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So you’re thinking of changing the interior decorating style of your home. But it’s not always easy to know exactly what you’re going for.

Decorating magazines and websites are filled with ideas, but there are more subsets of interior decorating styles than ever before.

What’s Your Interior Decorating Style?

Interior design and decoration is a $13 billion a year business, but nobody will ever know your preferences as well as you do — and you can redecorate the biggest room in your house for about $2,000 yourself, about a third of what a pro will charge.

In order to do that, however, you have to define your style… and here’s how to get started.

Interior Decorating Styles: The Main Types

You probably fall into one of several general categories:

  • There’s modern, which can also include contemporary, minimalist, or industrial.
  • Traditional, which ignores trends and rewards functionality.
  • Casual, sometimes called country or cottage, which emphasizes coziness and warmth.
  • The more recent formal style, which is clean and ultra-modern and like a boutique hotel room.
  • Transitional, straddling contemporary and modern.
  • Eclectic, when you successfully incorporate elements of different styles into your own.

Play Favorites.

Go through every room in your house — living room, the master bedroom, everything — and take a mental inventory of every single piece, from sofas to ottomans, from vases to light fixtures, from throw pillows to bookcases.

Single out which pieces you’ve had the longest and can’t bear to get rid of. These are the pieces you want to build your style around.

Make a Stylebook.

Don’t just passively browse those decorating websites and magazines; create a stylebook based on everything that captures your fancy. Pinterest is a great way to do this.

You can also photograph favorite pieces from your own personal inventory and keep those in there.

Pay attention to what patterns you see emerging!

Get Clues From Your Closet.

How you dress on a day-to-day basis says a lot about who you are: if you’re casual or formal, retro or modern.

Go through your wardrobe and repeat the same process you did with your furniture.

Think about what you wear around the house when you’re feeling comfy and what you wear when you want to dazzle the world.

This will help define the style you went for each room in your house.

Use Your Dreams.

Everybody’s got that one lottery dream home that they fantasize about, but the location of your dream home is just as important as what it looks like in this case.

If you dream of living near the water, for example, you might want to incorporate a more nautical theme.

Visualizing your dream location can also help you decide if you want to go Asian or Scandinavian, or something else entirely.

Step Outside.

This step is one that people changing their interior decor often let slip by.

What is it you like about where you live and the curb appeal of your home? Is it spacious or cozy, state-of-the-art or vintage?

Don’t ignore your backyard or your garden, either.

Have You Found Your Decor Style Yet?

Figure out who you are and then start buying furniture to match. Paint colors, appliances, curtains, carpet, and tchotchkes will follow.

Get a jump on the process by starting to define your personal style now with a free design service!