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What’s your style?

Choosing a home décor style may seem confining, but your style is yours


From transitional to traditional; mid-century modern to minimalist, there are several defined home décor styles with signature qualities attached to them.

But you don’t have to subscribe to a single particular style or shoehorn your tastes according to a stringent set of rules.

Nancy Gracia, an interior designer and owner of Bare Root Design Studio Inc. in Newtown said when people ask for help to define their home style she responds, “I tell them your style is what you like.”

If you start to search for style categories, it’s easy to fall into a style “net,” which may or may not be the perfect fit, according to Gracia.

“A style is defined by trends and other influences. You might like some mid-century combined with Americana or French Provincial — and that’s okay,” she explained.

What do you like?

Clients and prospects may feel like they don’t know how to put a room together when, in reality, they may feel intimidated instead of being uninformed.

Finding a décor style you’ll love can be as simple as sorting likes and dislikes. After identifying those, look for common threads in different styles, which can pull an interesting look together.

“When people look at collected rooms they can’t pin down a style because it was chosen over time. Your collected style happens over a period of years,” Gracia explained.

That’s where the magic of comfortable, chic and individually curated spaces resides.

“Someone who is trying to develop a style after not collecting things, I tend to ask, ‘what do you gravitate toward,’” Gracia said.

As a designer, Gracia admits she likes a “little bit of everything.”

Lisa Lazarus, owner of Lisa Lazarus Interiors LLC in Abington, Montgomery County recommends clients pay attention and be attentive to what they see around them.

“When I’m working with a design client every room in your home is different. Each room serves unique functions,” Lazarus explained.

Craft a mood to the use

She asks clients and prospective clients how they want specific rooms to feel.

From a serene bedroom to a lively living room or cozy and welcoming kitchen, colors are as important to defining style as the arc of a table leg or how a chair is made.

Look for pieces with multi-purpose function or those that provide ample storage, too.

“Maybe you need a multipurpose room, such as a home office or family room” and the furnishings need to be interchangeable across different rooms and spaces, Lazarus said.

“It depends on how you feel or use your pieces,” she said.

Honor your taste’s evolution

If you aren’t starting from scratch, what staple pieces do you already own and love? Consider how can you use these pieces as a foundation on which to build.

“Follow your personal aesthetic…most people are working around things they have — or have inherited — and they’re not sure in what direction to go. They may feel everything has to match — it doesn’t,” she said.

Gracia as well as Lazarus recommend a “curated” approach, which is more interesting than buying matching sets or room suites of furniture.

“Don’t be afraid to mix furniture or metals,” Lazarus encourages, “of course you want to have balance in the room, but you have to know what kind of person you are. Do you have collectibles or do you prefer clean lines,” she said.

Rooms that age gracefully through the years — or over a lifetime — will become your unique style.

Because preferences and tastes change over time, keep these cycles in mind when buying new items or replacing those which have worn out or are no longer working for you.

Lazarus suggests building rooms by starting with core classic pieces.

“It’s easier to swap out accessories or add things you might find during travels. They’ll find a place in your home because everything isn’t ‘matchy’ to begin with,” she said.

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