When it comes to home interiors, ever wonder what your style is—or what you wish it could be? For many people style can seem like a grand mystery reserved exclusively for champagne-sipping professionals. The good news is that while complex, narrowly defined styles have their place, for most people style is quite simple. The really good news is that understanding style is simple, too.

The first step in understanding which style, or blend of styles, would make your home feel more like your home, is to do your homework. Ironic, no? This blog and the next will serve as a crash course in understanding style. Study hard and you’ll be well on your way to stylin’ and feeling great about it!

In no particular order…

Style Art Deco dreamstime_xl_22261334.jpg

Art Deco: Now decades old, this style continues to deliver a streamlined, modern feel. Color use is minimal with combinations of black and white, black and green, or black and red. The furniture is clean-lined, sleek, and usually highly lacquered wood. Sofas and chairs are usually white upholstery, often leather or velour and project a sumptuous feel. Accessories are often chrome or mirrored with a geometric shape to them. Lamps are metal with frosted or colored glass shades.

Style Contemporary dreamstime_xl_25637978.jpg

Contemporary: Features include clean, uncluttered design that takes advantage of bright, open spaces. The focal point is often on a specific furniture piece—this should be a piece you absolutely love! Neutral earth tones often form the color palette’s base with an accent color or two providing interest and bringing this simple style to life. Accessories and their placement are chosen with care to make the space feel complete and match the personality of the home’s inhabitants.

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Shabby Chic: Think romantic, pretty, and feminine. Lots of print, often floral, a pastel palette mixed with abundant white. Flowing white window treatments and white or distressed pastel-colored furniture ground the room. Finishing touches might include accessories ranging from beautiful vases filled with fresh flowers to colorful boxes or vintage trunks and suitcases.

Style Rustic dreamstime_xl_4346156.jpg

Rustic: The opposite of shabby chic, this style projects a masculine feel with sturdy wood and leather that make an outdoor statement. Nature plays a role not just in the room’s textures, furniture and surfaces but also through color. Think pristine lakes, mountain views or rolling hills to establish your color foundation. Accessorize with dark-finished metal pieces, wood frames, and artwork that celebrates the outdoors and you will pull this look together with ultimate style.

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French Country: Charming, rustic, old-world elements combine to create a welcoming, homey feel. Plaster walls and natural stone floors set the backdrop for well-worn furnishings of wood or metal with woven cushions. Colors are bright and vivid, ranging from yellows and reds and mixing with soft blues and greens. Accessories tend toward simple vases and frames with soft window treatments to achieve that je ne sais quoi.

Five styles is a good start. Catch my next blog for five more. Before you know it, you’ll be armed with enough knowledge to put together the perfect interior style based on your unique likes and dislikes. Now, what will you do next to love where you live?

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