One of the first steps when meeting with a new client is for me to figure out what kind of style they associate with the most. As many of us know, finding your personal style can be a difficult and an ambiguous task. With trends coming and going and constantly changing it can sometimes be hard to stay true to one theme. This is why I suggest to my clients to gather as many images they can find that speak to them. The images can be anything from an editorial ad, interior space, outfit, and piece of art. Once I have all of the images I then try to find a common theme between them. I find that its much easier to have someone that knows you to look for the common theme between your images, that way you wont be stuck in your own head.
Once you establish some common themes between your images, its time to put a label on it. I suggest coming up with a creative name that speaks to your style, this way you will always have an idea of a certain style direction to go in. It will also make it easier to make faster decisions during the design process. Don’t be worried if your themes are conflicting styles, this just means that you are open to more and will allow you to mix and match. For example, if your style name is feminine contemporary then you can disregard the more masculine muted colors that usually coexist with contemporary, and instead go with a pastel or floral fabric on the simple low profile sofa.
Understanding the Basics…
When finding what styles speak most to you, it’s easiest to understand the more common styles. Once you understand each styles characteristics it will make it that much easier for you to mix and match styles.
Minimalist design is simple, clean and modern. Much of the furniture that would be considered minimalist looks like modern art; clean straight lines. Avoids excessive accessories and decoration. Colors always lean towards neutrals and whites.
Contemporary is sleek and fundamental pieces. Unique furniture pieces, that is smooth, geometric, curved in shape. The negative shape is just as important as an object placed in the room.
Industrial/ Urban is raw and rough surfaces. Things that were once practical like typewriters and old Edison light bulbs. The inner workings of the structure is usually exposed, Like support beams and piping. Open floor plan like loft living.
Traditional is a warm and inviting sophistication. Many of the pieces speak to a historical time period. Many Soft and curved lines. Everything is usually a consistent muted tone. Attention to detail and balance is everything.
Mid-Century Modern is perfectly put together masculine sleek. The smooth shapes reference a retro vibe. Geometric, bold patterns and neutrals combined to create a cohesive space. Furniture with tapered legs and long streamline sofas.
Once you have a good understand of the basic styles it becomes that much easier to mix and match them. Don’t be afraid to have fun with it! That’s what design is all about, recreating in a new way.