Sometimes just getting started with developing your own style is daunting. We'll often hear from our private clients their frustration over not knowing what their style is. This feeling of being in the dark comes from overwhelm at all of the options out there. Not to mention the pressure you can feel over the expense involved when choosing big ticket items or the choices required for a renovation. When you start by asking yourself "what's my style?" you can get easily sidetracked by outside influences. We think a simpler, quieter way of starting is by looking inward and asking yourself "what do I love?" and "what feels like me?"
Our recent interview with Christina Cleveland of the lifestyle blog, The Fuji Files, really got us thinking about this idea of starting with yourself when it comes to figuring out your personal style. On our podcast, Style Matters, Christina talks about feeling like she's wearing a costume when she dresses in something that's not true to who she is, even if what's she's wearing is very fashionable. Over time, she's come to know the difference between admiring a trend and owning it from the inside out. And she is a huge believer in experimentation to figure this stuff out. As she says, how else will you know what feels right?
In our conversation with Christina, she talks about how trying things out with your wardrobe is less daunting than trying out something in your home. For starters, fashion is more immediate. You have to get dressed every day, you see what other people are wearing, you have an opportunity to copy or put your own twist on an outfit all the time. And while we're not encouraging careless spending, the reality is that it feels like less of a commitment to buy a new blouse than to buy something new for our homes. On top of this, clothing naturally evolves throughout the year as the seasons change. But what if we translated all of this knowledge we've accumulated about ourselves in terms of our wardrobes and applied it to our homes?
Since Christina gives equal time to fashion and decor on her blog, we thought we'd use her as inspiration for a little exercise. Go through your closet and pull out all of the things you love. Pay particular attention to the items that make you feel radiant, confident, and most like yourself. You can even put on an entire outfit that you particularly love (or just visualize it) to get yourself in the mindset of feeling a connection between who you are at your core and what you're wearing. Now, imagine this same feeling coming from being in a specific place in your home. If you don't have a room or a space that currently does this for you, that's great, because now you know where to start! What is it about the space that isn't working? Is it too cluttered? Is it too dark? Do you not feel a rush of love for what's hanging on the walls? Are you bored? Does it make you feel exhausted? Whatever it is, this is where you start to make a change. Experiment with a new color. Try taking everything out of the room and bringing back only what feels good. Organize your stuff so that you don't feel overwhelmed. Make a commitment to spend your weekends at art shows or open studios until you find something for your wall that you love. Developing your style won't happen overnight. And thank goodness! Because where's the fun in being finished with figuring out who you are?