How to improve personal style?

Christine RNovember 29, 2013
I've found some of the posts on here about pet peeves, etc very interesting. I will admit that I am not great at coordinating things and my personal style is rather undeveloped. I can see and appreciate the various design elements in a professionally done room - so I'm not a totally lost cause.

Is there a way an average joe can improve on this? Are there any general "rules" for pulling rooms together that you think regular folks should be aware of? Such as, # of colors in a room, height for hanging pictures, etc?
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nasmijati
You will find many helpful ideas in the Ideabooks section of Houzz. You could enter terms such as "tips for hanging artwork," or "how to mix colors in a room" in the search box. Be sure to use quotation marks when entering your search terms. Happy reading!
1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by Christine R    November 29, 2013 at 9:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
PRO
HERE Design and Architecture
Take an art history class at your local community college. It will help you learn how to look.
1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by Christine R    November 29, 2013 at 9:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
PRO
Katie Hofacker Art
Pick a favorite color, then go with a neutral room and add 3-5 touches of that color to the room. I can create a custom painting for you using whatever colors you choose:)
1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by Christine R    November 29, 2013 at 9:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
macgrill
Read, read, read as many decorating websites, blogs and decorating magazines as you can. IMO, the best decorating magazine out there is "House Beautiful". Cut out pictures of rooms that inspire you, or set up a Pinterest account and pin pictures of rooms that appeal to you. Eventually, you will find yourself being drawn to the same "looks" over and over. That will help you define your style. Do some research on the Internet and study some of our more esteemed interior designers who have profoundly influenced this profession. Some of my most favorite decorators include Elsie De Wolfe, Dorothy Draper, Billy Baldwin, Mark Hampton, Mary McDonald, Albert Hadley, Sister Parish, Timothy Corrigan, Geoffrey Bradfield and Alexa Hampton. Obviously I can't afford to hire these decorators, but I've learned so much from studying their work. Until you are comfortable and confident with what you like, don't make any major purchases as you will surely come to regret it. Never start a decorating project without a plan. Beautiful rooms don't come together by chance or with impulse purchases and decisions.

1.You need to create a floor plan for your room, marking where windows, doors, etc., are. Don't forget to include room measurements. Figure out what kind of sun exposure the room receives (crucial for planning your lighting). Tuck a copy of your floor plan in your purse. That way you will never have to guess if a sofa will fit on a wall or long your drapes need to be.

2. Keep in mind that professional decorators in magazines (my favorite source) and even those here on Houzz often disagree with each other. It is often confusing to people when they hear conflicting advice on the same subject. Keep in mind that it all advice given here and in magazines is in the spirit of being helpful but also subject to their own personal style and opinion.
As far as the "decorating rules"? I know of many decorating rules I would never break but I know for a fact I have broken lots of them in my own home and I am perfectly happy with that.

3. Before you buy anything, you must have some idea of what type of feeling you want for your room. If you start buying stuff with some vague undefined idea of what you want, your room will end up looking that same way. Begin with something that you love...a painting or a fabric or a rug...maybe something you already own or a family heirloom that could inspire you to select your colors from. You may have to start from scratch and buy something to inspire you, but choose something that you will love each time you see it. Now you can begin your shopping.

4. Your best bet is to select neutral colors for your big pieces, making it easier to redecorate years later. Smaller pieces can be printed fabrics as it is less expensive to reupholster them in the future. Buy the best sofa you can afford. Save money by buying lamps at Joss and Main, One Kings Lane, or Homegoods. I bought lamps at a Goodwill, spray painted them and then bought gorgeous silk lampshades online (so much for saving money). You would be amazed at the beautiful furniture that can be found on Craigslist and in consignment stores, so be sure to check them out.

5. Unless you are incredibly wealthy, most people have to decorate over a period of time. I actually love rooms that look like they grew with the family, full of interesting art, and objects, not showroom decor. I feel comfortable in rooms full of personality, with fun collections, interesting family photos, and items that you know have an amazing story behind them. These rooms develop slowly, with love. Fortunately, there are no decorating rules that govern love.
2 Likes    Bookmark   Thanked by Christine R    November 30, 2013 at 4:05AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
PRO
Dytecture
It's a bit difficult to have generalized 'rules' since everyone is unique, but perhaps try to streamline what you have and to focus on your strengths in design.
1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by Christine R    November 30, 2013 at 5:17AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by Christine R    November 30, 2013 at 5:39AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dclostboy
Find a design blog written by someone you can relate to...will introduce you to new concepts / styles that you can try on for size.
    Bookmark   Thanked by Christine R    November 30, 2013 at 6:03AM
Sign Up to comment
Related Discussions
How do I Improve the scale of fireplace with the right surround
I'm in the process of a full renovation of an old townhouse...
Modern Chicago Homes
How can I improve the curb appeal of this house?
We are just purchasing this house and I am not happy...
joaniek
How can I improve this kitchen nook?
Ok design enthusiasts, what would you do with this...
kimberlysc
Help a tired, brick rambler out!! How can we improve the front?
Been in this house over 10 years and still can't figure...
gnickol
How would you improve this fireplace?
Thinking of drywalling and painting the top part, painting...
giaksch
More Discussions
UP IN THE AIR FRONT DOOR!
"UP IN THE AIR" Please help with our second...
teresatrax
Exterior Colours??? Need help with Colours
I need some help with finding the right colours. Its...
SS
What is wrong with this picture?
I love this wallpaper. Is the size of the mirror wrong?...
lyndao
French Country Manor - paint color help, please
What color would you recommend which would be in keeping...
bishop1968
Drapes
Master bedroom help what to do. Window looks off centered....
gdulcich
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™