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“My home is exactly the way I envisioned it! I am completely satisfied with every room and every accessory – I wouldn’t change a thing!”, said no one… ever… at least not in my experience. Even in the most beautifully appointed rooms of a Designer Show House, I can hear the comments of those touring it, regarding the changes that they would make if it were their house. They don’t mean to be critical, they merely have a different style or aesthetic. I’ve even done it myself!

As an interior design professional for many years, I’ve heard my share of clients try to describe their own personal style, only to throw up their hands in frustration and finally confess, “That’s why I called you!”. And to that I reply, “I’m so glad that you did, because when a room is done well, there are no right or wrong answers. Interior design should be fun!”. Design is subjective, yes, we have time-tested guidelines that we follow, but everyone has a way of styling their home that is unique to them! You should feel good when you enter a room fashioned in a way that suits you.

Traditional, Mid-Century Modern, Rustic/Farmhouse, French Country, Coastal Cottage, Victorian, Industrial or Eclectic. These styles, and many more, describe the varied ways we decorate our homes today. Have you ever wondered what category your personal style falls into? It can be confusing to some of us, and more often than not, we are likely to fall into a combination of styles, further complicating the answer. But it’s helpful to know what general style(s) fits your personality when you have to shop for accessories, bedding or furniture. It can save you money and time in the long run.

In order to help clarify some of these design styles, I’ll attempt to define just a few of them:

TRADITIONAL – While this style is all about a sense of history and purpose, it doesn’t have to be stuffy. Classic, quality furnishings mixed with family photos, fine finishes and sophisticated, neutral colors, makes this the perfect choice for people who don’t want to chase the trends. It stands the test of time while it maintains its relevance.

Traditional Living room

RUSTIC/FARMHOUSE – This style seems to be enjoying great popularity in today’s homes, due in large part to HGTV’s highly rated show, “Fixer Upper”. Every week the Gaines’ deliver another beautiful example of the comfort and flexibility of this farmhouse style. Found items once thought of as old, worn out or utilitarian, find new life on the wall or as a centerpiece on the table. Roughhewn beams and walls covered in ship lap, define the look architecturally, with things from nature adding color and movement. Antiques as well as re-purposed pieces are equally at home in this totally modern take on a style evocative of a simpler time.

Farmhouse entry

Farmhouse kitchen

COTTAGE/COASTAL COTTAGE – This style borrows from its Country and Farmhouse cousins. But is more about the fabrics used. Colorful, yet muted botanicals create cozy and comfortable charm. Iron and wicker are favorites along with second-hand furniture that gets a fresh coat of white paint and new knobs. Baskets, bead board and natural-fiber rugs add layers of visual interest. Coastal Cottage takes its cues from memories of summers at the beach. Whitewashed interiors, mismatched dining chairs painted in bright colors around a sturdy table with over-sized turned legs. What was once considered appropriate only in vacation homes, now is mainstream. Both Cottage and Coastal Cottage styles are proving that good design can break some long held design rules.

Cottage dining

ECLECTIC – Once thought to be the absence of style, and rather chaotic by some, eclectic style is in reality a combination of styles that when done correctly, act as members of a harmonious whole. That may sound like a lot of designer mumbo-jumbo, but if you really think about it, (and I wouldn’t if I didn’t have to : )), isn’t that how most of us live? We keep the things we like, sell or discard the things that we don’t and add to them over time, creating a look that says, “this is who I am and what I want to live with.” With that said, it is often done best when a cohesive color palette and scale are kept in mind.

Eclectic dining room

Eclectic living room

Eclectic baby's room

MODERN – Some call this style “contemporary”. It is a style that doesn’t incorporate a lot of detail or texture. Things are normally laid out in an asymmetrical way using accessories minimally. When a fabric or artwork are introduced to the space, they are usually abstract or graphic in nature. Probably the most used terms when describing Modern style are, “clean” or “sleek”.

modern bedroom

Now that you are armed with all of this information, aren’t you curious as to which category best describes you? Well, we have a little quiz for you, courtesy of mydomaine.com, that can help with that! If you take the quiz, let us know by posting the results below with the hashtag #nsnredesign.

And now for the good part… you can WIN a two hour re-designing session with Amanda Clowser, who is launching her new re-designing business called Sweet Territory and myself, an interior designer with over twenty-five years of experience and the owner of Elizabeth-Kent Interiors, absolutely FREE! All you have to do is decide which one of your rooms you’d like to have re-designed the most and why. Again, be sure to post your style and the room of your choosing at the bottom of this blog anytime during the month of July with the hashtag #nsnredesign and you will automatically be entered into a random drawing to WIN the FREE re-designing session with Amanda and I in September.

1 home sweet home contest

So what are you waiting for? Hurry and enter today and I’ll see you in September!

(Consultation includes, time, rearranging, and repurposing the winner’s room in a new and pleasing fashion. All purchases suggested during the session i.e. paint, additional accessories, throw rugs or pillows, are solely the responsibility of the winner. Winner must be located in the Greater Nashville area.)

 By Beth Rhora // Home Blogging Team

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