When exploring a style that suits you, you will discover your personal style and there are some basic elements in all furnishings that should be considered;  shape, pattern, texture and colour.

In this article find out more about the first 3, and for more information about colour read the next article.

SHAPE

Have a look at the shapes below,  which do you find the most appealing

Was it an easy choice or does more than one shape appeal ?

Loving the curves of shape 1 might mean you lean you towards the clawed table footings of European antiques, or the overstuffed plush sofas of shabby chic.  If shape 2 appeals, you may prefer clean tailored lines in your furnishings, Shape 3 on the other hand may mean you are more experimental and lean toward retro or futuristic decor.  The easy lines of shape 4 may mean eclectic, French provincial or traditional styles are more your thing.  Can you relate your chosen shapes to the images below ?

Your personality will have the largest impact on your choice of furnishings, leading you toward delicate antiques or in contrast, large plump sofas.  But also to be considered in your choice of style are your daily routines and the practical requirements of your furnishings.

PATTERN

Pattern can add detail and individuality to your chosen style and is best introduced through the use of fabrics and finishes.  Pattern is often given a wide berth as many are afraid to use it, but the key to success is understanding what you like, and then learning how to mix your chosen patterns together.

Which patterns are you naturally drawn to?

Checks

Stripes

Plaids

Polka dots

Paisleys

Flowers

Scenic prints

Geometrics

Plain colours

Whichever patterns grab your attention when you are looking around, these are likely to bring a smile to your face if you use them in your home.

Using Pattern Successfully

patterned-cushion-mix personal styleUsing pattern successfully is all about creating a sense of relationship.  For example if you chose checks as your favourite pattern, this can be reproduced by establishing groups of square objects, such as cushions, around the room.  If flowered patterns were your choice, then adding fresh flowers or scenic art prints will enhance the connection between flowered upholstery and the nature that inspired it.

To mix patterns successfully ensure there is a strong colour link throughout, and make it clear where one pattern begins and the other ends, otherwise you risk the result looking like a muddled mess.

TEXTURE

Introducing different textures will help create depth and feeling in your style.  Texture plays a basic dual role in an interior; firstly it toys with light to create a wide variety of surface effects, secondly it brings a satisfying range of tactile sensations on contact.  Think of snuggling up against plush velvet cushions, or wiggling your toes in a sheepskin rug on a cold Spanish morning.

Consider the textures below and think about your emotional response to them to feel your personal style.

Soft / Smooth

Hard / Shiny

Rough / Scratchy

Plush / Cushiony

Silky / Slippery

Are there some textures you would definitely want to bring into your environment, and others you would want to keep out?  Consider these when choosing flooring, fabrics and furniture and understanding your personal style.