It may take some trial and error to discover the style of home that is most comfortable for you. Here are some tips on how to choose your interior design style from my sister Laura!
When I first entered my sister’s house in Charlotte, I fell in love with the interior design of the house she had chosen. She didn’t hire a designer but did study inspirational photos and bring life to this coastal interior design style. Since your home is a reflection of your personality and creativity, it is sometimes difficult to bring this vision to life. So I asked Laura to share her living room with us and give us some tips on choosing an interior design style that she will love for many years to come! – Cath
My living room is easily my favorite room in our house and I really enjoyed designing it! We’ve had 4 living rooms in the 5 years we’ve moved homes and hopefully this will be the last in a while 🙂 Choosing the interior design style was easy: light and airy coastal with blue accents.
In the past, I relied a lot on colors to make things interesting. And the decorative accessories you chose lack cohesion. Thus, my living spaces were never quite complete.
My goal this time around was to keep things light and simple with thoughtful details. Admittedly, Serena and Lily have provided a lot of inspiration. Here are some tips I learned along the way as I transitioned the room from vision to real life.
How to choose your interior design style
1. Create a mood board or a Pinterest board
How do you know if you like modern or mid-century modern farmhouse decor? Do you prefer a neutral color palette or clean lines? Inspiration pictures can help you decide what you really want. When I was looking for design inspiration for this home, I had a Pinterest board that really helped me narrow down the decorating styles.
2. Stick to one color.
Since I love coastal vibes, I decided to use just one main color: light blue. Having lots of different shades of light blue works much better than trying to match blue perfectly or coordinate two or more colors. Plus, the monochromatic look of the moment makes shopping simple. We carried the same colors into our dining room.
3. Use a neutral texture to add interest.
Since I only used blue as the main color, I combined different cream combinations to make the base color scheme more interesting.
Fabric can go a long way – wood, linen, straw, plants, jute, and other natural materials go with just about anything and are really what defines a light and airy coastal vibe.
White without texture can appear sterile. The beautiful wood paneling and woodwork that was already in the house helped a lot as well.
4. Splurge on two or three major items and save on the rest.
It is clearly worth buying a quality sofa because it is something you will want to keep for years and years. We also splurge a little on the rug because it was so hard to find a modern pattern I liked that would also stand up to spills (aka: a wool-poly blend with a busy enough pattern and no white background).
Chairs, lamps, pottery, frames, and decorative items can be found at less expensive stores such as Home Goods, Target, Etsy, World Market, Marshalls, and consignment stores. You can find lots of different personal styles, from modern or farmhouse style, without spending a fortune.
I found all my blue and white books for shelves in a used bookstore for $10 (just check under my dust jackets). The same book set was $60 at a home decor store.
The research can take a lot of time (it took me a year to finish this room!) but it was worth it in the end.
5. Keep the job in mind.
Having two young children was in the back of my mind with every decision I made. For example, we chose a stain-resistant Crypton fabric for the sofa, a soft, dark ottoman for a coffee table, and large woven baskets with lids on the shelves for storing toys.
You won’t find any pure white fabrics or valuables because our living room is a gym in the woods most of the time. Also, get FOLEX for all spots!
6. Use digital prints and family photos for art.
Original art can be very expensive. I thought we might buy something when we moved to North Carolina, but even something from an up-and-coming artist can be in the thousands if you need a proper size. (Of course the artists deserve every dime for their talent, but it wasn’t something we could be proud of at this time.)
Etsy has digital prints for $10-30 and you can find frames at Target, Michaels, or Home Goods if they’re standard size. Groups work well in large spaces.
Or, next time you are traveling, take some black and white photos of interesting cities/scenes without people in them and make your own collection.
I always have Cath take a family photo for smaller frames when we’re on vacation – a good photographer and an iPhone go a long way.