How to show your personal style at home

Jun 23, 2011 at 5:30 p.m. ET

Sure, many of us have big dreams for our ideal living space, but sometimes we need help when it comes to bringing our personal style home to roost. We recently spoke with Erika Ward, an Atlanta interior designer and owner of Erika Ward Interiors, about ways to make sure your home looks fabulous while making a statement with your own personal touch.

Personal style and interior design

Erika specializes in creating affordable, modern and chic environments that reflect the true style of the owners. Learn how you can mesh opposing styles, transition from one look to another and find the keys to unlocking your true style, even if you aren't sure exactly sure what it is. Here are her suggestions for common questions about how to mesh personal style and a chic yet comfortable living spaces:

9Say a couple with totally opposite tastes is living under the same roof and both are adamant about having their styles reflected in the home. How can distinctive styles be meshed in a way that is classy and fun?


Most design styles can mesh effortlessly as long as attention is given to color, scale, and proportion. If the look of the room seems to be "off," something in the trifecta is out of balance. We are seeing more trend-mixes in shelter magazines that I believe give a space loads of character and personality. This home is a great example.

9If a person finds themselves changing their style, what are some inexpensive ways they can begin to incorporate the new look into their space?


First, look around the house for items that capture the look you're going for. Experimenting with toss pillows, wall décor and accent furniture is a great way to "audition" pieces for a spot in your new room. If you decide to purchase new pieces, these items are readily available, affordable, and can be found in most discount retailers such as HomeGoods or even places like WorldMarket.

9 Can you offer some tips on finding your true style if you don't already know exactly what it is? If a person has been living with hand-me-down pieces and wants to begin to put their own stamp on things, how does one get started?


One of the first steps in pinpointing your style is to create a file [virtual or physical] of items that "speak" to your design aesthetic. Once you've saved about 10 images and identify what is consistent among your preferences, you are halfway there. Next, buy a few of the items you seem to favor and live with them for about a week. Liking a lamp versus living with a lamp can be a very telling process. Lastly, always remember to live with what you love, tolerate the temporary items and donate what you hate.

With these simple tips, it's easy to bring a personal touch to your home, and you don't need a huge budget to do it. By making sure your home reflects your true style, you will derive more pleasure from it each and every day.

Small touches easily make all the difference in the look and feel of your personal spaces. Without breaking the budget or spending hours of your weekend, you can bring sophistication and tranquility to your home and outdoor areas.

Photo credit: Katlyne Hill courtesy of Erika Ward Interiors

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