I've always turned a blind eye to the people who say that style can't be taught. Of course it can! Sure, there are people out there who find that putting together a great outfit or a beautiful room comes totally naturally to them. But the rest of us aren't out of luck; we just need to learn from those naturally talented folks and begin crafting our own sense of style.
To start, we need learn what makes great decorators tick. What do they all have in common? Here's a start...
An Eye for Composition
Balance, symmetry, color. They're all essential elements in a great room, and the best decorators I know have an innate sense for when something looks well put together. If you're lacking in artistic creativity, the best way to learn about good composition is to study it. Take a class in photography or painting and your new found skills will no doubt translate to decorating a home.
A Knowledge of Design Styles and Rules
The best designers have their own style, of course. But that personal character comes from years and years of studying the best design in the world. It's like Picasso once said, "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist." Brush up with this illustrated history of interior design, then venture out to a library or museum to keep soaking up design knowledge like a sponge.
Have you ever had that moment at a restaurant where everything on the menu sounds delicious and you just don't know what to order? Decorating can be a lot like that, if you let it. But instead of decision paralysis, great decorators are the ones who pull the trigger on the things they like, knowing that it all comes together in the end. The next time you're swaying between two or more choices, let your gut step in and make the call.
(Image credits: Ashley Poskin; Kim Lucian)