What’s Your Style?

Last week I had a long "to do" list.  I had lots of client orders to place, two big presentations, a new client meeting, and my son's 11th Birthday party.   Somehow it all gets done.  My new client meeting was really interesting and it inspired this post.  These clients have recently relocated to the Boston area from Colorado.  They have a brand new home and they were looking for a departure from the "lodge" look in their previous home.  The problem was trying to communicate what they were looking for to me.  This happens an awful lot.  I've designed an exercise to help decipher what a client's "style" may be.

I first start by having them go through tear sheets.  I have tons of shelter magazine pages I've filed by room in every style imaginable.  The only criteria for me is they have to be great rooms.  As part of the process, I ask them to go through them quickly and set aside pictures that speak to them.  It may be a single element, a color palette, or the room in its totality.  After they go through them, we go over their "like" pile.  I ask the what and whys of each page.  It is amazing how quickly consistency shows up. 

The next step is to show them various chair styles.  I want to know what furniture style they are partial to. Here is the chart I show them.


Next I show them my fabric chart.  It has different categories that helps me determine if they like traditional, transitional, modern, or ethnic looks.

Fabric test 

I also want to determine what wood and metal finishes they prefer.

Finishes Wood and Metal 
Lastly, we talk about color palettes.  Do they like neutrals, brights, warm tones, cool tones?

  Pantone Neutrals 

Pantone high def 
Pantone colors
It is amazing how much info I garner and how quickly clarity is gleaned.  So, if you take the test and leave it in a comment I'll give you my analysis.   Since this is truly a metamorphosis, I'll be joining Met Monday at BNOTP. 

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31 thoughts on “What’s Your Style?

  1. OK, here goes. Let’s see how we did! Chair: definitely the top row, center
    wood finishes: cream and dark walnut or mahogany
    fabrics: this one was tough because none of those samples speak to me! I guess that of these choices, I liked a couple of the geometrics best
    color: I leaned toward the Ambiance (without the pink!).
    Have a great week!

  2. How fun….I like the blue chair in the middle of the bottom row, Toile fabric, White finish, silver metal, and the Ambiance and Gathering colors

  3. What a wonderful system! It is difficult when fol;ks can’t define their style or they want to change it, to expand it. I’m going to tweet this as I think it will be helpful for many to follow this process.
    Paula Grace 🙂

  4. I’ll give it a shot. I know what I like when I see it.
    Chair: The second one with the cut our arms. with the green one running a close second
    Fabrics: Toiles, stripes then paisley
    Wood: The first one, then the last. The darker the better, but not quite black please
    Metals: in the order you show them. bronze, silver then gold. I would not have gold at all if possible in hardware, however I don’t mind it on mirrors, frames etc.
    Colors: paint on my walls I like neutrals, accent colors I am all over the place. I used to always be warm tones. Reds, browns etc. Now I like to add some cool tones in with it, blues etc. I am even opening up to yellows which I would never have done years ago.
    How’s that for being all over the place!? I love your work!!

  5. Okay Sharon, you definately picked very transitional items in both the chair style, fabric, and finishes. Your color palette, sans the pink has a nature/coastal inspiration. I would describe you as Transitional Coastal with a bit of Glam.
    Laurie, you were pretty easy. You definately picked traditional catagories with your furniture and fabric selections. The toile fabric and white finish give this a casual French slat. I’m not calling it French country because I think that is done so poorly sometimes. So, I would catagorize this as Traditional French Casual.
    Leslie, you were definately more challenging. The two chairs you chose are on the opposite ends of the spectrum. Toile and paisley are very traditional fabric choices as is bronze(typically). Even though you and Laurie both chose toile and the blue chair I don’t think you are the same. Laurie’s finish choices are more casual where yours are more formal(that is where your top row chair makes sense). I would call you Dressy Traditional.
    Paula, thanks for tweeting this.

  6. Angie, picked very tradtional elements. Stripes are a classic and can be modern or tradtional. Since you mentioned that you like the bottom three stripes which read a bit more cottage/coastal than the more modern top one, that is insightful. You are similiar to Laurie but without the French. I would call you Tradtional Cottage/Coastal Casual.

  7. Chair: bottom left
    Fabric: top paisley
    Wood: mahogany, black, or white
    Metal: silver
    Colors: I don’t like any of those palattes much. We’re fond of high chroma greens, reds, purples, blues, as accents, white for walls
    This is so cool.

