FINDING YOUR OWN SIGNATURE STYLE
Storm Lantrip shares his top tips for identifying your signature style, then translating it to make a space that’s truly your own.
Lauri Kitchen has an eye for design, and she considers the decorating of spaces one of her principal passions. But when the successful title attorney opened a new office on Main Street in downtown Zachary, her busy schedule meant Kitchen needed the help of an expert. “What originally prompted me to contact Storm at Signature is that I was under a major time crunch to get my new office furnished and decorated,” Lauri said. “I was so blown away by his work at my office that I hired him to design our house, also.”
Lauri and Storm hit it off right away, becoming fast friends and an effective design duo, too. Storm was able to help Lauri hone in on the elements of her particular style to truly personalize her workplace. If style is indicative of personality, Lauri’s is complex, but a lot of fun: by turns delicate and feminine, or bold and bright … with a streak of classic elegance running throughout. Thanks in large part to Storm, her house reflects that. “We work together very well,” Lauri said. “He understands my style and how to incorporate it into a current, relevant, cohesive scheme.”
When Lauri spotted the frame for a new spec house going up where she lives in Copper Mill, she bought it, immediately asking Storm to help her customize the layout and furnish it with pieces to create a true sense of belonging. “We did that house from scratch. Everything from the floor plan, to the floors, to the light fixtures, to the backsplashes, handle-pulls, wallpapers, you name it. Everything in there has ‘passed my desk’ at one point in time,” Storm laughs. “And it’s been a fun house because even though a year ago we said we were done, we still put leopard wallpaper in the butler’s pantry, like, two weeks ago. It’s a fun working relationship and friendship.”
Have a space you’d like to better personalize to suit your own signature style? Here are some of Storm’s tips:
1. Draw inspiration from what you already have.
“When I meet a client in a situation where they’re moving from an old house to a new house, I always want to see the old house first, and the kind of stuff they already own. Asking people questions, showing them different things, looking at the clothes that they wear…there’s always something to pick up on to find the essence of who they are.”
2. Think about what makes you “tick”.
“It’s all about what makes you tick. What colors make you happy, what patterns do you see? Are you more minimalistic, or do you like lots of stuff?…After one or two times of getting a really good guttural reaction out of somebody, you can start to gauge where they’re going, or how they’ll react to things. You can begin to identify and learn their preferences.”
3. Choose individual pieces you love.
“You’re the one that’s going to have to live with it every day, so with individual pieces, you just need to connect with them. If you love each piece, it’s easier to make that all work together than trying to have a ‘matchy-matchy’ set look. If you go shopping, and you’re picking out pieces that you love and really connect with, it’s easy to find a common link and kind of schwing ‘em all together. The best interiors are collaborations of lots of different things, not your typical ‘Rooms to Go’ look. You can have all of those really personal pieces, or you could be at TJ Maxx and see a pillow or something and go ‘Oh my God, I really love that.’ You just need to love it, because at the end of the day it’s your house, so if it’s filled with stuff that you love it’s gonna reflect you.”
4. Be unapologetic.
“Don’t be afraid to go for the looks that make you happy to see everyday because you’re worried about company coming over thinking it’s too much…I’m like, you know what? Just do it. Even if it’s not in someone else’s taste, they can still appreciate the design and recognize ‘Oh, that’s so them.’ If you want a white box with two or three pieces of furniture to keep it super, super minimalistic, by all means do it. Don’t be afraid to experiment… you’re not going to get a really great space if you don’t push the envelope. As long as you look at and say ‘I love that,’ it’s gonna work.”