Why you don’t need to learn about interior design styles (and what to do if you doubt your creativity)

I’ve done some research on interior design styles for you.
Are you ready?

You can choose from:
modern, contemporary, traditional, industrial/urban, classic, modern minimalist, rustic, classic reinterpreted, retro, maverick, hichtech, elegant country, French, Italian, Spanish, Oriental, Chinese, Japanese, Scandinavian, mid-century modern, nautical, cottage, coastal, bohemian, contemporary chic, transitional, zen, vintage, chubby chic, art deco, rococo, Georgian, Victorian, American traditional, Indian, Arabian, shaker, southwestern, art nouveau, medival, arts and craft, Tuscan, English country, Moroccan, gothic…

…should I keep going?

Some people ask me: what do I need to know about interior design styles so that I can start redoing my own home?

Well, the answer to this is: absolutely nothing. Nada. Zero. Nichts.We get so fixated on having to “know” all the rules first, so that you can abide by them and “do it right” when it comes to redesigning your home, that it’s easy to forget that:

a. it’s not school and you’re not getting graded for your ability to fit into a chosen style and
b. it’s your home, sweetie. You choose what you like. And nobody, and I mean nobody can tell you that there is something wrong with what you like!

At this point you might be thinking “yes, but what if I choose something and it doesn’t look good? Wouldn’t it be easier to just follow the rules of a chosen interior design style?”

I’ve got some good and bad news for you here.

Good news: you can mix and match things from whoever’s “definition” of style that you want to follow (and believe me, there will be as many definitions as there are designers) and make it look good.

Bad news: even if you follow a certain type of interior design style and order everything that was labelled as, for example, “rustic” and then put it all in one room, it might still end up looking hideous. (See: there are as many definitions as there are designers.)

So what’s the solution? How can you win and make your home look stylish, without learning all about different interior design styles?

I go much deeper into that inside Dream Home Course. But here is the short version:

  1. You need to first think about how you want to feel in your home. (Note: your biggest desire is to feel good when you’re there. But now, what exactly does that mean to you?)
  2. You need to create a visual concept of your desired style which will speak to the way you want to feel. Gather pictures of interiors, people, foods, travel destinations that you like the look of and that make you feel the way you decided you want to feel.
  3. You can start looking for furniture, colours, fabrics, wall finishes, lighting etc. that will represent the style you created in point 2.

(To learn a step-by-step method for how to determine your unique style and create that visual concept, you need to sign-up here and you’ll get the otherwise not accessible video training for free.)

But what if you feel you’re just not that creative?

We all have a creative side to us (yes, even you, especially if you just thought “I’m not creative”). Unfortunately though, we are judged and marked in school on whether our creativity falls under a certain category. And whether it’s understood. But that’s all wrong.

Do you know I almost didn’t go into interior design and actually started from studying economics for a year? It was a “safe choice, you-can-treat-interior-design-as-a-hobby degree”, which, LUCKILY, I decided to quit and follow my dreams.

And I’m not sure when I started doubting myself, but I remember this from school. (And I bet you’d have similar stories if you were to think back.)

We were 7 or 8 years old and after a winter holiday we were asked to paint what we liked most about our just-gone-by time off school.

Everyone could paint whatever they wanted.

And since my favourite part of that holiday was that our parents bought new beds for me and my brother and we were moving furniture around to see what set-up works best, I attempted to paint that.

I didn’t know it then, but that was my first attempt at a perspective drawing.

And I’m no genius; perspective drawing is hard and is not a skill you’re born with, so my picture was awkward and hugely misunderstood.

Long story short, someone who drew a snow man won the competition for the best picture. And the 7yo me attempting to draw a perspective of a room did not get any recognition. Luckily, I found my way back to loving what I do, or doing what I love. But what about you?

Do you remember being completely misunderstood and maybe even criticised for a creative task as a child?

Can we just release all that crap and give it a try again?

Creativity is a vital part of our lives. Creative expression (whether it’s dance, painting, doodling on the margins, writing short stories or whatever else you can think of) is an important part of having a balanced life. Your brain needs it the same way it needs you to eat vegetables.

I hope this inspires you to pick up a creative project this weekend (even if it’s just for one afternoon). But do it for you. And for you only. (And not because the project you choose counts towards completing a to-do you have on your busy list anyway.)

Let yourself do something creative, judgement-free. Do you know that saying “dance as if noone is watching”? Do that.

And I’d love it if you could share in the comments below any stories from school or any creative projects you used to do but have forgotten about them over the years. Tell me more about your creative side.

As always, I would appreciate it ever so much if you could share this post with your friends.

With all my love for you and that creative part inside you which screams to be heard,

Kat xx - signature 150px

6 Responses to Why you don’t need to learn about interior design styles (and what to do if you doubt your creativity)

  1. You are so right. I thought for years I wasn’t as creative as my sister. Her paintings and even the clothing she made was always better than mine. I just figured I wasn’t creative.

    Once I became a solo business owner I didn’t realize until someone pointed out to me that I was creating all the time – programs, products, worksheets, marketing campaigns, graphics for social media and my blog posts – you name it. I started doodling (which I stopped doing), bought some adult coloring books with metallic pencils and some water paint and every now and then I create something that I love in my own judgment free zone!

    • Yes, Gennia! That’s great that you’ve realised it. You’re a creator for sure :) And I’ve heard about adult colouring books a few times now, I think I’ll give them a try too x

  2. It’s interesting how we get labeled as kids and then those labels follow us around as adults. In my house, I was the “creative” one (I’m now a web designer) and the other two were the “sensitive” one (she became a therapist) and the one who was “good at math” (he’s doing something technical now).

    But you know what? The “sensitive” one is actually a really creative person. It just took her years to believe it because she wasn’t given that label. It’s worth looking at these labels so we can decide to live outside of them.

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