What is my style? I was working with a client the other day when this question came up. We were looking at fabric samples and narrowing down our selection for a chair to be re-upholstered. We found one we both loved, the colors were perfect, the scale was just right, it was durable and would function well in the space, but then she said “I don’t know, do you think it’s my style?” I said “Do you love it?” She said “Yes.” I said “Then it’s your style.”
I started thinking about her question and realized that this is something that is talked about a lot in interior design. “What is your decorating style?” . . . “Take this quiz to find out your personal style.” . . . “Will this work with my design style?” Believe me, I have taken these quizzes when I have seen them in magazines. I think they are fun and entertaining, but if I were to listen to the results of all the quizzes I have taken, do you know what my decorating style would be? Multiple Personality Disorder!
Honestly, I think if we try to fit into a certain style, it just produces fear in making decisions, and where there is fear there is no creativity. The most interesting homes I’ve been in, and I’ve been in quite a few, are the ones where you see the personality of the owners shine through. They’re not worried about fitting into a prescribed decorating style, they just buy what speaks to them and what they are naturally drawn to. Your home should be a reflection of you, your personality, your travels, your hobbies, your life. I love seeing a family heirloom, like an antique dresser, paired with a modern piece of art above it. It’s the juxtaposition of antique and modern that makes it interesting. You would expect to see a piece of art from the same time period, but the modern piece makes you pause and take it all in.
All this being said, there are certain design principles to keep in mind when making selections for your home:
- Harmonious Color Scheme – will this item work with my color scheme?
- Scale & Proportion – will the scale of this item be in proportion with the room and or surrounding furniture and accessories?
- Balance & Rhythm – will the balance and rhythm of the room be maintained by adding this item?
- Function – does this item meet the needs and functionality of the room it will be living in?
Here is the formula for knowing if something will work in your home. If you can answer yes to the above questions, you are naturally drawn to something and your heart palpitates when you think about it, it will work!
Here are some examples of fearless decorating that I love: