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How to Find Your Style
If you’re furnishing a new house or redecorating an old one, the first rule is to avoid buying furnishings at random. However striking a piece may be on its own, anything takes on an unsightly appearance when placed in an environment with contrasting elements. Know your preferred decor style before you begin. Then, become a curator, choosing each piece to match the desired aesthetic and the other furnishings.
An Abridged Glossary of Decor Styles
Perhaps you aren’t certain what you prefer in home decor. See which of the following descriptions resonates best.
Country: Furnishings are wooden or made from other natural materials, spaced for an uncluttered appearance and not so similar-looking as to appear perfectionistic.
Grandmillennial (granny chic): A mid-twentieth-century-style decor accented by floral designs and by homemade-looking (especially crocheted or knitted) accessories.
Japanese: A clean and uncluttered decor that relies on natural colors for its background. Furnishings are made of unpainted wood and similar materials, and typically are lower in height than are furnishings in other styles. Houseplants or flower arrangements are included.
Maximalist: Relies on bright, attention-attracting colors, and on looking more cluttered than the average decor. This may be your style if you enjoy accumulating books and knickknacks.
Minimalist: Extremely uncluttered with a white, neutral, or pastel color scheme. Furniture pieces are chosen for function over decoration. Storage space is designed to be inconspicuous or completely hidden.
Rustic: A natural or “country-type” aesthetic with a sophisticated feel and textured look. Typically includes a mixture of vintage and modern furnishings.
Scandinavian: Uncluttered and cozy, emphasizing natural light and warm atmosphere. Features contrasts, such as colorful accessories against muted backgrounds.
Shabby chic: If you like furnishings to look comfortably used, this may be your decor style. Shabby chic pieces and accessories convey a worn-in appearance in the positive sense, even when they’re purchased new.
Traditional: Well-matched furnishings and clean, muted colors create a homey atmosphere.
How to Start Decorating Your House
If you still aren’t sure of your preferred style—or of how a particular piece will look in your house—ask a showroom clerk or professional interior designer for recommendations. Be prepared to help them help you: bring pictures and room measurements of your home, along with a description or name for the style you prefer. Consider taking advantage of any extra services they offer in concept design, layout planning, or the creation of custom pieces.
Never rush the redecorating process. Start with one or two large central pieces that fit your ideal decor. Install these at focal points and allow time to consider, as you observe and use them in your everyday environment, what additional furnishings and decorations would go with them.
(Occasionally, even with the most careful planning, you may decide that a piece you’ve brought home doesn’t fit your preferred decor after all. Know in advance what your options are regarding trial periods, returns and exchanges.)
Filling in the Rest
It’s best to decorate one room at a time: interior design is a major investment, and you don’t want to take on more than you can reasonably handle. After you’re satisfied with the first room, you can bring the matching aesthetic scheme into the rest of your rooms, one by one.
Install the largest pieces first as noted above, then medium-sized and smaller furnishings. Save accessory items for last: they’re the easiest to match, rearrange and exchange as needed.
Most important, strive for a timeless look that suits your tastes and personality—not what appears in luxury magazines or anyone else’s home. You are the one who will live in your newly decorated house for years or decades: make it a home you’re happy in.
Timeless Decor and Professional Interior Design
If elevated elegance with a Scandinavian or Japanese touch is your style, let Prevalent Projects be your interior design source. We guarantee quality craftsmanship and sustainably sourced materials, plus hands-on guidance as requested. Browse our online store, or contact us for more information.