31 Days|Day 3 Defining my Vision

by Edie Wadsworth on October 3, 2011


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!

{Eclectic}

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.

{Texas}

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 :)

{Cottage}

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.

{Vintage}

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)

{Southern Chic}

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.

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{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sarah October 3, 2011 at 11:41 am

Hi Edie,
Love the gorgeous plans for your living room. I’m enamoured with the pale zebra rug! I’ve been looking everywhere for a zebra rug that has pale, muted colors…any chance you can divulge the source?
Also, I think I share the Soutern chic decor style, and I’ll have to figure out the rest. Vintage, yes–love my handed down antiques. Anyway, much congrats to you moving into your new home this week. I’m looking forward to hearing about the process. Your post yesterday was superb!

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2 Michelle Starling October 3, 2011 at 11:42 am

OMG! I think you just read my mind. Great post.

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3 Lisa October 3, 2011 at 12:05 pm

It’s so funny that you write about this, because I’ve been trying to shrug off labels of my style since I moved to my new(est) house last year…..I somehow found my old house to be very traditional and not feel at all like the vibe of my family, but the thing I’m realizing is that your style can be a whole bunch of styles morphed together to create a nest that uniquely represents the family that lives there.  Still trying to figure out all those words – but if I could just move into that design board that you shared today I’d be happy as a clam!  So excited for you that moving day is almost here!!!

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4 Southern Gal October 3, 2011 at 12:06 pm

Defining my style is hard for me.  Thanks for this break down and definitions.  One day I may be able to pin my style down.

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5 Ruth Emond October 3, 2011 at 12:26 pm

Edie~your style is perfectly you.  I absolutely love how you combine different styles, colors, old and new.  It is perfectly fantastic.  I am looking forward to the most amazing tour of your home when you are all settled in. Can’t wait to see the steer horns.

Hugs sweet friend,
Ruth

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6 Kimberly Dial October 3, 2011 at 12:56 pm

Your post inspires me!  I was in Knoxville last week too! :)

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7 edie wadsworth October 5, 2011 at 12:17 pm

how awesome kim! where do you live?
xo,
edie

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8 Judith October 3, 2011 at 1:23 pm

I love this! Such a great reminder to be true to who we are. :)

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9 Susan October 3, 2011 at 1:30 pm

I love all of the things you have chosen! I am from Fort Worth, TX and so proud of your love for our state…not everyone get’s it!  Thanks for the nod to Texas in your home. 

I totally love the choices you have made and can’t wait to see the finished moved in, lived in home! I am proud of you for going 3 for 3 at such a busy time in your life.

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10 Brooke October 3, 2011 at 1:55 pm

Ohhh, Edie it is so good to know I will hear a little from you each day…something as simple as decorating has inspired me way beyond decorating…like the permission to be who you are.  As I read all the fascinating blog posts and creative inspiration I am always tempted to make myself something other that what I am, and then I’m frustrated and wondering why I’m not creative myself.  I love the beauty of who you are…complex, eclectic…or whatever you wanna call it, it is beautiful. 

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11 edie wadsworth October 5, 2011 at 12:16 pm

i just love you ms. brooke and enjoyed reading your blog last night! xo,
edie

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12 Leanne October 3, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Beautifully said Edie! I “get it”…this IS what our home style should look (and feel) like…I often have comments from new visitors to our home that they love  ”it”…there is no label or trendy concept or running theme to my home other than it is ME. People seem to change their own idea of decor after seeing mine. It’s a hard thing to teach some folks though. Nothing is perfect, old things are treasures….don’t take yourself too seriously…surround yourself with what you love. xo

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13 edie wadsworth October 5, 2011 at 12:16 pm

now you make me wanna visit!
thanks of sharing:)
xo,
edie

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14 June October 3, 2011 at 3:20 pm

Thanks for the posts,,,Its exciting to be this close and to celebrate with you. God is good!!!  It’s nice to know that there is a sista out there with the same values in life and decorating. Have you seen Donna Decorates Dallas?  Do you like her style, and is that the idea for Texas?    God Bless Your New Home!!!

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15 Gina October 3, 2011 at 5:35 pm

I love this post. We remodeled a couple of years ago and I totally changed my decor and now I LOVE my home. Defining your taste is really the key. :)

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16 Anne Worthington October 3, 2011 at 6:34 pm

I just love this!  xoxo

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17 Dana @ Cooking At Cafe D October 3, 2011 at 7:49 pm

I’m so with you!
My style would be Rustic Vintage English Cottage.

