Getting Ready to Renovate: Zeroing in on Style

When we were preparing to renovate our long ranch style home, I have to admit, I was a little overwhelmed. After all it was 2016, the year of Joanna Gains and all things Magnolia were swirling about in my mind. I loved everything that I was seeing on popular home improvement shows, and I found it difficult to embrace one style and call it my own. Just because I liked everything, did not mean that all of my “likes” would fit in the four walls of my home. I knew I had my work cut out for me since zeroing in a style was necessary for a successful renovation. Finding my style would in turn allow me to make thoughtful purchases that would facilitate flow, but also foster beauty. Perhaps you are one of the lucky ones, knowing exactly what you like, and are able to log in and out of Wayfair in less than thirty minutes. Yay, you! You don’t need this. But if you’re anything like me, not knowing where to begin, read on...

Yes Instagram is booming with a borage of curated photos that make it so so easy to pick and choose what you want in your home, but with the influx of beautiful photos comes the influx of confusion. I’ve been there, but with helpful tips I was able to find out what I like. I was able to find and tweak a style that was unique to me. So, just how did I do this?

First I created a vision board. And no, this isn’t your elementary teacher cut and paste kind of vision board. Thankfully we live in a technological age where everything is digital, including this. There are multiple apps that allow you to go through hundreds of photos, and allow you to save them in your idea book. I love the Houzz App. And I hope I’m able to write that in this post, because I want to introduce this to you, so you can fall in love with it just as much as I have! In this app you can search for ideas on any type of room, home design, or even style and it will bring up all these perfect images that will then allow you to save all things that inspire you. I know, I know...with hundreds of photos it can get overwhelming, but after a few minutes of searching, simply walk away. Process what you’ve seen , save the image, and wait a week. I have found that when you come back in a week, you will either like what you see, or your tastes may have changed. We are going for the timeless here, so your choices need to withstand the test of time ( even if it is for only a week).

Next, once you filter out your vision board, be aware of any trends. Do the pictures have a common description? Do you notice minimalism, a certain color scheme, a certain feeling evoked.? As I was forming my idea book, every picture that I saved had the work “transitional” noted in the description. I had no idea what that was, until I looked it up depicting this style as a mix of traditional and modern. Jack Pot! My style had a name! And then everything made so much more sense!

Once I had my style pinpointed, I could filter thousands of fixtures on Wayfair with the simple word “transitional”. I’m not saying that soul searching was done and over with after the name was declared, but it certainly made filtering a lot easier.

If you can’t find a style that suits you, really pay attention to how you want to feel when you enter your home. A lot of decisions can be narrowed down based on the feeling you want to possess in your sanctuary. For me, I want to feel weightless, carefree, and I want my home to mirror these emotions. I love wide open spaces, a lot of light and many shades of white. I am a sucker for white, but living with boys that run around with peanut butter on their fingers and jelly on their faces, loving white is like a death sentence . And while I can’t have pristine white furniture with velvet accents, I have made do with gray textured furniture, which thankfully, disguises the mess. Because I want to feel weightless and carefree in my home, we have also designed our home around our mountainous setting. All of my choices within my home have been built around a feeling that I want to fabricate. This has made it easy for me to create simple rules, like I will never add black accents, only brushed silver or nickel. Most of my windows are picture windows, with very minimal gridlines and I will not use any dark wood.Knowing how you want to feel in your home, will in turn allow you to create simple design rules that will contribute to the overall flow and feeling you want your home to bring.

I hope this little bit of advice will help you simplify your style and allow you to make thoughtful design choices that will contribute to the flow and beauty of your home. Although you have created a vision for your home and zeroed in on your own personal style, just remember you will make mistakes. You may put a paint color up on the walls that looked striking on the swatch, but made a whole lot of “wrong” on the walls. Or you may bring something home on impulse that just doesn’t fit. Thankfully you can return most items and repaint walls, so don’t stress. But do take your time in choosing cabinetry, windows, siding and doors, because those are permanent.

Happy Renovating, Friends!

Lauren Severy