Now that your house stays clean…

Whether you are a new empty nester or have been living in your empty nest for several years, have you noticed that when you clean up a room it stays clean? Or that you aren’t tripping over sneakers and socks in the middle of the family room everyday? While you may look back on those small messes with fondness, the bright side of the empty nest is that it stays clean now!

I think this newly clean nest makes for a great time to put your stamp on your home and create spaces that support your lifestyle! You may also be thinking this is the perfect time to make the updates to your home that you’ve been dreaming of doing for years. This thought may be immediately followed by “how do I want my rooms to look?” If it’s been a while since you’ve updated your decor you may be unsure of your style.

Luckily for you, I’ve got a few tips to help you find your style! I call it finding “the pretty.” When you have a clear idea of how you want your rooms and home to look it helps you narrow down the many, many choices out there! They can be overwhelming. Finding your pretty is a fun process. Let’s jump in to exactly how to do this!

Your Style Decor Inspiration April Force Pardoe Interiors Baltimore Columbia Howard County Maryland Interior Design

Take stock of your style: Finding your “pretty!”

How your room looks, the colors, fabrics, woods, patterns, art and lighting, all contribute to its overall style. This overall look can help guide all of your selections and will create a feeling in your home. 

I like to start the pretty part of design by asking clients how they want their rooms to feel. It’s so easy to get caught up in naming a style with words. For example, your overall style may be traditional, but you may want your traditional living room to feel “warm and welcoming. “

Someone else may have a traditional style but want their room to feel “elegant and formal.” You can imagine that those rooms would look very different.

The key is to not to get hung up on words like “traditional” or “modern,” because they bring up different images to different people. The key is to define the feeling you want in the room. You then bring that feeling to life through color, fabrics, patterns and wood tones. Cool, right?
Your Style Decor Inspiration April Force Pardoe Interiors Baltimore Columbia Howard County Maryland Interior Design

I have a great exercise I use with all of my clients to help them show me their pretty. It’s my inspiration images homework and there are no wrong answers! Everyone gets an “A.” Click here to read the homework!

Pictures are important because what I think is warm and welcoming may be very different than what you think is warm and welcoming. You want to “see” your version of warm and welcoming and imagery is a great way to do this.

As you begin the homework you’ll look through images online or in magazines and look for rooms that feel the way you want your room to feel. The pictures of the rooms don’t have to be the same rooms you’re designing —you’re not trying to copy a design. The pictures don’t even have to be of rooms! You can use images of nature, travel, color palettes or fashion. These will all become guides to what you like. The only rule for the pictures is you have to love them!

Next it’s time to put on your detective hat. Look through all of the pictures you collected and begin to write down the commonalities among them. Grab a sheet of paper and note what colors, patterns and shapes are repeated in many of your images.

I also suggest your take a look in your closet for inspiration about your favorite colors. What do you reach for again and again? What colors make you happy when you wear them? They say we wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time. I’d pay attention to that 20%!

This list of likes is your style. It doesn’t matter what you call it (modern, traditional, eclectic), it only matters that you can identify and embrace it. Once you have an idea of your style use it to guide your fabric and furniture selections for your rooms.

Your Style Decor Inspiration April Force Pardoe Interiors Baltimore Columbia Howard County Maryland Interior Design

For example, if you love the color purple, make sure to include it in your rooms somehow, without worrying about whether it’s trendy or not! It’s also important to note anything you absolutely do NOT like and be sure to steer clear of that, no matter how popular it is in all of the magazines!

Can you see that identifying what you like visually, before you begin designing your spaces, is a smart way to ensure you end up with a space that you love to look at every day? Give yourself a few days to collect and analyze the images. It will be worth it! Set aside some quite time to answer all the questions and then pat yourself on the back for completing this important step in creating a home that reflects your new lifestyle!


April PardoeComment