Remodeling Project – Nightmare vs. Dream Part Three – Understanding Your Style

Parts One and Two of this three-part series were designed to help you better understand how interior designers, architects and contractors work. In Part Three – the spotlight is on you!

So what is “style” anyway? Your style is a reflection of who you are, what you love, and ultimately tells your story. It’s what makes a space special, comfortable and unique. If style is left unattended, you may find that you don’t like spending time in certain rooms, but aren’t quite sure why. Good design envelopes us, makes us feel comfortable, relaxed, and energized. And style/design plays a key role in every decision you make during a remodel.

Because style can dictate so many of your decisions, gaining a solid understanding is a critical place to start. What is your style? How do you identify and clearly communicate your style? Is your style different from that of your partner or spouse? If so, how do you intend to resolve and meld two potentially contrasting styles?

I can guarantee you one thing … your first decision will impact your last decision. And if not well thought out, those last decisions can often back you into a corner. If you haven’t thought about the bigger picture based on your personal sense of style, or are unable to even envision the bigger picture, you might regret some of your decisions at the end of the project.

The following are some ideas to get some creativity moving:

  • Styles come and go and our tastes can and should change over time. Perhaps you want to meld two styles. A good way to go about this is determine your dominant style (let’s say it’s modern/contemporary) and then add in just a few pieces and accents of traditional items. When you walk into the room your eye should read the space as modern with touches of traditional.
  • If you’re trying on a new style here are some suggestions to gain ideas:
    • visit hotels and restaurants
    • attend neighborhood home tours, watch for them in the Spring and Fall
    • visit Houzz.com and Pinterest.com for room examples and start looking at patterns and trends that you’re drawn to
    • visit local furniture and design showrooms, they always have examples of completed rooms for great ideas.
  • Find a piece of art, area rug or object that, when you see it, you know instantly you love it. Buy it and begin building your style color, palette and design concept. Even if you end up hiring a designer, they will most likely want to know about some of the existing items in your home you love and want to keep.

If, after reading all of this, you’re still overwhelmed – that’s OK – don’t worry! Lots of us are afraid of making costly mistakes so we don’t do anything. If this is the case, consider hiring an interior designer to help you out. They can help guide you in making the right decisions – asking you pertinent questions to get you thinking about your style inclinations and design priorities. They can help you create a mood or style board that can be referred to throughout the project to ensure everyone on the team has your style in mind when decisions are made. And interior designers can help you manage your budget – enabling you to determine where to make compromises and where to splurge.

Knowing your style ahead of time and understanding the level of finishes you want on your project will save you an incredible amount of time and money. Making decisions in the middle of construction costs you time, both from the contractor’s time and time away from your job and family. And it results in rushed, unplanned decisions that can lead to a finished project that is less than desirable.

So find an interior designer you connect and resonate with and iron out your style and design goals well in advance of the start of your project. I promise it will result in a less stressful remodel and a much more successful design. And most important – don’t forget to have fun!