The book ‘The DIY Style Finder – by KariAnne Wood’ is found in most libraries around the world – and of course, I have read it. You might have also?

I was intrigued by the book as it implies it is all about ‘discovering your unique style’ which is the service I provide to all of my client’s who want to avoid being in the group of 42.3% of people who renovate their homes (with or without a professional designer)…

“Why pay for my Creating Design Clarity service, when you can get the answers out of  book from your local library for free!?”

Which of course is the obvious question – hence my need to read it and see what she has to say! 

Now, this is not a book review per se, but an observation of human perceptions and our reality. On the aesthetic side, this book is warm and friendly. Kari-Anne writes in a lovely informative way that makes me want to curl up on her couch with a glass of wine! The book is laid out really well, but the colour palettes are very similar from Coastal to Contempoaray styles.

This is because her style is a faded summer relaxed yet classic Coastal. This has a warm white, soft grey, beige and blues or as she writes her favourite colours are ‘Gray with a hint of khaki”. There are a few pops of other colours but they have been tastefully selected and don’t dominate the space. The styling for each category may vary slightly by using different fabric designs, material textures and limiting the accessories used to finish the look but the colour palette doesn’t, and here lies my reason why I want to discuss this book (not to be critical of KariAnne and all the wonderful work she has done to date).

When my husband is teaching his 1st year marketing students at Massey University, he delves into some psychology as you can imagine (customer behaviour etc), and discusses perceptions vs reality. 

“Perception acts as a lens through which we view reality. Our perceptions influence how we focus on, process, remember, interpret, understand, synthesise, decide about, and act on reality.

In doing so, our tendency is to assume that how we perceive reality is an accurate representation of what reality truly is.

But it’s not.

The problem is that the lens through which we perceive is often warped in the first place by our genetic predispositions, past experiences, prior knowledge, emotions, preconceived notions, self-interest, and cognitive distortions.”

Jim Taylor, PhD.

So what on earth does this have to do with KariAnne’s book? 

KariAnne loves coastal style design, and unfortunately, in my humble opinion, her perception of is that the different design styles she included in her book are distinctly different styles … However, I completely disagree. When you flick from one image to another they are variations on the coastal theme with slight tweaks here and there. 

Once I noticed this, I then went and looked to see what others say … here are two reviews:

Review of DIY Style Finder Book 1

They like me, agree – 

  • * A two minute “find your design style” quiz is a waste of time
  • * How can you find your design style with such limited questions? 
  • * Images and words that help(?) you find your design style in one part of the world, is not necessarily an associated image or word commonly used in another part of the world.
  • * Design styles vary considerably from one country to another. 
  • * Design styles are very personal. 
  • * It is very hard for a designer to be subjective! We all have inbuilt perceptions and constructs that help to guide us (otherwise we would never get anything done!)

So what is the solution? 

You cannot expect to unlock your personal design style by reading a coffee table book, a pretty (sales) booklet given out by the local Resene Colour Store, or God forbid – doing one of those quizzes you find on social media or used on interior designers websites to harvest your contact details … do you agree?

Fortunately, there is a proven way (and it is well worth doing!) to truly know your unique design style. You have to do some homework – and it takes a couple of weeks to do it. The great thing is that my clients find this process a fun journey! 

What makes my method better than anyone else’s? You make all the decisions without my inbuilt perceptions and ‘reality’ getting in the way. I guide, but not direct. I coach you, but you decide.

If you are looking to do a renovation or room makeover by using a design professional or DIY, then use my Creating Design Clarity Toolbox® to discover your design personality. This guarantees you will minimize expensive and embarrassing rework that occurs in 12.4% of all building projects

It also ensures that you will be satisfied with the look and feel of the project, by avoiding the mistakes made by 42.3% of homeowners – regardless of whether you are DIY, or use a design professional. 

Rework is embarrassing, and costs anywhere from $1800 to $7,000

A mismatch between your design personality and the finished project can be catastrophic.

My Creating Design Clarity Toolbox® helps you avoid those unnecessary costs, and gives you satisfaction with the completed project at a fraction of those costs.

In the privacy of your home, at your own pace, I show you through a mix of short videos, and an easy to follow workbook, a series of fun exercises to unlock your personal design personality. Each week you have the option of discussing online with me how you are progressing and engaging with other homeowners going through the same process. It is a safe and fun environment.

Think of my Creating Design Clarity Toolbox® as a cost-effective  “insurance policy” that can be used over and over again, with no renewal fees, no small print, and always pays out!

Then, when completed, you have choices! Choose an architect or interior designer you want to work with and give them this comprehensive document for them to totally get you, without wasting your time or money – and get all the advantages of their creative flair and industry contacts. 

Or, if you are a DIY warrior, then use this document like a compass, to guide you with the myriad of choices and decisions that lay ahead for you!

“You wouldn’t paint your house with a toothbrush, so why would you start a renovation without (really) knowing your design personality?” Click here to learn how.