How to Find Interior Design Inspiration for Your Own Style

Everyone has been talking about different styles for their home. I thought this would be a great time to discuss how to find interior design inspiration for your own style. Never feel like you have to follow a trend or be labeled to a specific style.

paneling work on the ceiling personal style home design and decor

How do I find my personal interior style?

I often hear people ask about how they can ‘discover’ what their decorating style is. The truth is, you don’t ever need to have a label for it. Your personal decorating unique style should just be called YOU!

Of course, you can feel free to come up with a name for it that describes who you are. Because ultimately, your own personal style should be about the look you love. How things function for how you live, and what you find truly beautiful is what is your style.

kitchen personal style home decor and design

Where I like to find the best design inspiration

There are so many amazing places to find design inspiration. From online to real life, a great place to start is to find some interior designers that have a style that you love. Become immersed in their work and read all you can.

My favorite way to study someones style so that I can really pinpoint specific design elements is in design books. I have always been a book lover, and enjoy having coffee table books of my favorite designers work. Not only do I look at the pictures, but I enjoy reading them as well.

Once you can get a glimpse into someone else’s design process, it is easier to relate it to your own home. Get the inspiration to make it your own, without copying what they do. The key is to develop the confidence to create your own personal interior style without ever feeling the need to look at another work and repeat it.

kitchen with charm and personal style

How do you add personality to your home decor?

Adding personality to your home decor can be done in many ways. It can also be done at every price point. We all know that as much as we love to get inspiration for our interior style, there is a big difference on how that is executed.

Just think of the difference between home improvement stores and design centers. There is a style and budget for everyone. Adding personality to your home should be centered around what you truly love and what speaks to you. 

decorate with vintage and antiques to add charm and personal style

How can I create a mood board for my style?

The first step to creating a mood board for your style is to decide what type you would like. Will you use an online option like Pinterest or an actual ‘piece of furniture’ board like a large bulletin board? This will allow you to tack up pictures and fabric samples. You may even want to use a combination of both.

I love to have the reference of both. An online version of inspiration will always be with you on the go. My favorite online mood board is Pinterest. You can create a zillion different boards, and get it really organized to how you want to see them and find your home design inspiration.

A great way to organize your boards may be to have boards about a topic like a color scheme. Get even more detailed, where you have specific ones for a neutral color palette, or specific paint colors.

If there are elements of certain decor styles you want to remember, you can categorize them by your favorites. Modern farmhouse, French country, traditional design, and more will be available quick.

character and personalty with statement lighting

Where does your design inspiration come from?

We are all influenced by things we have seen in our life, and places we have been. Home means many things to many people, but it always seems to go back to memories and feelings and how we truly want to live.

You must always believe that you have the power to create your home decor style which is the backdrop to your life. You can read my story of how my design style has been influenced here.

It might feel like a daunting task to discover your unique decorating style, but it is rather simple. And NO, you do not need an interior design style quiz, because your style doesn’t need a title.

Your personal interior design style will come out when you understand more of who you are, what the needs of those living in your home are, and how you want to live, ultimately surrounded by your favorite things.

Some of my favorite designers

The best place to start is at the top!

Bunny Williams

Bunny Williams is one of the most talented and well known high-end designers of the last 4 decades (and probably longer). Her book An Affair With a House had me drooling and wishing I could have an affair like that! Of course, all of her designs are way above my pay grade, but that is exactly where you should be looking.

personal style inspiration for home decor

It’s always a good idea to look at designers that are way outside of your pay grade, if you are looking to elevate your style. You may not ever be able to afford anything they are showing, but knock-offs and items for normal people like me and you come from this high level.

High style rooms always have the best layers; architectural elements, gorgeous fabrics, fabulous art, wallpaper, and the perfect accessories. Study these looks and they can lead you to put together a beautiful design for your current interior.

Brooke and Steve Giannetti

Brooke and Steve are a husband/wife, designer/architect team. Their own personal style is very relaxed and a bit French, but what they are absolute geniuses at is creating a life!

home decorating books for personal style inspiration

They recently moved from their California casual sprawling estate in Ojai to the hills and meadows of Tennessee and are creating their dream home and farm. Of course, everything they do is a master class in what high dollars, fabulous vision, and personal style can accomplish and it is spectacular.

They make every space feel relaxed, yet so chic. I actually was able to visit their lovely home in Ojai, California for a book signing a few years ago. They opened their home and property to strangers, and I literally almost hyperventilated from how amazing it was!

personal style home decorating inspiration coffee table book

All of their books about their Patina Farm are my favorite, because they show you how to take a good hard look at what you want your life to be, then make it happen. Each book is such a great source of inspiration for the overall picture of your life, home and property.

