Defining a design style

I often have clients who aren’t sure what their design style is because it does not fit into one style “box”. Well, guess what? It’s fun to be outside the box! Your personal design style should be as unique as you are, and that means it will have many different aspects that a singular style can not fully represent.

One of the first steps when starting a new project is that I ask my clients to send me some inspiration images. Verbal descriptions can be so subjective.

The example I use often is that you can go to your hair stylist and say, “Cut it short”, and your definition of short and their definition of short may be 3″ in difference, right? Same with “contemporary, luxurious or colorful”.

Yes, a picture is worth a thousand words…

I then look at the images and start to identify the common elements I see, even if the style is not consistent – which it often is not.

What are the glaringly obvious attributes?

Rustic? Mid-century? Traditional?

…ok, noted…

Now what are some of the less obvious details?

A little Industrial? Some Glam? A touch of Farmhouse?

…also noted…

Then are there any design elements I am seeing throughout?

Monochromatic…let’s call that “subtle”. High contrast…let’s say “bold”. Simplistic…how about calling that “clean”.

Now I group 2 – 3 of these descriptive words together and see what feels right. Play with the order, it can make a big difference. Bluish-green and greenish-blue are not the same thing!

In the bathroom above, the vanity and light fixture bring in a rustic feel. The wavy 3D shower tile, grey plank floor tile and thin black metal framed mirror offer a contemporary element that is complimented by some more transitional details in the plumbing fixtures and copper metal accent tile. Nature elements are reflected in the wave like look of the shower wall tile, the 3D leaf patter in the alcove tile and beautiful natural wood tones.

Numerous distinctively different styles working harmoniously together because they are applied in balance based on solid design principals.

I settled on calling this style “Rustic Contemporary”, though there are many descriptions that would define it just as well!

What’s your personal design style? Share it below!

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