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If your new home is a blank canvas and you aren’t sure how to decorate, or you have rooms that you don’t like and no idea how to fix them, you may need some help identifying your design style. Before you do anything else, it’s crucial to know what kind of style you prefer. Use our simple two-step process to identify your personal design style.

Assess and visualize. Go around your house and inventory your belongings. Start with furniture and work your way down to small items. Sort them into three categories: love, it’s OK, and don’t like. Take a closer look at the items you love. What is it about them that makes you happy?

Even if your treasured items don’t appear overtly similar, there may be commonalities. What color or shape are they? What are they made of? What kind of energy do they emit? Where did they come from? What story do they tell?

Name your style. The next step is putting a name to your style.

  • Traditional. A nod to the past, this style typically includes posh fabrics and finishes, neutral colors, curving lines, and lots of symmetry.
  • Transitional. This style mixes traditional and more minimalistic, modern elements.
  • Modern/Contemporary. This minimalist style is characterized by clean lines, bright colors, contrasts like pale and dark wood, and bold art.
  • Eclectic. As the name suggests, this style is about differences. It’s sometimes called global or bohemian and tends to include unique items, layers of fabrics and rugs, different finishes, and an abundance of art.
  • Cottage or casual. This style is comfortable and cozy. Think slipcovers, rustic and natural finishes, and simple fabrics in quiet colors.
    Once you’ve found your style, it’s easy to decorate your home in a way you’ll love. Don’t worry if your style preferences overlap two, or even three, categories. Most people are style hybrids. Start with your dominant style and add accents that suit your other preferences.