Living in Style: Rules&Ideas

No more style quiz, just your style!
I am learning that style is eclectic and not one style is just that. I am also realizing that to be a good interior designer is to truly bring out the interior decorator in you.  I was fooled, and believed that there are many styles and you have to put yourself into one of them. As I took basic style quizzes with clients I realized hardly any of them related to a certain style.  It seems we all get fooled and see magazines and books that talk about styles styles styles but forget that life isn’t a magazine. 

Looking in the windows!
Old & Collected
At night is when you are invited into the whole neighborhood's houses. Granted, from the sidewalk isn’t a sufficient way to understand someone’s styles, but it is a small clue. I noticed that literally every home lacked style. Most homes, 1) Had way to much furniture for their spaces 2) Barely had any color on the walls 3) Had the most random unordered stuff on the walls 4) Had a lot of clutter and random things and lastly, 5) had absolutely no character or personality.  It was like they had no thought as to why they put the things they did on the walls and in their spaces.  Where is the style?
Your style group!
True style is adaptable, livable and an outward reflection of us; but yet it is functional and beautiful. Style is important when it comes to your home, but it isn’t about a certain style but about your style!  Instead of figuring out a style to get you started; I have found that there are 4 groups that carry similar characteristic and ideas to make the basics of each space.  The groups are: Old & Collected, Stylized & Minimal, Detailed & Traditional and Comfy & Casual. These are not styles but groups that provide basic characteristic that attract certain people in design. You may not be able to completely relate to a certain room that may have the same group basic as you. The group makes sense because your personal style is clearly different. For example you wouldn’t shop at a very traditional store if you like the Stylized & Minimal group, but this doesn’t mean that you wouldn’t have a single somewhat traditional piece of furniture in your space. The groups provide basics as an insight to creating your style. 

Living in style is about breaking some rules, being original and making your home and decor full of stories. Your home should inspire you and your favorite spaces should allow you to dream. Creativity is something we all have in us.  
Comfy & Causal

My 20 rules!
Here are my  rules and ideas when it comes to having harmony, thoughtfulness and style in your spaces:
Think original! Don’t be afraid to paint a piece of furniture or make your own piece of art. Everything that is-one-of-a-kind only adds to the character and value of your home.
Be simple! Simplicity doesn’t mean sparse. It means to not have three chairs when two will do. Simple is less stressful. Get rid of ALL the unnecessary and the stuff for “just in case.”
Have people over! Our homes are meant to be shared, it really completes us to share our homes.
Be flexible! Our needs in our homes are always changing. Make each room have a series of places and uses for different functions.
Use your senses! Have many textures in your home, especially the floor. Make it smell good with, candles, pies and dinner every night.  Memory is important, have pictures everywhere as happy reminders of your family and travels.
Make focal points! Good design highlights something in each space, whether it is a grand window, ornate fireplace or a piece of art. Make your gathering spaces around these and the first things you see when you enter a room.
Detailed & Traditional
Make mistakes!  We are imperfect people. Perfect is not what you are trying to achieve with style. Plus, an ugly (yet beautiful) painting will make for great a conversation starter or laugh.
Take risks! If there is a crazy floral coach that you love, get it! Own what you like, but also be thoughtful.
Mix and Match! Mixed matching is so fun, but be weary, too many patterns get crazy and too many different kinds of furniture do too. Have a balance of the simple and crazy.
Have good basics! The basics of any room are the walls and the floor. They have a dramatic effect over a room. Paint your walls every few years and get new good flooring when needed.
Have great storage! Clutter sucks and there is nothing stylish about it! Make sure you have lots of things to organize and store stuff.
Have good furniture arrangement! Space concept is hard for most people. If you need help defining your space, invite people over to help! Poor furniture placement will dramatically effect how you and others interact in it.
Get rid of the ugly! If there is a piece of furniture, accessory or wall color you hate, get rid of it or give it a new home. It is better to live without then live with something you hate.
Give it entourage! Life in a space is so important. Make sure each space has something in it like a plant or flower arrangement or fresh herbs or a tree. Entourage calms your spirit when it is introduced in spaces.
Use color! So many people are scared of color or every time they paint their walls they use the same color again! You can either use color through accessories or through the wall color.
Stylish & Minimal
Get you some lamps and throw pillow! Lamps, throw pillows and blankets are very much an overlooked purchase for most people, but boy do they make your home feel cozy.  Plus these things are also an outlet for you to be creative since they are small items.
Have confidence! Own the things you love and like because those are the very things that inspire you.  Don’t try to decorate like the rich aunt but decorate with the things you love and admire.
Clean it! Not everyone likes to clean but it is hard to see style when it is under dust, grim and cobwebs. You can’t be inspired in a home you neglect.
Keep Inspiration! If you come across anything that inspires you, cut it out and save it. Even if the item is a button, place all those things in a box or in an envelope. When you need encouragement or inspiration go to that box!
Be grateful! Having gratitude and appreciate brings value. When you value your home it directly effects how you care for it.