When people ask me "what do you call your style?" I usually change my answer every time. I think that personal style is ever evolving and it can feel almost stressful to have to niche down, or put a label on your preference (especially if your style is made up of many styles). I do however, understand the need/want for labels and identifying keywords, but they can be helpful as well as limiting. Playing a little devils advocate with myself, here are some reasons I dislike labeling my style and reasons why I'm all for it:
giving your sense of style a name, like "english country" or "shabby chic" or "maximalist eclectic" can be really helpful for others who are inspired by your style, but aren't sure what to call it or what to search for
it can be really helpful in providing keywords when searching for furniture and decor
it can be helpful to become discovered online (pinterest, website, socials, etc)
people love to categorize people, it's mentally helpful to pin someone into a box
it limits change and adaptation, once others (or you yourself) have you labeled, it can feel like you're not allowed to stray from that label
it can make you think all your sense of style has to fit into that category. For example maybe you want one room to look shabby chic, but another room to look minimal and modern. Another example could be if someone labels you as a maximalist designer, maybe you feel like you have to dress that way too. You might even start consuming media (music, movies, books, etc) that stereotypically only fit into that category.
I personally love to draw inspo from various designers and various styles. For example I love Athena Calderone, but she has a much more minimal elevated style than how I choose to decorate my home. I also love Kelly Wearstler, and do not find our styles overlapping very much at all, however it doesn't mean I can't appreciate what she does nor that I can't learn from her. I took her MasterClass and loved seeing that she too is a collector of little bits and bobs... the shells/rocks/tiles/etc that she collects influence her designs, just like mine do too! Although in very different ways, there are still overlaps amongst design and the process of design.
Another designer I really admire is Lucy Williams. I love her collected pieces, how they all flow together really well, yet also stand out and make a statement. I don't identify my style with hers necessarily, but I still love her aesthetic and content. I subscribe to her mailing list and she recently wrote a post sharing all the things she would do differently if she were to redesign her flat. I found myself agreeing and disagreeing with some of what she said, but more so found comfort in the fact that even those who we look up to and admire also have the call for change, and are constantly evolving as well.
I think we're allowed to be ever growing, ever evolving, and shouldn't have to niche all parts of ourself into one tidy category. I think it is human to crave category, but it is also human to yearn for change. At the end of the day, there is no wrong or right answer in my opinion, what do you think?
Until next time,