How to Find Your Decorating Style

When shopping for your home, are you attracted to everything because you have no idea what’s really you?  You can have an appreciation for all things, but that doesn’t mean you need to have all of it in your house.  Talk about confusing!

Perhaps you need to find your decorating style.

Many of you may have developed your style years ago.  Others may be starting out or in a transition period.  Are you struggling over buying decisions because you like too many styles?

Remember my New Challenge – Keep Only What You Love?  In order to do that, you have to know what you truly love.  You may ask,

How do I find out?

Home Expressions

In the old days, we saved magazine pictures and collected them in a file.  Things are much easier today – and more fun, too.

First of all, there’s Pinterest.  Create a general board to collect the rooms you love.  Create more specific boards for narrower focus areas like furniture styles, kitchens, bathrooms, window treatments, organization systems, and others.


  1.  What do I like in that picture of a beautiful room?  What things would I like to live with?  Maybe even more importantly, ask yourself what things you could NOT live with.
    For example, I won’t say which, but there’s a certain decorating style that brings negative feelings when I look at it.  I don’t understand it, but that’s not the point.  If it invokes bad feelings, I don’t want that in my home.  Establishing this early has helped me avoid things that even hint  at that style.
  2. Is it trendy?  Trends come and go.  Think of zen, chalkboard, burlap, country, and others.  I realize you may still like some I listed, but they’re all on the downturn.  Anything at the height of popularity soon will be.
    Remember polished brass fixtures?  It’s back!  Many spent thousands ridding their homes of brass when brushed chrome and oil-rubbed bronze came on the scene.  Lucky for us, it’s all “in style” now, so choose what you love and stick with it.  We don’t have to change everything over and over again.  Save your money!

Take note of the things that make your heart sing.  Write it down – yes, with pen pushed against paper, in a notebook.  Over time, you’ll see a trend…your  trend.  Your personal style will emerge.  It won’t have a name, per se, but it will be a combination of styles.  One or two will be your major areas, while others will take second, third, and fourth place.  You can incorporate all of these in your home to the same degree of their placement in your list.

Houzz is another favorite of mine.  You can create idea boards for collecting pictures of whatever you like – bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, etc.  You can even create idea boards for occasions, like Christmas.

Here are a few things I clipped recently that really speak truth to my style.  These chairs sing to me!  I also like the painted legs on the island’s seating extension, and subway tile is my favorite type of back splash.  The lantern lighting?  Not so much.  But you might love them!

Meadow View
Speaking of chairs, I love these stools in this gorgeous white kitchen.  The blue highlights keep with a clean feeling.  (Still no lighting love there.)
Golf Club Renovation

This kitchen is very different, but the brickwork is unique.  Since I’m vertically challenged, I need and love the ladder.  (Gee, is there any lighting these days I love?)

Historic Moorestown NJ Kitchen

Do you see how these pictures speak to my southern/traditional/farm house/antique with-a-pinch-of-rustic combination style?

I think you’ll see a trend develop pretty quickly after starting your collection.  As you collect, think about reality.  All white rooms make beautiful pictures.  But, could you truthfully live without color in your home?  Is it practical?

To create the home you love to live in, you need to decide what truly speaks to your soul.  I learned a long time ago to not make an expensive or physically large (hard to move) purchase until I’d slept on it first.  Waiting a few days can help solidify your true feelings about an item.  I’ve often realized later that it would have been a mistake to buy.  Better safe than sorry!

What styles speak to your decorating truth  soul?  Can you put any sort of name to your combination yet?






