The names of interior decorating styles get thrown around a lot. Whether it's French Country, Shabby Chic or Modern Victorian, it seems that style is very important. And it is – to a point. Knowing what style you want to decorate your home in (and giving it a name) really helps you to focus and filter out those things that don't work.
The truth is that it's very rare for someone to decorate in just one style. The reality is that most people like a little bit of one style and a touch of another. And that's great. It's how personal style is born. But sometimes it can be tough to figure out how to name all of the things you like and turn it into a definitive style of your own.
Here are some tips for figuring out what style(s) best suits you and your home.
Look for ideas everywhere. Gather magazine clippings, fabric samples, paint chips and photos from the Internet. But don't stop there. Get inspired from everything around you – the coasters from your favorite restaurant, the pretty packaging on a bar of soap, and most of all, your favorite clothing. If you like to dress in a particular color there's a good chance you'll like it in your home.
Gather all these things together and start to look for themes. Look at the colors, the shapes, the patterns. What works together? What doesn't? Ask yourself what it is you love about these things. Don't be afraid to toss the things that you've had second thoughts about. In fact, be ruthless about it.
Determine Your Style
Now it's time to determine your style. Look at all the items you've kept and try to attach descriptive words to them. Don't over think it, just use the first words that come to your head. It may seem silly but attaching words to them really helps.
Be aware that your style might not match the common decorating styles you're used to hearing about. It's unlikely you'll look at all the items and say, "my style is English Country" (although you might!). What's more likely is that you'll say "oh, I like English Country with a modern twist" or "I love Bohemian with a touch of formality." It doesn't matter how other people describe these styles, it's all about what they mean to you.
Interior Decorating Styles New and Old
Knowing how designers define certain styles can help you figure out your own. Take a look at About.com's section on decorating styles for home interiors for tons of info on all the classic styles.
There are a lot of new styles that have evolved over the last several years as well. The descriptions aren't set in stone but they can give you an idea of how people mix styles to create something new. Some examples include New Vintage, Earthy Modern, Global Fusion and Edgy Classic. You can check out all these styles here.
When it comes to interior decorating we often hear about "the rules" but it's important not to take them too seriously. The rules are important for determining things like size relations so that your home is pleasing to the eye, but when it comes to personal style there are no rules. It's all about you and what you love. The most important thing to do when decorating your home is to surround yourself with things you love. You should walk into your home and breathe a sigh of relief and feel a sense of comfort. This can only be achieved by creating a space that's personal. The key is to create a style all your own.