What’s Your Decorating Style? - dummies

By Katharine Kaye McMillan, Patricia Hart McMillan

The numerous interior design options you have can make choosing just one style or even two or three difficult. When you’re having trouble making up your mind about which decorating styles you want to include in your home, knowing more about yourself may help. So take a few minutes to answer the questions in the following quiz.

Your decorating mood

To get an idea of your decorating mood, answer the following questions. Keep track of your answers on paper.

  1. My favorite mood is:

    A. Buttoned up

    B. In charge

    C. With it

    D. At peace

    E. In love

  2. My favorite historic site is:

    A. Monticello

    B. Falling Water by Frank Lloyd Wright

    C. The Louvre

    D. The King Ranch

    E. The Taj Mahal

  3. If I had to live with only one color, I would choose:

    A. Royal blue

    B. Pure white

    C. Beige

    D. Hunter green

    E. Dusty rose

  4. If I could pick only one pattern, it would be:

    A. Paisley

    B. Solid color woven design

    C. Leopard print

    D. Laura-Ashley-type miniprint

    E. English chintz

  5. If I could choose only one piece of furniture, it would be:

    A. A wing chair

    B. A white sectional sofa

    C. A hutch

    D. An entertainment center

    E. A canopy bed

Now total up the number of responses you had for each letter and compare that to these guidelines:

  • Mostly A: You’re a Traditionalist. Warm woods and colors and interesting printed fabrics enrich your life.

  • Mostly B: You’re a Modernist. Streamlined furniture and fabrics with woven patterns add up to the “clean” look of Contemporary that satisfies you.

  • Mostly C: You’re Eclectic. The mix is what matters to you. To make mixing easier, try to limit your furniture to two or three compatible styles.

  • Mostly D: You’re Country. A great gathering of friendly objects and the heart-warming look of timeworn furnishings appeal to your instincts.

  • Mostly E: You’re Romantic. Gorgeous colors, soft fabrics, and pretty objects provide the environment that you need in order to flourish.

Plain or frilly?

To see whether you prefer more or less frilliness, count how many of the following items you especially like in each column:

Category A Category B
Florals Stripes
Pretty colors Neutrals
Lots of pillows and throws Important accessories only
Several different collectibles Investment collections
Several patterns Textures
Fresh flowers Bowls of green apples
Displays of keepsakes Leather
Paintings of mother and child Still-life paintings
Rooms with a view Rooms with a television
Painted furniture Natural fine woods
Sleek surfaces Glass and chrome

If you answered mostly A, add plenty of frills and flourishes to your home. If you answered mostly B, go for rooms that are tailored to perfection.

Formal or Informal?

To determine whether your taste leans toward the formal or the informal, decide whether each statement below is like you or not like you:

  1. I feel it’s best for the host or hostess to serve his or her guests.

  2. I prefer lots of texture and durable, easy-to-care-for materials.

  3. I prefer meals served in the dining room.

  4. I prefer fine fabrics and luxury materials.

  5. I like touches of wit, humor, and whimsy in my rooms.

  6. I most often entertain guests in the kitchen and family room.

  7. I most often entertain my guests in the living room.

  8. I prefer symmetrical room arrangements.

  9. I like lots of furniture groupings placed around a room.

  10. I like very serious interiors.

  11. When others are in my home, I encourage them to put their feet up and help themselves to whatever they want.

  12. Every day is Casual Friday.

For questions 1, 3, 4, 7, 8, and 10, give yourself 1 for “Like me,” 0 for “Not like me.” For questions 2, 5, 6, 9, 11, and 12, give yourself 0 for “Like me,” 1 for “Not like me.” The higher your score, the more formal you tend to be.