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What's Your Design Style?


Decorating a room can be intimidating. There are a lot of decisions to make about color, patterns, furniture, accessories, fabrics, layout...the list goes on. To make it all easier you need to know what your design style is.

Asking these questions will help you figure out your style.

What's your favorite room in the house? Look at the elements of this room that make you feel good - the cozy chair and ottoman? The black and white photographs on the wall? Maybe it's the warm sunlight. Is it sleek and spare, or rich with layers of texture? Each of these things is a clue to your inner designer.

Do you have multiples? If you have items that are the same color, shape or style scattered around the house, you have a big clue to your style right in front of you. Are there items with floral patterns or nautical elements? You may be a fan of country or beach house style and not know it yet.

What are your "must-haves"? Is your desk really too small but you can't bear to part with it? What about that old rocker in the corner? If you're keeping items because of their form rather than their function, pay attention to that style.

What are your favorites? Make a list of your favorite colors, patterns and textures. Then look at them and see if you lean toward bold colors or soothing neutrals? Plaids or solids? Leather or silk? Metals or wood?

There are many design styles out there, but these descriptions will give you a starting place.

Contemporary: Clean lines, bold contrast and sculptural furnishings. Colors range from bright to neutral, but black is a defining color. White, cream, brown and taupe color schemes are popular, often adding a bold pop of color in some accessories.

Cottage: Light and airy, with a relaxed and romantic feeling. A soft color palette that includes corals, pinks, greens, white and splashes of yellow, often in floral patterns. Layers of texture are important and are made with woven baskets, exposed wood, natural fiber and braided rugs.

Traditional: Rich colors and lush accents. Showcase rooms are often traditional in style, with leather wingback chairs, Oriental rugs, and urn-shaped lamps. Warm greens and blues with medium to dark colored woods are popular. There is also an emphasis on detailed patterns and trims.

Old World: Traditional look with a European flair. Old World favorites include deep, sophisticated colors, such as deep garnet, rich blue and smoky topaz, and large, heavy furniture. Look for natural stone materials, such as marble, granite or limestone, and a lot of texture in the fabric, wall coverings and floors.

The most important design rule to remember is that there are no rules! You may not fit neatly into one style category, and that's fine. But knowing a little about your style will turn an intimidating task into a fun one.


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