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Ready to renovate in 2023? Find your style first.

Updated: Jan 12, 2023

Do you know what you want? Or will you know it when you see it? Finding and honing your design style is a very important, early step.


To get designs that you'll love, hire design pros known for delivering on the style you want. But first, you need know what that style is, right? Or, you may need to reach consensus with your spouse or partner. It will also save you a lot of expensive back and forth with your architect as you are waiting to "know it when you see it," or heartache from hiring someone that isn't great at designing what you're looking for.

Here's an example:

Knowing what style you want is the most direct route between turning "I want a beautiful kitchen" into "I want a modern kitchen inspired by blending Scandinavian and Japanese designs with natural finishes, disguised appliances and a neutral color pallet."

See the difference? When you know you're looking for the latter, suddenly who to hire becomes apparent. No need to consider a designer known for designing traditional custom kitchen cabinetry. Could they deliver a different style? Maybe, but the outcome will be far less certain.

It's easy to walk in to a space or see a picture and know this:

  • You love it.

  • You don't.

  • You're indifferent.

Honing your design style creates a process for collecting and organizing what you like and don't. If you're indifferent, don't include it in your design.

These are the keys to finding your design style:


Find your design style before you hire an architect, designer or contractor. Doing this soul searching up front will help you hire the right pros. Do you absolutely love everything a certain architect or designer does? Great - you have a great lead on someone with a portfolio you can draw from.


Find images of rooms, homes and styles you both like and dislike. Collect and save inspiration for the spaces you are renovating. Hint: create separate Pinterest boards of images you both like and dislike. Sometimes what you dislike is as important as what you like.


Look for inspiration from a variety of places: design magazines, restaurants, open houses, Pinterest etc.


Create Pinterest boards or an old fashioned mood board. Save copies or make photographs to help convey what you like (or dislike) about an image to potential design pros. Collect physical samples too. Certain tiles, surfaces, materials, fabrics, colors or pieces of art or artifacts can be the centerpiece for building a design.

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