The question I get most often is “What is your personal style?” and I used to DREAD it. As a stylist for years, my job was to be a chameleon and work with whatever style the client wanted – whether it was Anthropologie catalogues or Better Homes and Garden shoots. Sure, there were always some things I gravitated towards (the slightly more decorative and whimsical, and the simple/Mid-Century) but otherwise my style has always shifted and adjusted with the times and client demands. Later, when I shot ‘Secrets From a Stylist’ we HAD to do different styles each week. Maybe one week was Moroccan meets Mid-Century and the next Spanish meets Mod, but it was my actual job to find the good in every style and attempt to bring it to their homes (and your screens).
During that process I truly grew to love almost every style. Which made describing my style even more difficult as there were times when I really didn’t know the answer. Most of the time the style of our home has been directly related to the architecture of the house + the current trends that are in the zeitgeist. Three years ago we lived in a Hollywood bungalow and I was embracing Regency meets Boho, then with our last house I went Mid-Century +Scandi+70’s. With our new house I’m leaning relaxed Traditional meets Mid-Century-English-Country. Apparently it’s a thing.
And yet if I look objectively at those three houses (the third isn’t totally done but I know what it will look like) the answer is that they all feel happy, super personalized, layered and vintage inspired. Additionally, what is the mainstay is anything slightly Victorian (footed vessels, oil paintings, princess sleeved shirts) and Mid-Century (I’ve never seen a Paul McCobb or Saarinen that I haven’t wanted to splurge on).
But thats me, and I’m a stylist so it should be easy for me to figure out my style, but it isn’t EVEN FOR ME!!! Which made me think, God, finding your style must be even hard for people.
So when I wrote the book, Styled, I wanted to help you figure out your style. I know that without you having that guide, every decision becomes wildly harder. Most of you, I’ve realized are more eclectic than you want to be which makes nailing down what you want really difficult. I look at my friends like Amber Interiors or Justina Blakeney, hell even Joy, Bri and Erin and I see one distinct style that they’ve each NAILED. But not me. I feel totally schizophrenic or more accurately, polyamorous. I love them all.
I’ve learned over the years how to hone in on what I love, keep anything high quality and beautiful, and if its sentimental then think thrice before donating.
One thing that I’ve consistently tried to train my team is when they are shopping for jobs to ask yourself ‘would I own that?’. The response that I initially get is ‘well, it’s not MY style’ but then I say but “IF you had a beach house, IF you had a mountain house, IF you had a loft in the city, IF you had a classic craftsman, then would you put that piece in THAT house of yours?” If the answer is no, then skip it.
As a stylist or designer our job isn’t necessarily to bring our personal style into the job, it’s to take the style that our client wants and find the very best pieces that work with that style. For our clients we are chameleons, even if we wouldn’t own that pedestal dining table ourselves right now because we have a Mid-Century house.
Now, most of you aren’t quite as paralyzed by the love of all styles as I seem to be, but I know you could still use some help. Which is why I developed the style quiz in the book and went on to explain what each of those main styles are, and how to decorate your house within those styles.
With the book being a year old I thought it was time to revamp the style quiz and take it online. YES, I still want you to buy the book because there is a lot more information in there about styles and mostly the invaluable chapters on how to style that you’ll never get here, however, it seemed time to bring the multiple choice quiz to the world wide web.
Thus the newly launched style quiz with the subsequent launch of the Find Your Style Videos. I partnered with Target to create this series that highlights the main style indicators from each style category and used their wonderful products to showcase smaller vignettes in those styles. We’ll be rolling them out over the next couple of months (there are 8 of them) and tying it back to the book for every one.
But first things first – take this quiz. It’s not 100% accurate, I know. It may only be 62% accurate. Who knows? Style is extremely nuanced and tricky, but it can be a guide, even a loose one, at what your instincts are and what that means.
I thought seriously about completely changing it, making it more visual with patterns and styles of chairs, etc (which we couldn’t do for a variety of reasons for the book) but then I figured I’d put it out there and get your feedback with the original quiz.
I took the quiz again recently and it dubbed me ‘Hollywood Glam’. My first reaction was anger, my second was, who created this quiz?? and then I reminded myself why it would diagnose me as that style. What answers did I give that implied that love? Do I really think I’m only Hollywood Glam? NO. I don’t. But I do think there is a pretty big component of that in me, whether it’s expressing itself right now or not. This very second I’m leaning more towards Organic California Comfort but that’s not really a genre – it’s more of a pretentious way of trying to say you like big comfortable, casual furniture. So regardless of whether the quiz nails you or doesn’t (don’t be mad at me if it doesn’t, I’m not buzzfeed!) it creates a dialogue within yourself about what style you maybe are and what you are saying about your life that would indicate your style. It also helps you to find your complimentary style which will help you mix and match perfectly.
Just take it. And let me know if or how wrong you think it is. It’s in beta form right now so your opinions are welcome 🙂
*Update: CLEARLY it’s not working or producing wrong results based on your overwhelming “NOT WORKING” or “its wrong” feedback. HA. I’m not totally sure if a style quiz could ever work, but it seems like this is REALLY not working. Hope you guys had fun taking it, though. 🙂 We’ll start working on a better version, asap. xx