Today I’m turning the blog over to my friend Shannon from AKA Design. She is very talented, and so generous with her knowledge. She’s sharing with us the secret to finding you’re own personal style. She’s got some great advice for us, and as I continue on with a little re-decorating of my own space, I’m loving all her suggestions. So enjoy.
Who else wants to find their personal decorating style?
It seems that everywhere you look these days (Pinterest, magazines, television), there is a plethora of decorating inspiration. Lots of pretty rooms in all shapes, sizes and styles.
Yet despite all the eye candy you’ve seen, you still aren’t at all sure what your own decorating style is.
So you decide to do a little more research. You’ll try just this one more time to figure it out.
You see a room you like on Pinterest. Of course it wasn’t created by Pinterest, it was created by some decorator or blogger somewhere who shared it on Pinterest.
But that’s not really my point.
You see a room that you’re sure is how you want your space to look. You save the picture and keep scrolling. But then you see another room you think you love. And another and another.
The problem is they each have different colors and styles. Now you’re super confused.
So you try to make your home look like someone else’s. You go out and buy paint, or a new rug and some pillows. Maybe a new lamp or two for good measure. But when you get them home you hate them. They just don’t look right. And now you’ve wasted money yet again.
Or maybe you go out looking for decorating pieces, but you become so overwhelmed with all the options you just can’t choose anything. So you come home with nothing. And you’re back to square one.
Or you want to use what you already have, but you just can’t quite pull it all together. No matter how you rearrange the furniture you can’t make the room look good. There is just something off about it.
Either way you’re left asking yourself “Why can’t I just figure out this decorating thing already?”
It can be really tempting to try to pigeon hole yourself into some pre-determined style. You may think it’s helpful to label your style as modern, or shabby chic or transitional.
But you are more than just a single style label.
Chances are you actually like parts of more than one style. Because of this your unique and personal decorating style should be about the elements that make up the look you like and the spaces you admire. If you’re spending money on home decor, you want to spend it on things you love, right?
You don’t want to have to start over every few months and unless you’re a serial decorator, you definitely want to spend more time enjoying your home than decorating it.
I most certainly didn’t know my style when my husband, Dean, and I bought our first house years ago. We bought all the wrong things and I don’t think we own a single decor item from that house now, years and years later. It makes me sad to think of all the time and money we wasted on decor that wasn’t right for us.
But since then, oh since then!
So how do you find your style?
Well, it’s definitely not by taking one of those online style quizzes where you match some random interior photos with a word or something. Nor is it by taking a long involved course designed to drag you through weeks of work just to get to your style. You can find your style by studying photos and inspiration images you’re drawn to. But I want to point out that you need to focus on the individual elements in your inspiration images. Yes, the overall feeling in each one is helpful, but to really get a grasp on your style, you need to pay special attention to the:
- Shape of the furniture Is it round and curvy? Does it have straight lines? Is there button tufting? What wood finish does it have?
- Accessories Do you like shiny accents? Or chippy wood pieces? Or ones with vibrant pops of color?
- Layout Does the floorplan seem open and airy? Or is it more traditional, with clearly separated rooms?
- Color Scheme Is there lots of color? Or are your inspiration images full of more neutral colors?
To walk you through finding your style in this way, I’ve created a FREE download called ‘5 Steps to Discover Your Personal Decorating Style (Before the Weekend)’. You can get it here.
If you’re still reading this – and since Dannyelle was kind enough to let me into her space to talk to you today (thank you, friend) I suppose I should tell you who I am and why I’m talking to you about your decorating style, yes?
Who is Shannon, anyway? And, um, why should you care?
Technically speaking my bio says “Shannon Acheson is the co-founder of AKA Design, a community of over 11,000 people ditching their fear of decorating failure and learning to just get started.”
That’s totally accurate. But I’m also just a mom who believes that anyone can learn to decorate their own home because I did. I spent 20 years learning actually. I studied photos in magazines, visited model homes (lots of them!) and practiced on our own home and others. I even completed a full course in Interior Design from a New York design school to fill in the gaps. (That was kinda boring, let me tell you! A full unit on color theory anyone? The history of every single period of furniture ever made? Ugh.) But I finally, finally figured out how to decorate my own home. And I created Cozy & Beautiful, the decorating handbook for non-decorators, so that YOU can skip the learning curve and get straight to creating the home you love.
BUT I warn you COZY & BEAUTIFUL IS NOT FOR EVERYONE! It’s NOT for you if you’re just looking for inspiration. Or more decorating ideas. Or pretty pictures to drool over. That’s what our blog and many others are for. Or Pinterest.
BUT if youíre ready to step beyond inspiration to actually decorate your home Cozy & Beautiful IS for you.
Thanks so much Shannon, for some great advice, and some amazing resources! When you really find your own personal decorating style, life really is a party!