As an interior designer you are expected to be able to define your own personal style. It becomes crucially important if you decide to build your own brand: it will be strong and recognizable if you clearly understand what are you own preferences and responses. It will also help you to create interiors which are unique, sophisticated and complex. Looking at all famous designers you always can see in their creations some hallmark features which make them stand out from the crowd.
Studying at KLC School of Design one of the first projects I was asked to submit was my Personal Style Board. Below are the steps which I made in order to make it which I hope will help you to define your own style as well:
1. The first thing every interior designer should do is to start keeping an inspirational scrapbook (in KLC they are called PRJ – Personal Reflective Journals) . There are plenty of scrapbooks on sale but you can use a normal notebook/sketchbook as well. It is your inspirational tool so there are no boundaries on how it should look. I’ve put a picture of mine as an example:
2. Start collecting images from magazines, pieces of fabrics, patterns, textures – anything that attracts you. Images should not be limited by interiors only. It can be fashion, food, holidays, architecture, jewelry, cars, etc .
In you scrapbook it is important to analyze images that you have chosen. If it is for example a picture of a dress try to understand what attracted you in it: is it a colour, a texture, a pattern? It is important to write all your observations so that you can be more precise in identifying your style.
3. Apart from magazines the Internet can be an awesome tool for finding inspirational images. Websites like Pinterest or Flickr can provide you with thousands of pictures and photos. On Pinterest you can also make online mood boards and divide them by categories: photography, fashion, travelling, food, etc. If you want an example you can look at my Personal Style Board on Pinterest.
4. I am a big fan of mind maps. They help me think, analyze, structure and I keep using them all the time. Try to do mind mapping as well in order to make self-analysis: include your favorite fashion brands, places, colours, textures, styles. Why do you like them? What features they have? You can simply draw mind map in your PRJ. Alternatively you can use online software which can turn the process of mind mapping into a great fun. For example I used Edrawsoft but there are plenty of others:
4. Now it is time to start to put together your Personal Style Board. Look through all collected images and start editing. Select those you really like and which can really describe you as a person. See if you can discard some duplicate images. Try to narrow them to a suitable number to mount on your board (better not more than 10 otherwise your board will look messy and confusing). Think on how you can position images on the board, decide on which layout you choose: collage or disparate. This can seem unimportant however you can use composition as a powerful tool to help you to represent your personal style. For example when I composed my board I described my style as elegant and minimalistic that’s why i preferred to use squared layout and well-ordered images. Below is my Personal Style Mood board which I made:
Studying interior design? Check out my History of Styles e-book:
Tracing the evolution of interior design — from the early English and French styles – Baroque, Rococo to 20th century Midcentury Modern and Art Deco – History of Styles is a stunningly illustrated guide to more than three hundred years of shifting trends and innovative developments in the world of interiors. From this book you will learn how to define various styles and their main characteristics.