Create style, not fashion

Don’t be afraid to create your own personal style, WAG’s interior design columnist Cami Weinstein says. Here, artwork, a few big pieces like a globe and a mix of traditional and modern lighting accent a rich, warm study.

Creating a stylish home is different from creating a fashionable home. Personal style transcends fashion and that’s why I always encourage my clients to create stylish versus fashionable homes. Fashionable fades while style remains, both in clothing and the home. There are so many times in meeting people and then seeing their homes that their personal styles come through. Their homes, like their wardrobes, are extensions of themselves. I like to help clients achieve that goal. Here are some tips to tap into your inner self and create a personal home for yourself:

1. Don’t be afraid of choosing colors and furniture that reflect what you love and feel comfortable living in. Many people come to a designer wanting all new colors and a new style in décor. More often than not they return to the colors and styles of furniture that they love — usually in a newer more fashionable hue and maybe a more updated version of their furniture choices. 

2. If you like clean, organized spaces, then I don’t see many collectibles in your future. But if you want to add some style, go for a few larger pieces, maybe a striking vase that you can fill with different flowers as the seasons and your mood changes or some sculptural pieces. I keep several styles and sizes of vases in my home and change them according to the flowers that are available. Flowers give your rooms a fresh perspective and keep rooms from becoming static.

3. Select artwork that appeals to you, not what is currently in fashion. Artwork can be expensive and you will most likely have it over many years so select what you love. As you move or change living situations you will always be able to find space for your art collections. Collecting art becomes a form of personal style. Don’t be afraid to collect what you love and appeals to you most. Art is style, not fashion. 

4. If you feel overwhelmed with all the design choices out there, a professional can guide you through myriad choices so that your personal voice can be found. I for one do not like theme decorating. It leaves no room for personal style. It just becomes clichéd fashion. This doesn’t mean you have to strictly adhere to one style but more of an eclectic mix may be in your future. Eclectic approaches are the most interesting and the most difficult to achieve. Sometimes mixing can create a certain magic and other times a complete flop. A professional can help with curating and editing your choices.

5. If you have a love for travel and adventure, try to bring back pieces that can be added to you home’s décor. Not only do these pieces evoke memories, but they create a personal experience and style in your home. 

Don’t forget your entertaining style. I love old porcelains but many of these pieces are delicate and require washing by hand. Instead of facing a pile of dishes at the end of an evening, I mix more contemporary pieces with the old.This way my tables look unique and I have only a few dishes to wash by hand. 

6. If you love neutral rooms but they sometimes feel flat, decorating your table for a dinner party is a great way to bring in both color and pattern that you would normally shy away from. Once the party is over, colorful dinner patterns, linen napkins, tablecloths and candles can be put away and you are back to your calm spaces. Not only do I include flowers and candles on my dinner table but, often I add porcelain birds, sculptures and small gifts for takeaway presents for friends when they are ready to leave the party. Thinking of your guests having fun and being comfortable is another way to create a personal style. 

When creating your home, think in terms of what is personal and pleasing to you in the form of colors, styles, patterns and artwork, and don’t be afraid to follow your own instincts. Create style and not fashion. 

For more, call 203-661-4700 or visit camidesigns.com.

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