I recently came across this post on defining a core personal style on The House That Lars Built. If you've ever looked at Brittany's work, you can immediately tell it's hers, which I absolutely love! So I was all into soaking up what she had to say. She suggested putting together a "style recipe" of elements and styles that show up repeatedly in images and things that you really love. There might be literally thousands of images that describe your taste but actually sitting down and looking at why those images are there can be invaluable for defining a personal style. I'm at the point in my life where I'm finally figuring out what I like, what makes me feel beautiful, what really truly inspires me, and how to combine all of those things. That personal style extends to my creative work as well, which is something that I've been thinking a lot about lately with the work I'm doing for my Etsy shop. Here's what I found:
|Design Files / The Home Magazine / photographed by James Geer for A Place Called Home / Going Home to Roost / by JenLovesKev / photographed by Lee Gordon for The Guardian|
I'm really drawn to a clean, basic, neutral foundation with pops of bright colors, thoughtful combinations of textures, patterns, and colors, and especially quirky, handmade or vintage accents. No lie, the badger pillow in the image above showed up three times in my pinterest boards. I think it's a sign. And the hand painted lyrics of Be Thou My Vision? oh. my. goodness. I love it and it will happen in my home someday.
|photograph by Kate Ann for The Glitter Guide / Nisolo - Harper Chukka Boot / by Todd Wendorff / original source unknown / Gillian Stevens|
Those same elements all carry over into style and design - simple, well made items that have a classic elegance with a bit of a modern twist - like geometric painting or a bright floral pattern, or an embroidered bumblebee. Things that are both beautiful and have a purpose or a story to tell.
|artist Rosaria Carmona's home / La Factoria Plastica|
I feel like this image embodies my personal style perfectly - it's bright & clean with elements like the wooden floor and vintage chair that look like they've stood the test of time, yet the brightly colored books, desk, and blanket give it a modern twist. The knickknacks on the shelf, artwork on the walls feel like a little personal history of the artist; places and people and things that inspire her work.
So here's my style recipe:
2 parts vintage-inspired
2 parts modern
1 part quirky/playful
3 parts handmade
1 part story
2 parts function
I don't know if there are specific "design terms" that describe this style, but I'm dubbing it "handmade playful vintage", which probably sounds incredibly vague, but I like it. The beauty + purpose + story are the keys for me too, and I'll be sharing more about that in another post! I hope this was fun to read about - I had a blast putting it together and figuring out what really defined my personal style. Try making your style recipe - you might be surprised!