Woman wondering

Do you wish you didn’t have to copy a room from HGTV to feel good about your decorating? Are you wondering what decorating style has YOU written all over it?

Here are some ways you can decipher your personal style and start confidently filling your rooms with color palettes and decor that is cohesive, gorgeous, AND uniquely you. 

Style Quizzes

Taking a quiz

A quick and easy way to at least get your style-finding juices flowing is to take a quiz. These are far from the burdensome, boring, demeaning pop quizzes from chemistry class!

Fair warning: Each quiz I took came up with a different classification! I am apparently everything (and I mean everything) from Art Deco to Country Darling.

It’s still a fun exercise, and a great way to get your feet wet and style engines humming.

Here are a few places to go for a zap of self-style reflection:

If multiple choice isn’t exactly your jam or you’d just like to go a little deeper, read on …

Pinterest Boards

Tablet Open to Pinterest Sign In Screen

Pinterest is by far the most popular spot to go for visual inspiration of all kinds, but home decor ranks among the top searches. The great thing about Pinterest is you can save anything according to any category that makes sense to you. Create boards based on what you are searching for, then enter the appropriate keywords in the search bar and pin away.

When it comes to finding your personal style using Pinterest, here is what I would recommend:

Create a board for every room.

Even if you are not looking to redecorate every room in your house, it will still be helpful for you to collect ideas of looks you like for every space in order to nail down what appeals the most to you in your style-defining journey.

Start Pinning

Enter keywords that are logical to your quest in the searchbar and see what comes up. You can enter terms like “home decorating styles,” or just search based on the board you are pinning to like “living room.”

Set a Limit

Tho the sky is the limit as far as possibilities go, give yourself a cap of about 50 images per board. You will be thinning those images down based on your preferences in a little bit and can add more then if you want to. But keep the exercise manageable so you aren’t overwhelmed right away.

Look For Common Threads

For each board, examine the images you have pinned more critically. What is it you are drawn to with that look? Is it the color? The arrangement? The art? Texture?

If you want to, make a list of those elements that appeal. You may begin to see patterns of things you are attracted to.

Pare It Down

Go through each board again and, with your findings at hand, purge images that are not a 7 or higher on a 10-point scale. Try to get down to about 10 photos per board.

Compare Notes

This would be a great time to go back to the Pinterest search bar and start researching home decorating styles. Get a feel for each and, based on your pins, see where your tastes are landing.

Here are a few styles to search for:

  • Traditional
  • Transitional
  • Contemporary
  • Mid-Century Modern
  • Coastal
  • Farmhouse
  • Boho (or Bohemian)
  • Eclectic
  • Industrial
  • Scandanavian

This list is not exhaustive, so if you don’t find your dominant style here, there are still plenty of options to choose from and are easy to Google if Pinterest isn’t giving you enough options (I can’t imagine!)

Also, keep in mind that no one is locked into any one style. We are usually a mix of about 3 or 4 (similar to a personality test!), with one style being dominant overall.

Design Blogs

"blog" typed on page in typewriter

Blogs have taken over the go-to lookbook realm as more and more style magazines fade into the pre-internet past. I still love holding a real-live, glossy issue of Architectural Digest, Elle Decor, House Beautiful, and Sunset magazines in my hot little hands, but these blogs are worthy of your indulgence and promise decorating eye candy galore!


Lacy table with keyboard, smartphone, coffee and roses

Sometimes ya just gotta get help from a professional. If you feel you want to hand over the reins entirely, then seeking out a full-service interior designer may be the solution for you.

To try your hand at a style, you might want to consider contacting an e-designer. There are a number of e-design businesses out there with services that range from creating a simple floor plan to doing full-scale renderings, product sourcing and everything in between.

Some designers will even let you pick their brain for 15-20 minutes over the phone for a nominal fee, or will draw out a design for you over a photo you have taken of the room.

They are a great and inexpensive resource for helping you determine your personal style!

Rules For Every Style

student facedown on test after exam

So I started the post with a quiz and am killing it off with a bunch of rules? What is this? Haha!

Okay, let’s call them guidelines and take the heat off, kids!

These are a few common sense guidelines to help you build a foundation for your personal style to come shining thru!!

* For your convenience, this post may contain affiliate links which means, if you click on a link to make a purchase I may, at no additional cost to you, receive a small referral fee. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

Begin With The End In Mind

Determine from the beginning what the use of the space will be. Is homework done here? Are naps taken? Is food served? Do people gather here to converse or play board games?

You may have spaces with dual purposes to plan for, such as a guest bedroom/office, but my encouragement would be to make one more or less the dominant theme and the other secondary.

Determine The Focal Point

It may be built into the architecture or may need to be created, but every room should have a focal point. An easy example of a built-in would be a fireplace.

You can create one with an entertainment center that your seating is directed towards, a well-styled bed in the bedroom, a picture window framing an incredible view or a central fountain, or a piece of artwork.

Picture Window As Focal Point

Keep The Background Neutral

Think of how a jewelry store shows their diamond rings. They are rarely seen on a busy patterned fabric, but instead on plain black velvet or other solid neutral that allows the color and light of each stone to be appreciated fully.

By keeping walls and flooring a neutral color you are setting the stage for more dramatic color statements in the “personality” pieces, such as furnishings, artwork, and accessories.

Pull Your Color Scheme From The One Piece You Love The Most

I have often derived a color scheme for a room from a painting or piece of art. You could also allow a beautiful area rug to dictate what your accent colors will be, or a throw. I have even used a beautiful ribbon on a wreath I was using in the room to base the entire space’s color story on.

The point is, by using one piece to guide you, you can’t easily go wrong.

Keep Conversation Areas Conversational

When planning seating in a living or family room, the rule of thumb is to ensure guests are not shouting at each other by keeping seating no more than 8′ apart from each other.

Conversation is good.

Shouting is bad form, and bad design.

For More …

KarieAnne Wood, the blogger of Thistlewood Farms, has written a wonderful book on the subject of determining your personal style. Look for it below.

Enjoy the journey!!

Uniquely Yours,
joyce-anderson signature

PS: Here is the awesome style-finding book by KariAnne Wood!

PPS: Like this post? Pin it for later …

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