When you’re building a house or remodeling your kitchen or rearranging your furniture in your living room, it helps to have a vision. I learned a lot about vision while working with Darlene from Fieldstone Hill Design. She’s got oodles of posts on finding and clarifying and sticking to your vision.
Give your style some names. The more descriptive they are of what you like, the better.
I would describe my style (the things I love) as eclectic, Texas, cottage, vintage, southern chic. If there’s one room in my house that reflects all my words it would be the living room (design board). I love it and am so thankful for Darlene who helped me hone in on what I love!
No one who’s ever been in my house would question this. I’m quirky. I like layers of interesting things that aren’t really supposed to go together. I embrace this quality about myself and resist the occasional temptation to tame it. I would never, under any circumstances buy a ‘set’ of furniture. It hems me in, like someone’s forcing me to wear garanimals. In fact, I was in Knoxville at OP Jenkins this week trying to buy a dining table and the first thing I asked was whether or not I had to buy the whole set including matching chairs. That would be a deal breaker for me. It would drive some of you crazy but that’s the way my brain works.
I have a uncanny fascination with Texas. I do not know why. But who doesn’t love all things Texas? Steer horns, horses, cowboys, George W., Friday Night Lights, boots, and good guacamole. I rest my case. Texas forever. Amen.
To illustrate this, I will confess to you that I have already hung a ginormous set of steer horns in my yet to be finished house. My builder would like to lock the doors and not let me back in until Friday
The magazine Cottage Living changed my life. I can remember exactly where I was when I poured over my first issue. The images of some of those rooms is forever imprinted in my head. I was devastated when that magazine shut down. My neighbor Julie, who lives in the most wonderful cottage I’ve ever seen, also shares my love for Cottage Living and brought me her nearly complete collection of CL magazines to use for inspiration after the fire. It was like reconnecting with an old friend. I spent days and days pouring over the all too familiar images and rooms. I love all things cottage—painted cabinets, open shelving, cozy spaces, textured, layered rooms and farm sinks. My favorite spaces are always cottage-esque.
I just finished watching the MadMen series. I wasn’t sure I even liked the show until season 3 and by then it was too late to quit. But I kept watching, partly because of the costuming and my fascination with the 50’s and 60’s. I adore the music, the clothing, the more formal way of life, the manners, the decor and I could go on and on. I’m sure that’s why I love thrift and antique stores. They transport me to a different time. I want my house to have hints of that era—like a little nod to days gone by and my way of showing my respect and admiration for those generations before me when women wore dresses and aprons and families sat down together to have dinner every night. (except on MadMen of course, that blasted Don Draper)
I love this article at Southern Accents. What does ‘southern’ mean as it relates to decorating? It can mean many things—but here are my favorites from the article:
some other things they say about southern style:
“gracious and eclectic with a strong architectural basis”
“comfort and relating to the outdoors is always a consideration in Southern design”
“southern style is rather eccentric, embodying classic roots with a unique application”
So, there you have it—-eclectic, Texas, cottage, vintage, Southern chic.
Why go to all the trouble to have words and to define them?
Because every decision you make should reinforce your vision. From the floor plan to the color choice to the landscaping.
It’s helped me so many times during this project.
And even more than that, having ‘words’ helps you to clarify what you are not.
I love so many different styles of decorating and I’ve tried to force myself into styles that I am not.
Take the all-white beachy look. I love it. For ten minutes. And then I’m dying for color.
Take the simple, pared down farmhouse look. It’s one of my favorites. But no matter how many ‘Simplify’ signs I hang in my house, I’m not simple. I’m just not.
I will load it up with stuff and books and I’m never gonna change so my ‘words’ give me permission to be who I am.
Now, think about your words, the things that define you. Write them down and then make a list of things you can start to change or rearrange that help you (or your house) become who you are.