Do Tell: How do you define your style?

Quite often, people ask me how I would define or describe my design style. It is a much harder question to answer than one might think primarily because I love design. I eat, sleep, and breathe interior design and love so many different styles that sometimes, it’s hard to really pinpoint exactly what I love. The truth is, I love all kinds of décor and there are even spaces that I don’t particularly like, but can definitely appreciate. While I die over the edgy spaces designed by the likes of Ryan Korban and Lázaro Rosa Violán, I don’t tend to decorate that way myself.

I’d say my style is a modern take on traditional. I love classic silhouettes updated in a modern way, whether it’s through color, texture, or pattern. I have a penchant for color, though I also love the power of a pared down palette. I always love to add a touch of glamour to every space and typically prefer spaces that balance a masculine and feminine vibe over something overtly feminine. Overall, the spaces I love are polished and have an effortless quality about them. They feature classic and modern elements, resulting in a timeless look. I realize that’s a lot of adjectives! If I had to narrow it down, I would pick the following three to define my personal design style:image


{Katie Lee Joel’s Timeless Kitchen designed by Nate Berkus and featured in Domino}


{Timeless Elements: Beautiful Monogrammed Bedding, an Upholstered Headboard, a Classic Lamp, and a Chic Hermes Blanket as featured in Veranda}



{To me, “modern” isn’t just about Barcelona chairs, Saarinen Tulip Tables, and abstract art—it’s about the mix. Mixing classic pieces with unexpected elements of surprise is the way I define modern style. This living room designed by Cathy Echols and featured in High Gloss is a great example.}


{Have you been to FLAIR in SoHo? It’s the most amazing store and I always die over the way they mix pieces from various era. I love the black walls and the way the mix in color and glamour with an edgy sensibility. This is the epitome of modern to me.}



{While these spaces are overtly glamorous, I firmly believe that every space should have at least a hint of glamour; something to elevate the space and provide a true “wow” moment. Lily Bunn Weekes’ entryway as featured on the Vogue website is a perfect example of glamour—lacquered peacock blue walls, a dramatic urchin chandelier, and a gold-leafed ceiling. There is no doubt that this is one glamorous space!}


{Miles Redd does drama and glamour like no other and his amazing mirrored bathroom is no exception. He’s even hosted dinner parties in his bathroom!}


While I may gravitate towards different aesthetics from time to time, I think this is a pretty good way to define my design style: classic, modern, glamorous. I’ve been finishing up several design projects in my home and will have my house photographed in two weeks! I am looking forward to sharing my home tour with you and hope that the definition of my design style will be reflected in my house. Stay tuned!

Now it’s your turn! How do you define your personal design style?

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Tell Me What You Think! leave a comment...

  1. Ugh, I struggle so much to define mine. I feel like I need to whip out a notecard when ever someone asks me because my answer would be so long! I’m actually relieve to hear you feel the same way and that I’m not just all over the place. I think it’s true what you said- when you love design, and look at design all day, you come to kind of love everything!

  2. This is a terrible question, though perfectly justified, it is just too damn hard to answer. Like describing the color blue, descriptive words like modern, traditional, eclectic mean different things to each person and can never quite encompass the entirety of a style.

  3. Capella, I completely agree! I feel like it’s such an abstract question and the answer is always evolving for most of us. Like you said, any of the adjectives we choose are completely subjective and can mean something so different for each person. I am always so intrigued by people who can define their style without a second thought and am so curious to see how everyone else feels about this!

  4. Hi Paloma,
    First of all, I really enjoy your blog! Now on to your question: To have a strong personal style (whether for fashion or decor) to me means that when people who know you see it, they can tell it is you. The more people recognize it, the better your “brand”. As for me, my own style evolves with time, and is also dependent on place. Living in Hawaii, my home here can best be described as classic with an island feel. I have some beloved antiques and supplement them with island-style pieces. Decorating our apartment in Budapest, (I am just doing a series on my blog about the renovations) I have gravitated towards a Scandinavian aesthetic, because the apartment gets a lot less sunshine than our home in Hawaii, and the rich woods would feel out of place there.

  5. So many interiors today are “eclectic” and often hard to define. I think if we just take the most dominant look and add “with such and such influence”.
    it becomes closer to a style we are describing.

    example; Mid Century Modern with Asian influence. I did a project and artcile about this particular “style” some time age.

    Carol 🙂