How To Find Your Design Style

Time Several Hours

Budget $ $$$

Skill Level

WORDS BY Gillian Grefe

Fill 1Created with Sketch.

Published on February 9, 2018

Whether you are starting a Havenly project or you’re just looking to define your own aesthetic, finding your design style can be difficult. There’s a wealth of images and media that discusses the subject- everything from Pinterest boards to endless HGTV shows for any taste. It can honestly be a little bit overwhelming. But, interior designers know the best tricks to help you pick what you actually want in your home.

What Don’t You Like?

The easiest way to narrow down your own taste is to work backwards. Sometimes we have a much better idea of what we don’t like than what we do. So, think about styles, pieces, or images you’ve seen that you can’t stand. Seriously, it will help narrow your own focus. Do you really dislike busy, clashing patterns? Well, bohemian is probably not your style of choice. Do you hate the way that midcentury modern pieces look? There you go- that’s not the style for you. Consider literally writing down the things you don’t like– it’ll help you crystallize your dislikes and separate the proverbial wheat from the chaff.

Inspiration Images

Design is a visual art. That means that often we lack (especially as non-design-professionals) the vocabulary to fully express what we like and don’t like. That’s where inspiration images come in! Using platforms like Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, or even a good, old-fashioned bulletin board, we can curate images that inspire us and depict the design choices we love.

Begin by starting a dedicated board or folder for the images you love. Begin compiling things that catch your eye- don’t worry about making it cohesive or thematic. Colors, rooms, fashion, etc. Just put it all in the folder. Once you’ve got a bunch of material, look at everything at once and see what pops up again and again. You might be surprised how consistent you are! Notice the details- are you pinning tons of white? Is there wicker in every photo you picked? Do you have an affinity for bright colors, or is your collection of images more neutral and monochromatic? Use them to start building your own design profile. It can be especially helpful to look at the tags for each image- that will help you build your own design vocabulary throughout this process. By the end, you’ll have a good sense of what words depict the images you’ve saved.

The images we’ve saved recently. Clearly, we like bright colors!

Feeling inspired? Start your own Havenly design project today by taking our free style quiz.quiz_button

Discover Your Style

Nontraditional Inspiration

Design is a fundamental part of your life, no matter how lost you feel navigating the rough waters of style choice. But remember that interiors are not the end-all of aesthetic preferences! You probably have opinions about clothing, films, music, even food! Pull inspiration from those sources, too. Do you love the movie Thelma and Louise? Well, that whole film is filled with awesome kitschy, western-influenced style. Maybe some of that could translate into your home, toned down of course. The same idea goes for, well, pretty much everything! Think about what you really love and use google image search to look at the images associated with it. While it isn’t going to tell you that your style is Rustic Scandinavian, it can help clarify to yourself the things you love and gravitate to in other aspects of your life. There’s no reason those things can’t translate to your interiors, too!

These tips may seem simple, but they are the same tips designers use to help their clients to inform the design direction. Check out our Pinterest and Instagram for plenty of visual inspiration, and if you are really lost, we have a pretty awesome design style quiz for just this reason!