How to Choose the Best Decorating Style for You
Are you moving into a new apartment? Do you want to update your lifelong home?
Before starting to buy furniture and choosing the colors of the walls, you should take some time to consider what decorating style you want for your home. This way, you guarantee that all the elements combine harmoniously and that the end result is like something from a magazine - and that it suits you, not just the trends of the moment.
If you're about to start setting up your home, stay with us at OneHowTo and learn how to choose the best decorating style for you, your lifestyle and your budget.
The first thing to do is to sit down and do some research to get informed. Buy some decorating magazines and take a look at the current trends; check out lifestyle and interior design blogs; set up idea and inspiration boards on Pinterest. You're going to live in your home for some time, so it's worth taking some time.
Once you've gathered your favorite pictures, look at what the finishes you love have in common. Write down the characteristics of the rooms you like and link them to a particular style.
For instance, take a close look at the patterns in the textiles and walls of your favorite homes. If you like pictures with striped chairs or curtains, classic or coastal decoration might be the best style for you. If you like loud patterns like leopard, you'll probably prefer eclectic decorating styles. If you like the elegance of toile, you'll feel at home in a vintage-looking room.
The picture below is an example of eclectic style with a vintage touch.
Make a list of your favorite things, from your beloved objects from childhood to your current hobbies. Analyse what is it that makes you feel at home. Do they match together in a similar style?
Now take a look at the things you liked the most in the interior design pictures you gathered. Do you just like them aesthetically, or are they what you'd like for your home? Do they match in style and aesthetics the things that make you feel at home, or are they completely different?
Imagine in your home - together with your beloved, "key" objects - each accessory, color or piece of furniture that you put on the list and ask yourself how it makes you feel. This way you visualize your future home; this allows you to rule out decorating styles and find the right look for you.
The example below shows an idea for a small workspace in a minimalist style.
Likewise, write down the things you don't like so that when you buy things you know exactly what things you shouldn't consider; you'll save lots of time.
Knowing what you don't like will help you find out what you do like and determine, for example, what color palette works best for you or what fabric you want for your furniture.
The example below is a kitchen and dining room in the French Country style.
Find out about the characteristics of different decoration styles and think over what you like and dislike about each of them:
- Minimalist: Straight, sharp and clean with sober finishes. Minimalist decoration creates an impression of order, like a blank page. You can get a minimalist aesthetic by using neutral shades and materials like marble and wood.
- Classic: This traditional style does not mean "old" but refined and enduring. Classic decoration is comfortable and lasting, and mixes vintage or family pieces with newer trends and lines. You can decorate your home classically by using rich woods, deep colors and paying attention to wallpaper and rugs.
- Eclectic: Eclecticism is about combining different ornament styles, colors and time periods to create a truly individual and unique style. Do have fun, but be careful not to crowd your living room too much!
- Contemporary: Halfway between minimalist and classic, contemporary decorating style creates stylish homes by choosing elegant and sophisticated pieces, streamlined designs and jewel tones. The walls should be in pale or neutral shades, but the furniture can have patterned accents - think Art Deco. Don't forget to decorate with plants!
- Coastal: You don't necessarily have to live by the beach to create a seaside vibe in your home! Decorate with white and blue shades and materials like wood or linen; the more light you can get, the better. Of course, decorating with beautiful shells and smooth driftwood will make all the difference.
- French Country: This style is rustic and homey, but also sophisticated. Think floral patterns, lots of light and big windows for a healthy and artsy-looking home. Try sanding down furniture for a vintage, shabby-chic look.
- Bohemian: This decorating style is the best for free-spirited, curious people who like to pick up objects and furniture from the different places they travel to. Create a boho, relaxed look by playing with textures and patterns but not with colors, which should be neutral. For instance, Moroccan style - with its lanterns and kilims - is perfect for bohemian decoration.
- Modern: Think midcentury. This modern decorating style is perfect for urban environments, like small apartments or big lofts. With blunt colors, clean lines and square shapes you can build a fun and edgy space that matches your lifestyle. The example below is a living room in midcentury modern style.
If you can't decide on the best decorating style for you, you can combine two styles or pick and choose from the ones you like the most. Ideally, the different decoration styles should be at least a bit similar.
This way you can choose the ones you like best and merge them to get a unique finish for your home. For instance, an antique and decadent piece like a chandelier can give a very elegant touch to a minimalist room, making it look much more sophisticated and original.
The picture below is an example of boho decoration.
Luckily, nowadays things are easier and there are digital appswhere you can virtually decorate a room with an image gallery. There are also home shopping catalogues so you can make your virtual combinations, decide, and then go to the shop to make your purchase. Both apps and catalogues are good - and free! - tools for defining what you like and putting your decorating style together.
Some decorating styles, like French Country and Midcentury Modern, can be more expensive than others. However, remember that you can browse the internet and your local second-hand markets to find real vintage furniture at a lower price.
This is how to choose the best decorating style for you, your lifestyle and your budget. Which one is your favorite? Did we miss it? Tell us in the comments section!
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