Labeling Your Style

I get asked a lot how one defines their style or in what style they should decorate their home.  And in fact just yesterday I was asked what MY signature style is. And to be honest, I was stumped. This is hard for me to answer since I personally have no one defined style as it turns out. I LOVE EVERYTHING!  Sometimes I feel it would be so much easier if I could package myself up as one clear look- preppy, traditional, modern, minimalistic…. but the truth is I think we ALL can be a little “Breakfast Club” when it comes to our style.  I do have friends who are 100% die hard preppy and others who would rather die than wear or decorate in anything pink.  But for the most part I feel like a lot of you are like me-  you like a lot of things, looks and colors.  We all have the capacity to change our style as we age and experience more of life. And I think that my chameleon-like style helps me be a better designer.  But oh, I sometimes wish I could be all French fashionista and be like “I only dress and decorate in black and white!” :)  Instead this is what my brain looks like:

I am preppy…


and can be edgy…


but a bit bohemian…


and yet ladylike…


I like bright color…


but also light neutrals….


and dark, deep colors too.


I love the mountains…


and the sea…


but I do know one thing FOR SURE.







leopard. :)

Which goes to show that if you stick to buying only things that make you want to do cartwheels in public and clap your hands like an idiot, you will find your style.  Eclectic is a very overused and broad word, but there really is no other way to describe it.  Your style is your own personal mix of delightful goods that represent what makes you happy!  So let’s not try to put a label on it, shall we?

48 Responses to “Labeling Your Style”

  1. I totally agree. I am all things and never one. That is what defines the style. An eclectic mix!

  2. I LOVE this post! This is exactly how I feel!

  3. Justine Lemmon says:

    Yep, me too! It’s hard as a decorator when asked. I just know what I don’t like! and I go CRAZY when I have to design my space too many options.

  4. Vanessa says:

    Love this! I always say eclectic and feel like it’s a cop-out expression but it’s SO accurate.

  5. Franki Parde says:

    ALL of the ABOVE!!! franki

  6. Jennifer says:

    I love all of the above. Most of the time it just depends on my mood or phase that I’m in.

  7. Jessica says:

    “Eclectic” here, too! My music collection is the same way – a little bit of everything.

  8. Love the concept of this post (such a great idea) and the execution was perfect, as always!

    I think my style changes and is influenced by so many different aspects – my mood, the weather, what one of the many hats I’m wearing that day as an interior designer, who I’m with, where I am etc. There are some aspects that stay consistent of course, and I think it’s those consistencies combined with the revolving styles that makes the individual, which is why it’s so hard to put a name on it – your style is uniquely you!

  9. Melanie says:

    I could not agree with you more. At each picture, I was thinking, yep I love that look and would totally rock it :-) So eclectic it is!!

  10. Ann says:

    All of it! Brilliant post!

  11. Dana says:

    Well said. Leopard makes me smile. Leopard forever.

  12. Diplospice says:

    Leopard is forever…

  13. Kim says:

    Great post Erin! I agree, it’s hard because we always feel compelled to our label style. I think it’s also hard as a woman because we have sooo many options out there for clothing and interior design.

    My perspective is, how boring would it be to always have the same specific style? No element of newness or surprise. I think it’s more fun to keep people guessing and to push yourself to grow and get better with your style.

  14. Samantha says:

    This was so fun to read. Thanks Erin. Let’s all agree to embrace difference!

  15. Patricia says:

    I sometimes wish I had multiple houses to decorate so I could indulge in different styles … maybe that’s why you became a decorator/designer?

  16. Caitlin says:

    Clever post!

  17. Heather P. says:

    Well said! I have issues with this, more in decorating than dressing. It’s like I have style paralysis when it comes to finding things for my home that I think “work” together – when really I shouldn’t worry about it and just buy what I like.

    Have a great day, fellow “eclectic” lady!

  18. Lindsay says:

    Thanks for such a great post – really enjoyed it!

  19. Those sky high leopard heels are to die for!

  20. Caroline says:

    I looooove this!! We can have (or wear) it all!! I find myself equally enamored with neutrals and bright colors – an indication I’m all over the place? And, of course, a little (lot) bit of leopard a day makes the doctor stay away.

  21. Lorrie says:

    My sentiments exactly.

  22. Kate says:

    Great post! I love that we can choose colour one day and neutrals the next, whatever suits the mood of the day x

  23. Bridget says:

    Love your post! I love leopard print too. Would you say your house is a reflection of your style? I think mine is for the most part, as I transition to a real house with my husband. My style is probably prep school hippie, like the Phish song. My boss described my look as preppy with a twist. I love to pair things from my travels into my preppy looks and I work with American Indian and Native Alaskan tribes so I’ve collected some amazing jewelry. I also love the local farmer’s market for jewelry and am known for my statement necklaces or earrings (not both!).

