How to Discover Your Ideal Design Aesthetic

We've all heard the words "modern" and "farmhouse" to describe a particular style of interior design and I am often asked "what exactly, does it all mean?".  I could go on and give a description of each style but I find that most times my clients want a home that gives them a certain feel when they walk in at the end of the day.  Regardless of what category your style fits, its safe to say that your home should be unique to you and reflect your lifestyle and personality.


Now, if you are thinking to yourself, well that's great but I still don't know where to start. Let me walk you through the steps that I use with my own clients to create a space with their ideal design aesthetic in mind.



1. How to Get Design Inspiration for Your Own Home

First thing first!  I encourage you to stand in the room you wish to design and look at it.  What do you like and dislike about the space? and how does the space make you feel. Once you've answered those questions, you can then move forward.


Enter the world of inspiration photos!  You may ask "why is this important?" Inspiration photos encourage and excite us. Not to mention, they open our minds to new ideas and can change our mindsets of past design aesthetics.  For instance, if you grew up in the 70's, you may remember how just about every home had wall to wall shag carpet, something you swore you would never want to see again! fast forward to today... often times we use shag rugs to create a sense of texture in an otherwise boring design. Design is forever evolving and it's how we re-use past design elements that will have you saying "yes please" or "heck no!"


Now that you know why inspiration is important, here are some suggestions to get you started.

* Purchase your favorite magazine and start clipping images you love, put them in a binder or tack them to a cork board.

 * Note the styles or pieces of furniture your friends and family have that you like. 

* Do a Google search or go to sites like Pinterest or Houzz and start pinning to your hearts' content 

Do this without thinking why you like each photo, just follow your gut and go with whatever makes you feel good.


2. How to Find Your Design Themes

Now that you have gathered inspiration, go back and look at your ideas. You are looking for recurring design themes. For instance, is there a gorgeous rug in every space? Is the color scheme fresh and light, earthy and warm or bold and moody? Is there dramatic drapery or simple blinds? Furniture with modern or curvy edges?  It's not enough to just simply "pin" images, you must go back and really analyze each photo to realize what it is that made you choose that particular one in the first place.


 Several years ago, a client hired me to choose finishes for her ensuite renovation as well as redecorate her bedroom. I sent her my client questionnaire and asked her to fill it out. One of the questions was referring to color palette. I asked if she preferred beiges or grays, to which she responded, "I have never liked grays, they always feels so cold".  Upon receiving her Pinterest board, I noticed that all of the photos she had pinned, were of gray color schemes. After reviewing the rest of the questionnaire and asking several more questions, I determined that what she really preferred was the "feel" of a lighter, fresher palette over one that felt dark and earthy.  The fact that the walls in the inspiration photos were mostly gray was irrelevant, after all, a light, fresh palette can be achieved using grays or bieges.


Making note of specific design elements you DON'T like is also worth doing.  This will help to further narrow down your design style so that when the time comes to start shopping for your space, you are laser focused.  You will save time and minimize the chance of making purchases that are regrettable.



3. How to Make Interior Design Unique to You

Every space should start with a design element that will establish the look you are after and the feel it will produce. Maybe it's a piece of furniture that speaks to a particular style you love; a hand woven rug you brought back from a favorite vacation destination ; or a favorite piece of art that has been in your family for generations. Whatever the design element, it only makes sense to use it as a starting point. One of the biggest reasons people get "stuck" is because they lack inspiration, so add in an element that you love the look of or something that sparks a great memory and build from there.


Of course the way something looks or makes you feel aren't the only factors to think about  when creating your dream space.  Practicality is also key. For instance, if you love the fresh look of a white upholstered sofa but have 2 big dogs that love to lounge on the furniture, you may will want to pay close attention to the type of fabric that is used and opt for a performance fabric such as Crypton that resists moisture, stains and odours.


Whatever your dream space looks and feels like, I encourage you to start by exploring you!  What is your lifestyle? what colors make you feel good and lift you up?  Does a clutter free space sing to your soul or do you love a room that holds a memory in every corner?

Everyday I work with clients and help them discover their design story. Whether they are building a home or redecorating a single room. This truly is my dream job and I can't wait to help you!


Ready to start planning your one-of-a-kind dream space?


Until next time,