How to define your design style and incorporate trends

It’s no secret, I am all about designing on a dime! Creating beautiful spaces without a lot of cash is challenging, but it also fuels my creativity and stretches my DIY skills.

Like me, those of you who adore home decor and are active on social media know how overwhelming all the beautiful trends, ideas and spaces out there can be for folks on limited budgets.

Today I thought I’d share two practical steps I take to help me weed through the eye candy and make the best choices about furniture, art and accessories for my home.

1. Define your style.

I consider my personal style to be rustic chic. I want my home to reflect the natural beauty of our location (we live in the mountains near a lake); to be kid and pet-friendly; and to complement our outdoor-centered lifestyle. I’m drawn to wood floors and furniture; leather upholstery; earth, water and sky hues; and art and accessories that remind me of campfires, days on the lake, hikes in the woods, and memories with family and friends.

Below are a few examples from Havertys that appeal to my personal style. (Havertys is one of my favorite stores for gorgeous, affordable furniture.) You’ll notice each collection below is very different. Can you identify which elements in each photo fit in with my rustic chic style?

Cagney sofa Havertys

Cagney collection

Erin collection - Havertys

​Erin collection

Sandy Lane collection - Havertys

Sandy Lane collection

Camden collection - Havertys

Camden collection

Vintage Autumn collectio

Vintage Autumn collection

Sandridge collection - Havertys

Sandridge collection

Defining my personal style has helped take a lot of the guesswork out of designing a room. It also helps shield me from buying trendy items I won’t really love in the long run.

Below are a few tips to help you define your decorating style:

  • Inspect your furniture. With a notebook in hand, walk from room to room and make two lists: “Love it” and “Would like to replace it.” Catalog everything down to the art and accessories – and be brutally honest. Whether or not we love a space is determined by how we feel when we are in the room.
  • Bring attention to the items you cherish. Check the top of your dressers, your mantel, bookshelves, and even your clothes closet. Focus on the items in your home that make you feel special, beautiful and joyful.
  • Think about places you love and why you love them. If you could live anywhere, where would your dream home be located? Now think outside of your home. If you were invited to a celebrity black tie affair, what would you wear? This will move you beyond the limitations of your current lifestyle and budget and help you think creatively about design choices.
  • Look for commonalities. Be aware of similar colors, shapes, materials and vibes that keep showing up in many of the things you treasure. This will help you further define your taste, which will then translate into smart decorating choices.

For more help defining your decorating style, consider taking this quiz.

2. Categorize short and long-term pieces.

Professional designer Lindsay Souza of The Pursuit of Style says, “Thanks to social media, the lifespan of a trend has been cut in half. We’re all a little overexposed. I think vintage and one-of-a-kind pieces will be highly sought after …”

Trends in home design are coming – and going – more quickly than ever before. As a blogger who needs to keep my spaces looking fresh, I feel somewhat of an obligation to embrace certain design trends. But I also don’t have the luxury of replacing expensive furniture and accessories every few years.

So I try to make very calculated, intentional choices about the price I pay for items. If I believe a trend has saturated the market and is on its way out, I will choose to either make a similar item for pennies on the dollar, buy that item when I see it on clearance, or wait for the trend to pass.

On the other hand, if a trendy piece fits in with my personal style, has a timeless feel, and can be repurposed to serve in another capacity at some point, I may choose to spend a little more to get my hands on it.

For example, distressed finishes are very popular right now and I love this distressed white Southport Bookcase from Havertys.

Southport bookcase - Havertys

This piece has a classic look, fits in with my rustic chic style; and could work well in my kitchen, dining room, home office or a bedroom. To sum up this whole idea of categorizing pieces: I label trends – and specific items – based on whether they will be in my home for the short or long term and then I budget accordingly.

By learning how to define our design style and assigning strict budget constraints on the trends we want to incorporate into our homes, we set ourselves up to create fresh, livable spaces we love without breaking the bank.

For decor tips, inspiration and ideas that fit your particular design style, consider checking out Havertys on Pinterest, Facebook and YouTube.

Havertys helps you bring your vision to life. Visit to find a store near you, detailed product information and design tools to truly inspire you.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Havertys. The opinions and text are all mine.

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