find your interior design style using your fashion sense clothing style wardrobe

Use Your Fashion Sense to Find Your Interior Design Style

design Oct 30, 2020

“I don’t have a style.  I don’t know what I like.”  Yeah right.  Do you dress yourself?  Even if you don’t do it the greatest you have probably thought about your clothes and how you present yourself quite a bit.  You can start there to find your interior design style.  

First Layer

Your Style  Items you spend significant money on, wear regularly, have to have the perfect fit, and are the foundation items of an outfit, think bottoms - dress pants, skirts, jeans, leggings, etc., stand alone dresses and suits too.  There’s a sort of set of conventional norms for this layer, not everyone conforms but most people do and you don’t switch these items out very often.

Your House Things that cost the most and are the hardest to replace - think flooring, cabinetry, countertops, staircase, trim maybe even a fireplace or any large architectural detail.  To change out these materials would take demolition, a construction crew, and a significant amount of money.  People might change these every 20+ years and again there is a set of conventional norms for this layer - most people choose things like wood look, tile, concrete, or carpet.  Not everyone, but most.

I don’t know about you, but I am super particular about my pants.  They set the tone for my whole outfit and they have to do all the things - shape, lift, not show my butt crack or sag, keep me in yet comfortable and always looking good.  It’s a big job and a lot rests on pants, if they don’t look good it ruins my outfit and if they don’t feel good they ruin my day.  Your material choices in this stage might not seem exciting but they are important and have a big job to do - supporting the next layers.  It can also be items that seem insignificant but get them wrong in the beginning and it will continue to cause problems - think ill fitting underwear and how that can ruin your whole day! (or a floor that has just the wrong, slight undertone of green)

Finding the right fitting pant is an art in itself and so is finding the right floor.  People get upset or anxious if they have to shop around to different showrooms or visit them more than once.  How many jeans have you tried on?  They are all denim yet can be vastly different in so many ways.  How amazing does it feel when you finally find the perfect pair and everything just falls into place?  All the outfits are easier to put together and naturally look good because the pants are so great.  That’s what the right flooring can do for you.  

The more important the outfit the more we scrutinize these choices, as we should.  Your wedding dress is typically a big purchase, you think about, research, budget, shop online and in stores until you can finally say ‘yes to the dress’ and then wear it for one day.  You are about to spend a lot of money on materials and live with them everyday for the foreseeable future.  These materials determine what your house will look like for the next 20 + years.  It’s worth researching, looking around and getting exactly what you want, the perfect dress is out there and the perfect flooring is too.  

It might seem ridiculous to agonize over 5 samples of almost identical flooring or to try on 97 pairs of jeans but it matters and it’s worth it.  Pick your favorite option and start building the perfect outfit for your home.  Keep playing with your base layer - your flooring, cabinetry, and countertops until you find the perfect combination to build upon, throw in some paint samples to see how it could come together, see if you like how the outfit might look.  Keep shuffling until you love it and then add another layer.


Second Layer

Your Style  Items that have more personality and start to show how you differentiate yourself from others.  Pieces that you switch out somewhat regularly as your style and trends evolve.  It’s usually more fun to shop for these items and there is more variety, think shirts, sweaters and jackets.  

Your Home  Pieces that are substantial and make an impact but can be switched out relatively easily, for a moderate amount of money, think wall color, accent finishes, backsplash, larger furniture pieces and rugs.  Most people change these somewhat regularly, about every 5 - 10 years.  You might hire professionals or you could do it yourself.

These are items that are more visually present and you use everyday.  Things you have probably thought about and shopped for before building a new home (furniture, paint colors).  This layer is typically a little bit more fun, the decisions don’t seem so permanent.  You might get a little trendy here, use bolder colors, add more texture - start to make it you.  

I have a lot of clients who worry that their home doesn’t seem exciting or unique enough at this stage but I can assure you, most of those beautifully styled rooms you see in the magazine look about the same at this point.  That’s like judging an outfit halfway through getting dressed.   You need the next layer to really finish it off.


Third Layer

Your Fashion Style  the finishing touches - the items that make it an outfit, not just a top and bottom.  It might be a statement piece that’s worth a small fortune or that you snagged at a thrift store.  It’s not so much about the quality or longevity of the product or that you even need it but what it does for the outfit and what it says about you, think bags, hats, jewelry.

Your Home Style  the finishing touches again, the items that fill the space, that make it feel like your home.  Items you can change as often as you want and spend as much as you want on, think statement lighting, hardware, mirrors, small furniture, art and decorations.

This is where you really show your personality and style, you can add as many layers as you want and spend as much as you want.  You can go designer or knock off.  Over the top or minimalistic.  A beautifully curated collection or a carousel of trends.  This where your personality truly shines and the structure becomes your home.  We all have our own priorities, if you look at how you approach your wardrobe you can start to understand the material choices that would feel at home in your space.  One woman, who doesn’t wear jewelry at all, might install can lighting everywhere.  Another woman who lives for Manolo Blahnik might splurge on an original Sputnik light fixture.

When it comes to my personal style I gravitate towards quality, tailored items in neutral colors and interesting textures that I can accessorize and change with my mood.  I like my clothing to be functional, efficient and versatile, easily moving from season to season and always comfortable.  My jewelry is bold, artistic, and minimal yet makes a statement.  In my home, I have one wood floor throughout, my walls and trim are white, I have slate blue cabinets, black leather handles and concrete countertops.  The windows are large and always open.  I have minimal decorations and a large black mural spanning the entire width of my house.  There are a few key areas I change out for the holidays so it feels seasonal but is easy to maintain.   It’s neutral in my own way.  It’s bright, bold and natural, minimal yet homey, and entirely unique to me.  I look like I belong in my home.  

Now look at your closet, at your favorite things to wear?  Are they formal or casual?  Trendy or timeless?  Colorful or neutral?  What is your eye drawn to?  What colors do you find yourself buying?  Do you have a general color scheme for your wardrobe?  Which fabrics do you feel most comfortable in?  How do you put an outfit together?  Do you start with the function or form?  Do you dress for the weather or for the statement?  Do you spend a lot of money on clothes?  Do you shop designer?  Handmade?  Local?  What are your priorities when it comes to how you present yourself?  They are usually the same priorities for how you want to live.

If you are unsure of your priorities, now is the perfect time to figure it out.  Book a session today, let’s do a deep dive and get clear on the life you want to live and how  to create a home that supports your vision.  Materials will need to be selected, the clearer you are on the overall feeling of the house, the easier it is to make those key decisions with confidence and clarity.  The choice will seem obvious.

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