a cozy and welcoming home interior from others is not necessarily design expertise, but the ability to express your individual style. A home that embodies your personality in every corner creates an atmosphere that truly reflects the person who lives there, resulting in a warm and inviting environment.
While transforming a house into a home does involve aesthetics, it’s actually more than just the visual. Discovering your design style and manifesting it is a multi-dimensional experience.
However, once you have determined your style, it can sometimes be challenging to wholeheartedly embrace it. To help you gain confidence in your personal design aesthetic, use these tips for discovering your unique style and implementing it throughout your living space.
1. Everyone in the Household Matters
Realizing your design style is crucial to creating a home that you love living in. But how do you navigate the challenge of merging two distinct design styles in a shared living space?
When coexisting with another person who has different design preferences, assigning particular rooms to each style can create a jumbled look that lacks harmony. Instead, consider starting with a color palette that you both can agree on and then selecting pieces that appeal to each of your design sensibilities, regardless of differing perspectives.
Regardless of how you choose to integrate and blend aesthetics, it’s important to keep an open mind. Rather than focusing solely on objects that you love, consider also avoiding elements that your partner actively dislikes. The key is to be accepting of each other’s design preferences while still maintaining an overall sense of cohesiveness. When polarizing objects or details are incorporated into a shared space, it can create a negative impression. So try to stick with pieces that are neutral and more acceptable to everyone involved, while still being mindful of your own style preferences.
2. Start Small
To make incorporating a new style into your home less intimidating, try starting with a smaller space. A kitchen refresh, for instance, is an easy place to start applying your newfound design style. Basic changes, like paint color or replacing the hardware, can completely transform the space with easy-to-update details, and let you experience the style in your day-to-day life before committing to a bigger change.
The entryway is another ideal starting point because it’s usually a smaller space that sees a lot of everyday use. By introducing changes on a smaller scale, you can experiment with new styles without making a huge financial investment. For example, incorporating wallpaper, a small table or chair, or exploring storage solutions in your entryway can give you a better understanding of your preferences and tolerance for clutter. These incremental modifications allow you to refine your taste and determine your requirements for a more substantial design overhaul in the future.
3. Find Inspiration and Make It Your Own
To start, it’s a good idea to find visual inspiration for your design project. However, it’s important to put your own spin on things, so you don’t lose the uniqueness of your design. Take inspiration from the image as you incorporate textures, color palettes, and an overall ambiance that resonates with you.
It’s also crucial to consider your surroundings. Do you admire the inspiration because of its architectural elements, such as high ceilings and large windows, or because of its design features that can be more easily replicated in your space? Be aware of your space limitations and personal goals, and don’t overreach.
4. Consider the Entire Experience
Although bold paint, beautiful fabrics, and interesting artwork can set the tone for your design style, going a little bit deeper will truly bring it to life. For instance, consider the feel of the materials on your skin, the ambient sound you prefer to hear while soaking in the bathtub, and the scent that permeates the space. Sensory details like these have the power to shape experiences and create vivid memories, which makes them essential in bringing your personal design style to life.
5. Don’t Play It Safe
When you hit on something you love, be sure to embrace it. People often feel uncertain about committing to a particular style, so end up choosing neutral pieces or ones that aren’t particularly interesting. However, doing so often results in a cold and unwelcoming space. It’s important to recognize that the decision-making process and commitment can be intimidating, but leaning towards neutrality can make your space appear lifeless. To combat this, consider taking small steps and collecting pieces over time that draw your attention. Gradually introduce color and personality to build a cohesive look that reflects your individual style preferences.
6. Let It Evolve Over Time
To find your design style, take your time to gradually build your space with items that you’ve invested in and accumulated over the years. Avoid the temptation to decorate your space all at once and instead allow it to evolve and come to life organically over time. As you grow and develop, your design style should change with you. Remember that pieces with personal value will easily move with you throughout your life’s journey, while trendy and fleeting items may quickly fall out of fashion. It’s important to avoid fast furniture and trend-focused looks that won’t stand the test of time.