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Design 101- How to Define Your Own Unique Decorating Style

How to Find Your Decorating Style

Have you ever met those people (or maybe you are one of them) who knew exactly what they wanted to be when they “grew up”?  Knowing what they wanted to be provided them a clear path to achieve their goals.  It made the decisions of where to go to school, what to major in etc. a lot easier!

Then you may recall others (or maybe you were one of them) who had no idea what they wanted to be.  They knew they were interested in health stuff, they knew they liked working with kids, they knew they liked helping others, and being creative but no profession stood out more than the others.  Picking a major was a lot harder for this person.


I can completely relate to the latter scenario and I was always envious of those who knew exactly what they wanted to be because it made their other decisions so much easier!


Similarly there are those “lucky” people whose decorating styles fall into ONE of the determined decorating genres: Farmhouse/Rustic, Traditional, Modern, Bohemian, Coastal, Mid-century, etc.  Having that ONE decorating style that they love makes their decisions of what to purchase for their home and how to put it together SO much easier!

Modern Decorating Style

via Beazly Home

Well, if you aren’t one of those “lucky” people you aren’t alone!  I definitely feel like a decorating mutt of sorts.  There are a variety of decorating styles that have things that I love about them but not one that I love in it’s entirety.

What decorating style am I?

via Ballard Designs

It certainly can make decorating your home a lot more confusing and difficult!


So today I want to share a trick that will help you pinpoint your very own unique decorating style.  It doesn’t matter how many decorating styles you love after learning this process you will have a very specific course to take to achieve your personal style (making decisions of what to buy so much easier).


I am a visual person so what really helped me is to make a chart.


Start by taking out a piece of paper and listing all of the styles that ‘speak to you’ in one way or another.  As shown in my example below.


How to Decorate with more than one style


After you have identified the styles, take time to think about and ask yourself what are the specific characteristics that I love about that style?


For this step you may need do a google search on a particular style to find out what all the characteristics of that style are in the first place.


For example if you know you like aspects of the Farmhouse style you may want to google “what are the characteristics of the Farmhouse decorating style”.  Then look through the answers and photos that come up and write down what you love about it.

Farmhouse Decorating Style

via Between You & Me Blog

Be sure to only write down the characteristics that you truly love and would want to incorporate into your own home.  Do this for each style that appeals to you.
Below is my list!


How to Figure Out Your Decorating Style


Now once you have this list you can cross out the names of the styles you started with and circle just their characteristics that you love (as shown below).


How to find your personal decorating style


This is your own personal home decorating style!!  I have to tell you it feels so good to have it in writing instead of bouncing around in my head in an unorganized, confusing way!


The circled portion on your chart will be your personal guide to decorating your home!  These are the characteristics of the furniture and decor items that you will purchase and bring into your home so become very familiar with it (you can even create your own name for your style).;-)

To create harmony just be sure to use each characteristic that have incorporated into your at least one or two other times.

For example, If I use the “natural materials” characteristic with a jute jug I would also want to include maybe a sisal basket and/or a piece of driftwood in the decor.

I have found that it is helpful to have pinpointed my personal decorating style when looking at inspiration photos.  Now I can more easily pick out what I like about the room or what doesn’t work for me and why.


For example in this room I love the mix of curved and straight lines (Traditional), the comfortable looking furniture (Traditional), the gold floor lamps (Glam), the natural material of the X chairs (Coastal), the light walls (Farmhouse), and the use of blues (Coastal).  In the decor they use books (traditional), art (modern), and a picture of a beach (coastal),  The black drapes are just a touch of bold color (Modern).


My only complaint would be there may be a few too many pillows and decor items for my taste(Modern).


Mixing Decorating Styles

via Serena & Lily

Before completing my chart I may have known that I liked the photo below but not known what was missing.  Now I can put my finger on what I like about it and what I don’t.  I like the light colored walls, the traditional pieces, the striped rug, the black and white art.


Luxe decorating Style

What is missing from my list in the photo above?  The texture, natural elements, more pretty details like gold accents or glass vases, and maybe some white woodwork like crown molding or board and batten.

Researching out characteristics of different decorating styles and filling out your own chart might take some time (maybe 15 minutes to an hour) but I promise you will be so happy you did and will be able to make decisions about what to buy for your home more easily and with greater confidence (not to mention all the money you will save from not buying things you don’t truly love or just because they are a good deal).


I hope this post is helpful to you!  If you are interested in Design 101 posts you can find 11 more, Here.🙂


Thanks so much for being here and I hope you have a wonderful rest of your week!




P.S.  Thank you SO much to those who filled out my blog survey last week!:-)  If you haven’t yet and would like to still, you can Here.


How to figure out your decorating style

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