Find your interior style

Interior designer Kristen Siefkin used all of Sara Dahlquist's favorite pieces of artwork to create a gallery wall in her new office.

Interior designer Kristen Siefkin used all of Sara Dahlquist’s favorite pieces of artwork to create a gallery wall in her new office.

Recently, my family moved into a new home. I always enjoyed decorating our previous residences. However, this time I wanted to dial in the design of our new place, so I called on an interior stylist, Kristen Siefkin of Idea Spark Interiors.

I have known Kristen for going on a decade. She started as a client and now I consider her a close friend. What I found most fascinating in working with Kristen were the parallels between my work as a personal stylist and hers as an interior stylist. Especially when it came to working the Five F’s I teach my clients: Fit, Flatter, Function, Feel good and Friendly.

To further illustrate this concept, I want to share a bit of my experience in hopes that it will help you find the connection between your personal style and your interior style.

"Our master (bedroom) is our sanctuary now," Sara Dahlquist says. "A place we can retreat to and recharge."

“Our master (bedroom) is our sanctuary now,” Sara Dahlquist says. “A place we can retreat to and recharge.”

First, Kristen came to our home to review the pieces we owned. Once I gave her carte blanche to move anything she wanted, she buzzed around moving items from here to there. What was shocking was how she used items in ways I’d never considered.

Next, she assessed what items I needed. Her suggestions were not going to break my bank and I was excited to start shopping.

Of course, like any shopping trip, you have to approach it with focus. We had a list: furniture for each room, light fixtures, artwork, and accessories to pull the room together.

We knew we’d need furniture that would fit not only my rooms but also my family. Our home is composed of large, open spaces that we wanted to feel cozy and inviting. My husband is 6-foot-4 and I’m 5-foot-11, so we would need furniture we could sit in comfortably.

Next we chose color palettes for each room that flattered not only our vision of the home’s design but also us as individuals. I learned that just as it’s important to wear flattering colors next to your face, it’s important to choose dominant design colors that flatter your coloring.

Function is imperative for us. We are raising two young boys and have two senior Labrador retrievers, so our furniture and rugs need to be able to take a beating, literally. Kristen advised us on purchasing a leather couch from consignment instead of new and getting rugs from online discount stores. We were able to buy high-quality pieces at a fraction of the retail cost.

What’s important to me when I’m working with my clients is that their purchases make them feel good, excited and joyful. It was the same working with Kristen. There were a couple of instances when she would make a recommendation but I just wasn’t feeling it, so we’d continue the search for that right piece. As a result, when I walk into my home I am surrounded by pieces that generate a constant feeling of happiness. I can actually feel my spirits lift.

In Sara Dahlquist's new living room, two large leather couches are perfect for Game Night.

In Sara Dahlquist’s new living room, two large leather couches are perfect for Game Night.

Kristen has said that you can’t really articulate my style since it’s pretty eclectic. But what I love is that the design within my home is compatible: I could move furniture and accessories from one room to another and they would still work together seamlessly, which is a good thing since I tend to get bored easily.

What I took from my experience is that no matter what your style is, if you follow the same Five F’s for your home as you do for your wardrobe, not only will you look stylish and put-together, so will your home.

Head to my website to read about another interior styling experience, this time from Kristen’s point of view.

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