How my personal interior design style has evolved over time | Knowledge and joy

One of the most influential ways I’ve been able to reflect on everything that’s happened in my life is to revisit what I’ve written, the music I’ve listened to, and how I’ve lived in my home. Looking back on these experiences brings back feelings and memories that I would otherwise have forgotten. (Which reminds me… I need to write things down more often!)

Since this month, Wit & Delight has been all about personal styleit seemed appropriate to look back at how my personal interior design style has evolved over the years.

Today I’m reflecting on my design tendencies in the last four homes I’ve lived in and assign three words to each individual.

My first solo apartment

My three words for this home’s design: eclectic, cozy, playful

Photo of Collin Hughes

My first solo apartment was about learning to have – and enjoy – a place for myself. Here I learned what it meant to look after a home and bring it to life. I learned that designing a home is not frivolous, but a way to practice self-care.

In this occasion I started to stretch my design muscles. I bought a new couch for the living room, and everything else was from Facebook Marketplace, a thrift store, or a hand-me-down from friends and family. Even with my small budget, I learned here that designing a place just for you can be so satisfying.

My first solo apartment was about learning to have – and enjoy – a place to myself. . . . Here I learned that designing a place just for you can be so satisfying.

Photo of Collin Hughes

Our modern city apartment

My three words for this home’s design: eclectic and cozy with colors

When Joe and I moved in this apartmentI thought to myself, it’s so new– as what I really wanted was an old-school loft with history and character. To contrast the modern structure, I brought in more vintage elements and furniture.

In this apartment, I experimented with design elements and tried to figure out what my “adult” interior design style was. I tried to balance my taste with Joe’s design wishes, which I learned were mostly about functionality. Even now, I can look back at this apartment and see similarities to my current design sensibilities, even though this modern apartment is a world away from our very traditional home now.

How my personal interior design style has evolved over time |  Knowledge and joy
Photo of Melissa Ohollandt to Everygirl

The first house we bought

My three words for the design of this home: classic, airy, characterized by modernity

How my personal interior design style has evolved over time |  Knowledge and joy

This was the first house Joe and I bought. We used a lot money on home updates while you live here. We spent $200,000 on various renovations, which we earned when we sold it in 2020.

The square footage was relatively small at 1,700 square feet (2,200 square feet when we remodeled the basement) and we completely rethought the layout. What I learned in this house was the value of really well thought out smaller spaces. Here I tried to find the intersection between what the heart wants and what is right for the home itself.

Looking back at this house, I see how I started using color, especially in smaller spaces. I chose bright wallpapers for two of them the bathrooms and painted the office cobalt blue. The undercurrent of craving more color was already starting to show in my design tendencies.

Our current house

My three words for this home’s design: colorful, eclectic, cozy

We have always wanted to live in the neighborhood we live in now. When the opportunity arose to buy this house, it felt like the kismet. When we actually moved into the house in May 2020, I was in the middle of questioning who I was. I was really burnt out on social media and trying to deal with the weight of the pandemic.

This has been a home where I’ve taken bigger design risks than I had in the past. It is the home where I borrowed and built on much of the inspiration that was already here. In this house I have tried the far end of what my dream world might look like. It has been a real gift to experiment more with color and pattern and has helped build my confidence in the process. My personal style and how I approach interior design is so much clearer to me now – that is what this house has given me.

My personal style and how I approach interior design is so much clearer to me now – that is what this house has given me.

Of all the things I’ve come to understand about my personal decorating style while living here, it’s that I like spaces that feel warm. That’s one of the most common things people who visit our home say – that it feels cozy and warm. That, I’m learning, is a consistent line in terms of what I’m attracted to in the design world.

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