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Design + Decorate

How to Determine Your Decorating Style

Published on:


written by:

Carrie Barker


determine your decorating style

Transitional Style via Lindye Galloway Interiors

I was recently asked by a reader, “how can I determine my decorating style?” I thought it was a great question, but I wasn’t sure how to answer it because I just always go with my gut when making design decisions. I go with what feels right to ME. Then it dawned on me … this is the bottom line for everyone! This is how you determine your decorating style … go with your gut!

What feels right to YOU? What makes YOU feel calm, happy, and relaxed? What makes YOU feel excited and comfortable and cozy in your home? What style calms you when you walk through your door?

Possibly dark rich bold colors speak to you, or maybe you are more in tune with light blues, greys, and whites. Whatever makes YOU happy is YOUR style, my friend! With that said, here is a simple exercise to help you unearth that style!

how to determine your decorating style

Modern Coastal via Meredith Rodday Design. Photo Credit: Ker Photography.


  1. Create a “Style Board” on Pinterest. That is, create a new board and title it “Style Board”.
  2. Scroll through Pinterest and save ANYTHING and EVERYTHING that jumps out at you. Save these pins to your “Style Board”. It can be literally anything … colors, textures, fonts, clothing, room styles, food, etc. You can type keywords into the search bar for a more specific search. Side note: did you know that Pinterest is a search engine like Google? The bonus is that you can save your findings into organized boards!
  3. Do this scrolling and saving exercise every couple days over a period of two weeks. Remember to save ANYTHING that you love! It doesn’t have to be just home décor.
  4. After two weeks (or however long you want!), review your “Style Board” and look for common themes. What colors, styles, textures, and finishes (e.g. gold metal or white kitchen cabinets) keep coming up? You should notice some general patterns. These patterns clue you into what your design style is. It’s that easy!
how to determine decorating style

Modern Farmhouse via My Texas House

You can see my Pinterest account here … it’s pretty obvious that I like light, bright, airy, calm, and soothing finishes and colors! I lean toward the Modern Coastal style, but I pull in elements of Transitional, Modern Glam (pink and gold accents), Modern Farmhouse (I like rustic dining tables), and even Traditional (I LOVE millwork). I guess I could diagnose my design style as eclectic!

how to determine decorating style

Modern Glam via Pink Peonies. Photo credit: Nicole Hill Gerulat.

It’s hard to know sometimes what YOU love when everyone is following design trends. Trends are fun, but they are just that … trends! Trends come and go, and you might not like these ideas for the long haul. You want to find your personal style that long outlasts trends. It is great to have some trendy pieces but limit these to less expensive, easily changeable items in your home (e.g. pillows or inexpensive art).

how to determine decorating style

Modern via Studio McGee. Photo credit: Travis J. Photography.

Keep in mind that your decorating style will evolve over time. It’s ok for it to change, and it’s ok for you to like elements from several styles! I pull from just about every style when decorating my own home. I do this subconsciously, but it shows me that I love aspects of many styles! You can get a better idea of my personal style by viewing my home tour!

Do you feel a little more equipped to determine your decorating style now?! I hope so! Please comment below and tell me YOUR decorating style!

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I designed my own custom home from the ground up, inside and out. A home that is cozy, comfy, laid out perfectly for the way my family lives, and makes us happy every single day. Oh, and did I mention I did this all without blowing the budget?! 

Yep, it’s true. I’ve been there, done that, and actually lived through it … and you will too. Pinkie promise!

a.k.a. Caroline on Design

I’m Carrie Barker.

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