Step 1: Take a style inventory and identify your typeThe answers to your home decorating questions lie before you — in your closet, bureau, jewelry box, makeup bag and shoe racks. Take a good look at everything you love to wear and search for the patterns, colors and textures that define you.
Classic Tailored (think Jackie O)Always crisp and glamorous, Jackie O had a way of making a trench, jeans and oversized sunglasses into the height of sophistication. The trick was in the perfect tailoring, the sharp details and the consistent palette. If you like the polished simplicity of a little black dress, the rich feel of a perfectly fitted cashmere turtleneck sweater and the understated sexiness of crocodile pumps, consider yourself a Classic Tailored type.
Boho Fabulous (think Kate Hudson)
Own more than one caftan? Have a collection of ethnic beads that seems to just keep growing? Like Kate Hudson, you’re in the free-spirited Boho Fabulous camp, where bright, tribal colors, vintage jewelry and patterned, baby-doll tops worn over jeans rule.
Modern Organic (think Julianne Moore)
Sumptuous natural materials and sleek shapes define the subtle allure of a Modern Organic woman like Julianne Moore. Most comfortable in a neutral color range of grays, creams and beiges, you’ll mix this up with spots of color occasionally, but dressing is more about architectural simplicity and the feel of linen and mohair on your skin.
Effortless Prep (think Babe Paley)
Your monogrammed canvas tote, tortoise shell sunglasses and perfectly worn-in khakis mean everything to you. Sound familiar? Then you’re an Effortless Prep in the vein of Babe Paley, ready to throw in a little floral pattern on a scarf or a skirt, but above all concerned with comfort and ease.
Step 2: Bringing it all back home: Translating your wardrobe into your surroundings
If you’re a Jackie O
Formal furniture, like Chippendale chairs and silk velvet sofas, will supply the classic polish that you crave. Your extensive book collection — which should include a few about Billy Baldwin, the classic tailored decorator extraordinaire — will be housed in bookshelves throughout the house. A gorgeous, crocodile covered Parsons table mirrors your favorite pumps, while your gold and silver bracelets turn up as a dirty brass coffee table and a collection of sterling silver boxes. You prefer a palette of mostly neutrals, with a well-placed Chinese red lacquer tray, or even a red room, just like the elegant lipstick that you favor.
If you’re a Kate Hudson
If you’re always layering fabrics in your outfits, there’s no reason you can’t also do that in your home — layer flat-weave kilim rugs and you’ll get an instant Moroccan buzz going. What better way to express your fondness for chandelier earrings than with a jewel-like chandelier? Think about the billowy dresses you love becoming a luxurious daybed covered in batik fabric. And look out for a solid color that always seems to pop up in your accessories — if you’re a fan of torquoise, for example, get a turquoise bolster for that same daybed. Otherwise, rich jewel tones like burgundy and emerald green will bring to mind the deep colors in which you like to swathe yourself.
If you’re a Julianne Moore
You’re all about texture, so try a favorite fabric like linen as loose slipcovers on deep sofas. A bold, modern shape, like a Saarinen tulip table, will appeal to your architectural side, while wide wooden floorboards under foot will satisfy your affinity for nature. Like your ever-present wooden bangles, wood can pop up a lot in your home, from a heavy wooden cutting board to an African stool used as a side table. Reflective aviator shades can add another mod element in the form of aluminum chairs and polished chrome cabinet pulls. Colorwise, the focus is on quiet, not bright, hues (think dusty rose and pearl gray) that support your refined aesthetic.
If you’re a Babe Paley
A Casual Prep loves stripes, and there’s no reason you can’t cover sofas, chairs, even the cushions on your kitchen stools in them. Lily Pulitzer florals are another no-brainer in your closet that could transfer easily into, say, a floral-wallpapered bathroom. Reinterpret your favorite fisherman’s cable knit sweater as a chunky knit throw, your straw summer purse as a rattan nightstand and your rope soled espadrilles as a sisal rug. You are by no means afraid of color, and taking your cues from your well-worn grosgrain ribbon belts, you can make a palette out of navy blue, turquoise and yellow. White painted floors, like a pair of white jeans, refresh the eye. Anything beachy is right up your alley, including silver-dipped shells and coral.