How to Find Your AESTHETIC
This is such a huge and exciting topic to talk about! I feel uniquely qualified to discuss this topic. NOT because I figured it out on my own, but because Sarah has worked with me for years helping me discover the core of my aesthetic and I’m excited to share the information!!
For some people, your aesthetic is as easy to discover and define as it is to breathe! Our friend Ricky has just always had such a solid grasp on his quirky one-of-a-kind western style that it just was synonymous with his character! But for others (myself included) it can feel overwhelming to have to hone in our style. I’ve never enjoyed shopping, I’ve never enjoyed pulling together intricate outfits with differing patterns and colors and a splash of jewelry. (My mother is the QUEEEEEEEEN of the intricate outfit!) It was never easy for me, nor was it even a desire. When it came to designing my home, It became even more confusing and overwhelming! The last thing I wanted was to design my home based on trends or what everyone else was doing. *Gag* I would die! Cue these 7 tips for finding your own aesthetic!!!! (We encourage you to get a notebook and take notes throughout the process. Writing down the information from every step or keeping a photo catalog will help you solidify your answers and be able to confidently design out of your aesthetic in future!!)
1. You Can’t Get This Wrong! — You didn’t realize your interior designer was also your therapist did you!
Before we begin on this journey, I want to encourage you that you can’t mess this up!!! Trust! No answer is wrong, No feeling is wrong, your journey to find your aesthetic is just right and I’m so excited for you!! As we embark on these questions it’s important to just be honest, and not try and pick the “right answer.” For some of us, unfortunately many of these answers have been moralized. At Lambert Home we want to actively fight against that! No colors or state of organization or anything about your aesthetic or home design is inherently right or wrong. 🙂 Remember that.
2. Closet Check – How Does It Make Me Feel
Before we make any design decisions, look in your closet. Without stepping in or moving things around or anything, just glance in your closet and begin to notice. The first thing we want to notice is “How does my closet make me feel.” Is the closet organized and appealing and tidy? Is it a stressful mess? Do you look and feel depressed or inspired? All of this information will give us clues to your aesthetic, your needed functionality, and your desired design goal. If your closet naturally falls into a state of disarray and that stresses you out, then you likely need to design your home with very specific organization tools and focus your efforts around simplicity and use. On the other hand, if your closet naturally falls into a state of disarray but that has you feeling excited and ready to dive in, then your natural aesthetic may lend itself to a more out-of-the-box lived-in design.
3. Closet Check – Find The Trends
Now with that same glancing view at your closet, what are trends you’re seeing? Any colors, textures, patterns showing repetition? What about types of clothes? Are you seeing mostly pajamas? Mostly formal gowns? Mostly business wear? Blue Jeans? Etc. These trends are our initial key to your aesthetic! If you find yourself filling your closet with mostly sweat pants, you’re a casual one! You prioritize comfort over visual. Love it! Lean into it!! If your closet is filled with cashmere, you’re a luxury baby! You love the finer things and we need to make decisions that reflect that quality! If your closet, like mine, was shades of red white and blue, it’s a very clear indicator that we’ve found your core colors!
4. Where You’re From – Remember Your Roots – What if Chanel forgot about her Tweed! Nightmare!
There’s a profoundly grounding effect when you design from your roots and everyone loves it when they see it, but it’s often the first thing forgotten when defining your aesthetic. Remember your family culture. Maybe that’s your current family, maybe that’s from your childhood, or maybe your extended family. Reconnect with that culture and hold fast to it. For example, my family has always been connected to western culture. My family is from West Texas and has always remained connected to western culture through dancing, rodeo, fashion, etc. so when considering the whole of my aesthetic, it would be a miss to not include the western touch! Another example, my sister and her wife include elements of rainbow in all of their design because they’re remembering their roots! They’re remaining connected to the LGBTQ culture through their home design! It’s important to realize that just because we’re remaining connected to our roots, we don’t have to dive head-long into the full Marooned-out Texas A&M office.
5. Where You’re Going – Growing Into The New You
This part is really exciting for me to write about because every stage of life is so profoundly different here! We love this step because it’s thinking about where you’ve been, where you’re at now, and where you’re heading! For example, my home was semi-completed for me and Nick as happy newlyweds but the minute you see that pink plus sign, everything changes! Our design aesthetic adapted and changed to fit a new baby, now a toddler! The kids have left the home, you’re beginning to nanny a new grand baby, or whatever the life change may be, these all are opportunities to develop your design! But it doesn’t JUST have to be life changes like these. It could also be, a new medical diagnosis, a new job, an emotional shift, or even just the desire to develop or grow in a new way. Truly anything that prompts the need for adaptation should be a part of you continuing to hone your design aesthetic.
6. Aspirational or Actual
Listen. I love the white velvet sofa room! I love the look of it and feel of it. Unfortunately, I have dogs! I have a husband who can’t keep coffee in a cup! I have a baby who nearly always has muffin crumbs concealed in her sweaty grasp! In this step of the process we take a look at our real life. Our lifestyle. Our family. Now this entire step does NOT have to be compromise after compromise. It only has to be accepting reality! For example, you don’t have to FOREGO the silk fringe drapes just because you have cats! You don’t!! You can get them!! You simply have to accept that there is a possibility that your cats tear them up immediately! For me, this looks like YES! Getting the marble floors!!! And then accepting that they will certainly wear through the years.
7. Find the Balance
This final step is the key to it all and what Sarah says is “to keep it simple, literally look at your room and say I need at least 1 piece to represent every step.” So Do I have pieces that match my closet. What I wear all the time? For me, yes, I’ve got textured neutrals and casual comfortable pieces. Do I have pieces that represent my roots? For me, yes, I’ve got a wall of cowboy hats representing my western heritage. I’ve got African blankets and baskets representing my formative time in Kenya. Do I have pieces that represent where I WANT to go and grow? Yes! I’ve got a piano in our living room representing my heart that we teach and learn a love for music in our home. Have I got “Aspirational” elements? Yes. Marble floors. Have I got “Actual” elements? Yes. Lol. The entire play central by the front windows. When I can recognize each piece in the room, then I can take the next step and ask “Are any of these pieces NOT representing me well?”
The beautiful part is that each of these steps combine to create such authenticity! Combined they’re simply the picture of who YOU are and that’s the most beautiful design there could ever be!