How to Define Your Interior Design Style

7- South end modern renovation
7- South end modern renovation

riorWhen you're working with an interior designer, it's important to be able to communicate your desired ideas and style for your dream home: The better you can paint a picture for your decorator, the more likely it is that you will love the outcome when your home design is complete. However, knowing what you like when you see it and actually being able to put your decorating style into words are two totally different things.

Here's how you can begin to define your interior design style so you can articulate it to your design team.

  1. Create a "Loves" list. The first step in figuring out your style is to find the things that catch your eye. Whether you tear pages from magazines, save scraps of fabrics, snap shots of decor when you're out shopping, or create Pinterest boards with rooms and furniture you like, after a while you should be able to see a theme among all of the things you love. Another helpful exercise? Go through your home and note any items that you love, and the ones that aren't really your style.
  2. Note the similarities. Once you've got a solid collection of imagery, it's time to define the common threads. Is there a certain color palette you're drawn to? Do you tend to prefer jewel tones to pastels? Neutral to color? Shiny finished to matte ones? What about the silhouette and shapes of the furniture? Are they ornate or simple? Antique or brand-new? How about the "feel" of the room? Is it casual or formal? Write down the overarching similarities you see amongst the rooms and pieces you love.
  3. Learn the lingo. Last but not least, it's time to assign designer definitions to your style. The three major styles are contemporary (or what many people refer to as modern), traditional, and transitional (which is a mix of contemporary and traditional). Most people find they fall somewhere in the transitional category. More specific design styles include midcentury modern, bohemian, eclectic, glam, coastal, minimal, shabby chic, rustic farmhouse, and Scandinavian. If you're drawn to bright colors, mixed prints, and global elements, your style is likely bohemian. Prefer weathered furniture, casual textiles, country touches and mix-and-matched silhouettes that don't look too perfect? A rustic farmhouse style may be for you. This article from HGTV has good visual definitions of various design styles.