How to Decorate: The Process of Finding Your Style

So often clients come to us and tell us that they want a “modern” room.  But, is your style really modern?  To many, modern design is what’s trendy today (read: what you see on HGTV).  However, “modern” in the design world is very different and when you are trying to put together a room and find a style that is perfectly you — or a mix of you and your spouse — it can be tough when online searches are coming up short.

Here are 4 steps that will help you identify your unique style and decorate a room that is uniquely personalized:

Step 1

Head over to Pinterest and type in “living room” (or whatever room you’re looking to work on).  Don’t put any thought into it… just pin images to a board that peak your interest in some way. No overthinking this.

Step 2

Go into your board and choose no less than 2 and no more than 5 images that you love the most.  Again, don’t think too hard about how it would “work” in your space — we’re just going for the ones that most appeal to you.

Step 3

Study the images that you chose.  What do they have in common? There are likely 2-3 different styles that pop out.  Maybe there are rustic and industrial elements. Maybe you find you’re a mix of Farmhouse and eclectic.  

List out the different design styles here:

1. Traditional

Traditional design consists of timeless shapes and classic colours.  It rarely shifts from style and includes a lot of detailed mouldings, built-ins, and character elements.

2. Farmhouse


When we think of Farmhouse style, neutral colours with hits of matte black and natural wood elements come to mind.  Add in pops of florals, architectural salvage, antique pieces, and painted furniture with the occasional hand-painted sign and you have yourself a farmhouse design that Joanna Gaines would envy.

3. Modern/Contemporary


You’ll love modern design if your photos include a lot of “hard” surfaces, very few textiles (like pillows, curtains, and draperies).  Modern can be colourful or neutral, but is always minimalistic. This design style does not have a lot of fluff and or curves. Little to no mouldings.  Very straight and sculptural.

4. Eclectic


Eclectic style is very hot right now with many colours, boho accent pieces and a mix of patterns.  If you are inspired by global design elements (like Moroccan, French, or Indian), it’s likely that you have a mix of Eclectic in your design style.  This design styling is packed with accessories and can look “cluttered” to some, but when mixed with other styles adds an interesting and homey vibe to any space.

5. Glam


Sometimes referred to as Hollywood Regency, this style is for you if you love to sparkle.  Glam style encompasses mixed metals, luxe pieces (think velvet, linen, and marble!). It’s the style for many high-end hotel lobbies and will guarantee you’ll feel like a star every time you walk into your space.

6. Mid-Century Modern

This period consisted of elements that were inspired by what they thought in the 1950’s and 60’s that space would look like in the future.  Think Palm Springs or Miami. Lots of pastels and warm colours mixed with geometric patterns and plant life.

Step 4

Assign a percentage to each of the design styles that are in your photos.  Are the pictures 50% traditional, 20% modern and 30% glam? This will allow you to pull together the same mix when you are choosing your design pieces.


There you have it! Comment below which style matches your tastes!