• Developing your sense of style takes time and effort.
Be patient. It’s a lot more complex than just taking a quick quiz on a website (although a couple of website quizzes couldn’t hurt). More than anything, the search for style is a journey of self-discovery.
• Don’t expect all of it at once.
Style evolves over time.
• The MOST HELPFUL truth about discovering your own style is that the word “style” is shorthand for “LIFESTYLE”.
You don’t have to go find a style because you already have your own lifestyle. Unless you’re sick and tired of your lifestyle and wanting to change it, all that’s left to do is begin translating your lifestyle into a design style.
• Styles don’t have to be absolute and monolithic.
Just like when combining colors, two different styles can clash or two different styles can be extremely complementary.
• Yes, people can be stylishly eclectic.
But DON’T use that as an excuse to say, “See, I’m just eclectic!” People with little to no style always say they are eclectic! And people who pull off true stylish eclecticism are manifesting the highest level of style discipline. It’s much easier to get it right when you stick with a single main theme. The more eclectic you are the more you have to make all the right moves.
• There are many similarities between fashion, architectural, and interior design style.
However, there are some significant and crucial differences too. Unlike fashion, architectural and interior decor style is not something we change every other day.
• Answers to simple binary questions can go a LONG way
Past or present? Casual or formal? Indoorsy or Outdoorsy?
Light or dark? Impressive or understated? Leather or Lace?
Airy or cozy? Sophisticated or homey? Warm or Cool?
Minimalist or Collector? New, old, or really old? City or Country?
• Collect Images
Browse magazines or the internet and collect images (Pinterest is great too, but it’s easy to suffer from Pinterest overload)
There’s a right way and a wrong way to collect images.
• The wrong way is to send all those images to your designer.
• The right way is to try to identify what you like in each image.
It may be a …
• Sense or Feeling
• Also include some images you don’t like and describe them as well.
• Finally, start to compare your choices and see what they have in common.
• “Style” is short for Lifestyle.
• Look to your wardrobe - Take a good, hard look at your favorite clothing items (or the clothes you wish you owned). Pay attention to the colors, textures and attitude …sporty, elegant, conservative, modern, playful, beauty, relaxed, flirty (anticipation, expectation)
• Look to the exterior of homes - When you drive around your city or town, what houses catch your eye or inspire you? Take pictures.
• Look to your current decor - Make a list of furniture/art/accessories you love, and a separate list of those you wish you could replace.
• Look to your dream vacation - When you think of getting away where do you dream of going? What would you be doing when you get there? Close your eyes, put yourself there and take notice of what you’re seeing.
• Look to your daily life - “Style” is short for lifestyle. What does your best day look like?
Your job is to do the hard work of knowing yourself
Written above the entrance to the temple of Apollo at Delphi is this ancient Greek maxim: Know Thyself. You don’t have to know anything about design but you have to know yourself. The first, last and most important job of the design client is to know thyself.
Taking the pressure off … What living in your dream home really means.
In the movie Fight Club, as Ed Norton’s character rants and mocks rampant consumerism as symbolized by the IKEA catalog he asks the question: “What coffee table defines me as a person?”
We don’t need things to go that far. That’s impossible. No coffee table defines you as a person. We’re just looking to make a good choice that resonates with you in this setting here and now. All it means is that this home tells as much of our story as it possibly can.
Putting the pressure on … Why is style even important?
“We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.” - Winston Churchill
The psychology of IDENTITY
They say “The clothes make the man,” and “dress for success.” They’re right.
The Lab Coat Experiment - Journal of Experimental Social Psychology
“Enclothed Cognition” describes how what we wear effects mental processing. The study discovered that subjects tested higher on attention to detail and precision when wearing a white lab coat when compared to street clothes. Attention dropped again when subjects were told the lab coat was a painters smock.