How to find out your interior decor style?


Well, that is a question.

  • Do you find it easy to describe your music style?
  • How would you describe your dressing style? A bit of a mixture? Not easy?
  • How could it then be any easier to describe what is your interior décor style?

Read along – today’s blog post helps you to find out what is your personal interior decor style and how to describe it.

interior space planning
Design: INSIDESIGN – Photo: Conor Quinn


What is interior decor style anyway?


First of all, style itself is a very fluid concept.

Our style is a combination of our lives, hopes, needs, lifestyle, the people who share our homes, items we have and items we want to have.
(NB. and items our significant others have but we don’t really want to have.) Your style with small kids in the house is very different to when they have moved out.

Our style changes with seasons and years while we also change and grow as people. Meanwhile fashions and trends change too. Suddenly those millenium pink and green combinations and copper accessories seem to have disappeared. Candles and fluffy throws are more tempting at winter and fresh cool colours at summer. And many of us mature and become more neutral in everything with age.

Our décor styles depend on the location. Your style at the beach house would be different to the one in your inner city apartment, even though you, your family and the time in your life and even the season are the same. Some styles just do not fit some houses.


Why does it matter what your style is?


Many of my clients say during our first meeting:

“I can’t describe what I like but I will know when I see it.”

That is why I ask my new clients to show me pictures of what they like – otherwise the number of iterations required to pinpoint the right style is far too many and it wears out both the clients and me. Quite the opposite of the exhilarating home decoration process I’d like it to be!

In my business it is important to find out what is *your* interior decoration style.

Living room
Design: INSIDESIGN – Photo: Conor Quinn


The Quiz


To help my clients identify their style my lovely assistant at the time, Sonja, and I created a style quiz. I hadn’t found a quiz that I liked, one that would give a proper answer. I don’t want to know if my interior decoration style is pink unicorn or Winnie the Pooh, I need to know where it sits in relation to other styles!

Having been thoroughly tested in the corporate world in the past, I turned to personality tests. Wouldn’t it be great to have a Myers-Briggs equivalent of the interior design quizzes! Instead of extroverted – introverted there are other scales that need looking at.


The main categories of identifying decor styles


There are three main and one minor axis that our test measures and in the end the results pop up something that correlates to all of them. Mapping styles to each axis is quite easy in the extreme ends but gets quite fuzzy and subjective in the middle ground.

These are the axis:

  1. Vintage vs. Modern: The extreme ends would be Hollywood Glam (curvy, bold and dramatic velvet furniture) in one end and Urban Modern (sleek low lines, crispy materials, clean finish) in the other end. It is about materials, shapes, moods and colours.
  2. Decorated vs. Minimalistic: Think about a Bohemian collection of ethnic pieces layered on top of each other vs. uncluttered Japanese for the extremes. There are styles in between, for example Industrial style, which could easily bend to either direction.
  3. Formal vs. Casual: A good example of the comparison on this axis would be Classic style (Vintage, decorated, formal – furniture in elegant symmetry and carefully placed orderly decorations) vs Country Rustic style (herbs, pots and casual comfort) – it is also Vintage and decorated, but it’s very casual.
  4. Man-made vs. Natural: You can’t really escape the manmade materials these days, but many styles have an ideal to one direction or the other. Modern eclectic (neon lights, plastic chairs, pink flamingos) would be an extreme to one end and Australian coastal (sea shells, driftwood, stones, sun-bleached timber) to the other.


We thought hard and carefully about each of the main styles, thought about what they look and feel like, what kind of materials are used and where your mental home would be. We assigned every style to one end of each the scale, for example:

Style MO / VI DE / MI CA / FO MA / NA Location Element Colour Casual / Formal
Scandinavian MO MI CA NA Stockholm Oak White Casual, you like to feel cosy with your reindeer skins.
Mid-Century Modern VI MI FO MA Copenhagen Rosewood Teal Formal and restricted
Bohemian VI DE CA NA Amsterdam Moroccan rug A mixture of them all Casual. An uber relaxed space where it’s possible to mix African weaves with Scandi antlers and Aztec prints.


It wasn’t always easy and not all possible styles are listed in the quiz. We were happy with the results though. (Hope you are too!)

Design: INSIDESIGN – Photo: Conor Quinn

So, what does the style quiz result tell you?


Our test gives most people a list of three highest scores, as I don’t believe anybody can ever be purely one style.

When you look at the results, read between the lines and try to see what it means *to you*. Rather than the exact name of the style, this would give you the direction of what you like.

If your highest score is Japanese style, it doesn’t mean that you should chop the legs off from your dining table. It means that your style is modern, very minimalistic, very formal and you like natural materials. If then your partner’s style is Bohemian (vintage, highly decorated, highly casual, natural) you have some interesting compromises to make!

Have you checked your style yet? It’s here.

Oh, and what’s my style? My style is whatever you want it to be!
Today my quiz result was Urban modern (MO/MI/CA/MA) and Bohemian (VI/DE/CA/NA) and Industrial (VI/MI/CA/MA). I seem to have all bases covered! :-D

insidesign interior design project of stylish and comfortable living room in sydney
Design: INSIDESIGN – Photo: ESS Creative

Do get in touch if you’d like me to help you with your interior decoration!

Bye for now!