Part of the biggest challenge I when decorating my home is really narrowing down what my style is. I tend to be one of those people who likes everything. I’m a Gemini what can I say? It’s in my nature. I get completely caught up in one look or design style and then about half way through execution I realize there is something out there that is oh-so-much better. I’ve always envied those girls who have a very specific style. You know the ones – The preppy girl who looks as though she stepped out of a j.crew catalog, the one who knows how to pull off a strand of pearls without looking costumey. The chic friend who wears all black all the time and looks effortlessly styled and never overdone. The boho friend who could pull on a breezy skirt and some eclectic jewelry and seem at ease in any social situation.
Me personally? I’ve always been a mess of every style. I like looking country club chic and polished, but I also have my moments of wanting to look like a vampy bombshell. It really depends on what sort of flighty mood I’m in that day.
My home style has been a little easier to nail down – but only a little. I’m definitely a girl who values comfort over style. I want my home to look inviting and lived in. I’m a bit cluttered by nature so right away I can conclude that I will never be into modern minimalism. I like earthy blues and greens as a base, with a pop of vibrancy added in to keep your interest. I’m attracted to coastal chic designs, unique pieces mixed in with casual comfort.
A few years ago I took a quiz on the HomeGoods website and the results were so dead on that I actually saved the verbiage because I felt as though it gave me a sense of direction in my design style. That quiz (sadly) was taken down, but I’m so grateful that I held onto that description. I used to keep a book of magazine clippings – images of homes and design styles that I found inspirational. Now with the creation of Pinterest it is so easy to keep track of images that inspire you! Here are a few examples of spaces I associate with, along with my design style quiz results.
Rachel, you are an Earthy Casual
You’re interested in creating a welcoming home where people feel comfortable and happiness flourishes. You appreciate the warmth and individuality of natural materials and handcrafted things and are inspired by colors and forms from nature. You love mixing up different textures and are sensitive to the tactile qualities of objects. Your style is grounded and solid, not flighty or frilly. And you are never taken in by the trend of the moment.
You value creativity. You are stylish and fun-loving, and can be an inspiration to others. You have a natural sense of drama, and you know you have to be willing to take risks—whether with colors, finishes, furniture choices, or ideas—for your home to stand out. Your home can be happy and lively and the place all of your friends want to be.
Putting Color to Use!
With your style and needs in mind, here are a few tips that will help you make your home a little happier.
1. Your Design Challenge: ORGANIZE The front hall sets the mood for your entire home. Consider how to accommodate all the room’s functions as beautifully as possible. At the very least you need a console, and if you’re short on storage, consider a dresser. Outfit the surface with nice trays and bowls for mail, keys and sunglasses. Keep a trash can for immediately tossing the junk mail. Closet-door or wall hooks encourage coat and bag hanging rather than dumping. If you have children, try to give each a basket in the closet for hats and gloves. It’s nice to have a chair or bench for changing shoes, a mirror for last-minute lipstick checks, and a lamp or sconces for warm light.
2. Your Happy Place Think of your outdoor space, no matter how small, as rooms, and create distinct areas. A pair of chaises flanking a little side table makes a living room. A lantern hanging from a tree or pergola over a table and chairs makes a dining room. A cluster of potted plants on a patio can create a cozy nook, and a single urn or bench placed at the far end can draw your eye, making a space seem longer. Big lanterns with candles sitting on the ground create a sense of space and give beautiful light. Try out new ideas before you start shopping by taking a photo of your area and laying some tracing paper over the print to draw whatever you’re planning first.
3. Be Party-Ready All the Time! Scent: The first thing you notice about a home is how it smells. Use naturally fragrant cleaning products. If you find a scented candle or fresh potpourri you love, stock up on it. Any scent you like, whether perfume or linen spray, can be used on upholstery, bedding or just spritzed into the air.
Mood: Nice, flattering light makes us feel good. So nix the harsh, direct light from overhead fixtures in favor of the softer glow from floor and table lamps. Also, stock up on some votive candles and a couple of hurricane lanterns for setting around the room.
Food: Devote space in your pantry or on a shelf for go-to party essentials: crackers, dip, chips, nuts—whatever you like to serve. Keep on hand a collection of attractive bowls and cocktail napkins, and you’ll be able to set a spread—instantly!
Drink: The simplest and chicest thing is to have a drinks tray or table always set up. Include a mix of pretty glasses, an ice bucket, a lovely pitcher, and bottles of soda and water. When the bell rings, just add ice and limes.