Thursday, January 3, 2013

What Do YOU Really Like?

I was reading a post over at Kate’s, Centsational Girl blog,  she was writing about how she has stayed true to her own style over time. 

That is a hard thing to do in this day and age when we are so inundated with so many resources for  what is in and what is out.

It reminded me of a post I wrote awhile ago. It is all about figuring out your own personal style. 

When I was working as a personal design consultant I developed a few techniques that helped me determine my clients true design aesthetics. It was also a great tool to use in guiding them for future projects.

I was one of those decorators that liked to get into my clients heads, and really figure them out.

I wasn’t there just to make their home a pretty place, but more to help guide them in the decision making process, and to teach them how to do it with confidence when I was not around.

Here is the technique I used……


This is not going to be like most lists, because you don't have TO DO anything, or even shop.

What you do have to do is  be reallllly honest with yourself about what you put on this list. 

This list needs to consist of what you honestly love. I don’t  want you to  even think of the home or a room you live in right now. 

This list has to be the most honest list you have ever written.

At the top of the page I would like you to put:


Under the likes I want you to put down what you like to see in a room, you know the things you seem to just gravitate towards. 

Here are a few questions to help you make your list:


  1. What colors do you like? 
  2. Are the colors you chose warm or cool (think of warm as being fire,red,yellows,orange and cool as the water in the ocean,blues and greens)?
    1. Do you like for your colors to have a clear quality (no grayed undertones)?
    2. Do you like light ,medium value or dark colors?
    3. Do you like your colors to be a little muddy? Now don't be afraid of that word. It just means they do have grayed down undertones in them, that's all.
    4. What textures do you prefer?
    5. Would you paint moldings in a room? Would they be white or a color? Or, would you leave them natural wood?
    6. Do you prefer light wood,dark or painted?
    7. What choice of metals do you like?  Nickel, bronze,brass, or stainless?
    8. Do you prefer casual or elegant looking pieces?
    9. New pieces or Antiques?
    10. Simple lines or ornate?
    11. Curvy legs or straight on your furniture?
Now, in this column you can answer all of these same questions with what you do not like.

Look at this list very closely. What have you identified as your personal likes and dislikes? 

Keep this list and see if you can find pictures that meet the qualities you have described.

You have just made up a list of what you need to have in a room in order for you to be happy living in it.
Stay true to yourself. You are unique, and no one is like you, therefore, no one will have the same taste as you.

By knowing what you really LIKE and DISLIKE you will always stay true to who you are!

Something to think about over the weekend!

"Enjoy the Process " Of:
 Discovering what you truly
Like and Dislike.


carolyn bradford said...

I am going to do this for myself! I love these lists and think they are great places to check ourselves for what we really like and what we can live with. I wish I had been that conscientious when I was in the design business.. Now that I'm in retail I just do what I would do for myself. (this isn't a bad way to check yourself in a lot of areas, truth be told!)

Ivy Lane said...

Fun post! I know I do NOT like the colors of my 2 bathrooms..they are going to be re-painted SOON! I shall make some time to do the rest of this exercise.


rosaria williams said...

A wonderful process! Thank you.

Linda Hartong said...

Very helpful

Patty Day @Pattys Epiphanies said...

This is the best advice I've read in years. Too many are throwing out what's new and the latest.
A good Designer helps the client create spaces that is livable for them!!!
Again, great approach!

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Such a great post. I think I have finally settled on what I like. Thanks for the encouraging words. I am trying to just keep up with the world. It seems to be moving at warp speed. Love you tons. Also the iPad is a lot of fun. All setup right it is just like a little laptop. Fun,fun. Hugs,marty

The Buzz Blog said...

We are so going to use your list when we attack the new living room, Kathysue! It will be paired with the design file we've compiled for the space and we really do want to stay true to ourselves. Happy weekend!
C + C

Julie Taylor and Danni Greenwalt said...

I'm working with a client right now that changes her mind in a minute and follows trends. This list is perfect for her....thanks!

5th and State said...

brilliantly simple kathysue, thanks for a reminder that's necessary. i will borrow a few i had not thought of asking clients

michele said...

just my opinion, but i think it's extra tricky for design bloggers to stay true when there is so much added scrutiny. i would even dare to say it adds a layer of anxiety and 'rules' almost like there is a reality tv camera pointed at you! your tips are right on.


Ann from On Sutton Place said...

This is a wonderful post. I've never had a problem knowing what I like and dislike. My problem has always been figuring out how to afford it. Therefore, I'm always trying to get "the look for less." I have come to the point where I only bring into my home things I love. If I like it, I make it work. I guess that's staying true to myself??? I hope so!

Carla Aston said...

Hi Kathysue! I agree. It's most important to determine your style and then stick to it.'s all just hodgepodge. :) Great questions!

Rattlebridge Farm said...

Such a well written, helpful post!
I keep hitting the wall because I do like muted colors and lighter interiors...but I like black, too, and gray-blacks. I'm going to really ask hard questions and come up with a plan. Thanks so much!