How to Define your Personal Design Style Before Starting Your Home Remodel

Photo Courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

You have wanted to renovate your home for years now and are finally ready to get started. Suddenly, you are faced with hundreds, if not thousands, of design options. How will you narrow down decisions and ensure you still love your design choice 10-20 years from now? The answer starts with first learning to define your personal design style. While some people can answer that question immediately, “I love a contemporary look with blue accent colors”. Others may find it a bit more challenging.

Thankfully, there is an abundance of information and inspirational photos to help you pare down what appeals to your individual tastes.

1. Take a Quiz

A fun place to start is taking a “define your style” quiz. Don’t worry you won’t get a grade! Here are a few fabulous options to choose from:

2. Collect Photos

Another great option is to peruse design magazines. Tear out design details that catch your eye or that you are drawn to. If you prefer a more environmental-friendly approach, Houzz and Pinterest are great online options. Houzz is a leading platform for home remodeling and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes – online or from a mobile device. Here, you can search millions of images and save your favorites to your own Ideabooks. Pinterest is another online platform, a visual “pinboard”, that lets you search millions of images. You can save photos in the form of “pins” to individual boards that are grouped by top (or design style). For example, you can create a Pinterest Board for “Kitchen Design Ideas,” “Bathroom Design Ideas,” or “Outdoor Kitchens” and then save a collection of appropriate photos to each individual board.

SPECIAL NOTE: While Houzz and Pinterest are great platforms for collecting and generating ideas, they will not necessarily help you narrow your selections. Honing in on some of the ideas you gathered takes work—hard work. Determining your style, studying layouts, and selecting products can all be facilitated with the help of a professional designer. They are not only invaluable in guiding you through what works and what doesn’t, but they can save you valuable time and money by suggesting products in a variety of price points.

3. Analyze your photo selection

After collecting images, pay particular attention to the colors and textures used in each photo. The colors you find the most appealing can help you determine the style that fits your taste. For example, if you find yourself drawn to neutral shades, you may find you prefer a contemporary interior décor.

You’ll also want to pay attention to the details of a room décor to help you determine the styles you enjoy the most. For instance, straight clean lines on furnishings point to a modern style while intricately carved pieces and curved edges point to a traditional or Victorian style.

Notice your preferences for artwork. What art are you drawn to? Do you prefer landscape art to an abstract lithograph, for example? In this case, you would be leaning toward a more traditional style over a more modern design.

4. Choose a Color Palette

Color is another important design element to focus on. What colors are you drawn to? Which ones don’t appeal to you at all?

One idea is to start by picking a color for the biggest, most centrally located room in your home. This will most likely be your living room or kitchen, and it’s a great place to begin defining your home’s color palette.

Once you have a paint color picked for your first room, one simple way to move on to adjacent room or wall colors is to choose shades of the same hue. You can choose a hue from a nearby paint chip, pick the next color up or down on the same paint chip, or even have the same color mixed at the paint store with white added to make a lighter version. The beauty of this method, while still giving your home interest and depth, is that the colors will go well together.

If picking colors has been stressing you out, choose a soft, neutral hue for the main room. You can also never go wrong with white.

If you love color and have a certain hue in mind for a specific room, you can start there instead. Then, choose a softer, more subdued color for the adjacent room.

Whether you use a designer or not, defining your personal style will help you narrow down your decisions, giving you the proper framework to work within. It will also keep a consistent flow from room to room and make it easier for you to choose materials and finishes such as flooring, cabinetry, fixtures, and lighting to complete your remodel.

So, tell us how do you define your personal design style?

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