How to Buck Trends and Find Your Unique Design Style

Quick question: What’s your design style? Are you Mid-Century Modern, all clean lines and elegant minimalism? Perhaps you gravitate toward the industrial or, on the opposite side of the design spectrum, a rustic vibe. Maybe your tastes lean more traditional, transitional or even shabby chic. Or, maybe you’re like many people and don’t know quite how to find your unique design style. The convenience of opening the latest catalog from a mass retailer and saying, “I’ll take everything on pg. 42” is too great. That’s where we come in. 


Our Founder and Lead Designer Emily Mackie has come up with a, shall we say, secret recipe when it comes to determining your own unique design style. This is the formula she uses when working one-on-one with clients, so, understandably, she’s reluctant to give it out. But we persuaded her to share, so here it is: 


Your unique design style is a combination of your past, your present and your future.


Determining Your Design Destiny


Let’s try a powerful exercise putting together a style board. You may be familiar with assembling a vision board to manifest goals or pinning images to your Pinterest pages. These are images that, for one reason or another, resonate with you. 


We’ll take it step by step. The first step is to consider the surroundings that are summoned when you think of your past. For Emily, who grew up in Texas and Louisiana, images of nature, sun-soaked pastures, Southern plantations with Antebellum wraparound porches and massive oak trees dominate her memories. What are the defining features of your past? That’s your default, your comfort zone. It’s part of you and ingrained in you (often whether you like it or not). 


How to Find Your Unique Design Style


Present Lifestyle vs. Future Aspirations


For step two, things get real. As you might expect, your present is comprised of your current surroundings. Do you live on a sprawling ranch in Montana? A contemporary Miami condo? A three-story family home in the Chicago suburbs? Those are very different residences with very different existing conditions that narrow design possibilities. 


Your lifestyle also dictates your present parameters. An empty-nester couple who can entertain a more sophisticated aesthetic most likely has divergent design needs than a young family of four for whom a more casual approach rules the day. 


For step three, it’s time to dream. What do you envision your future to look like? What design trends do you love, what architects’ work do you stan, which Instagram accounts do you follow? These are your aspirations, and they’re just as important as your past influences and your current situation. Ignore your design desires at your own peril.


How the Past, Present and Future Come Together


Now, spread out all of those images you’ve compiled to come up with the final equation. When you give equal credence to the pull of your past, the reality of your present and the longing for your future, you’re sure to see patterns emerge and certain aesthetics prevail. Through careful editing and a commitment to stay true to yourself, you begin to forge your unique design style.


This is a beautiful, valuable thing! Take a photo of your board and keep it on your phone so your vision is always accessible for instant inspiration, even when that totally-wrong-for-you sofa is calling your name. 


Finding Your Unique Design Style


Defining Your Own Unique Design Style

It may be easier to default to the latest interior design trends when renovating your residence. However, creating emotional connections to our spaces starts by determining what makes us happy in our homes, a process that involves some soul searching. Connect with the Inspired Interiors team to get started on a design journey that will reflect your past, present and future, resulting in a truly authentic aesthetic to last through the ages.