When you find your decorating style you'll have a home which reflects your own taste in such things as color, furnishings, and your own personal likes and dislikes.
You'll also have a home which captures your own unique style, and your own interests. Even within a particular decorating style there is infinite scope for variation.
By adding your own insights, and adapting a style to portray your own view of the world, you end up with a decorating style which is yours, and yours alone.
What are you like?
Yes, believe it or not, but it depends on you. Before you head off and go decorating with style, ask yourself a few questions.
Are you neat and tidy, or do you live in a complete mess?
If you're a tidy person then you won't want a decorating style which is more eclectic and informal, with a whole mix of objects scattered everywhere. You'd be far happier with a style which suits your character. So go for a more formal traditional style. Or minimalist, where everything is put away and out of sight.
Do you always go for modern, or do you find yourself drawn to history?
This can be a good indicator when you try to find your decorating style. You may be someone who likes nothing better then spending hours in second hand stores and buying up old bits and pieces.
Perhaps you have some old pictures or items of furniture handed down thought the generations. In which case, some sort of traditional or historical style might suite you best.
Or you may find you naturally go for modern schemes and arrangements. You see the latest ideas in magazines, and wish you could implement them in your home.
Use your knowledge of your own likes and dislikes to help you find your decorating style.
What's your home like?
Is your home a beautiful six bedroom 19th century house? You immediately know which style would suit it best - a traditional or victorian one.
Or perhaps it's a modern construction, with 'architectural' features. Ok, a more modern style immediately suggests itself.
Many homes don't have quite such a definite feel to them, in which case you have more freedom in your choice of style. But hopefully you get the point - use your home itself to help you find your decorating style.
What's your favorite culture?
Do you love your own culture and its history? Then go with that.
Did you once visit Paris, and fell in love with it? See if you can use French influence to find your decorating style.
Or does the Tuscan landscape, color and texture appeal to you? Are there any Asian influences in your family background, or you picked up some ideas on a visit to Asia?
There are a host of ideas you can use using cultures different from your own.
Which color combinations do you like?
Your color preferences can be a good guide when you want to find your decorating style.
Some of us like the colors associated with the homes of New England, with their wistful suggestions of a bygone era. Others prefer the colors and textures of a style such as Art Nouveau - in which case you'll instantly know which style you should go for!
By using your favorite color scheme as the basis for your decor you can often adapt it to suit a particular decorating style. Perhaps one of the colors in the scheme doesn't fit the style - so change it, or leave it out altogether.
Sometimes it's nice to be reassured about the color choices we make. Paint Color Cheat Sheets is just that - it's a guide to which colors work best for home decorating.
The Shortcut to Perfect Paint Colors - Paint Color Cheat Sheets
Research different styles
The other pages in this section (find them under 'Decorating Styles' in the menu on the top left) will give you an introduction to various decorating styles. You can also find more by looking at books and magazines.
Visit historical houses and other places of interest when you get the chance. See what other people are doing with their homes (and always be polite if they ask you what you think!).
Finally, don't rush into anything. Have fun, and enjoy the experience as you begin decorating with style.