How to figure out your own personal style

I know I’ve already said this a billion times in the last couple weeks, but wow moving is difficult! I’ve finally managed to get everything out of the old apartment building, but the boxes are still piled up everywhere in my new condo. I’m doing my best to put some of the boxes in storage, but unfortunately there will be boxes in my living room until July when the sistertraveller returns to take her stuff to her own place.

Even though I won’t be quite “settled” for a couple months because of all of her stuff in my loft condo, I’ve still been thinking about how I want my place to look, and the design and “feel” that I want to go for. This won’t be my home forever, but it’s a good starting place, and I will need to buy large pieces of furniture such as a couch, a bed frame, and a coffee table (I sold the former when I moved, and the sistertraveller will be whisking the latter two away when she comes back to Canada because they both belong to her). In order to help me figure out the kind of style that I want, I decided to make a list of a few different random things that I really love. A few of the things that I really love include the following:

- Cameo jewelry

- Roll-top desks

- Books, reading, and writing (I just ordered three tall bookshelves to line one section of the wall, and I have a bookcase ladder to go with it! I always wanted bookcases with a ladder :))

- Cooking

- Maps

- Travelling

- Spain

- Green and red (though not usually together. It makes me think too much of Christmas.)

- Walking

- Pearls

- Tea

- Scarves

Besides the fact that the list (especially the last three items) makes me sound like a grandmother, I still managed to get a fairly good idea of the kind of personal style that would suit me and the condo very well: classy-vintage with a Mediterranean twist!

(I don’t believe in rules when it comes to decor).

I think it’s important to know two things: 1) what your style is, or what the style you’d like to have if you weren’t living off a tight budget is, and 2) how to accommodate your living space with that particular style as best as you can. If my surroundings don’t reflect who I believe I am, I feel uncomfortable and I start to wilt. When I have clean surroundings with art on the walls, books on the shelves, and everything in their proper place (I abhor clutter), I flourish.

My new bookcases cost me an arm and a leg, but they are gorgeous and they were worth every penny. I collect scarves and art whenever I go travelling, usually from little markets where it is very reasonably priced, so I’ve already begun putting some of my artwork on the walls. The condo happens to be painted in greens and browns, which fits in nicely with my preference, and there are plenty of cupboards in the kitchen and the bathroom in which to organize all of my things so that very little needs to be left out on the counter. It makes me happy. This place, as my friend Cassie said as soon as she walked through the door, is perfect for me.

What does your style say about you? How are you incorporating it into your daily life and your living space? If you don’t know what it is quite yet, then what sort of things do you like and how could you transform those things into your own style?

19 Comments

  1. I covet your bookshelves with a ladder. Just sayin’.

    Have to say, our space is kind of ho-hum. We’ve gradually improved it over the years, but it could really use some paint, new flooring, and some artwork. I think neither my husband nor myself trust our taste in artwork, so other than some groupings of old family photos and a couple of very nice cross-stitch pieces, the walls are looking pretty bare.

    Your new place (and your plans for it) sound wonderful! Happy nesting!

  2. Love your “classy vintage with a Mediterranean twist”! I know I’d like to see it!

    I call my style “Bohemian Chic”. I love jewel tones, textiles, and old things made new. I love shopping thrift stores and yard sales for unique finds. It may not be pleasing to anyone besides me, but fortunately, I’m the only one I’m trying to please. :)

  3. I sometimes feel as though I have NO PERSONAL STYLE when it comes to the domicile.
    I tend to defer to the husband (who has definitive taste) as for me I care a LOT about what I wear/how I look etc (I need to feel happycomfy or Im NOT my best self)—-but my surroundings? not so much!

  4. Pubsgal- I love my bookshelves with the ladder. Best purchase EVER :D I think it’s kind of fun to just go out and experiment with artwork. There are different places where you can rent pieces of art, so that could be an idea… just rent a piece and put it on your wall and see how you like it! Or paint your own picture (my creative skills end at writing; I am definitely NOT an artist so making my own art isn’t an option. But if I COULD, I totally would!)

    Cammy- And that’s one of the nice things about living on your own, isn’t it? I’ve been asking lots of different people for advice on decorating etc, but ultimately, I really like that it’s ME who gets to decide where everything goes. I don’t have to have a wine bottle collection in a corner of my dining room floor, for example (that was the sisterroommate’s decor. Hehe). And I can put everything wherever I please!

    Miz- That’s interesting and a great point. Everyone’s different for what they focus on. I need to feel happycomfy too or I’m not my best self, either, but I find that it also extends to my surroundings. Although, that’s pretty awesome if your husband has good taste and he likes to do that sort of thing as it takes the pressure off you :)

  5. I wish I could say I had a style, but two things immediately come to mind: personal style: low maintenance! Decorating style: early miscellaneous!

    I envy people who have a knack of putting things just right – but I am happy that I have good furniture and a roof over my head :D

  6. my style (at least in my home) is totally granny-esque. I love floral and old fashioned stuff! But I do also have a modern/grunge streak. I just try not to worry too much about how it will all come together as it usually just does in the end.

    (I’m very jealous of the bookcases)

  7. Biz- Nothing much better than a roof over our heads! It’s good to count our blessings.

    Em- I think that’s key to OWNING your style: having the assumption that it will all work out. If we’re doubting our style, then I don’t think “it” is really our style.

    Love2eatinpa- Comfort is important! It seems to me that for the most part I just *know* what I want and what I don’t want. It makes a lot of things very straightforward. And I am very thankful for it!

    Diane- Reason #314 why I will never have kids ;) It’s tough to keep a place clean and tidy with little ones running around! (Or big ones. I expect for the most part kids just become messier the older they get…). Minimalism is very relaxing; kudos to you for managing to do it when you can.

    Jocelyn- I LOVE that, “shabby chic”! I’m now envisioning your place. Photo??

  8. I love your description of your style! And I LOVE Cameos:) That said, I’m 31 and i still don’t have “a style” – at leas tnot when it comes to decorating. Every room in my house is randomly decorated. Some aren’t decorated at all, actually. Although I DID just paint one wall in my bedroom robin’s egg blue. And that makes me very happy!

  9. FatFighterTV- I’m just grateful that I was moving from an apartment building to a condo… I can’t imagine trying to move from/to a HOUSE!

    Charlotte- Randomness is fun too :) I was SO happy when I was younger and I convinced my parents to paint my bedroom- all 4 walls- dark forest green. They REALLY didn’t want to, but my window faced east so the room had plenty of light pouring in and the colour looked great (which they admitted to afterward :D). Sometimes things work even when it seems unlikely that they will.

  10. That’s a great idea, Sagan! Or I just need to get off my tail and frame some of my kids’ art. I love kid art, and we have an area dedicated to taping up the latest, but I think it would add a lot of color to have it more formally framed.

    Biz cracked me up: “Early Miscellaneous.” Yep, that sums it up for us, too.

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