Decorating Styles

Get Creative with Home Decoration using Decorating Styles

If you met a new person at a paint store and you were asked to describe your decorating style, how would you describe it? Would you understand the question? Would you know how to explain yourself? It isn’t hard to define your style. Everyone is an individual and no two individuals would have every room in their homes looking the same. However, a group of individuals may prefer a specific style. Oftentimes periods in history can help us when decorating using decorating styles.

You may reply that you are into the retro look but like to be very discriminating in how you use retro pieces within your contemporary home. You may say that you appreciate the Victorian style of decorating but prefer to stick to the solid muted colors rather than using flowered wall paper. When you select a style that strikes your fancy you do not have to have everything in every room in the style. You can pick and choose colors, furniture, accent pieces and lighting to convey your individual tastes.

Bedroom Design

Do not be embarrassed to admit to yourself that you have no idea about your personal style. You do not know the difference between dumpster diving to shabby chic to Art Deco and Country French. You wouldn’t know a Chippendale chair from a Chippendale dancer. Don’t worry! One rainy afternoon when you do not have a thing to do (except for maybe some laundry) gather three or four decorating magazines, a pair of scissors, one or two empty file folders (it’s fine that they are old and tattered) and your favorite leisure time beverage. Take an hour or so to browse through the magazines and cut out all the photos of room designs that you find appealing.

When you are doing this, be sure to cut out any descriptions of the style or period of history that was used to depict decorating using decorating styles. Once you have completed your project, go back and look at your choices and begin dividing them by the description titles or words that were used in the articles. You may be totally surprised that the majority of your selections were considered to be a particular style like Art Nouveau, French Provincial or Tuscan. Perhaps you will see names like mid-fifties contemporary or southwest Native American.

Art Nouveau Interior

Art Nouveau Interior

Do not be disconcerted if you learn you like just some of what you see in a photo. You may like a sofa in one photo and a wall color in another. What you have learned is that in decorating using decorating styles you prefer a particular time in history or theme. Remember, we said you do not have to have all or nothing. You can use bits and pieces in your favorite photos to blend in with your present interior design.

Some of the more popular times in history that lend to a definite style of decorating include times like the Victorian period which ranged from the mid-1800’s to the early 1900’s. People in this era liked a lot of ‘things’ and rooms could be claustrophobic. But you do not have to include the clutter but copy some of the styles of solid color and items like white iron bedframes and wicker rockers in a screened porch or solarium.

The French Provincial period generally included the 17th and 18th centuries in the French countryside. You will find a great deal of furniture that has been glazed to look older by taking a film of gilded gold and making gentle swipes on wood furniture. Another way to incorporate this look in decorating using decorating styles is make sure your accoutrements have an old, lived-in, comfortable look. This can be achieved with leather-bound books, painted accent tables, collectible wooden toys on either side of the fireplace or over-stuffed sofas in natural fabrics with checks, plaids or patterns.

The next time you are asked about your decorating style you can simply say you have an eclectic theme in your home using some ideas from the Shakers (quite utilitarian furniture) to a little English Country. You do not have to use just one theme in decorating using decorating styles. There are no rights and wrongs. You like what you like and are comfortable with it.

Take a look at some of the decorating styles we have profiled:

Art Deco

Art Nouveau

Asian Dining

French Empire

French Country

Japanese Design


American Colonial


Shabby Chic

Eclectic Design

Cape Cod Style

Minimalist Design

Neo-Classical Style

Tropical Design

More information on Styles and Periods of Interior Decorating

Styles and Periods
Furniture History
Period Decoration
What is Style?

Color Consultant course