Thursday, October 27, 2011

Defining Your Decorating Style

I love to decorate.  
I love fabrics and accessories and colors.  But I have always felt that my home lacks continuity.  It's missing a cohesiveness that is inherent to really great decorating.  I'll see something that I like and buy it(or make it), but once I step back and really look at it I realize 
"um...that doesn't really go in my house".  
I'm not really talking about things that match - I'm not a matchy Pottery Barn style decorator (although I do love Pottery Barn...).  I'm talking about the overall feel of my house.  It has just seemed that so far in my life, everything doesn't go together.  I may get one room just the way I want it, but it doesn't really echo the feelings of the other rooms.  
So right now, I have no house to decorate(or clean)...which means I have lots of time to think about decorating; to really evaluate the situation while I'm not in it (see? I'm trying to make the best of this situation ;).  I was talking to my sister about this whole problem, saying "I can't even find pictures of exactly what I want."  There's no one store or style or picture that I could find to capture what I have in my head.  So she had a great suggestion - 

"How about creating a phrase to describe your style?

  Everything you buy/make must fit into that phrase."  For me, it was the perfect solution.  Not as limiting as a photograph, but a way to still keep me focused(a challenge to be sure..).  
So here's what I came up with:

Textured.  Vibrant.  Bohemian.

That's the phrase for my home.  
It has helped me soooooo much!  I'll pick up a fabric that I really like, but realize it's very subdued or too modern looking.  I still like those things, but that doesn't mean I should put them in my home.  Does that make sense?  Here's an example:  I have had to purchase several rugs because the base housing has no carpet.  The store shelves are filled with all styles of really pretty rugs - and I bought one, but when I brought it home I realized it did not fit my style.  It looks a little too traditional.  So I went back out - this time repeating my phrase to myself - and purchased a rug that I really love and that will look really nice with the rest of my things.
Now every time I am shopping, I ask myself 
"Does it have texture?  Is it vibrant?  Does it have a bohemian feel?"
(anyone else talk to themselves while they are shopping...??) 
Not every item has to meet all three qualifications, but I know those qualifications harmonize with one another - therefore the items will as well.
So how about you?  Do you feel like your house is cohesive?  
Does anyone else struggle with this?
  If you do, I'd love to know what works for you.


  1. I don't feel like our house (when we have one) is very cohesive either. Most of our things are hand-me-downs, so they don't really "go." We're in a temporary place right now too, which means our current style is empty haha. I can't wait to be reunited with our stuff again! I like the idea of having a style or feel in mind whenever you're shopping.

  2. I totally know what you're saying. I like a lot of different styles and sometimes try to emulate the flow I see done so well in others' homes but don't always get there! I have found it easier to make themes for rooms, but I try to find common elements throughout the whole house. Whether it be a color or otherwise, I have found an aspect of nature always appeals to me. There is either a tree/flower/bird theme in nearly every room. I know flowers are pretty popular so that's not a big surprise, but I think the tree or bird theme is harder to achieve (although it's wildly popular right now).

    For what it's worth, I like your style! And I think defining it is a really good idea. It's sort of what "Secrets of a Stylist" does on HGTV...and it helps the home owner decide on what they really want.

  3. A few months ago I wrote about defining my style and here's the phrase I came up with at the time:

    Funktastic Modern Eclectic Cottage

    Yeah, it's kinda weirdo but it totally works. It suits me. When I find something I want to buy, I ask myself "Does this belong in a funktastic house?"

  4. What a relief. I thought I was the only one. I love the 50's era and have the spare bedroom dedicated to that. My son says it's like a step into the past. But the rest of the house? Sheesh--There's no rhyme or reason except where the TV is at--that's John Wayne and deer antlers. Thanks for the advice and will work out my "phrase".

  5. Your phrase is perfect for my style too! I often accidentally stray, and then regret it later. I'll keep it in mind in the future :)


Thanks so much for commenting! If you have a question, make sure your email is in your profile or leave it in a comment so I can answer you. Otherwise email me at jessica(at)sewhomegrown(dot)com - Have a lovely day!

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