Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Finding My Design Style

Over the course of the last couple of months I've been putting together an inspiration board to help me nail down my design style.  Why does this matter? Well, for one its just good FYI and two (the more important reason) is that it all seems to boil down to shopping (like everything else in my life!).  These days, I have a serious budget and can't afford to buy random pieces that don't create a pulled together look.

At first this seemed like such an overwhelming task--I have tons of pictures and love EVERYTHING so how could I pick and choose what I loved most and put it all together to make any sense?!  I searched online and found some helpful tips that broke the process down into not so scary practical steps.

Check out my round-up of the tips below.

Look for ideas everywhere--From magazines to books to fashion to movies to nature to paint chips. Literally collect these things and make sure to write or mark the specific attributes you love.  You could also bring it a little closer to home and just focus on the things you already have in your house.

Create an inspiration board--Gather all your loves on an inspiration board to keep them organized.  There's also some online bulletin boards or the picture or art program on your laptop (I used Picasa's collage feature).  Some people may prefer to use a basket, file folder or binder--the best organizational system is the one that works best for you.   If you are keeping it closer to home, walk around with a post it or piece of colored tape and mark the pieces of furniture, accessories, clothes etc. that you absolutely love.  Gather them in all in one place.

Look for themes--Take a step back and look at the similarities in your threads.  Pay attention to design, colors, vibe, shapes, materials.  Maybe you tend to pick the same color or you seem to like bold wallpaper or a room filled with stuff or a room a little more spartan.  Ask yourself  "Do I really love this? If not, don't keep it.  Try to attach words to everything.  Don't worry if you don't fit into just one design style, most people don't!

Here's a close up of some of the pics from my board...

I'm drawn to luxurious fabrics like velvet and silk.

I love just about everything about this room! I think the color palette is cool but warm and inviting.  I also like the uniqueness of some of the accessories--the pumpkin and the medium sized statue on the side table. I'm also feeling the tall lamps.

Luxe accent materials like the marble table top paired with the rustic, distressed legs...hmmmmm mmmmm...

I noticed I had several pics with this headboard, same color pretty much and everything! I love the dark navy juxtaposed against the stark white, and there's the yellow/gold again that I see coming up in a lot of my threads.  I also found some repeat offenders with other items like the Louis Phillippe mirror style below

Love the frame size in the gallery wall and the striped pillow

This coffee table is on my DIY list.  I like the geometric pattern.

This color palette just gives me life!

love the kitchen table set up with the high backed loveseat like seating.  Holymoley! Talk about house jewelry---look at those silver textured doorknobs! The kitchen is bold, glamorous and adventurous.

After taking a step back, there were some definite themes:
  • Luxurious fabrics like silk and velvet
  • More casual than symmetrical floor plans
  • Lots of color black and gold, lots of blues,yellows, oranges and green
  • Warm wood tones with rustic or distressed finishes paired with luxe accents
  • luxe accents in materials like glass and metals
  • Pops of graphic pattern and geometrical shapes
  • Over sized pieces but in moderation like huge lamps or headboard
If I had to sum it all up I would say my style is contemporary Grace Kelly with a dash of rustic, a pop of pattern mixed with geometrical shapes anchored in color.  I know that's not too specific but I'm still working on it.  Hey, it's a start!

How would you define your style? What was your process like? Do you have any tips for finding your style?

Images via Song of Style Blog, Britain Markt, Traditional Home, Elle Decor, Travel for Design Blog, DIY network, Interior Design Pro, Jeneration Interiors, The Decorista, Domino , Decor Pad, Graham Moss Interior Style, Gracious Style, Yahhdigg, Clutch Magazine, Reflections, Little Brown Pen, Little Green Notebook


  1. Ebony, I love your blog! It's inspiring! My husband and I just bought a house and decorating is so overwhelming. I have a specific taste- I know what I like- but I really couldn't describe it to you if you asked. When people ask what I'm going for, I say something like, 'I don't want any matchy rooms or furniture sets, I want to dabble in a bit of ecclectic and vintage design and come out with a harmonious room that you may not have thought of, but you definitely understand and appreciate the "harmony"- how it just goes!' I like a wide variety of styles, but I haven't taken the time to find the similarities between them and pin down my unique I often times get confused at my own choices and then frustrated that it may not all come together in the end; that I'll end up with this weird hodgepodge. So, for fear that this is starting to sound like a "Dear Abby" (lol), I just wanted to drop in and say I appreciate your blog and your tips. They're very helpful (and I love that you're doing what you love..that alone is inspiring)! I think an inspiration board is in my future and I'll keep checking back for more tips!
    Joyette :)

    1. Awww Joyette, thanks so much for reading. You don't sound like "Dear Abby" lol. I can completely understand where you're coming from. Don't worry, the great thing is that you have time--take your time decorating and don't feel pressured to have a fully decorated home as soon as you move in. That's also the best thing about decorating, when you make mistakes you can just fix them, if you don't like the way something goes with something else, just change it! Creating an inspiration board was such an important step for me. We are currently renting so my game plan is to still buy things that I love but I'm saving purchasing my big ticket pieces for when we own our home. There are sites like where you can decorate/create should check it out already if you haven't just to play and have some fun. Please let me know how your inspiration board goes. I wish we lived closer--I would invite myself over to shop and decorate with you!

    2. Wish we lived closer too! Well, if you're ever in Ohio...or want to visit and enjoy a little midwest, decorating getaway, you and your husband are more than welcome-our door is open!:) Thanks again, and I will definitely keep you posted!

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  3. Ebony I Love your blog, it gives me new ideas on recorating my space, I look forward to see what you blog about as your husband is Mr. GQ also as he post photos of his daily outfits. Keep up the good work and I'll be waiting to see more.