How to create a stylish home interior to love that reflects who you are and how you live. It doesn’t matter if you’re young or more mature, single or married, male or female. You can find your style and put together a room, and a home, to love!
I own an Interior Decorating and Home Staging business, so my mind is constantly thinking about design, furniture arrangement, styles of decorating, budgeting for furniture and accessory purchases, color palettes…and on and on…
It’s really a wonderful profession and I’m grateful for it every day. I get to furnish and decorate vacant homes on the Home Staging side of the business, and work with clients on the Interior Decorating side, to help them create a beautiful home that suits them.
After my husband passed away two years ago, I found myself with an empty condo that needed everything. Furniture, accessories and the finishing accents. I found it too difficult to keep the furniture that we had together, so I sold just about everything and started over.
And you know what? I had no idea what I wanted to do in terms of style.
I work with clients all the time, advising them how to find their decorating style preferences. But when it was time for me to make those decisions for myself, as a single woman, I drew a blank.
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How I Created a Home Interior and Found a Decorating Style That I Love
So…I did what I advise clients to do. I started to gather photos of rooms, pieces of furniture and colors that I enjoy. And as the file folder (an online folder for me) took shape, I saw some consistencies in what I was saving. It was pretty cool…my advice worked well for me! (I know…I shouldn’t sound surprised…I have clients tell me all the time how well this system works)
- As I studied the images saved in my folder I gradually eliminated some and continued to love others, so those were the keepers.
- Some of my favorites were just not in my budget, so realistically I knew I wouldn’t buy them. They didn’t make the cut.
- I decided on the largest purchase first, a sofa, and bought it locally from a furniture store I have done a lot of business with, so I know and trust them and their products.
- Then, I purchased one item at a time…the TV console, an accent chair, a coffee table, a set of nesting tables, another accent chair, an end table and lamp, wall art, an area rug, a floor lamp…until my living room was complete.
- My goal was to take my time and purchase what I really wanted as opposed to just picking something and getting my room furnished.
My style preferences were simple, clean lined, with a touch of rustic industrial influence. That’s my living room shown above and below, and my coffee bar shown at the top of the page. Yes, I’m a coffee snob 🙂
I like to see a mix of fabrics, patterns, textures, elements (wood, iron, glass, etc) in an overall neutral color palette. That’s me. My color palette is also simple: ivory, tan, taupe and gray with accent colors of soft aqua, gold and a few other subtle tones mixed in there.
I am also a thrifty shopper. That doesn’t mean that I shop at second hand stores or consignment shops. Kudos to you who do, but that is not me. I don’t enjoy it, don’t have time for it, and unless it’s an authentic antique, I don’t want someone else’s unwanted, used item. But, I do want to create a stylish look without spending thousands of dollars.
Avoiding a matchy-matchy look is also important to me, and I’ll select items from a variety of sources to create the look I want. Many clients are terrified of putting a room together this way because they can’t see the finished look in front of them before they buy. But to me, that’s what makes a room, a style, unique to an individual.
Our Tastes Change as We Mature
Most of us refine our taste in decorating our homes as we get older, and as a woman who is now in her 60’s I see that for myself. And it’s really a good thing. I know what I like and what I don’t like in my home. The kids are grown and gone now, and except for visits from the grand kids it’s an adult type of home.
I’m also working to embrace my singleness and create a home that makes me happy and reflects what I love. My husband and I had 20 precious years together before he went to be with the Lord 2 years ago. I always wanted to please him and that included his taste in furniture and style, so our home was more contemporary.
For me, creating a stylish home interior to love has been kind of a healing process as I take one step at a time in my new single life.
How I Shop Online and In Stores to Purchase Items I Love
One of the secrets to create a stylish home interior to love is to know where to shop. So I’ll tell you where I purchased most of the furniture for my living room, and where I purchase the majority of my home staging inventory:
I have, literally, spent thousands of dollars at Wayfair in the last 3 to 4 years. Some of the purchases have been for myself…nesting tables, wall art, my desk, credenza and lateral file. Home Staging inventory pieces are in the hundreds.
Why Wayfair? Because they have everything…literally…you could want for your home. Any style, any price point, almost any color or size. The selections and choices are almost endless. For me, customer service has been GREAT. The very few issues I’ve had have been handled quickly and without question.
