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  • Writer's pictureBRANDALYN DENNIS

5 Tips to Hone in on YOUR Design Style



With Instagram, Pinterest and all of the algorithms it's so easy to get caught in the same trap of design spheres- clothing, hairstyles, and even home interiors. We have so much inspiration thrown at us all the time, but so often it loses variety and starts to all feel the same...because it is. I am a culprit and have been caught in the trap!


Image courtesy of Allison Hilyer Photography


It is time to find what really sings to you. What gives you the goosebumps chills and makes you want to jump right into that image! You don't have to love what everyone else is loving, what seems to be on every shelf, and pieces that frequent all retail websites. Some pieces are great, but so often they are easy- they lack life, excitement and uniqueness.



1 | Use Your Resources: Pinterest


Pinterest is an amazing tool to showcase your selections over a long period of time. If you're worried you are selecting something "trendy", nothing shows you the longevity of a style like a Pinterest page that you've accumulated for years. There will be consistencies and a thorough pattern as you scroll through your Pinterest boards.

If you haven't started one yet, start now! If overwhelmed, just start one board of interior inspiration. If you're fully committed break the spaces down per room type. Don't forget to create one board dedicated to the jaw-dropping favorites. Those are the ones that give you the goosebumps - they deserve a special space. My board dedicated to my absolute favorites acts as my "TRUE NORTH" whenever I feel like I'm a bit lost or in a design rut.


I took a deep dive into my "true north" Pinterest board- here are some that I loved ages ago, and still am captivated by today. You can definitely get an idea for my aesthetic, but I love some of the wild cards of color and modern that get thrown in there.


Images via Pinterest Board | Architecture/Design


2 | Fashion, What do you love to wear?


The truth is- if you love wearing it, you'll probably love being in it!

If you have a hard time honing in on the home aesthetic- look in your closet. It is one of the quickest ways to see what makes you comfortable, the colors you look best in, and the textures you love to surround yourself with.


What is your closet filled with? Classic tailored looks? Fun, flirty patterns and colors? Neutrals with great textures? More than likely you would love a home filled with a similar vibe. I realize that home decor and design items are usually a much higher price tag and feel permanent, but they don't have to be. Invest in the large pieces that get used most- ie. sofa, dining table, dining chairs and a great rug. Then the pieces that don't get the heavy use- side tables, accessories, pillows etc. those can be a bit more gutsy, incase you tire of them. Also allow yourself to tire of those things, if it's had a 3-5 year life I'd say it had a great run!


If you've got a great base in your large items the smaller changes can completely alter the feel of a space and give you the refresh you need!


3 | What have you loved through the ages?


We all have something we have loved through the years. Is it an object you collected in your travels? A sweater or jacket that feels so classically you? What about an heirloom that makes you feel at home? Let's dig into this item- What is the overall aesthetic? Organic and textural, bright and colorful, simple and refined? Take note from those items that are truly you and yours. It might tell you something about you and what you cherish and want to surround yourself with.


There isn't a right way to do it. Here are a few spaces that show how the special objects can be the supporting, or lead role - just depends how you want to showcase those cherished items.


Lead: These piano keys play a leading role in the overall design of this bedroom. They add contrast, warmth, a story to a very pattern and color filled space. They draw. your attention, tell a story and bring in a contrasting texture to a soft rich bedroom space.

Image courtesy of Rebekah Westover Photography


Supporting: This mirror was a favorite Round Top find of our client's. It is filled with so many layers of finishes, chipped corners, and that's just what we loved about it. It can't be replicated and that's what makes it so special. It takes center stage with a few other pieces in this stunning entry space. It supports the other amazing elements around it - vibrant balloon chairs, vintage trunk, as well as the incredible black and white marble floors and beautiful trim work. Not to mention it tells you that you're pure magic- well, who wouldn't want that?

Image courtesy of Allison Hilyer Photography


4 | Where have you been?


Is there a space you've walked into that just felt amazing. Either like a big hug, or completely inspirational? I've had these moments many a time- usually an incredible hotel, or well designed restaurant and sometimes it's even a very cool bathroom. Take inspiration from these spaces, why did you feel that way, is it the size, colors, textures, lighting? Try to recreate a favorite moment.


Here are some of the spaces that have captivated me for a moment....Find yours, go through your camera roll! If you haven't taken photos when you're inspired- start now.




5 | Funk it up


My biggest design advice is don't try to fit the mold. Add your twist, your funk - that unexpected item that really makes it you. If everything matches perfectly, and coordinates with all other elements of the room it's all going to feel very vanilla. Where is the passion fruit? The decadent chocolate? Your home needs this, it craves it, and it'll really be what you love most about it.


Don't get me wrong- that doesn't mean you need to invest. your big money items into something crazy. I love those to be great neutral supporters. I just think you need a funky piece of art, a sculpture, a light fixture, a rug, a mirror. Find out what it is for you and give it a space. If you don't have one, maybe it's the paint color- don't be afraid. These things can change, life's too short to be vanilla always.


Image courtesy of Allison Hilyer Photography






Image Courtesy of Reath Design


Image Courtesy of Stacey Bendet: Architectural Digest


Image courtesy of Allison Hilyer Photography


Image courtesy of Allison Hilyer Photography


5 | Make it unique through Art and Objects


If you can't fully invest in the big pieces that are incredible and unique yet, take the time to curate a look through your eye in art, pillows and objects. A space can quickly take shape through these elements. They easily bring in color, pattern, organic shapes, and personality. Make it yours. You don't need, nor should you want to phone it in with what your neighbor filled their home with. It is probably lovely, but it's them. Find you!


Art doesn't have to be expensive to be amazing. It also doesn't have to be huge. A very cool but small piece framed well can say everything. Especially if it means something to you.



Image taken at 200 Lex NYC



Image courtesy of Allison Hilyer Photography



Image courtesy of Rebekah Westover Photography


Image courtesy of Rebekah Westover Photography


Image courtesy of Rebekah Westover Photography


Image courtesy of Rebekah Westover Photography


Image courtesy of Rebekah Westover Photography


Image courtesy of Rebekah Westover Photography



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