I think I might have to blame Pinterest for my scatterbrained approach to interior design.
I have always "known" when a room is decorated smartly, and I always found it easy to pick out the parts of houses or spaces that I did not like. Watching shows like House Hunters, admiring the Ikea catalog, and gazing at vintage photos of living rooms and bedrooms gave me a sense of what was personally appealing. Over time, though, I became saturated in beautifully designed rooms. I love them all! How am I supposed to eventually decorate my own home if I have over 400 pins, all in different styles and even decades of home fashion? Today I want to try and narrow this down a little bit for myself, in order to help me in the process of decorating my home. I hope that you can follow along and learn something about your own style! Let's start by going through my personal decorating timeline.
When I was about 13 or 14, I fell in love with retro design, vintage pieces, and '60s and '70s colors. I mean straight-out-of-the-decade style. Like these:
Over time I slowly toned down the urge for wood paneling and turned to the retro modern, sometimes art-deco-y look while still keeping the bold color choices:
Shortly thereafter I began to envy the clean, white lines of minimalism.
Now I'm back to looking at wood-paneling, this time in the context of rustic farm-like cabins, and drooling.
So how am I supposed to narrow down all of these styles and find my own personal home décor heaven? According to the advice of everyone’s favorite home bloggers, John and Sherry at Young House Love, I need to find the common ground between all of the above pins. That is going to take some reflection.
My instinctual thought is, "Megan, you like colors." This is true. I mean, look at all of those pins. I ain't fooling no one--especially myself--into thinking I can manage to be happy in an all-white-walls house. This is why I repainted my bedroom to a bolder color with bolder accents. It was just too pale and unsightly to me, and I have to remind myself of that. Self, you know what this means. This means that as much as you like those minimalistic houses, you need some saturation up in this business. So I guess that means we can successfully say, Minimalism: Eliminated.
What else do those pictures have in common? Across the board there are a lot of natural materials happening. I love wooden furniture; sounds silly to say, but I much prefer a nicely stained wood to a painted or metal piece. And while we're talking about furniture, I know for a fact that I totally dig the mid-century style. Extra finials or curvy details don't mesh with me. I like clean lines, minimal cushions and more throw pillows, and maybe some details like tufting or wooden legs on a couch or chair. While I do love wooden furniture, for my kitchen I really dig chrome legs and metallic features. For my artwork and accents, I love to mix up crazy patterns and make a bigger collection of art out of smaller pieces. Maybe a large statement wall would be a good idea for me; I really like to employ surprise features in order to shake things up.
You know, one of the reasons why this is good to get this all out in writing is because I've always been a spontaneous buyer. When living in a rental home, you should really use items you already have on hand to help keep the junk to a minimum. I might go through a "minimalist" phase, and then go off and buy things that fit in that phase (like my plain white duvet.... ahem) and then regret those purchases later. My goals, then, are to quit purchasing new things and start trying to think of old things in a new way; or, purchase inexpensive new things that might repurpose the old things I already have. Things things things.
Now that I've looked at my multitude of pins with a critical eye, I want to enlist the help of others--or rather, an online robot which calculates results based on choices I make from a selective pool of options. What do you mean you don't get it? We're talking about online quizzes here. Young House Love suggested a handful, so I took three that they linked on their website. Some of them were helpful, others… not so much. (I’m looking at you, Ethan Allen. "Elegant" is definitely the last word I would use to describe myself.) Here are my results:
I'm gonna go ahead and rule out "elegance," but I think the "urban funk" and "vintage modern" might be vibing me the right way. Even that "touch of new country" that HomeGoods threw out there is accurate (cabins and farmhouses, anyone?). What these all have in common, I think, are these three things:
- Bold, saturated colors in jewel tones
- Crazy floral or geometric patterns
- Natural textures
What do you think, am I off base here? I want to say my style could be defined in those categories. Avoiding a style "name" or definition is probably a good idea, because I need to be more specific and visual about what I want. Remembering those three categories is really going to help me find pieces that fit in with the style I want, as well as use pieces I already own in a better way. It will also help me choose paint and furniture colors, as well as area rugs. I keep thinking of that $13 outdoor rug I bought the other day--hello, geometric print on a natural texture!
I feel so enlightened, you guys! After reading through my journey to home decor self-awareness, are you inspired to pin down your style more? I really encourage you to not only search through Pinterest, but also through other design websites and magazines. My mom just gave me a stack of Better Homes & Gardens back issues that I can't wait to look through, and I'm planning on subscribing to a home décor magazine soon. (Which one do you recommend?) I want to tear out pages from magazines that I like and putting them into a binder to store somewhere accessible for quick inspiration. Man, someone should really invent a website where you can do all that virtually.