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  • Aoki Interiors

Finding your Style

I constantly find that people struggle with identifying their own sense of style when it comes to decorating their homes. Whether you are at the exciting stage of life,moving into your first home or trying to make your home more of a reflection of you with the feeling that your rooms lack that personal touch. I’ve put together a few ideas to help you to identify the style within you and how to incorporate it into your home.

The first thing I do when I‘m asked to help a client with decorating their home, is to just look around at what is there. You can do this too, but as you see your house every day you have stopped noticing and this exercise can really surprise you. You need to take a step back and look around with a critical eye. Take notes as you are looking around at items and pieces you love and definitely want to stay, and items you don’t like and wish to change or replace. Look closely at your walls, are they too plain or too cluttered? Is there enough colour or too much colour? Are they painted with a colour you love? Perhaps they aren’t and you would you like to paint them or even paper them? Next, scrutinise your artworks and photos. Do they suit your scheme are the frames right in colour and style, are they big enough for the space they are in or too big? What do they say about your style? Looking at your furniture take note of which pieces stand out the most? Are there pieces that are not particularly to your liking, that you would rather part with?

Once you have carefully scrutinised these few areas think about what your home says about you. Does it fully represent who and what you are? Have you carefully collected and placed items together over the years or are have you simply been trying to fill empty spaces? Which items have significant meaning? I find the best place to start to create your own decorating style is to remove anything you don’t love and those items that really have no significant meaning to you. It’s also a great therapeutic exercise to declutter your space before you decide on a decorating style (This being said, you may not be able to remove something that belongs to a spouse or significant other... as much as you may want to.) Spend some time to go through your collections. Carefully sift through all photographs, memorabilia, and souvenirs. Set aside those which have strong sentimental value. You will use some of these items in your new home decor, and some of these items will inspire your new scheme, the rest can be bagged up and given away or sold. Take note of colours and textures. Are there shells that have been collected? Shells can be gathered and placed in a glass bowl should be displayed somewhere for you to enjoy but not to take over–perhaps on a coffee table on by your fireplace.

Is your grandmother’s favourite scarf sitting in your dark dresser drawer? Consider framing it and hanging it in your bedroom, bathroom or living room. Old family photographs can be framed and hung together to create a small gallery, ensure the frames are all either the same colour or the same style, this will give a coherent look to the photo gallery. Holidays will influence your style with memories from places that have meant a lot to you. Which did you find most special? Where would you move to, if you had the choice? Which of these places inspires you? Does your heart belong to the beach or the mountains? Do you long to return to Italy, France, Portugal? Are you passionate about any of these places? Think about the colours and textures and styles of your favourite countries... They say a lot about your personality and should translate easily into your scheme.

Another influence for your decorating style will be your hobbies. Do you love sport?Are you a photographer, voracious reader? Do you love to garden? Are you passionate about horses? When you are passionate about something it can used to influence your scheme, the colours you use in your space, perhaps your own medals and trophies can create a fabulous decorating inspiration for an office. Displaying favourite photo’s that you have taken over the years and haven’t looked at because they’re hidden away can turn a large and empty wall into a gallery. If you’re an avid reader you should display all the books you’ve collected and read over the years.

Magazines are a great starting point if you want to investigate what your style actually is. When you see an image you like tear it out and keep in a folder, after a while you will begin to see a pattern emerge, you’ll notice common threads between the architectural styles and furniture styles that attract you. You’ll even be able to see similar patterns and colours. You’ll find yourself gravitating towards certain styles, perhaps traditional, perhaps bohemian, perhaps a blend of the two. Because it is natural for us to have many interests it’s natural for us to gravitate toward several styles. You may have inherited some classical pieces of furniture but you do not feel defined by them. Your tastes, like your interests, may be more eclectic. And not only is it acceptable to embrace these different tastes and styles, it is encouraged!

As you investigate what exactly is your own personal style, look at the obvious. Look at all those things that inspire you. Look at how you live your life. Look at those things that make you smile and the things that you are most passionate about. In your own home, look around and take note of the items that bring you a sense of calm, of the things that make your home truly feel like home. That is your style.

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