How Do I Pick an Interior Design Style?
Taking the first steps toward being more intentional about your interior design can be daunting. And if you’re not confident about where you want to start, the sheer number of options can lead to analysis paralysis. To help you through your design choosing process, we have gathered five approaches for how to decide what interior design style is right for you.
1. Lean into your surroundings
Whatever space you’re decorating, you’re not starting with a void. You have a home that was built in a specific era with specific design choices. Whether it’s a majestic Victorian from 150 years ago, a funky mid-century ranch house, or mostly featureless new construction, there are built-in details you can use to your advantage.
But leaning into your surroundings doesn’t automatically mean you should set your home up as a time capsule of the era when your home was built. Many aesthetics include an element of mixing traditional and modern pieces. For example, while an old Victorian would be the perfect foundation for velvet drapes and overstuffed couches, it would also be very well suited for a style like maximalist or eclectic design, or even cottagecore.
2. Start with your favorite color
Considering what colors excite you is one of the most natural places to start looking for interior design inspiration. And the best part is that it’s very likely your favorite color has already made its way into your decor (and if it hasn’t, why do you deny yourself this joy?).
With the color as your starting point, decide what other colors you want to bring in as accents and how you like your colors to interact with each other. To get started with this approach, read our recent post on how to use color theory for inspiration.
3. Celebrate your favorite piece of furniture
Sometimes furniture is more than just a place to sit down or display books. A genuine Eames chair from the 1940s, for example, may be a statement about your dedication to the history of design. Or that same chair may have nothing to do with who made it or its historical significance—it may be an heirloom from a grandparent that helps you feel a sense of connection to your ancestors. Or you may just think it looks super neat.
No matter the piece or the nature of its meaning to you, furniture can be one of the hardest things to swap out when coalescing your decor around a unified style. Look for interior design approaches, such as minimalism, that will highlight your favorite piece of furniture instead of letting it be just one more chair in a room full of chairs.
Create a mood board
When we say “create a mood board,” we’re not talking about setting up yet another Pinterest board (although that is also helpful!). We want you to get physical with this.
Gather up as many catalogs and magazines as you can find, and start ripping pages and cutting out sections. Tack them onto a piece of corkboard, tape them to the wall, or put them wherever they can all be seen at once. When you feel like you have enough, step back and take it all in. You may be surprised just how quickly patterns in your design taste show up when you gather your inspiration in one place.
Pick one out of a hat
No, really! If you are finding it difficult to decide where to start, give the choice over to the hat. By doing this, you can take a deep breath and not worry about picking the “right” style. There are so many interior design options out there that picking a direction can be extremely overwhelming.
Start by writing down ten design styles on slips of paper and pick one at random. Once you draw a slip of paper, use your reaction to that style to move you towards or away from certain design elements. You can repeat this process a few times to help you clarify what excites you.
Take it one step at a time
It’s not necessary—or even advised—to attempt a full style overhaul all at once. The best way to proceed is by making a few changes at a time until it feels just right. That way, if it turns out you hate it, you can pivot without having to undo a huge amount of effort.
When you arrive at the step that calls for adding rugs, we have you covered. No matter what look you’re going for, our wide selection of custom rugs will have just what your style needs.