How To Choose Your Interior Design Style


It might take some trial and error to figure out the home style that feels most comfortable for you. Here are some tips on how to choose your interior design style from my sister, Laura!

When I first stepped into my sister’s home in Charlotte, I fell in love with the home interior design she chose. She didn’t use a designer but studied inspiration photos and brought a coastal interior design style to life. Since your home is a reflection of your personality and creativity, sometimes it’s hard to bring that vision to life. So I asked Laura to share her living room with us and give us some tips on choosing an interior design style that you’ll love for many years! – Kath

From Laura:

My living room is easily my favorite room in our house and I had so much fun designing it! We’ve had 4 living rooms in 5 years as we have moved homes, and I hope this is the last one for a while 🙂 Choosing an interior design style was easy: light and airy coastal with blue accents.

In the past, I’ve relied too much on color to make things interesting. And the decorative accessories I completely lacked a cohesiveness. Thus, my living spaces never quite looked finished.

My goal this time was to keep things light and simple with thoughtful details. Admittedly, Serena & Lily provided a lot of inspiration. Below are some of the tips I learned along the way as I took the room from vision to real life.

How To Choose Your Interior Design Style

1. Create a mood board or Pinterest board

How do you know if you like modern farmhouse decor or mid-century modern? Do you prefer a neutral color palette or clean lines? Inspirational images can help you really define what you like. When I was researching the design inspiration for this house I had a Pinterest board that really helped me narrow down decor styles.

2. Stick to one color.

Since I love coastal vibes, I decided to use just one main color: light blue. Having lots of different shades of light blue works so much better than trying to match exact blues or coordinate two or more colors. Plus, the monochromatic look is very in right now and it makes shopping simple. We carried the same colors into our dining room.

3. Use neutral texture to add interest.

Since I only used blue as the main color, I incorporated different creamy textures to make the basic color scheme more interesting.

Texture can go a long way – wood, linen, rattan, plants, jute, and other natural materials go with anything and are really what define the light and airy coastal vibe.

White without texture can look sterile. The beautiful shiplap and woodwork that was already in the house helped a lot too.

4. Splurge on two or three main items and save on the rest.

Obviously it’s worth buying a good quality couch since it’s something you’ll want to keep for years and years. We also splurged a bit more on a rug because it was so hard to find a modern pattern I liked that would also hold up to spills (aka: wool-poly blend with a busy enough pattern and no white background).

Accent chairs, lamps, pottery, frames, decorative items can all be found at less expensive stores like Home Goods, Target, Etsy, World Market, Marshalls, and consignment stores. You can find lots of different personal styles, from modern style or farmhouse style, without spending a fortune.

I found all my blue and white books for the shelves at a used bookstore for $10 (just check under the dust jackets). The same stack of books was $60 at a home decor store.

The searching can take A LOT of time (took me a year to finish this room!) but it will be worth it in the end.

Chair Bookends | Marsh Print | White Ruffle Vase | 7″ Vase | 13 + 17″ Vases | Wood Beads | Pillow & Decor – Homegoods

5. Keep function in mind.

Having two little kids was in the back of my mind with every decision I made. For example, we went with a Crypton stain resistant fabric on the couch, dark, soft ottoman for a coffee table, and big woven baskets with lids on the shelves for toy storage.

You won’t find any crisp white fabrics or valuables because our living room is a jungle gym most of the time. Also, get Folex for all the stains!

6. Use digital prints and family photos for art.

Original art can be very expensive. I thought we might buy something when we moved to North Carolina, but even something from an up-and-coming artist can be thousands if you need a decent size. (Of course artists deserve every dime for their talent, but it wasn’t something we could splurge on at this time.)

Etsy has digital prints for $10-$30 and you can find frames at Target, Michaels, or Home Goods if it’s a standard size. Sets work well in larger spaces.

Or, next time you’re traveling, take some black and white pictures of interesting towns/views without people in them and make your own set.

I always have Kath take a family picture for smaller frames when we’re on vacation – a good photographer and an iPhone go a long way.

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