It is simple and easy to use their website. You can be very specific about the item you’re searching for in terms of price, style, size, color, shape, material…many options available to create a very specific search. I don’t like to waste time scrolling through a host of items I’m not interested in, and their search options eliminate that frustration.
It is important to note that in return for the excellent pricing you may have to put your item together. It can be well worth it in the long run to get what you want and pay less for it. If putting furniture together is not your thing, perhaps you have a spouse, friend, partner or handy person who can help out. I’ve put so many things together in the last 5 years I’ll tackle just about anything!
I purchased a dining set for my home staging business recently and it’s great! It’s the Latitude Run Cox 7 Piece Dining Set:
The table has a dark brown finish and a built-in extension, which is great for home staging. All I had to do was put the legs on the table. The gray leather look chairs were pretty typical construction…attach 2 legs to the seat, then attach that piece to the chair back. I’m thrilled with the look and it was less than $700 for everything.
I also appreciate that Wayfair is very specific about delivery, and I have found them to be quite accurate with their delivery estimates. Do you need something quickly? There is a healthy selection of 2-Day Delivery items.
I would highly recommend Wayfair. Check them out. You’ll be impressed with the prices and the selection.
I love the eclectic style choices at Pier 1, for myself and for clients. Their wall art selections are very cool. The floral canvas art behind my sofa is a Pier 1 piece. If you’re searching for smaller decor or functional items, or larger furniture pieces, Pier 1 is always a place to check out the options.
Their online shopping resource is great, too. If an item is in stock at a local store, you can purchase it online and pick it up at the store. I’ve used that option on numerous occasions and it’s a real time saver!
I LOVE the TV stand I purchased from Pier 1. It’s one of my favorite pieces in the living room!
I am pretty sure that I make a Target run of some type almost every day of my life. And why not? They have everything (Super Target) from food to clothing to home decor to electronics…the list goes on and on.
I’ve found that Target is a great resource for home staging inventory items. Lighting, small furniture pieces like writing desks, accent chairs, ottomans, bedding, accent pillows and more. Prices are very reasonable, the quality is good and selection is usually good, too.
I use the ‘online purchase and pick up in store’ option all the time. I think the sales staff know me by name I’m at the customer service desk so often! The wood box lamp with the ‘X’ sides in my living room is from Target. I love that lamp and have several of them in my staging inventory. It’s very versatile and works well with a number of decorating styles.
If you enjoy a rustic, casual style of decor, Kirklands will work well for you. They are focusing quite a bit of their product on Farmhouse style furniture and decor at present.
There is a retail store not far from me so I spend a fair amount of time there, most often searching for home staging inventory. Wall art, dining/accent chairs and accent tables are the purchases I make most often from Kirklands.
I have to admit, though, that the scent permeating the store is sometimes a bit overpowering for me! I can smell it on the shopping bags after I get home. It’s quite distinctive.
Their online resource is good; I just purchased a piece of art for an upcoming home staging job and it saved me a trip to the store. Sometimes the online shopping system is not very clear as to whether or not an item is available in my local store. So when possible, I’ll go to the store if I really need a specific item, just to be sure.
Ah, Homegoods! I have a love/hate relationship with them, I think.
I love, love, love the variety of inventory, the fantastic prices and the unique pieces I can find there. It is probably my #1 resource for decorative accessories in my home staging inventory.
I hate it when I don’t buy an item when I see it, then it’s gone the next time I’m in the store. That is the key to shopping at Homegoods. If you like something you see you’d better buy it right now, because when it’s gone, it’s gone.
Create Your Own Stylish Home to Love!
You might be living in a home that you’ve occupied for years…or it might be a brand new, empty house. It doesn’t matter what your situation is, whether you’re 25 or 65. If you take the time to figure out what it is you enjoy having around you, understand your budget limitations, then search for the pieces that give you that enjoyment, you’ll have your own stylish home to love!
4 thoughts on “How to Create a Stylish Home Interior to Love”
I do a lot of Home staging as well. I think pulling from a bunch of different sources is the key to making it feel like home. I think your planning tips are great for anyone who doesn’t know where to start!
Thanks, Robin, hopefully these tips will point someone in the right direction!
I love your writing, thank you for sharing such inspirational and clear tips on how to decide on a home decor style and how to get it done. I have been slowly changing our furniture and home decor, it’s a process. I am taking my time to make purchases that I really love and it’s so important to feel happy in the space. Your home looks beautiful!
Thank you so much, Lisa! I appreciate your comments.