  8. Hmmm… Kaethe, is very interesting. All transitional picks but the very traditional paisley. I’m guessing it could be the color combos in that fabric that make it appealing. The jewel tones against white walls says, “drama” and high contrast. I would call you Transitional Eclectic Drama.

  9. Great style test…so here goes!
    Chair: first row, #3 or second row #2
    Fabric: I prefer light solids with texture, but from your choices I’d go with Geometrics.
    Wood finishes: #3, #5 and #6.
    Metal finishes: gold/brass
    colr: tinged neutrals

  10. Very Fun Indeed!
    Chair: Middle one- bottom row
    Fabric: Geometrics or Ikat
    Wood: Mahogany
    Colors: Tinged netrals, olive gray, silver gray, and charcoal
    Thanks! Can’t wait to see my style.

  11. oh how fun, first chair with contrasting piping, 2nd ikat, white finish, antiqued gold metal and the neutrals. thanks for this fun exercise.

  12. Tensy, is definately in the transitional catagory. The solid fabrics with texture connotes simplicity or perhaps an edited space. The wood tones have contrast and the gold is very interesting. I’d call you Cutting Edge Clean Transitional. I’m shocked at how many have chosen the same chair with different overall styles. Shelle, I think your choices are eclectic. The chair is traditional but the fabric more modern and a bit ethnic. The wood choice is tradtional but the color palette and metal choices are transitional. I’d call you Eclectic Transitional.
    Kara has some interesting choices as well. The first chair is pretty traditional. The fabric choice with antique gold and white finishes and neutral color palette say ethnic coastal. I’d call you Tradtional Coastal with a bit of an ethnic slat.

  13. Kristin, looks like you read me well even without the test! Transitional Coastal with a bit of glam. . . That’s what you gave me and I’m loving it! : )

  14. Am I too late for this fun exercise…
    Chair – middle chair both rows
    Fabrics tough choice – large florals, Ikat and maybe stripes(although hate the last floral and the last two Ikat)
    Wood – Last, First and 4th
    Finish – matte silver/nickel
    Paint color – too tough love warm creamy colors in the oatmeal, yellow and tan category…I am sure I am way out of style on that…

  15. M in G, the majority of your choices were traditional with the exception of the top row chair. Your fabric choices are a bit bolder even though your color palette reads soothing, cozy, and simple. I’d call you Cozy Traditional with a hint of Ethnic.

  16. Oh how fun! I typically am quite traditional however whenever I take any quizzes, I am all over the board.
    First the easy choices:
    Furniture: First chair.
    Metal: Gold.
    Color Palette: Neutral
    Now the hard ones:
    Fabric: Not sure. None spoke to me. I typically prefer a neutral damask though. Don’t care for any leather.
    Wood: Hmm…Love white painted pine for doors and moldings. For cabinets, I’ve had maple and loved them. I do love high gloss dark walnut floors though and kitchens with cream or white cabinets.

  17. Oh I hope I am not too late to join in the fun!
    For Chairs:
    The first one. Hands down.
    The stripes, the 2nd and 3rd down.
    Wood: First
    Metal finishes: Bronze, silver
    Color pallettes: Tinged neutrals and gatherings

  18. Dream Mom has chosen the most consistant tradtitional choices. Choosing a damask fabric is classic and feminine. I would say you are Classic Feminine Traditional.
    Erin, has also chosen consistant traditional choices. However, choosing the coastal stripes and the darker wood makes her choices different from DM. The Blue and Green color choices in fabric and palette read nature or coastal. I would classify Erin as Traditional Coastal.

  19. What a great exercise! Thanks for sharing this! Here’s my list:
    Chair: top row, middle
    Fabric: first column, bottom; brown/white geometric
    Wood: Walnut? Appears next to black
    Metal: Silver (1st), Bronze (2nd), then Brass; whatever works with the design
    Colors: Ambiance
    Have a good weekend! Lisa

  20. I hope it’s not too lat to play!
    I like the style of thegreen chair on the bottom row in the middle. For faaabrics I was drawn to the toile. For wood tones I prefer the first or 5th (next to last). I usually like warm to dark wood. The finishes- I guess I like the silver best. The paint colors are hard . #1 is ambience and #2 is split between tinged neutrals and gatherings

  21. Hey, I just read Kisa’s Destination Seaborn. Wow, you made quite an impact and helped define her style. Brava! Your comment was also wonderful. You’re such a nice girl 🙂
    Paula Grace ~

  22. I’d like a go at it if not too late:
    Chair: first one top row
    Fabric: Stripes
    Wood: 4th one
    Metal: Bronze
    Paint: Ambiance

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