James Farmer

If I could kidnap one designer for my own personal home decorating project, it would be James Farmer. Omgeeeee is he fabulous!

designer personal style inspiration books

James lives in Georgia and has that amazing, storied southern style that just wreaks of generational wealth and class. But somehow, every room he creates looks soooo livable and relaxed amongst all the decorative items from Grandma, sumptuous throw pillows, and the beyond fabulous wallpaper and fabrics.

high end interior design personal style inspiration

He has written many books, and I think I have most of them. They range from garden and porch living, to those gorgeous southern rooms with a lot of color and style! When I win the lotto and need to buy a mansion, James will be my first call for the design project.

Lauren Liess

If you love natural materials, clean lines, statement light fixtures, and a variety of natural elements, then you will love Lauren. Her books are awe inspiring and all the rooms seem extremely obtainable.

personal style home decorating inspiration

She always has great ideas, and her entire home philosophy stems from how her family lives in a space. I can see common elements throughout her work, that she always manages to make look completely original and exactly right in each space.

Although she shows simple lines and some modern styles, everything is so warm, rich with texture and amazing statement furniture pieces.

personal style inspiration for home decorating

Rachel Ashwell

I have been following Rachel Ashwell since I found her first furniture shop in Los Angeles in about 1990 (a very long time)! She is the designer and creator of the Shabby Chic style, which has been copied a million times over but no one does it like she does. Celebrities and normal people alike have flocked to her.

I have all of her books, and have probably devoured them millions of times. At one point, she had many shops all over the US, which I think I may have visited them all.

books for personal style inspiration for home decorating

About 5-6 years ago, we did a private label paint for her, and so I had the chance to speak with her face to face many times. She once told me that she got her start in LA as a set designer, when she first came over from England. She was asked to create fabulous romantic boudoir spaces, and I almost spit my drink across the table at her when she said that she found out it was for a porn magazine. Of course she was never on set when the people were around, but just hearing this made me howl! I think she shared that story in one of her later books, so I know I am not revealing any secrets.

personal style inspiration for home decorating and design

Her particular style is pretty and pastel and has been the inspiration for our own master bedroom for decades. She also owned a bed and breakfast in Texas called The Prairie (sadly, it is no longer there) but it is where my youngest daughter had her wedding and we visited many times to soak up all her gorgeous thrifted finds amongst her signature floral fabrics. It was a magical place and her look is purely fabulous.

Great design books

DeVol Kitchens

Nothing is better than a classic English kitchen and no one does it better than DeVol. Their bespoke items will stay forever in style and their work will give you a million ideas for your own home projects. 

Kabinett + Kammer

I love this book, by Sean Scherer, so much as his displays are brilliant. I think I recently heard that he will have a new book coming this spring about vignettes (he is, after all, the king of display in his New York shop) and I will be counting the days before I can purchase it.

Studying his work can show you how to make that quirky thrift store find fit into your decor and make you look like a seasoned pro.

Ralph Lauren

Obviously nobody does it better than Ralph. He has built a billion dollar empire on the concept of selling a lifestyle. I have a few large coffee table books focused on his world, and the entire aesthetic from clothing to home is genius.

I watched his spring 2023 fashion show like 5 times because it was so beyond amazing (so was the year before) and inspiring. The music was also spectacular! Good design will always inspire and show you how you can bring that feeling into your own life. 

A starting point for a new style

Okay my friends, it is time to take this style thing into your own hands. Look, study, watch, and get inspired but never copy. Create your space with the things you love and what is meaningful to you and you will always be happy and comfortable in your space. 

And yes, a new coat of paint can make your walls look fresh, but don’t ever just leave them bare. Live around the things that are meaningful to you. These could be things that you have collected over the years, had growing up, or recreated from a place or time that made you happy.

When you create a personal style that is authentically you, you will never need to copy anyone else. Study to learn how bright colors might mesh best together, or simply throw caution to the wind and live out loud with your favorite things. 

personal style inspiration home decor and design

But what will come from this is a space, a home, that tells your story and shares with those that enter your home who you really are. Always work within your pay grade, learning and growing as you go.

Time will pass, but good design and quality will last a very long time. That is one of the big reasons I love to buy vintage pieces. A lot of time can be wasted by following trends, but I say, throw that notion out the window and develop your own style and your signature timeless look.

Tell me in the comments who you are inspired by and share a favorite design tip. I would love to know what speaks to you.


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