Let’s be honest, discovering your interior decor style takes time. It can be hard to pinpoint what you actually like and what your style is influenced by. Recently, while scrolling through YouTube, I came across New York-based interior designer Cristina Cleveland. Her short but sweet Home School video series is super informative, with insights on how to buy less clutter and how to style a small space apartment.
I also visited her website - which has an interior style quiz and it couldn’t have been more accurate for me. Her quiz breaks down five different styles and how to use them in any part of your home, from bathroom to bedroom and what pieces (from furniture to art) you can add to tie it all together.
I spoke to her to get more insight on how she conceptualised this quiz, her career and more.
As an interior designer, how did you get your start in this industry?
Like many designers, this is a second career for me. I grew up moving every few years and have continued into my adulthood, so creating spaces that feel personal and comforting has always been a deep focus for me. After a decade working as an editor and producing digital content I decided to follow my curiosity in design. My editorial background has certainly helped me to connect and communicate with people about my design work, like creating my Style Quiz.
Your style guide is so comprehensive and filled with extensive options. What prompted you to conceptualise it?
Having taken plenty of style quizzes myself, I’d felt the dissatisfaction of getting to the end only to find that the results didn’t quite fit, or worse, they were just trying to sell me products.
My favourite homes have always been a mix of design eras and styles, I wanted to create a quiz that encapsulated that. Terms like “transitional” and “eclectic” had always felt too broad for myself and many of my design clients, so I wanted to give people language and references to help express their personal style at home - whether they hire me as their designer or not.
I was intentional about filling the quiz results with practical takeaways as well as inspiration, like what to do if your partner got a different result on the quiz.
There are 5 decor archetypes in your quiz and each one feels so distinct - how did you narrow it down to these styles?
These are the styles that I personally work within in my own design practice, so the quiz is a tool to give my clients the language to express what they’re looking for in their home. It doesn’t capture every possible style, but that’s also a helpful way to determine if a client and I are a natural fit.
I gave each archetype a name that people could easily envision in their mind’s eye - Pottery Studio, Museum Bookstore, Pop Arcade, Curated Loft, and Vintage Salon.
I believe personal style is not simply visual, it also encompasses whether you’re likely to take part in trends, how you make purchase decisions, and other personality traits that are unique to you.
What has the public interest been like?
I’ve been told the results are alarmingly accurate! Thousands of people have taken the quiz now; they like to share it in their friend group chats or with coworkers - sometimes a whole office will take it together to compare their results.
I’m often told that the quiz has given people clarity and energized them in their own design process. I couldn’t possibly hope for better feedback than that!
Where can people support your work and find you online?
You can follow me on Instagram and YouTube @cristinacleveland, and you can take the quiz for yourself at cristinacleveland.com.