Define a design style that is all about you!
Over the past decade house pride has become very prevalent; home design, decor and styling have become not only a booming business, but a hobby to many. You no longer need to be trained to know design styles, simply identify your own to create a look you can be proud of. So what is your design style?
There are many ways of ‘playing’ with design style elements to discover what you really love, and to define your personal style. Vancouver is flooded with shops selling home decor and furnishings, there is truly something for everyone. The best place to start is to just have a look around, whether that be window shopping or online, what jumps out at you or grabs your eye? Save images from magazines or websites like Houzz that show rooms you would like to live in. Take note of what you love about the image – it may be the wall colour or a tile pattern, it could be a dramatic architectural feature or a plumbing fixture. Once you have a collection of images, you will begin to see a commonality among them, this is likely your design ‘style’ shining through.
Once you have determined what your design style is, you need to be able to communicate it. Does it fall within a standard design style category such as traditional, modern, or contemporary? or will you have to give it a descriptive name all on your own such as ‘bohemian glam’ or ‘breezy beach house’? However you ‘name’ your style, having it defined for yourself and your design professionals will help in finding the right inspiration pieces, as well as staying on track when navigating the endless sea of options. Whether you have the empty canvas of a brand new house, or are working within the confines of a renovation, there will be elements you have to work around and you will need to prioritize. Look around your existing space and make a list of the things that you “love” and want to highlight and the things you “wish you could replace”. If it is in your budget, replace the largest items on your wish list (be it kitchen cabinetry or furniture) this will make the biggest and most immediate impact. Having key items cemented in selection will also serve as an anchor point of reference as you begin to apply your newly defined style.
Colour selection can be tricky when you are determining design style. It can be a big task to choose colours throughout your home, as cohesive style means that the colours will flow complimentary and without harsh or abrupt breaks in the sight line. In beginning colour selections it helps to again look to the biggest application. Whether that be the most utilized room in the home, or a major piece of furniture that needs to be accommodated. Choose a main colour scheme working outwards from there to set the tone and make choosing colours for the remainder of your space easier.
The right colour selections can accentuate other elements or make them blend in, so know what you want to showcase. Bold elements, on walls or finishes, should be accompanied by complimentary neutrals. Almost any colour can be applied to a design style, as long as it is done right, in a way that compliments the details or special features inherent to that style. You don’t have to sacrifice your favourite colour if it is bold and your style is gentler, you just have to find the right place to put it.
Now what happens when there is more than one style that must be applied? Often in a family home there is more than one person whose preference must be taken into consideration. Compromise in design styling can be a challenge, but it need not be a battle. It can be fun to find ways to blend different styles in order to make the home a personal expression of the family who lives there. Take the example of a heritage home (illustrated above) – typically they feature larger baseboards and beautiful mouldings, old world fireplaces and large windows. Keeping those details fresh, simple and clean, while adding a pop of colour and pattern in furniture, fabrics or fixtures, results in a space that has a modern vibe while maintaining harmony with the original traditional architecture.
If you struggle with creating a design that flows, where to start or how to harmonize styles, hiring a designer will really help you get started and stay on track with your new home style. And when it comes to furnishings, don’t rush yourself, as it will take some time to find the perfect chair, lamp, or wall colour. A home should be a truly personal expression of those living in it, and that is never achieved in a single shopping trip, it is more a curation of treasured pieces, and once you know your style, and create the backdrop, they will jump out at you!