Figuring out your style DNA?

Morning. It is so lovely to be back, as cool as Hong Kong was and is I think I am more of a moderate climate kind of girl. Humidity, heat and bronchitis (which unbelievably is still kicking around) do not make good companions! The thing I love more than anything else about travel (for me at least) is that it takes me away from the heart of the business so I can look at it from afar in a new light. Although it was a working week Gem and I got to sit down and spend time cooking up plans for the future – super exciting.

This past weekend was very chilled out, mostly spent in the garden actually, watering, planting some ferns under the fig, pottering, yelling at Mungy who thinks digging in ferns is a green light for digging up other plants, cooking on the BGE that kind of thing! Paint sales have gone through the roof whilst I’ve been away although we still don’t have the tins with all the exact names on it seems no one seems to mind and are ordering away anyway. Love seeing shots of my new hues on peoples twitter and instagram feeds. Talking of paint end of next week I’ve been told all the tins will be in, so not so long to wait!

Lets talk style and how to figure out exactly what yours is. This is where we ignore trends, forget what is hot or what is not and instead pay attention to what feels comfortable for you. Let’s say we walk right now into some watery, pastel ish interior how does it make you feel? Relaxed, chilled, easy? For me it’s actually the reverse. I would at this stage be either drinking whisky (maybe an old fashioned had quite a few of those of Hong Kong) or popping pills. I would feel restless, uncomfortable and ill, so this look is not for me. Whether you like the look or not it’s the figuring it out that is the important component, because basically it’s a matter of perspective and the heart should lead not the head. You should never talk yourself into something that you don’t feel comfortable with, yes I want to push you to take risks and leave your comfort zone but if you hate pastels like I do nothing on earth will make you like them so don’t go down that route. Oh and one more thing defining what you don’t like helps you figure out what you do!

This sounds odd but write down in a sentence your style or styles you gravitate towards. For example many of us aren’t just simply “traditional or “contemporary’ we are a little bit of this coupled with a little bit of that. Boho, rock n roll, glam, classic that’s what comes to mind when I write down my style! It helps writing it down and of course I’m going to advocate you take risks and not play it safe but the thing with taking risks is sometimes they work and sometimes they fail.   If you are not totally sure of whether you will like something try it, I do. Sometimes it works and sometimes it’s a big fat failure but you know what failing at things means that you’ve actually tried something that most people haven’t. More importantly making an attempt and then failing at it puts you a little bit closer towards that success, whereas if you just sat on your butt all the time you will always be exactly where you are rather than where you want to be!

Wise words for a Monday morning no?

Some inspirational images on my pinterest boards below of various styles.

oneMerci’s bookstore in Paris, love, love love!


Adore the vibe especially the bad boy art!

one3Boho, comfy, relaxed love this interior!

Nice to be back by the way!



24 thoughts on “Figuring out your style DNA?

  1. nice to have you back – i’ve missed my morning ‘pep talks’ !

    great advice as always and fits in well with whats going on with me at the moment. i’ve recently embarked on my own ‘design’ business advising others on their homes and although I feel I know my style, (albeit changes all the time it would seem as i fall for things I never would have done in the past…. like gold ! love your Hollywood mirror and wrote about it in my own blog today and noticed it’s sold out so I’m obviously not alone in liking it!) Anyway, I’m finding it hard determining their style when they don’t often have any idea or bizarrely much passion for any style. I agree that they shouldn’t be forced into anything they know is totally not them but sometimes it’s good to at least try. I spent quite some time suggesting that maybe we could ‘liven’ up the very safe room with a splash of colour on the fireplace and what’s the worst that could happen. Paint over it ? (i’m always making mistakes much to my husbands despair – I got a bit carried away with spray painting last week and all my experiments look fab but the luminous mirror was one step too far…… not good. I don’t even like it either.)

    Going to try your ‘what’s your style formula’ on them and see if it helps

    ps – pastels make me feel the same as you do ! 🙂

  2. pps I think my style is “boho, eclectic, with scandi influence” which sounds totally awful !!!!! I am going through a transitional period obviously !!!!!

  3. I really think this is the best possible advice. Following trends just means redecorating every year, and who needs that sort of stress? Much better to just go with what makes you comfortable in your own home.

  4. Hi Abigail. It’s always nice to come home – great to travel, but always nice to walk through your own front door. Funny you should post the last photo because I saw that room in a recent magazine (if it wasn’t that exact room it sure looked like it) – I showed it to my husband and said “There, look at that room – that’s the feeling I want in our house. Gorgeous”.

  5. Welcome back! While you were gone, my hubby had quadruple bypass surgery My walks in the hall were rewarded with some interesting hanging art….:)
    I love the Paris bookstore! I could move right in.

  6. I heart you abigail ahern! and am so thrilled to have discovered you on houzz. your place blew me away and got my creative wheels turning. and you’re absolutely right—since i painted my hallway juniper green and my bathroom black, i can’t wait to darken up more spaces in my house. love the contrast and the depth—almost a sculptural quality and cinematic too. the pics above are wonderful too, i esp. love the last one. thank you for all your advice and inspiration. i cannot wait till your paints are available in the states. until then i will fudge it with benjamin moore and get to work breaking the rules in the happiest way.

  7. I was at Merci a couple of weekends ago- love that booky cafe and always pay a visit! NEARLY as many books as we have at home…

  8. Wise words indeed. I totally agree that sometimes working out your personal style DNA involves eliminating what you are not. I define my style as ‘Retired professor of archeology with a touch of Keith Richards” and have given up pretending that I will some day start to appreciate pastels or mid-century patterns. However, I can see that they fit other people like a glove. I hope your health is on the mend- bronchitis is horrible!

  9. Pingback: アビゲイル・レッスン:自分のスタイルのDNAを見つけるには。 | 海外インテリアブログ紹介

  10. Abigail..welcome back and get well soon! Nothing worse than travelling when you’re ill…the last image looks can just tell that someone really interesting lives in that room!! I love all the layers, textures and patinas of age and charater

  11. Abigail..welcome back and get well soon! Nothing worse than travelling when you’re ill…the last image looks can just tell that someone really interesting lives in that room!! I love all the layers, textures and patinas of age and charater

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