Where Are You on the Style Spectrum?
Find your design personality — neutral or colorful, modern or traditional, formal or relaxed — so you can decorate accordingly
The Spectrum: Neutral to Colorful
Neutral: People who love neutrals are drawn to warm, rich, earthy tones, natural materials and varied textures. Far from being boring, a well-designed neutral scheme can be sophisticated when layered with a range of tones, from parchment and cream to “greige,” mocha and espresso.
The Spectrum: Modern to Traditional
Modern: Clean lines, simplicity and an efficient use of space characterize modern design. If you’re drawn to midcentury modern or contemporary furniture or architecture, your style lies closer to the modern side of the spectrum. Modern style can be warm as well, and allows the natural beauty of materials to shine.
The Spectrum: Minimal to Maximal
Minimal: True minimalists are enamored (maybe even a tad obsessed?) with simplicity. Focused on the essentials and always editing, those who fall toward this end of the spectrum can’t stand excess and waste. Keeping things clean and clear allows the elegance of beautiful design to come through, and it helps keep the mind clear so creativity can flourish.
The Spectrum: Formal to Relaxed
Formal: Formal spaces are elegant, refined and buttoned-up. They suggest graciousness and good manners and tend to include smooth surfaces and delicate, plush or luxurious materials. This doesn’t mean a formal space can’t be any fun — if your style leans formal but also playful, you might inject some whimsy into your space with a jaunty hat on the bust of Athena or painted toenails on the proper claw-foot tub.
The Spectrum: Light to Dark
Light: If you crave bright, sunny spaces bathed in natural light, you belong squarely on the light end of this style spectrum. Light lovers also tend to crave open-plan spaces, high ceilings and large windows with views — anything to create a serene, expansive sense of space. Light spaces are often white (even all-white) but you may also be drawn to pale washes of color, soft pastels or milk-paint hues.
The Spectrum: Urban to Rustic
Urban: Sophisticated and cultured, city lovers want to be in the heart of the action and don’t mind making do with a smaller space if it means being able to walk to a favorite restaurant or museum. If you’re drawn to the urban end of this style spectrum, you may value the arts as well as innovations in design and technology.
The Spectrum: Classic to Playful
Classic: If your tastes run toward the classic side of this style spectrum, you appreciate a sense of history and crave spaces with some gravitas. Classic spaces are serious, elegant and well-thought-out. You appreciate planning, symmetry and tradition and feel inspired by classic garden designs and architecture.
Finding your ideal mix: Once you’ve figured out where you stand on each style spectrum described above, put them all together to get a more complete picture of your individual style sense. Are you traditional, light and relaxed; modern, neutral and rustic; or … ? It’s the juxtaposition of these elements that will really bring your style to life and set you apart.