Learning how to channel your innate sense of style | VailDaily.com

Learning how to channel your innate sense of style

Nancy Sanford
Design Life
Modern living-room interior.
Getty Images/iStockphoto | iStockphoto

Style. What is it? Who has it? How does it change? Can you learn to be stylish?

All good questions. Style, like any other subjective quality, is in the eye of the beholder. We all have our own individual styles. The challenge, in many cases, is to break out of our mold, creating something new and beautiful.

And stylish.

Sometimes you can assimilate style without even realizing it. As a child, I had an uncle who fascinated me with the way he dressed and spoke, the car he drove and how he decorated his home.

As a teenager, I snapped many photographs of his home and, to this day, I reflect on them for inspiration. The tall indoor trees, oversized comfortable upholstery, worldly accessories and casual yet elegant design made a lasting impression. Years later, I realized what I had found so captivating: he led his life with an abundance of style.

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So what is style? It’s more than just dress. Style incorporates surroundings, appearance, values and how you carry yourself. It’s how you interact with others. It’s a unique stamp that all of us have.


Style can be cultivated and nurtured. The first step is to get in touch with your likes and dislikes. When starting out with new clients, I recommend that they put together a “clip file” of things they appreciate and enjoy looking at in their home. This gives them a sense of what they want their homes to feel like.

I suggest looking at magazines, websites and blogs, and taking photographs of things they see throughout the day that sparks their interest. It’s a fascinating exercise and enables homeowners to fully explore their individual styles, as well as develop new tastes and ideas.


Scott Schuman’s blog, http://www.thesartorialist.com, provides an interesting look at personal styles from all over the world. Schuman, a photographer, takes random pictures of people on the street or at their places of work. He finds them interesting because of their style or fashion.

Schuman then incorporates these photos into his blog, depicting people from all walks of life and in many different locations. It’s fascinating to see the diversity of fashion and the way they style themselves. Schuman’s work underscores the fact that we are all individuals who can make a statement through our style.

It is exciting to see that you don’t have to be rich or live in a certain town to have style. A little research, imagination and introspection is all you need.

Nancy Sanford, owner of Nancy Sanford Interior Design, is an award-winning interior designer who has been transforming residential and commercial spaces in the Vail Valley for 12 years. For more information, visit nancysanford.com or email nancysanford@nancysanford.com.

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