How to Find Your True Design Style in 3 Simple Steps

You're in good hands, we promise.

Related To:

We love to talk trends on this blog, but make no mistake — we still think your home should be a reflection of you and your unique style. Those palm-leaf pillows and lip trinket trays are fun, but they'll only work long term in a space that complements who you are.

And if you're not sure where your unique style stands? We're here to offer a little guidance. Follow these simple steps, and get a sense of which look is truly you and timeless.

1: Consult Your Closet

Neutral and White Wardrobe

Neutral and White Wardrobe

Photo by: iStock/KhongkitWiriyachan

iStock/KhongkitWiriyachan

You know that your wardrobe says a lot about you, but it can also reveal elements of your design style. For example, if you notice a lot of cream, brown and black staples in your closet, then you might prefer a home that's modern and elegant. But if you like lace and flowing skirts? You could need a space where you feel unrestrained, like a boho bungalow.

In other words, consider your clothes a starting point for your style. If you feel good wearing a specific look, it makes sense that you'd like to live in it, too. 

2: Make a Mood Board

Pinterest Boards on iPad

Pinterest Boards on iPad

Photo by: iStock/Anatolii Babii

iStock/Anatolii Babii

We'd also like to refer to this section as trusting your instincts. Create a new board on Pinterest and pin anything that captures your attention: blush and cream bedding, a pop art portrait of Abe Lincoln, a cluster of Tarot cards and crystals, etc. After a while, you'll see similarities in colors, finishes and textures, which you can then translate to your home decor. And who knows? Maybe that Sputnik light fixture is a sign that you love midcentury furniture.

3: Phone a Friend

Two Friends Shopping for Shoes

Two Friends Shopping for Shoes

Photo by: iStock/PeopleImages

iStock/PeopleImages

And when in doubt, you can always ask a friend for help. Head to your favorite store and have this person choose something they think speaks to your style. Did they go with a sequined pillow because they know you love a little glitz and glamour? Or did they come back with a matte black planner and silver stapler because you can't live without something sleek and functional?

Remember, though, that style is nuanced; you're not just one thing, so it makes sense that your home isn't either. It's okay to mix different looks — in fact, we strongly encourage it.

Now, Meet Your Match

Traditional: In a world of ever-changing styles and trends, you prefer a look that's more timeless and elegant. Your ideal home is comfortable and inviting, but layered with antiques, tufted chairs and gilded accents for a touch of sophistication. If you love this bedroom by Marie Flanigan, then you should see her other collections.

White Cottage Bedroom With Orchid

White Cottage Bedroom With Orchid

An all-white palette with accents of natural wood and a single splash of fuschia make this pretty bedroom feel so fresh, light and airy.

Photo by: Julie Soefer Photography

Julie Soefer Photography

Modern: Leave your troubles at the door, because there's no room for clutter or distraction in your home. Your perfect space is comprised of white walls and clean lines, with a touch of black for visual contrast. If you prize utility and function over decoration, then you'll want to see more from Decor Aid.

White Urban Living Room With Staircase

White Urban Living Room With Staircase

Mixing up the ceiling levels give this apartment a loft-like, airy feel. Huge windows let in tons of light and a streamlined metal-and-wood staircase with lots of open space doesn't block sightlines across the room.

Photo by: Decor Aid

Decor Aid

Industrial: You love a good story, so it makes sense that your favorite kind of home is packed with history. With high ceilings, exposed brick and steel grid windows, an industrial loft literally puts those raw details from the past right at your fingertips. If this sounds like your style, then you're going to obsess over Lauren Rubin Architecture.

Contemporary Open Kitchen With Globe Pendants

Contemporary Open Kitchen With Globe Pendants

This apartment's new open plan kitchen is flooded with natural light which shows off the warm brick walls, reclaimed wood cabinet and pretty details like the globe pendants. Refrigerator: Bosch Benchmark Built-in Fridge, Counters: Pietra Cardosa, Cabinets: Aster Cucine Factory Line Cabinets, Ladder: Putnam Ladder Company.

Photo by: Alyssa Kirsten

Alyssa Kirsten

Midcentury Modern: Sure, you live in the present, but your heart belongs to another era, where geometric patterns, teal Eames chairs and Sputnik light fixtures are still in style. You want your home to feel like the ultimate throwback, but to be as comfortable as it is iconic. If you love the look of this midcentury entry, then chances are you'll really like designer Natalie Myers.

Entryway With Midcentury Bookshelves

Entryway With Midcentury Bookshelves

The kind of landing strips to place one's keys upon entering. Well styled shelves add a splash of color.

Photo by: Amy Bartlam

Amy Bartlam

Bohemian: Life's better with a lot of texture, wouldn't you agree? At the end of a long day, you want to kick off your heels and come home to a soft space, where you can unwind with plush throw pillows and colorful textiles. If this sounds like a dream come true to you, then take a look at designer Sarah Stacey. 

Vibrant Contemporary Living Room

Vibrant Contemporary Living Room

This cool contemporary living room is perfect for lounging around, relaxing or even entertaining guests. The vibrant colors give it a lively feel no matter the occasion.

Photo by: Sarah Stacey

Sarah Stacey

Eclectic: And when you can't choose? Don't worry, there's still a style for you. You are a collector by nature, and so you need a space that's both unique and thoughtfully curated. If this dining room speaks to you, then you need to see more from Caitlin McCarthy.

Eclectic Dining Room With Black and White Striped Bench

Eclectic Dining Room With Black and White Striped Bench

This fun dining room features green-blue textured wallpaper and a sconce on either side of a framed beach photograph. A black and white striped upholstered bench sits on one side of the white dining table, while a gold starburst chandelier hangs above. Round navy pillows add a finishing touch.

Photo by: Caitlin Murray

Caitlin Murray

Keep Reading

Next Up

Is Bolder Better? Here's How to Add More Color + Pattern

If your mantra is 'more is more,' these tips are for you.

Design Obstacles You Face When First Starting Out + How to Overcome Them

Here's how to go from Rookie of the Year to Design MVP.

Proof That Coral + Turquoise Will Never Go Out of Style

It's almost as classic as black and white.

10 Ways Pink Brings Energy to Your Space

It's National Pink Day — incorporate this lighthearted hue into your home's design.

How to Hide Your TV in Plain Sight + Save on Style

You love your tube, but it doesn't have to dominate the room.

10 Design Podcasts to Listen to Right Now

Perfect for your work commute or treadmill hike.

21 Signs You're Addicted to Design Trends

Urban vintage boho, coastal midcentury modern farmhouse — if you know what any of this means, you're probably hopelessly addicted to design trends.

5 Design Trends From NY Now to Try at Home

The design trade show always showcases the best of the best, and this year was no exception.

Meet the Team

Get to know the talented writers and editors of HGTV's show and design blog. 

Go Behind the Blog

From the Archives

Take a look back at our past posts, from entertaining and design trends to up-and-coming HGTV shows.  

Read All Our Past Posts