I bought a book titled “the Power of Style” in 1994. The authors combed through archives of fashion and culture magazines from the past 100 years and chose the style icons of the era. Style for these fifteen women was standard setting in fashion, decorating and entertaining. These women exemplified style and their style permeated all realms of their lives.
Ultimately as in interior decorator, I am paid for my opinion. An opinion is perceived to be of value because of many things ~ knowledge, experience, training, vision (see previous post) and hopefully a little bit of wisdom. A large part of that opinion is translating my client’s personal style into their space. It is so interesting to me that when it comes to fashion, people know exactly what they like, but do not know where to begin when it comes to their home – which is why they phone me.
For instance, a client was having a small renovation done for the first time in ten years and wanted my assistance with material selection (floors, tiles, cabinetry, counters, paint) and then furniture and accessories. She expressed that she felt completely at a loss to know what she wanted. So I listed off
“tailored, clean lined, fine fabric, mainly neutral, limited colour, limited pattern, lots of detail, with a little exotic”.
She was surprised and completely agreed. This lady gets custom suits made for work while in Asia and is always very put together. By observing distinct fashion choices, jewelry choices, lifestyle choices it was very easy to me to narrow down what we were seeking for her home.
Another example is my girlfriend. Recently, she had asked for my help to select new furniture and draperies, hang artwork and alter layout. We had been discussing style and she asked me what I thought her style was. So I listed off
“cozy, comfortable, textured, earthy, autumn colours, relaxed, mainly modern with a traditional twist and a wee bit feminine”.
She agreed. I know she hates to be cold, wears lots of wool sweaters and blazers and corduroy, loves muted reds and greens, wears long hair, likes pretty purses, shoes and accessories. That is now reflected in her apartment – a large cozy sectional with fabric that is supersoft and looks like corduroy, a pair of chairs that are feminine and fun, cushions in dark cranberry with a floral pattern, elegant pleated curtains in creamy satin all working with her treasured antique furniture.
I also think most people have difficulty being objective about their stuff – we get used to it, we become attached to it – bringing in a fresh set of eyes can make all of the difference. People know rooms are not working for them and do not feel right; they want to change them but do not know where to start, what to change, what to keep and how to make the space better.
I love this photo. The sheen and colour of the velvet, the hit of colour in the silk cushion and again on the embroidered cushion. The unexpected texture of the fuzzy cushion, the grain of the dark wood table. Details that I love.
To look at this in reverse … if this were an outfit … a velvet coat with a fur collar, a silk blouse, a purse with embroidered detail. Neutral with hits of colour. A string of pearls.
If you look at your own wardrobe you will see you are repeatedly drawn to similar items … certain colours, particular fabrics, accessories that are either understated or bling. You know what you like ~ look at why you like them. Make these observations and then you can translate this personal style to your space.
What is your style?
All photos by Sue Womersley
Thank you to Sarah Richardson for her inspiring style and designs.
Power of Style ~ Crown Publishing ~ Annette Tappert and Diana Edkins