  1. says

    Kim, I love anything Colonial/ — that is my want to visit time period if I could go back in time. Love Williamsburg with its saltbox houses, painted wood paneling in rooms, wood floors, shutters, etc. I am more of a traditionalist than primitive although I do love lots of chippy paint on furniture so I have a cottage vibe going on as well along with country and farmhouse. I also like the 1920-40’s early American revival look and practicality of that style. I love to antique and have many family pieces from many eras and use them all. My house is a two story saltbox. Downstairs, all my walls are painted Jewlitt White (a Ferrell Calhoun historical color) and all the wainscoting, chair rail and trim in each room is painted with a different historical color. Now that may sound like enough color to make you want to throw up, but that was how it was done in my time period and I love it. Kitchen and den areas are in a muted medium to dark green as they flow into each other; LR in light blue; foyer is a deep aubergine; formal DR in a pale yellow called straw; guest downstairs BR in a deep federal blue, almost navy and bath in wooden nutmeg (brown); library/computer room in Landon Dove (creamy pale tan) and powder room in a very light blue. Upstairs I do not have wainscoting so the walls have the color there with the trim all being ivory. Somehow it works—or at least no has had the bad manners to say otherwise!! LOL! When I stand on my small front porch and look in, I see straight thru the foyer and thru part of the kitchen area into the den/family room and I love the sense and feel of a Colonial home that I get. (I will text you pictures if I can.)
    We are about to remodel my parent’s home which we will call the farm for a weekend getaway spot. This is where I grew up and I am the 4th generation of my mother’s family on this land (not the house–it is just a basic frame house that has been added onto several times). Trying to decide how to decorate the kitchen—do I want the white cabinet look that is so popular or something else? I like black cabinets but the kitchen doesn’t have direct light so I think that would really make it look smaller. What to do??? Colonial style would not look right there. Lots of 70-80’s paneling along with knotty pine paneling in the bedrooms. I drive myself crazy just thinking about what/how to do it. I want it to look collected over the years, not a specific style, just homey and comfortable!!

    • says

      Hi, Rhonda! Thank you for sharing all of that. It’s clear you’ve established your favorite style and stick to it – even with the exterior. You have a new and exciting opportunity with your parents’ house. Antiques go with anything and everything, so along with the antiques, you can incorporate maybe other styles you love into the new redo. With a 70-80’s style house, you can make it whatever you wish! I hope you’ll keep us posted. What fun that will be! 🙂

  2. Robin says

    I have no set style. I am eclectic. I may love a light I see in a kitchen, but I wouldn’t go buy it for MINE. I am also so frugal that price plays a HUGE part in what I do buy. I like a bargain so I am more apt to find something in the Restore and revamp it. (I have my eye on a used kitchen cabinet that I could paint and put in my bathroom when I take down the open shelves above the toilet. Buying a NEW one is out because of price.)

    • says

      Yes, price is always my first consideration, too. Some may see that as a bad thing, but it sure makes things interesting with re-purposing the old. You know how I love that also!

  3. teresa says

    Hmmm. I’m a Gemini so I really like warm, cozy and slightly elegant for my downstairs public rooms and more feminine cooler colours in my bedrooms, although I really love blue and white. I’ve had a lovely gray bedroom with French doors and Palladian window for YEARS and have marvelled at how well it goes with every colour I’ve introduced as a complement… I’m in a fuschia stage right now and had cut peonies in there earlier. It was dreamy. My library is my favorite room with rusty orange and turquoise with Morris chairs and burnt bamboo pieces. The two rooms couldn’t be more different, but they serve different purposes and are on different floors, so why not? 🙂

    • says

      Isn’t it interesting how things can be different in our “public rooms”? Ha! It’s still your house, so as long as you stick to your true loves, you’re comfortable there, as well as guests. I think our bedrooms are places we can let our hair down in decorating as well as other ways. 🙂

  4. says

    Kim, this is a great post! It is so easy to be swayed by trends and spend money on things that are not really you, but you want your home to be current! I have stayed true to what I love and what is comfortable in our home, irregardless of what everyone else is doing! After all, we are the ones who live here! Thanks for a timely post, my friend!
    Pam Richardson recently posted…From Sea To SnowMy Profile

    • says

      I’m glad you agree, Pam. You ARE the expert of all things decorating, in my book. I think it truly comes down to the homeowner and what they love to live with. Any style can be made beautiful and more “current” with the simple addition of updated (and possibly trendy) pillows because they’re a small investment that need replacing every few years at the least. Oops…think I may have tiptoed into another future decorating post. 😉