A few months ago I was facing the furnishing of our new apartment and wondering which end to take. I liked so many different things, clean minimalist interiors on the one hand, bold eclectic flicks on the other (and many other positions in between). But how do we create "my/our" consistent style, and how do we create a welcoming place that we love to stay in and return to?
Happily, almost in the nick of time, I got my hands on Pinterest... (by "almost" I mean that the flooring choice has been through the developer machine before, and today we'd probably opt for something more distinctive than laminate with crazy mouldings and transition profiles).... and I've been pinning and pinning ever since.
So if you're looking for your style, pin. And feel free to use an actual bulletin board and clippings from magazines and catalogs for that purpose, if you like. Pin photos of interiors (individual rooms or furniture pieces) that you like and then look for what they have in common. Is it an earthy colour scheme? Or provocative accents of colour? What about the choice of materials - warm natural materials or light and airy transparent plastics? Shapely simplicity or novel extravagance?
And one more tip: respect the space. Furnishings should be in harmony with the space you're occupying. For example, I'm really into industrial retro, so if I had a nice loft or other suitable space, I'd definitely go for it. It's just that in a new-build apartment building with white vinyl windows, it would be a bit out of place. So we ended up going with "urban style" with retro elements.
Have you found your style? Whether it's pure minimalism, hi-tech glass and metal, Scandinavian cosy, bohemian modern, pure industrial, country vintage or even modern urban chic, stay with it! Of course, styles can be combined, but you have to know what you're doing and why you're doing it. Don't get sidetracked just because somewhere is having a sale or relatives gave you something for free (whether it was a discarded wardrobe or a romantic vase as a birthday present).
If you've already discerned what your style is, make a little wishlist (maybe on Pinterest again). There will no longer be everything you like, but just what you've decided to buy or what you'd like to have for your home (maybe when you've saved up). This way, you can see how it fits together or not on one page.
If you're proficient with a graphic editor a la Photoshop (that can work with layers), you can test how new furniture and accessories will match your existing furnishings. So what if the perspective doesn't quite fit. I "proofed" things like the rug, coffee table and some pillows this way before I bought them. Here's a sample of what the primitive Photoshop montage looked like, followed by a photo of what it finally looks like in person.
Partial assembly in Photoshop - table, rug, cushions and picture
Live photo, a few things (picture on the wall, Hay pillows) are still missing.