Wow, that actually came out pretty easily.   Who knew?
I was raised in a absolutely modern 1970′s plastic bold color Pop-Art wonderland.  And, I hated it.  I’m drawn to the north woods looks, rustic, rugged, comfort food and a cast iron skillet on the stove.  Splashes of color by way of mismatched vintage china – flowery and feminine against all the gold and brown wood.

I love pictures of all white, beachy and I adore the look of  Mid-Century Modern.  But, the white would make me long for color…and the MCM is just too cold and uncomfortable  I need comfy – squishy.

Rustic Vintage English Cottage
Thanks for helping me sort that out :)

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18 laura mann October 3, 2011 at 8:08 pm

ahhhh, OP Jenkins and Cottage Living.  Two great delights:).

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19 allyugadawg October 3, 2011 at 8:24 pm

First, Edie I always love your graphics. They’re so bold & beautiful! And the description of Southern Chic is perfection. Love it! So excited for y’all to get into your new home soon. What a way to celebrate & enjoy the Fall season! Many blessings for years of joy in your new home.

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20 {darlene} October 3, 2011 at 8:36 pm

oh, edie! you are so good to me :) 
I share your readers’ delight in getting a touch of edie every single day. and, This post is wonderful. You tell ‘em, sister!!!
The 7th is just a few days away, and you are ever in my prayers!!!
love ya!

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21 edie wadsworth October 5, 2011 at 12:15 pm

much hugs and love to you!

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22 Jessica Lynette October 3, 2011 at 10:20 pm

I love that you’re doing the 31 days series!! YAY!! I joined it too and have enjoyed checking out what everyone is doing… ok, not everyone. There are SO many people doing this!! But I’ve checked out enough people that I have a healthy stack of dirty dishes waiting for me. :)

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23 edie wadsworth October 5, 2011 at 12:15 pm

send me a link to yours Jessica!
thanks,
xo,
edie

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24 Kristen October 3, 2011 at 11:30 pm

As a Texas girl myself, of course, I agree! What’s not to love about Texas? My decorating style is getting more and more ecclectic too. Many blessings as you move in this week!

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25 edie wadsworth October 5, 2011 at 12:15 pm

thanks so much kristen!
xo,
edie

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26 alissa@33shadesofgreen October 4, 2011 at 12:59 am

Great post Edie!  I’m with you on all things Texas…GWB and all.

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27 Kristin S October 4, 2011 at 1:15 am

Really fun that you can define your style.  I’m still trying to figure it out.

I was a HUGE Cottage Living fan.  It was the one magazine I would read right away.  I think I kept every single one.  The paint suggestions were golden.

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28 Alima October 4, 2011 at 3:38 am

Great post Edie! I’ve been trying to define my style lately. It’s hard! But I think this post will help me so thanks! :)

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29 Tara October 5, 2011 at 11:53 pm

LOVE this post the best of all your 31 day posts so far, I think. :)  They’re all great…but this one….it inspires us to BE TRUE TO WHO WE ARE AFTER WE TAKE TIME TO FIGURE OUT EXACTLY WHO WE ARE AS HOME MAKERS…..Love it. :)  I’ve always had a hard time finding the words to describe my taste.

I’m eclectic for sure…
I love old, chippy pieces…what does that make me?  Vintage?
I love for things in my home to have meaning…stories…but, what do I call that? Southern? (we southerners are wordy, right?) :)
I love books in every room…what’s that?

see, I have a hard time finding labels for my style?  I’m like you…not just one style..
you’ve got me thinking now….

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30 Shelley @ Parenthetic Rhetoric October 10, 2011 at 7:38 pm

Haha!  Your garanimals analogy cracked me up!  

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31 Leanonjesus October 25, 2011 at 2:23 am

Inspiring! I’ve always been a bit overwhelmed with trying to define my style. Your example (and the lovely link to Darlene’s blog) have been great. I’ve poured over her blog this afternoon and keep returning to your pics. I’m not eclectic or very whimsical, but I love seeing what you do with who you are. It encourages me to do the same. 

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32 Annbaileydesign October 27, 2011 at 2:10 am

I love this. I will be working on defining my style in the next few days. Eclectic – that’s definitely a start… this is going to be fun!

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33 robinanne January 23, 2013 at 11:26 am

Are you in my head…no really, I could have written this. And my living area. While it is TOTALLY different than yours, the idea about my design and loves are so the same! Thanks for helping me put words to it! That is a huge help. One thing, I do have a “Matched” set of dining room furniture. It was my grandmothers. I have not managed to let it go. It’s 50s (gotta love that). I’ve considered painting it…still might. It’s moved with me 5 times. Maybe someday. In the meantime, I am not in the market for a new one. Interior designer by degree, social worker by career. So you know I’m flexible. Loving your blog so far…found it thru Paige K.

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