overcoming decorating paralysis :: your signature style
Friday, June 8, 2012 by {darlene}

{this post is part of a series that tackles how we can overcome our decorating paralysis, and how we can begin having homes that we love. today. Click to read the additional Overcoming Decorating Paralysis posts.}


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What does it mean to have a signature style?


I had some fun and I googled “signature style,” and all sorts of quizzes popped up. “Find your signature style!,” “Take this quiz to identify your design personality!,” “Discover your dominant style identity!”

Wow. What lofty promises!

{okay, so maybe I did have fun taking some of the quizzes. just saying.}

But, the truth is, I don’t really believe that knowing your signature style comes from taking a quiz and finally coming up with the words to “describe” and “summarize” your Loves.


Knowing your Signature Style comes from several years of repeatedly choosing what you love. { <- Tweet this }

Let’s take Coco Chanel for example.

How would you describe her signature style?

words that come to mind……  Classic. Bold. Classy. Put-together. Pearls. Quilted. Tweed.

But here is the thing.

words cannot neatly and tidily describe Coco Chanel.

You have to SEE her signature style in order to fully understand her signature style. And when you SEE Coco, again and again, you see that she has a Signature.

signature style

{images via}

She knew what she loved. And she wore what she loved. And she designed what she loved. And she lived with what she loved.

Again. and Again. and AGAIN.


over years.


So. Knowing your signature style means:

1. Knowing what you love; what you truly love.

{ahem. Good thing we have already learned how to identify what we truly love!}


2. Choosing to surround yourself with the things you love.


3. Choosing these loves, again and again. Enduring and repeating.


What have you loved for years? Gravitated to for years?

Are there certain colors that you have loved for a really long time? 

certain fabrics? certain finishes? certain textures? certain shapes?

Have you chosen to fill your surroundings with these things?


well. you should.

Because these very things that you love

are YOUR Signature Style.


 I would love to know what things make up YOUR signature style. Tell me more in the comments!



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Labeled: about me, overcome decorating paralysis


  • What a great description. You put into words what’s really hard to wrap the arms around. Love this post. My personal signature is orange/coral clothes and accessories. Has been for years. :)

  • Classic, tailored, polished, neat…my kids don’t always make the last aspect so easy! :)

  • Great post.
    I find I’ve always tended to love painted wood furniture (especially black), lots of white, neutral colors, clean lines with simple details, relaxed with a shot of simple elegance (mirrors/silver metal) and an unhealthy addiction to any shade of blue. “oh there’s blue in that …..I’ll take two” :) But the contrast between light and dark seem to be calling me lately.
    I can even think back to my teen bedroom and how these things were present and now in our home it’s very much those same ideas.

  • I loved reading this post both because it can be so helpful in helping clients make decisions for their own spaces, and because at the age of 55, it is becoming clearer all the time what my own style is! I always wondered why the best looking rooms in magazines seemed to come from the homes of people well past 50, and now I know….sometimes it takes that long to know yourself and be o.k. with whatever looks like! I think it’s harder for younger people especially now with SO many choices out there and constantly changing trends and ideas. Thanks again for your blog – I always love reading it.

  • oops…left out a word between with and whatever. Should be “that”!

  • This is so timely Darlene!! I found myself wandering around a store yesterday and felt that “decorating paralysis” so clearly. I told my hubby the other day that I think blogging is so amazing for so many reasons and yet it seems to sometimes give me “design schizophrenia”. LOL! My style has been getting lost a bit and I’ve needed to step away and revisit books and magazines that really capture it to give me new ideas. I love Charles Faudree and pour over his book “Details”. I’m traditional but also a bit of an Anglophile with a French Country twist. Can you see why I might get confused! :-) I think it all goes back to what you said about choosing the things YOU love vs. what might be popular or trendy. Thanks so much for this series!

  • One of my dearest friends best described my style in a home as Ralph Lauren Urban Country. Quality doesn’t always mean expensive but sometimes it is worth saving to get the right quality piece. Then add in the “FADS” here and there. I think I do this with my wardrobe too. My only Armani scarf given to me years ago with the jeans and boots that fit that season….

  • Inspiring post! It’s so true that it takes TIME. Time to try things and hate them, try other things and love them, narrow down, sort through. I need to give some thought to how I would describe my signature style…

  • I love the classic, timeless look…with a touch of vintage and some trendy to mix it up and keep it interesting….If I had lots of extra money to spend..I would definitely buy a couture Chanel outfit….love Chanel…it’s timeless….

  • I love this post, Darlene! The whole series is good–“decorating paralysis” is just exactly we a lot of us face sometimes.

    But this post particularly speaks to me. I like the fact that my signature style is mine and it’s supposed to be mine–it’s what appeals to me and works for my family.

    I used to simply categorize my signature style is “eclectic,” but then I realized a theme. I’m drawn to British Colonial decor, including lots of various British colonies from over the years. So some American colonial, some island, some Indian–with lots and lots of Home Country thrown in. Does that make sense?

    • thank you richella! It does help to know what style we are drawn to… but also, to start noticing the little details that we continue to LOVE! Like for me…. fuchsia, velvet, a touch of shine, mixed metals, gold…. there is no way to sum these up, but they are signature for me!

  • Great post! There is so much to learn about your signature style, isn’t there? I have this linked to my “decorating” post as well today, for inspiration!

  • I change lots of things, frequently, LOL but when I look around my home and at photos through the years, I see every shade of green and lots of chunky frames. Also plenty of black iron pieces and plants.

    What an imagination-spurring post!! Love it.

  • I find my style changes however there are definitely always some elements that stay the same for me…simplicity of design, dark browns, pops of rich, saturated colors, nature, gold accents. Great post Darlene!


  • Thank You! You are helping me to focus on my dreams, comforts & personal style….
    Cottage-beach styles; colors are sunny, yet tranquil, pastels, sands, blues & lavenders…
    Fabric leans toward cottons, elegant & feminine….

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