I was asked what my design style is and as I thought about it, one thing kept coming to my mind. I believe in THOUGHTFUL DESIGN. What I mean by that is to design and decorate your home with meaning and to reflect who YOU are.
I look at pictures of interiors daily, hourly even. I inundate myself with all the knowledge about this field as I can get. Sometimes I see things I love that I just want to recreate in my house, but I always realize that I love the room because I can get a sense of who they are. If I were to "copy" their style, I couldn't pull it off like they did. You have to make things your own.
I don't believe in design "rules" or trends, really. You like what you like. Sure, your taste will change, but try to be thoughtful when you are choosing the more permanent things in your home - like expensive furniture, art, tile, and lighting. Do you love it now but think you might fall out of love with it? Like the chevron pattern - is the pattern really trendy, or is it one that you could see in a room in the '40s, '60s, 80's, and today? Subway tile is a big trend, but it has been found in homes since the early 1900's at least! You know that trend will never be "out of style". Your style might change, but it's not going to look bad to have subway tile in your shower 20 years from now.
I try and put a lot of thought into my own home. As an example I will use my master bedroom...
1. I had a white custom headboard made with extra padding on the back and the sides because my girls love to climb into bed with us and they lean against the back of the bed to watch shows in the morning. And white is my favorite color :)
2. That lamp is something I inherited from my Mom who died four years ago, which she had inherited from her mother who has a very impressive collection of antiques. And it's gold - my other favorite color!
3. I found these pictures in a consignment store. They are lithographs of landscapes in Brazil. My husband served his LDS mission in Brazil and we visited his mission area together 5 years ago so it reminds us of one of our favorite trips together.
4. My books are not on the nightstand just to look pretty - I do actually read at night :) I LOVE to read, (when I have time, which hasn't been as often as I would like) and I even have a couple of book ideas of my own up my sleeve that I truly do plan on writing one day. Books are very meaningful to me.
5. This print is a college graduation gift from my husband. It's one of my favorite gifts from him. Not because I particularly love the print and frame itself - it's just a Gustav Klimt "The Kiss" print that a million people have in their home as well. But it is special because the night he first told me he loved me we were in that exact same position! We both can't look at that picture without imagining that moment.
6. This rug is from Ikea and it is a very popular rug. It doesn't mean anything to me besides the fact that I love it, and it's a flatweave rug. Because my King Charles Cavalier Spaniel dog, Chuck, (you know Lady in Lady and the Tramp - yep, he looks just like her) sheds, wool and high pile rugs collect his hair like crazy and I end up with hairballs all over so I need a flatweave. But I love the graphicness (yes I just made that up) of the rug.
7. The wainscoting I chose for my house is a more traditional look that I have always loved. My Mom is from Washington D.C. and her parents' home had wainscoting like this in their dining room that I loved. And the walls are white because I wanted my black side tables and gold frames to stand out.
So even if you put things in your home that might be trendy, like my Klimt print, if it means something to you, it's thoughtful design. Pretty things definitely have their place, but I like to add a lot of me and a little design.