Scripps Howard News Service
So you think you don't know how to decorate your home.
You think you don't have a sense of style. You think you can't put things together to make them look good.
Well, let's see just what style is and then see if you can find style for yourself.
Style is something that creates what is considered good taste that flows in a home.
It has harmony, is well-balanced and comfortable and is aesthetically pleasing to the eye. (As they say, beauty is in the eye ...)
There are styles that are defined by words such as French Provincial, Victorian, Early American, Louis XV and Chippendale (a furniture-maker). These are mostly from a particular period in history, but have had the style strength to withstand the test of time.
So what is your style?
You do have one, even if you don't know it. Everyone has his own style or taste, but many don't know how to identify it.
The easiest way to recognize your personal style/taste is to flip through design magazines. Not just one magazine, but several. You can also go to the library and go through design books with lots of pictures.
What catches your eye? There might be many different styles that catch your attention at first glance, and that is OK. Mark them somehow -- without defacing any books or magazines that aren't yours.
Now go back through them and see which style you find that you've marked most often.
Go through furniture stores, particularly designer-furniture stores, and if employees allow you, take pictures of the settings that attract you. Soon you will see your personal style emerge.
Now the home you are in might dictate, to some extent, the style of furnishings that should go in there, which is a good thing because you wouldn't have chosen that home if you didn't like the style.
So follow the directives of the architecture to furnish and decorate the interior. For example, if you live in a country home, it would feel out of place and just not right to furnish it in a contemporary style.
Do you still feel you can't figure out how to decorate your home? Well, you might want to hire an interior designer to just point you in the right direction. First, do your homework as mentioned above.
Go through the magazines and books and mark your likes. Go to designer stores and take pictures, then you can go to a designer and ask for help.
Always remember that style is what fits your life the best. It has to be what you feel comfortable living in and makes you happy.
Rosemary Sadez Friedmann, an interior designer in Naples, Fla., is author of "Mystery of Color." For design inquiries, write to Rosemary at DsgnQuest@aol.com.