Discovering Your Design Style

As we are cooped up with our loved ones by our side, some closer than others, making a plan to discover your design style for your home can be a great way to not only pass the time, but create a productive activity for all. Whether you are searching for an escape, finding ways to incorporate time with those under one roof or simply keep the brain engaged with the outside world, figuring out your design style is important. Our surroundings tend to create a mood that many times we are not aware of; creating an environment that sets the tone for a positive mood is even more key right now.

When venturing into identifying your own style, many people struggle with where to begin. I find that an overall picture of your ultimate goal can be helpful. Sometimes, a favorite piece of art or an object we bought because we loved the colors, can dictate the direction for our style. I love Pinterest as a tool for communicating thoughts, ideas, color palettes, textures. This allows us to visually explain our likes and dislikes, a very important part of finding your style. It essentially communicates the differences we share as well, which is important when you are searching for common ground when others are involved, especially when a compromise is inevitable. A husband or significant other can have very different style/taste from you. As I am sure we have all experienced from the outing to the furniture store, thinking we would come home with a great plan in place, yet creating more confusion than ever trying to get on the same page.

In the process of creating a space just for you, like a home office or a nook to call your own, it is important that you surround yourself with items that identify the intention of what the space will be used for. Psychology shows that colors affect each of us differently. What makes me feel happy and brings me peace may not be what your best friend sees as peaceful. What I find as surroundings that make me productive, may not do the same for others. It is important in this journey that you make your vision your own, not asking your mother, brother and aunt for their opinions. Though they are always well-intended, their style does not always align with yours. This is where my clients get ‘derailed’ and become frustrated. A space to call your own should be just that, making your selections confidently yours.

Pictured above: For an overall palette, you may be one who is drawn to a lot of color with layers of depth and an unexpected blend of colors within this, or, you may choose a more subtle variation of neutrals with textures driving your layers. Lastly, you may choose something in between with pops of color – a base of a dark floor vs. a lighter floor – can completely change the look and feel of your palette.

As you make this a group activity, you will find that even your kids have very different ideas of what they like for their surroundings. My kids’ styles are very different from mine. I know this because I have allowed each of them the freedom, with a budget, to ‘decorate’ their rooms. Of course, like any good professional designer/mother, I keep them from making big mistakes. All in all, they have done well finding their style and creating spaces that suit them – to the point where they enjoy spending quiet time in their own rooms, without me having to force them there. When I hear what sounds like elephants invading upstairs, I find them rearranging their furniture to accommodate their current spatial needs, allowing them their own creativity within their style.

Should you decide to turn your ideas into a project, having a plan for your new environment can also be helpful in establishing a realistic budget. After creating an overall plan for your design style, look at the current pieces you have in place already. I encourage my clients to shop in their space first, home or office, to see what can be incorporated into the new design. With all of us sequestered at home for a bit, it should not be hard to make a list of items you have wanted to recover, replace, or get rid of all together. Sometimes, recovering the existing can save a few dollars; other times, it may be a wash and not worth the ‘lipstick on a pig’. If you love a piece, keep it. If you hate a piece, out it goes. Most importantly, make sure it works with your updated plan and palette.

If you are one of the many that find yourself stuck or frustrated in this journey, or if you just need that extra someone to help decipher your ultimate style, you are a great candidate for an interior designer. When determining a style, I always take a new client through this process of a ‘palette meeting’. Even if my client is only looking for pillows and paint color changes, this critical step helps me as their designer to hone in on their likes and dislikes. Although fabric and furniture stores are currently closed, J. Banks Design professionals still have access to direct manufacturers or showrooms, and have the tools to pull together palettes for you. We are here to help make your discovery of your design style the best for you.

Post by Elizabeth Mydosh, Designer at J. Banks Design Group


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