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If you read the previous article, Style in Decorating, then you’ve got a little sense of how to determine your own personal interior design style. And if you’ve begun reviewing magazines and books to discover your taste then you’re ready for step two, looking at the details.

Once you have collected a large amount of photos and then sorted through the good and bad items you should have a couple lists. Personally, when I’m working on lists I can’t just say “Good” and “Bad” I find that there are a lot gray areas. If you have a similar program that’s ok, add these notes to your lists. Having more than two lists is perfectly acceptable.

In fact it’s time to go back through your lists and decide why you like or dislike an item. If there is a brown leather couch you put in the like file try to figure out why you liked it. Is it the lines, the sleek straight back, or is it the color you just love. And what about that dresser you stuck in the “hate it” pile. What if it was a different color? Would you like it then, or do you actually like the color but hate the drawer pulls? Or is it the height.

Interior decorating isn’t just about the big pieces that initially catch your eye; it’s about the details and the elements that combine together to create the style you like.

And if you really want to reflect your true personality with your interior decorating, then you need to look beyond the surface and pick up the little extras. Once again, it’s back to those magazines. Take a picture of a full room and note which items you placed on the like and dislike lists. Then totally disregard those items and look at what’s left. Most people initially dismiss the small touches but these little treasures really turn a sterile catalogue room into a personalized space that’s all your own.

Look at the position and placement of knick-knacks, do you like the way they’re arranged? Do you have similar items you’d like to display in your home? What about photos or original artwork? Can you find a style you’d like to duplicate or are you inspired to create your own?

Decorative pieces and personal touches are so important and often go overlooked. Their presence creates a feeling, a mood, but they don’t scream out to guests, drawing their attention away from the larger design elements. Ideally, all of your piece, no matter how big or small will flow together and work hand in hand to express your style.

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