Learning my style, hitting my stride....

Since discovering (just last week) this tangled web of decorating/DIY bogs, I've spent entirely too much time looking at everyone's decor. Now, I consider myself fairly savvy in the world of interior design, and have helped turn my share of houses from nastiness to nirvana, but man it's hard not to covet and feel "less than" when seeing all the incredible talent there is out there. Thankfully, I have a couple friends who pay me with gift cards to Lowes or a meal out for helping them shop and decorate and paint and sew for them. I suppose I do possess some talent. :o)

Anyway, I've decided to really focus on my own sense of 'pretty', 'comfortable', 'cottage-y', and 'functional'. I'm listening to my house, and paying special attention to colors and styles that 'speak to me'. This is so hard when I love so many styles, and colors, and houses....and my taste tends to change seasonally. BUT, I've been noticing that throughout my designing history a few 'trends' are becoming noticeable. And I notice when I copy someone else's 'style', while it looks fine, it doesn't 'feel' like me. For instance, I could look at romantic country style/shabby chic interiors for eons, but when I try it in my house it looks forced. I grew up in Williamsburg saltbox-esque homes with a mother who collected primitive antiques. In fact, one of her homes appeared in an early '80's Country Living magazine. I love that look to this day, and have inherited several incredible antique pieces (I'll blog about them sometime), but I've moved away from a 'purist' decorating perspective. I've held on to the quiet simplicity of it, the sparseness, and homey feel of it, but redefined it for my own ecclectic style.

I love (in no particular order):
painted furniture (off-white, black, deep blue-gray, and moss green)
old, old wood antique pieces
organized, but stylish spaces
blue and brown
white and brown
black and brown
green and brown
birdies and nests and butterflies
faded florals in warm colors
slipcovered furniture
little debbie oatmeal cakes

I tell my friends who ask my opinion on decorating their homes to take some magazines and as soon as a picture hits them, to cut it out without thinking anymore about it. No analyzing yet! After they have a pile of pictures, we go thru them and try to find some common denominators because usually there's a plethora (don't you love that word?) of color and style that 'spoke' to them, but a few common threads woven within the pages. Were there wood floors in a lot of the pictures? Was there a lot of painted pieces? White slipcovers? Warm wall colors? In doing this exercise...which I still do myself with my overflowing binder of inspiration...I've done pretty well with my friends' homes. At least they think so :o)

Here are some of my recent inspiration pictures. See if you can find some common threads, and at the end, I'll share what 'speaks' to me about them, and how I'm trying to interpret them in my own home.

Each of these spaces feel 'calm' to me. There's enough traditional pieces to ground the areas, but a bit of unexpected, ecclectic pops jump in here and there. Obviously Im all about browns and blues and greens mixed with a heavy dose of creams/brown/whites. I also like monochromatic colorways. And muted floral fabrics and pictures are nectar from the gods!

I'm translating each of these rooms above into my own language using the furniture I have and the resources available to me within my limited budget. It's a challenge that keeps me up at night! I've learned to keep pen and paper next to my bed as my decorating muse often visits just before sleep overtakes me. Anyone else like that? I look forward to processing this journey here, working out the kinks, sharing and gleaning inspiration and projects, and making new friends....thanks for stopping by.

Later Gator....

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