"I walk into my home and instantly feel at peace." We all want this, but where to start?
Here are my tried and true thoughts on creating your own individual style:
The first thing to always do when decorating your home is to decide what you want to build your home around that makes your personal style statement.
I tend towards warmth and comfort when I choose pieces for our home. What do you want to invoke for the personality of your home, and why? When you know the answer, it is just a matter of building around that favorite piece of furniture or decor item.
I buy furniture and decor with intention, as most of us do. As we shop, we must consider the consequences of that purchase. Will it add to my already in-place personality, or do I want to tweak my look in a different direction? Will it destroy my look or confuse the style of my home, or will it add a fun bit of drama that I will enjoy? Only you can determine those answers.
On to that first piece that starts your story. If it is a piece of furniture, and you absolutely love its lines and style, the rest is gravy. Go with it and enjoy the journey of picking out details and complementary additions to the room. If you inherited it and don't absolutley love it, but you don't mind it so very much, add things that you are passionate about and decorate around it until you hit the atmosphere that you truly enjoy. Unfortunately, if you are struck negatively by the piece each and every time that you enter that room, move it! It may look better in your children's room (such as a buffet from Grandmother). As you decorate it with their style, you may truly fall in love with it. My point being, your space and your style are too important to diminish your enjoyment of it by tolerating a furniture piece that dulls the joy and contentment you wish for in your home.
In deciding your style at this point in your life, look towards your inspiration. Is it your mother, your friend or a designer home? It may possibly be a region that you are thrilled to visit or memories that invoke something within you that you wish to recreate for yourself or your family. Is it an influence that you can focus on? It is important to know the what and why of that inspiration, so as to reference it when or if you need to rethink an element in your design.
Now, back to your statement piece and deciding on the importance you are willing to give it. You, obviously, would not hang a small picture in the middle of an expansive wall and be done ( even if Great Grandma Eunice painted it). Complement it with other wall decor and build around it. Your pieces should flow with the style of the room. For instance, the furniture should be pretty close to the same period, but that is not always necessary either. If you have an old oak library table and a new painted chair, they can easily blend if the lines and period are somewhat related to each other. Therefore, a new windsor chair would complement that desk as long as it is not painted pink. Just remember, surround yourself and your home with elements that reflect you and your interests and passions.
Conformity is not necessary! When you fall in love with a quirky little chair or an odd duck piece that makes you smile, do not fear that you are ruining the design that you spent time and energy creating for your home. Incorporate it into your home. You felt drawn to it for a reason, and it brings you enjoyment, so find a spot for it and let it go. I have found that there is always a place for something that I really enjoy. Now, I do not mean that you can get away with putting mom's collection of clown figurines into your Federal style living room and expect it to flow nicely, but one endearingly sweet clown mixed in to the decor would be delightful to the eye.
Our homes are a puzzle that we slowly put together over time. I am always pleasantly surprised when the pieces fit together, as if meant for each other. I must admit, though, that I do have an antique wall cupboard that I have sitting in a corner waiting for its place, but you know when you have purchased a "meant to be owned by me" item, and it will sit until I carry it aound to each room and recognize the spot.
Don't overdo and don't overspend. Your statement can come through loud and clear without stating it ten times in one room. I have a room named "the stag room", oddly named, but of course, we have beautiful stag prints in that room. I eventually ended up with stag bookends, the two stag prints, and other stag accents. I moved pieces out of there once I recognized that it was actually, very boring because of the redundancy and disbursed them throughout the house. So, make a statement but add some subtlety to the room also. You don't need to hit people over the head with your direction and personality, and sometimes, too many supporting pieces will cancel out the impact that you want to give a room.
Decorating can be costly! Yet, the cost of your design can be greatly reduced if you use your common sense. If you love a painting that will drain your decorating budget, shop around for similar items that invoke the message you wish to convey in your home. Look for an antique print of it, and you will love being able to buy furniture for that room too. I like to search on online auctions for certain pieces. If you are looking for a Sir Edwin Henry Landseer painting or print, of course, search for his work, but know that you are going to see prices that reflect the value of it perceived by the person selling the item. If you search, instead, for "stag" or "deer", you may find a prize that you can afford that evokes the exact statement that you were striving to make for that room and bring it all together in a more budget-friendly way. But, if you can afford to decorate with a true Landseer, embrace it and enjoy! Just remember, soothe the eye of the beholder and don't waste space being redundant.
Finally, have good bones to support your interior design. Buying a copy-cat plantation desk, although less pricey, will last only for so long before the drawers break or it needs refinished but you have nothing but laminate wood to work with. There are always ways around the cost of good bones. Keep your eyes open for solid pieces that will last for generations. Look towards flea markets, garage sales, your mother (she may be willing to part with a favorite table if she knows that you understand the value of it), auctions, etc. They are out there. If you can afford to invest in artisan produced furniture, do it.
Above all, your home is for you. If you try to impress, who are you living for? Create your home to comfort you and your family. Otherwise, you will constantly be shopping, doubting, selling, and not finding peace within yourself or your home.
Take care and embrace who you are!
Hello Readers! This is Kay, also known as Katie, and I am excited about this aspect of my store as I can chat your ear off about things near and dear to me as well as favorite things and news! My beautiful daughter Jessi will ghost write behind the scenes so I don't drive you crazy with the bad habits I have collected over the years regarding word usage or mad paragraph design. She wears many hats and, thankfully, copywriter is one of them.