Blah or Bling - A Note About Personal Style

You've heard it said, "Less Is More." Some might think that means boring or uninteresting. But there is also such a thing as piling on the bling. Does that mean it's better? There is a method to some people's madness. "To Each Their Own," right? That's why finding your style is very, well, personal.


Interior design is not always about what is right or what is wrong. Art is not right or wrong; it's art. I see many examples of even the most famous designers breaking what is considered essential elements of beautiful interiors. Something to be interpreted in many ways according to one's point of view. It's personal. Some might be able to live with clutter to the tilt and others might find minimalism extremely satisfying. Here are some things to consider when it comes to defining your personal space and sense of style.


Mixing pattern and color can be done in either a very tasteful way or crazy-making way - elegant to you maybe, crazy to someone else! I had a friend who painted her kitchen, and her entire home, like the Easter Bunny, was coming to live there. The brightest pinks and purples and blues and greens scattered all around. She loved it! I wondered if she was reverting to pre-school. And when it came to painting the outside of her home, well the homeowner's association could not get there fast enough to ax her choices.

Luckily, she wisely painted significant areas on the exterior siding to help with her decision, something everyone should do when trying to find the right paint color before you make a substantial investment. The most bright, and again, Easter Bunny colors you can imagine. It was hideous and embarrassing to think about this color being on one of the first houses you see when you drive into the neighborhood. Some colors just don't belong on the outside of a house! Our home values would surely tank in a heartbeat! However, (and here is where the luck comes in) in so doing the paint swatches, every passer-by saw it and revolted bigtime. Whew! In the end, she did get her way with a purple house and found a dark, dark, almost black purple with off-white trim. Whatever it is, I have to admit love the way it turned out! Go figure!

Conversely, just because you use the same fabric and/or color on everything and everywhere does not have to be dull or uninteresting. Blue chairs. Blue pillows. Blue drapery. Blue area rugs. Blue lamps. Blue dog. It just depends on how you blend, not match, everything together. If you combine it with one or two fabric patterns, one or two neutral colors like an off-white sofa or ottoman, with just a punch of gold or silver in a couple of lamps or a large piece of colorful artwork, you might be surprised how beautiful and relaxing it can be.

Proportion and balance is the key to every well designed interior space. Think small, medium and large when it comes to mixing patterns, whether using florals or geometrics. Think light, medium and dark when it comes to colors between furniture or accessories. Think low, medium and high when placing lamps for lighting or artwork. Think flat, polished or shiny when considering surfaces like floors or countertops. The same goes for choosing textures when it comes to blending smooth, textured or rough. Before you know it, everything will fall into place.


So next time you pick up your favorite interior design magazine and gawk at all the fantastic interiors and think to yourself "how on earth did they ever come up with that?" take a moment to see just how it is all put together. The wow factor is just a few steps away with your imagination. Try to apply some of those principles to your space and see how fabulous your own home will be. Your style is easier to achieve than you think!


by: Marcy Willis