So, you have great personal style, but is your home base up to snuff? If you find yourself constantly wanting to update your place, it’s time to do just that. You don’t have to be Carine Roitfeld to have a fashion-plate space, but you can use your good style sense to make your interiors shine — just follow our simple suggestions and start thinking like an interior decorator.
Think About Your Style as an Aesthetic
If you wear mostly vintage, secondhand goods should speak to you. If you like sleek, modern goods, you’ll be able to find a decor shop that caters. The best way to translate your personal style into your home is to think of it as an overall aesthetic, one that applies to all the other goods you might buy, from rugs to toothbrushes to duvet covers. Let this aesthetic (Alexander McQueen-esque wood nymph? Goth girl?) inform how you view decorating your space, and going from there will be a piece of cake.
Get to Know Cool Shops
Only frequent the same few places to get essentials and quirky knickknacks? Thanks to the Internet, there are pretty much zillions of sources for great decorating supplies that will fit your own personal aesthetic (and wardrobe). Into minimal Japanese-inspired style? Try Ode to Things
. If your style skews eclectic, try Half Hitch Goods
. You’re sure to find a shop that feels curated by your wildest no-budget dreams if you search hard enough. Also, many shops that stock your favorite wares also carry home goods, like Steven Alan
. Also, don’t rule out decor shops aimed at children. While you don’t want to deck your entire space out in immature goods, there are some real gems at places like The Land of Nod (ahem, this nightstand
) or PBteen (these quirky “chairs
One of the most rewarding (and often heartbreaking) ways to find exactly the piece that you want is to shop secondhand. There are untold sources for gently-used goods; local yard sales, nearby thrift shops, eBay and Etsy. Your local Craigslist site is a great way to find vintage goods priced to move. Going vintage is great when your inspiration source materials aren’t super-recent (if you’re inspired by sets in old movies or vintage magazine spreads) and you have the time and patience to look for an exact fit.
Buy Designers’ Decor Lines
We love when clothing designers branch out into designing things for the home. Missoni is able to translate its signature colorful stripes on all sorts of soft goods, from throw pillows and poufs to blankets and bedding sets. Smaller lines also dabble in home items — we love the quirky-cute quilts and pillows from Toujours Toi Family Affairs
Think About Clothing as Decor
We fully recommend decorating with the things you hold dear — make a garland out of necklaces you like but never wear, hang a dress on the wall, use shoes as bookends — but you can also think about how the principles of clothing could be used to decorate. When chunky-knit sweaters are trending on the runway, doesn’t a chunky-knit throw blanket look like the best choice ever? Seek out great, fashion-forward patterns and luxe fabrics for things like wallpaper, bedding and curtains. No need to stick with boring, basic-issue when you can make your bedroom feel like the inside of your closet (in a good, non-mothball way).
Find Media That Speaks to You
Surely you’ve seen plenty of interior design titles on your local newsstand, but don’t be discouraged if the vibe of, say, House Beautiful doesn’t feel right for you — and don’t let that turn you off getting more into decor. There’s something for everyone, but you may have to dig a bit. Check out smaller newsstands for indie-minded magazines or shop online for titles like Apartamento. Also consider flipping through international editions of interior design magazines for a fresh perspective. If online is more your style, you’ll never be short a blog or online magazine that fits your needs. And of course, stalk Pinterest and Tumblr for lovely peeks into stylish homes and other interiors.
Get to Know Up-and-Coming Designers
Learning about new designers of furniture and other home goods can be as thrilling as getting the scoop on the makers of your new favorite frocks. Everything under the sun is now being made in cramped bedrooms by day job-holders and in airy urban studios by new professionals. Find these makers by falling down a Pinterest or Twitter rabbit hole, or scanning new Instagram accounts. Some folks we like include ceramicist Helen Levi
, the furniture from Book/Shop
and quirky goods from Chen Chen & Kai Williams