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How To Use Style And Theme In Your Interior Design

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When many people start planning the decor for their home, they look for a theme. But should you, instead, develop a style? What is the difference between these two useful interior design tools? And how do they work together? Here's what you need to know. 

What Is a Decorating Theme?

Most people are familiar with themes in terms of temporary decorations for birthday parties or weddings. Themes tend to be very specific and are usually fairly bold. With your interior design, a theme might be nautical, beachy, Old Hollywood, or African. The vast majority of the decor choices tie into this theme clearly. When you ask a visitor what the theme of a room is, they can usually tell you. 

What Is a Decorating Style?

In contrast, a style is a more overarching decorative tool. Rather than expressing one aspect of your personality and interests, it seeks to combine them to tell more of a story about who the home's residents are. It may include your interest in travel, profession, love of books, children's art, or alma mater. This doesn't mean that things are haphazard, though. All the different features are curated carefully to develop a coherent style. 

How Do Theme and Style Work Together? 

The best interior decorating approach blends these two ideas. Generally, the choice of style comes first. The homeowner may make some overall decisions about the color scheme, which era or type of decor they want to use, and which aspects of the family's personality they want to bring out. You might also identify things like whether your style is rustic or formal, whether it will be frugal or grand, or if it might emphasize minimalism, sustainability, or technology. 

Once you decide on the general style, you may then choose to use more theming in certain areas. Many kids' rooms, for instance, are very thematic and overt. And a home with a rustic, coastal style might look great with a family room or entertainment area that leans heavily into the beach theme. It's then used more subtly in the rest of the home. 

Where Should You Start?

You may find it relatively easy to come up with themes you like, but defining your style is harder for most. And developing themes strategically within the overall style can be even trickier. The best place to begin is by consulting with an experienced residential interior designer in your area. They will guide you through the process of identifying the key parts of your personal style and using decor to express it in the best way. Contact a company in your area like Stage 7 Design for more info.