Match Your Home Style with Your Decorating Style

by decwells
Match Your Home Style with Your Decorating Style


Photo: istockphoto.com

Whether you’re shopping for a home or preparing to decorate one, getting to know your design style can help you find or create a space you love. Your home doesn’t just have to be a place to live; it can also be an extension of your personality, according to designer Kate Dawson. She says: “Our homes tell a story about us. You can, and should, express more of who you are through your home decor.”

Maybe you’re not sure what your design style is, or you’ve already bought a home and feel stuck in a particular decorating approach. Don’t worry, we have some designer tips that can help.

Identifying your design style

Match your home style to your decorating style - vintage interior

Photo: istockphoto.com

If your mind goes blank when your real estate agent asks what style of home you want or you feel at a loss about your decorating preferences, it might be time to do some homework. Designer Sarah Storms of interior design firm Styled by Storms says, “When someone enters your ‘world,’ they need to know who you are by the way you’ve decorated your home.”

Storms recommends starting in your closet. “People tend to take more risks with their outfits rather than their homes because it feels like less of a commitment,” she says, “but you still want to feel all the happiness, confidence or security that you have in a favorite outfit do every day while living in your home.” Storms suggests noticing patterns in your wardrobe. For example, specific colors or prints appear often. Consider whether most items are modern, edgy, classic or vintage. “The essence of what you dress for is the same whether it’s for your wardrobe or your house,” she says.

Stick to what you love

Match your home style to your decorating style - living room

Photo: decorwhore.com

Instead of simply going with current trends, Dawson recommends going with your gut. Look at design photos and ask yourself, “Which one excites me?”

“Your space should reflect the people, places and things you love,” says Dawson. For example, she recently worked with clients who were moving from California to New Jersey and were renovating their new space. They wanted to incorporate the feeling of sunshine and beachiness they loved in their previous home. That goal, and their personal art collection, inspired the final design, which included colorful rugs and a fun blue ceiling.

Dawson says a good way to create a vision is to put together a Pinterest board that you can then revise on your own or with a designer. “You’ll suddenly start to see what’s thematic or related in all of them,” she says, and that can be very telling.

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Translate your preferences into design types

Match your home style to your decorating style - chintz chair in living room

Photo: istockphoto.com

If you prefer dark colors and metallic accents, your decor style may fall under modern and industrial. If it looks like a glamorous version of your grandmother’s closet, granny styling might appeal to you. Look to mid-century modern furniture if you like a structured look with a retro vibe, and for style icons who choose a little bit of everything, an eclectic decor style might be just what excites you.

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Match your exterior decor with your interior decor

Match your home style to your decorating style - fun interior design

Photo: styledbystorms.com

While you may choose to incorporate your interior design style regardless of what style of home you purchase, you may also choose to match the styles and create a consistent feel throughout the property. “I’m a big believer that if something excites you, you should use it,” says Dawson. “However, if you want to bring in elements of your home’s exterior style, be sure to add several of those pieces to create balance throughout.”

While she agrees that it’s not always necessary to match your exterior and interior styles, Storms says, “It’s important to honor ‘the soul’ of your home through thoughtful decorating choices.” In her work, she does this by incorporating the home’s original details and coordinating them with the client’s design preferences. In a recent project, she accomplished this by preserving the home’s original moldings while highlighting them with deep green paint that feels new and contemporary. She also believes that some styles work well together while other combinations are less desirable, so be careful when choosing to mix and match.

RELATED: Know Your Home Styles: America’s Distinctive Types of Residential Architecture

Cottage style

match your home style with your decorating style cottage kitchen with wooden island and flowers

Photo: istockphoto.com

Storms recommends staying consistent from outside to inside with a farmhouse or cottage-style home. “What made the modern farmhouse movement take off was the fact that the creators lived on a farm and the decor was relevant to the area,” she says. While farmhouse is giving way to cottage style, if your heart is set on shiplap, do what makes you happy. You don’t have to live in a farmhouse or beach house for cottagecore to work well. This muted color, simplified style also works well with A-frames, homes with wrap-around porches, and Cape Cod-style homes.

Grand Millennium

match your home style with your decorating style ancient pink flower sofa

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The original details in classic style homes tend to lend themselves to the older era styling referred to as grandmillennial. Think velvet and chandeliers, wallpaper and gilded antiques to achieve a look that’s both old-fashioned and comfortable. Grandmillennial ranges from a pastel coastal look to a chinoiserie maximalist look depending on the setting. Chintz chairs and delicate flowers will complement a Queen Anne style home. Spindle-back or leather-back chairs will look right at home in a Colonial or Dutch Colonial home, and you can show off your colorful Art Deco flair in a Georgian home.

Midcentury Modern

Match your home style to your decorating style - mid-century modern furniture

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Ideal for those homeowners who don’t want a super-modern home, mid-century modern style places an emphasis on functionality without sacrificing artistic style. Architecture of this period includes natural finishes, large windows, open floor plans. “These style homes tend to have simpler, cleaner lines in layout and finishes,” says Storms. To honor that intention and preserve the natural flow, stick with mid-century furniture. Midcentury modern decor can also go well with Craftsman and farmhouse style homes.

RELATED: The 13 Tell-tale Signs of a Well-Preserved Old House

Modern or industrial

Match your home style to your decorating style - industrial interior

Photo: istockphoto.com

If minimal and streamlined describe your perfect home, you may prefer either modern or industrial styles. Both are based on simple shapes, open air spaces and neutral colors. They are based on the idea that form follows function, so everything must be simple and have a practical purpose. Modern homes have neat exteriors with mixed materials, and interiors with the occasional pop of bold color. Industrial style is similar, but it incorporates building materials in a visible way, such as exposed ductwork and concrete floors. Modern and industrial decor styles work well with modern and industrial style homes, but you can also pair them with A-frames and mid-century modern homes.

Eclectic design style

match your home style with your decorating style eclectic blue and orange living room

Photo: istockphoto.com

If you don’t want to stick to one particular style, eclectic design can go with most home types. “I love a contemporary, eclectic style,” says Storms. “Mixing different eras of furniture, playing with color, pattern mixing, and incorporating my favorite pieces either handed down from my gram or bought from vintage dealers.” As it mixes old and new, eclectic design does not clash with the home’s exterior. That said, there is a method to the madness if you want a cohesive flow to the home, so study things like pattern mixing and color theory for the best result.

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