Writers are often told to write what they know, and the same can be said for choosing a home decorating style. Not sure where to begin? Martin Holden, San Francisco style maven and the curator of the popular Mission-district shop, Accident and Artifact, says to focus on things that reflect your experience and who you truly are.
We asked his advice on how to determine your unique taste in home décor.
1) Don’t be a fashion victim
“Don’t glom onto something exotic you found in a glossy magazine or rush out to redo your home in wall-to-wall ‘Providence Beach Cottage’ or ‘Parisian Art Deco,’” Holden says. Instead, he recommends focusing the design of a room around an object—or even a color or fabric—that has a direct connection to your life and personality, whether it’s a Craftsman sattle or tribal carpet.
2) Do lots of window-shopping and research.
“Don’t be afraid to leave your wallet at home,” says Holden. “Whether you’re visiting vintage shops, garage sales, flea markets or the mall, practice patience and restraint before you throw down for that shiny new—or old—thing.” Take plenty of pictures and mix and match them when you get home to get a sense of how they would work together.
3) Come up with plan and a realistic budget.
And stick to them! “You don’t want to be too rigid, since there is always some serendipity in design,” says Holden. “But you also don’t want to drag tons of random things home, only to end up with a serious case of buyer’s remorse.”
The perfect style might not come to you in your dreams overnight, but, as Holden says, “the more you experiment and play, and the more you open yourself up to new ideas, the more you’re apt to learn about yourself and the kind of home environment that makes you happy.”