How to: Identify your style

How to: Identify your style

Create a look you love with insider tips and tricks from interior decorator, Emma Blomfield.

Analyse your existing decor – does it reflect your own style, personality and taste, as well as that of the other members of your family or household? Have you inherited furniture here and there, or did you move in with your partner and make do until you could afford to upgrade? Now is the time to start doing your research.
If you are finding it difficult to identify your style, don’t be too concerned. It is often easier to identify styles we don’t like rather than immediately pinpoint those we do. If you feel you fall into this category, start by flicking through some of your favourite home decor magazines or books, or searching through blogs and other inspirational websites. Have a pen and paper with you to jot down anything you notice.

To really home in on your style, list common elements you see appearing in the images and ideas you’ve been collecting or admiring from magazines, books, Pinterest mood boards, your friends’ homes, visual merchandising from retail stores or just everyday life. These common elements could be as simple as observing that you keep selecting sofas in charcoal grey fabrics with buttoned back cushions or that every living room you like features a sisal rug and cushions in navy and white stripes, indicating a Hamptons look.
Another excellent way to solve your style mystery is to ask friends and family if they can help you narrow it down. Chances are they’ve spent numerous hours in your home observing the pieces you have on display and they could very well have bought you gifts for your home, too. Getting an outsider’s perspective can open your eyes to how your style has evolved since you moved into your home.
Remember, you are never too old (or too young) to identify and develop your style. Your style will always be evolving and changing, so what you were drawn to when you first moved out of home will almost certainly have changed by the time you start a family and then again by the time your children grow up and move out.

Define your style

Colours – Are there any combinations you have been drawn to? Are there colours you’d really like to avoid having in your home? Do the pieces of art you are drawn to often feature the same colours and patterns?

Shapes – Are lots of linear items appearing in your notes or are you drawn to rounded objects, such as oval dining tables or circular coffee tables? 

Metals – Do you prefer the cool, slick, stainless steel look to a burnished antique gold? Metals will instantly give away your style – stainless or brushed steel screams modern and contemporary, whereas brass and antique silver give off more traditional, classic vibes.

Furniture – Have you been noting down that you prefer rolled, rounded sofa arms to thin, slim-line arms? Do all the dining tables you like have turned timber legs as opposed to steel legs and glass tops?


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This edited extract is from Home: The Elements of Decorating by Emma Blomfield published by Hardie Grant Books and available from all good book stores.

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