How Do I Figure Out My Design Aesthetic?

Written by Danielle Kelly on . Posted in Home & Garden, Home & Garden

If you’ve ever wanted to create a room inspired by something you’ve seen, and then struggled to put your finger on what exactly that style of interior décor is called, and whether or not it’s even an established aesthetic at all, you’re having the same problem a lot of people have.

We have so much more inspiration around us on social media than we’ve ever had access to before, and that has made interior design a lot easier and more creative. It’s also made it a lot harder to put a label on what you’re seeing. If you’re totally stuck on how to find more spaces that inspire you, here’s how to figure out what aesthetic you’re going for.

Firstly, keep the things that inspire you somewhere, like an album or moodboard, so that you can refer back to them as you do this. Make sure that you know what it is about each of these things that you like; is it the colour palette, or the furnishings, or just the general design?

Once you know what you’re looking for, you’ll want to familiarise yourself with some of the vocabulary we use to talk about design- terms like classic, modern, eclectic, minimalist etc. The chances are that the thing you’re looking for is actually an already existing aesthetic, and it’s probably called some combination of those terms. Here are a few of the most common ones, and what they mean, but you can find more detailed reports on some of them in our previous posts.

Here are a few questions you could ask:

  • Is the space designed with an eye for functionality?

If it’s functional and sparse, it’s probably somewhere on the spectrum of minimalism, and if it’s functional, but still cozy, you might be looking at an example of scandi design.

  • What materials are being used?

Different design aesthetics use different materials, so it’s a great way of figuring out what you’re trying to find. Contemporary design, for example, uses modern, clean materials, whereas industrial design is characterised by exposed brick and metalwork.

  • Is the space aesthetically cohesive?

If the space feels less restrained than most, it might be an example of eclectic design, which prides itself on spaces that feel cluttered but in a visually satisfying way.

Once you’ve found a few terms that feel like they fit, start searching! If you’re lucky, the thing you’re looking for will literally be named some combination of those terms- for example, a cluttered, vintage aesthetic is literally named vintage maximalism.

If it’s your own style you’re trying to decide, there are also loads of great internet quizzes that will help you to narrow down your aesthetic by asking you to pick which image you prefer. They’re not the most accurate, and they don’t leave much room for more niche aesthetics , but they’re a great starting point.

If you’re still not sure where you can find the look you’re searching for, try social media! Our page, for example, collates loads of images from people with lots of aesthetics, and once you’ve found the aesthetic you want, you’ll be able to find similar accounts more easily.

Finally, remember that it’s fine if you can’t find the thing you’re looking for. Like we said earlier, we have way more inspiration around us now than ever, and it might genuinely be that the look you want is just a little more niche than most. Don’t let that stop you from creating a space you love.

 Images courtesy of @kyreecunning

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