Lori Wiles
Owner, Lori Wiles Design

Tell me your decorating style!

Are you scratching your head already? When you click or leaf through decorating photos, do you often feel attracted to or repelled by a room but not always know why? “Hmm. I like the feel of this room, but ugh, that light fixture! And all that carpet – I’m anti-carpet! What is it I do like?”

Your Pinterest or Houzz boards or magazine clippings might seem all over the place to you-green walls here, gray ones there, industrial furniture here, fuzzy throws there-but a good designer will have no problem identifying common themes amidst the hodgepodge.

When we look at images that strike your fancy over and over, we can easily pick up on common themes. Here are some examples of how a designer plays detective.


The color choices may not be consistent, but a client might consistently gravitate towards dark walls with light trim, or light walls with dark windows-in other words, high contrast. Or we might notice an affinity for the modern trend of light and dark with an earth element. Someone else might enjoy the softness of subtle color gradations and tone-on-tone schemes rather than more dramatic contrast.


Are there lots of broad, flattened, horizontal spaces showing up in the client’s choices or more soaring vertical spaces? The tipoff isn’t always straightforward, though. Maybe there’s a combination of high ceilings and intimate groupings below, to keep the feeling cozy amidst the drama of height.


Light is always a component of design. Does the client gravitate towards brightly sunlit rooms with large, exposed windows, or would he/she rather snuggle up under more intimate lighting with the curtains pulled closed?


Does the client appreciate that every door is flanked by perfectly matching flowerpots (lover of order and simplicity, perhaps?), or does he/she enjoy the playfulness of a casual, harmonious array of pots? Is the client comforted or bored by perfectly matched bookshelves on either side of the fireplace?

So, while you don’t tingle at the flooring or light fixture in a room that appeals to you, maybe the dramatic color contrasts or high windows excite you, or maybe you’re enticed by the soft lighting, neutral tones, or cozy textures. The more you look, the more you see. And with the help of a designer, you can nail your style!