House to Home Series - Part I - Finding Your Design Style

>> 10.29.2014

When I started this blog about a year ago, my biggest worry was that others would think that I was too concerned with pretty things and the appearance of my home. I was worried that I would appear to be "showing off" and too focused on worldly possessions. And although I DO love nice things and making my home pretty, I want you to know the deeper reasons why I love design, why I care about the appearance of my home, and why I started this blog to share my experiences with you.

I believe that you should love where you live. That is the crux of it, to me. Our house should not just be four walls, a roof, and a place to sit and sleep, but it should be a HOME. And it becomes a home when we fill it with family, friends, and things that speak to us and make us happy, and that includes furniture and decor. I believe that people, especially visual people, are happier in a designed space that means something to them. And because I spend a great amount of my day at home, like many of you who work from home or stay home with kids, I NEED to enjoy the space that I live, work and play in. I think we all deserve that.

I also believe that it shouldn't be difficult or expensive to turn your house into a place where you love to be, and that is why I am starting a new series call House to Home, where I will share with you ways to easily and affordably make changes in your home that will help you love where you live.

The first idea is to find your design style.

There are lots of different design styles out there, but these seem to be the ones that I see most frequently, especially in my neck of the woods.

(Click on the links to get a description and more pictures of each style. Also I don't have links or photo creds to all these pics, but none of them are my own.)



Country Cottage

Shabby chic

Shabby chic

Mid Century Modern/Vintage
Mid Century Awesomeness by my idol Emily Henderson


Eclectic living room


Mediterranean/Old World

Some other less common styles are, but not limited to:

Hollywood Regency
Art Deco
French Country

Which of these speaks most to you?

I think it's important to define your design style, even if it's multiple styles, because the overall mood of a room has a big impact on those who live in it. I appreciate many different styles, but if I had to live every day in a Tuscan or Old World inspired house, I would go crazy. (No offense to you Tuscan/Old World lovers.) For some reason, I react very negatively to that look and it would definitely not feel like home.

I think choosing your design style is especially important to those who feel that their house is design-less with no real identity. I think once you choose what style you love, it is easier to catch the vision of what you want your home to become.

Also, defining your style is a good idea so that you can make more selective choices when purchasing things for your home. When I first started becoming a hard core thrifter, it was hard for me to say no to a great deal, even though it didn't fit my style. I had to learn (and still learning) that other deals will come along, and just because it's cheap doesn't mean you have to buy it. That has helped me hone my taste in furniture and decor.

How can you apply this to the decor you already have?

First, pick a room in your house that you feel needs help. Do the pieces of furniture in the room fit the style you are most drawn to, or do you have pieces that drastically differ from the style you favor? If you do have a piece or pieces that are out of place, can you imagine what you would replace it with? For example, if you have a very traditional headboard in your bedroom, but you want something more shabby chic, go online and search "shabby chic headboards," and look for inspiration. Could your traditional headboard be painted and turned into something more shabby chic? No? Then I would consider listing your headboard on craigslist and using the proceeds of the sale to help purchase something in the style you love.

Aren't you getting excited just thinking about it? All it takes is a little legwork and you can sell what you have and find pieces that speak to you. The market is saturated with traditional and contemporary styles, so if your style is not one of those, it might take you a little extra work to find the right decor, but it's so worth it. Don't settle! Remember: just because it's cheap, and I'll even go as far as saying just because it was a hand-me-down or free on the side of the road, doesn't mean you have to keep it. You spend hours a day looking at and living on these things, and you should love what you have.

Honing your design style can be a slow process and replacing those out-of-place pieces to create the room/home that you want doesn't have to happen over night. Take it slowly and do what you can with what time and money will allow. Changing one piece out at a time and making small changes will quickly add up.  If you think critically about the furniture you have or plan to have with your design style in mind, the vision that you have for your home will start to take shape, and you will begin to really love where you live.

And briefly, if you're still reading... I want to share with you how my style has changed over the past eight years. This is what our living room looked like in our old house eight years ago.

Pretty traditional/contemporary, huh? And then our sofa and chair died and we forked over the money to get the sectional of our dreams, and that's when I felt like I started finding a design style I loved. These next pics are realtor pics so the room is pretty pared down.

And when we moved into our current house which is larger and brighter, I honed my style a little more and now this is what the family room looks like.

Leave a comment and tell me what your design style is! And stay tuned for part II of my House to Home Series, coming soon!


Jen 10/29/14, 10:55 AM  

Transitional! And my secondary style is Coastal.

stacey 10/29/14, 8:50 PM  

I like many styles and bold colors but I have a problem letting go of stuff so I end up with too much. Which style is the too much color style?

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