There are many different styles and schools of decorating, but I would like to take a minute to focus on two opposites: minimal vs. cozy.
Minimalism is all about clean lines, space, and most of all having very little 'stuff' in sight. Objects are arranged to be seen as individual items, and they work with and compliment the other pieces in the room. The color palette is usually limited, with neutrals and pops of color. Minimalism creates a clean, calm, organized and intentional environment that emphasizes the space and makes you aware of your place in it.
Cozy decorating, on the other hand, falls on the opposite end of the spectrum. It's all about warmth, homeyness, comfort and quirk. Cozy environments often involve clutter. Now I don't mean clutter in a bad sort of way, but just that there are a lot of unique, quirky items grouped together in lots of little crevices and corners. You often have a mix of patterns, colors and styles. Coziness exudes the feeling of being in a thrift store with lots of interesting things to look at all around. There isn't as much emphasis placed on composition and placement of objects, but they are strewn about in a more carefree manner.
I personally fall somewhere in between. I like clean lines and organized spaces. I don't like a lot of 'stuff' around, and when decorating a space, usually lean more towards minimalism first. Then, if it feels a bit too cold, I start warming it up by bring in fun, quirky items to fill in the gaps. I always drool over really cozy spaces but know that in reality it would just be too much 'stuff' for me, so I continue my quest for a happy medium.
What about you? Where do you lie?
-Re-edited from a post originally published April 8, 2013 - DF