  24. Jen says:

    Gorgeous style!

  25. Amanda says:

    I love all of those looks. My style depends on my mood and the weather. But I am pretty sure I could live in a t shirt, jeans and ballet flats for the rest of my life and be perfectly happy.

  26. Ali P says:

    I feel the same way (glad I’m not the only one – sometimes I feel so all over the place)! Great post!

  27. Jessica says:

    Wow, you read my mind today! My style is classic, but with an eclectic mix of prep, edge & color. Oh and ALWAYS leopard!

  28. Kelley S says:

    I have been wrestling with this very subject, so I’m glad you addressed. I couldn’t come up with one, defining style either. So it the last part of the post another plea for the leopard stair runner? I’d vote YES!

  29. Totally agree! I was actually just telling someone this the other day–something along the lines of, “I don’t know what my style is. I just like what I like!” Sometimes I feel like it can be a challenge–when you do like so many different things/styles–to blend it all together so that it works. Take for example my mid-century style club chairs with the straight arms. Can I pair them with an English Roll Arm style sofa? I hope so because I love them both :)

  30. Leopard is a neutral in my book, which can be paired with anything! What a fantastic and totally meaningful post. Thanks EOS!!

  31. Tricia says:

    I wonder if there are any other adjectives that are useful when describing your style? Like instead of modern or preppy…thoughtful, or spontaneous? More comforting, or challenging? Sometimes I think that “personality” words like smart, lighthearted, contemplative, can capture style better than the various schools.

  32. Katy says:

    Agree – Let’s ban labels all together. Unless we can create a label where leopard equates to a highly refined sense of taste and aesthetic!

  33. Carolineinaustin says:

    Does this mean the leopard carpet has been chosen for the stair runner???

  34. abby swancutt says:

    you hit the nail on the head and that is why I continue to read you each and every single day. So much alike its scary! :)

  35. Jamie says:

    Awesome post! Soo true also! I never know what to answer people when they ask because I’m a mix of a lot of great styles :-)

  36. PattyM says:

    A friend used to describe my decorating style as schizophrenic, but chameleon-like sounds much healthier. I have struggled with not only putting a label on my style but with having to change that label with the change in seasons, with outside influences and inspirations, with new trends, and, as you said, with aging. I’m so afraid to commit to one style because as soon as it becomes mainstream, I don’t want anything to do with it. Thank you for this post.

  37. Dale T. says:

    I love this post. I’m just like this! My husband and I just recently bought a house and I’ve definitely come to realize how ‘all-over-the-place’ I can be. I’m learning how to tie everything I love together, but it can be tricky!

  38. I couldn’t agree more with your, Erin! There is so much more to style than one word. Style is not something you can put in a box with a neat label. It evolves, it grows with you, it adjusts to people you are living with. I can’t even tell how many times somebody said to me “I can’t decorate with pink because of my husband. I say, to hell with such beliefs: if you’re not planning on turning your home into a Barbie house, a little bit of pink never killed anyone :) And leopard, always leopard :)

    xx Ivana
    Macarons and Pearls

  39. Alissa says:

    Unbelievable — my mom and I were JUST talking about (and, I confess, bemoaning) our inability to commit to one style yesterday! Great post. This makes me feel so reassured about having no *defined* taste. If I love it, I love it! One thing is for sure — always leopard, and ALWAYS Elements of Style. Thanks!

  40. CaroG says:

    I could be your twim (more like your mother since I’m 54!) We are alike in so many ways! Great post! Love reading your blog every day.

  41. Heather says:

    Great post! Why pick one. Leopard is my fav and that is one of my favorite Atlantic-Pacific posts.

  42. Tiffany says:

    this post really made me smile! i have a difficulty in describing my style with two few words or labeling it under one or even two specific ones!

  43. Beatrice says:

    Love this post! Love all things leopard too.
    But where oh where is the source for that beautiful “ladylike” pink dress? I must have it!

  44. Heidi says:

    Love this post! It makes me feel like the term “eclectic” is okay to use, especially since I would always get frustrated when I could never figure out my signature style. It’s definitely a mish mash!

  45. rachel says:

    I was thinking the same thing yesterday and you illustrated it so beautifully! I was like, yes yes and yes! Great post.

  46. Laura says:

    Great post!! I love it all!

  47. Christie says:

    SO well said… as usual!!

  48. Kyle says:

    “if you stick to buying only things that make you want to do cartwheels in public and clap your hands like an idiot, you will find your style.” sheer brilliance. love this post :)