"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.
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.
Buy furniture and decor with intention. 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.
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.
Our homes, reflections of us. 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.
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.
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 because 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. Your long-term investment will be well-appreciated by those that inherit your treasures!
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! - Kay, Katie And Company®