I’ve always loved decorating. My mom has a great eye for decorating, so I grew up watching her decorate (and re-decorate and re-decorate and re-decorate) every room in our home. Since I had an interest in it, I’d often go with her to stores, help her move furniture around, and more. When I was probably 12 or so, she let me pick a theme for my bedroom and helped me to completely re-decorate it. My theme of choice, you ask? Paris. We painted black and white stripes below the chair-rail molding on my wall, painted the chair-rail red, had some sort of Paris-themed bedspread, and even an Eiffel Tower lamp. It was so over the top, but I loved it and was so proud of having been a part of the design and execution of it! Since I didn’t do full makeover’s often, I’d regularly rearrange my furniture to give my bedroom a different look and feel. In a surprise to nobody, that hasn’t changed much! I will still pretty regularly move furniture around, swap decor pieces from one room to another, and tinker with things when I’m feeling bored of how things are looking. Decorating is just in my blood!
With that being said, I still had to figure out my home decor style and what I really like, especially as I’ve gotten older and to the point where I want to invest in some pieces that I’ll have for years to come. Most of my 20’s were spent in rentals, typically for one year, so I did a lot of shopping at Ikea and other budget-friendly stores. Since I knew I’d probably be moving again in a year (rent increases, changing roommate situations, etc.) , I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on a piece that would get damaged and/or wouldn’t work in the new space. It wasn’t really until we moved into our townhome in Virginia that I was willing to spend a bit more money on furniture and decor, therefore wanting to figure out what my (our) style is to make intentional purchases.
I would describe my home decor style as contemporary with a focus on clean lines, a neutral color palette, and texture. I err on the side of modern or mid-century modern furniture, but also like to add in some more traditional and classic pieces to add warmth and character to a room. While we don’t have a ton of color in our home, I like to add pattern, texture, and layers to add interest and create a cozy look. I prefer to keep things more minimal, not overloading a room or space with a bunch of trinkets, decorative items, and visually-distracting pieces. Mike and I are both homebodies and spend a lot of time at home, so we want our living spaces to be calming and welcoming, which is what my decor style creates for us. It wasn’t until we started shopping for our home with intention that I really honed in on what we liked. Since I was looking at spending more money on things, like our dining furniture or couches, I spent a good bit of time browsing Pinterest and retailer websites to see which items and styles I kept going back to, time and again. Take note of what you like, either on social media, in magazines, retail stores, or other people’s homes. Your eye will be drawn to the things that you like and then you can start to get an idea of what your style is. You may find yourself repeatedly “pinning” images of living rooms on Pinterest with traditional sofas or more farmhouse-style pieces. Take an inventory of the things you like and see if there’s a connection between them!
While we have an overall style that a lot of our decor falls into, I also like to keep an open mind, mixing and matching some things. For example, we have this very modern sectional in our living room, but we have this more rustic, traditional dining table in the room just next to it. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with styling your home completely in one style, like modern, I like the flexibility that is allowed with blending a couple styles together.
Once you get an idea of what types of things you’re drawn to – loud patterns, oversized furniture, minimal pieces, etc. – you’ll have a much easier time shopping for and decorating your home. The first battle is figuring out what you even like!
One word of caution: don’t fall victim to what is trendy/in-style for homes at the moment, if you don’t love it 100%. Don’t get me wrong, if you love the farmhouse decor look and went all in on that a couple years ago, that’s great! But, if you liked a couple farmhouse things but also like modern furniture, don’t feel like you have to subscribe to just one style.
Home decor, like fashion, beauty, and so many other things, is personal. You should decorate and style your home how you (and your family) like it to look and function for you. It may take you a couple weeks or a couple years to narrow in and “define” your style. While an unfinished home can be undesirable, don’t feel like you need to rush to get every nook and cranny decorated perfectly. I find that the rooms that I take more time on are the ones I love the most. I allow myself time to find the furniture, decorative accents, or other things that I love, versus settling on things that will work just fine. Decorating is a process and part of that process is figuring out what you like!