I hope you all had a nice and relaxing weekend. I painted my dining room on Saturday – yay!! Paint really is the best decorating tool out there. Since the house was pretty much torn apart all weekend and the sun didn’t come out at all yesterday I couldn’t get any pictures, but hopefully I can do something about that later this week.
Last week I started talking about styling and accessorizing your space. Like I said before, there is so much I want to talk about on this subject – I really do find it the most fun (and sometimes – I’m not gonna lie – most frustrating) part of putting a room together. I also mentioned I wanted to do a little blog series – I’m still working out the details but basically I’d like to provide different ways to style various areas around your home, tips for turning inspiration into reality, etc. Since I don’t do much by way of DIY, I thought I could offer you ideas and inspiration in a different format. If there is a topic you’d love to see me cover, leave me a comment or shoot me a message. My “door” is always open by the way, so if you ever have a question or would like an opinion on something (related or unrelated to this blog), feel free to reach out – I love talking all things home. I can’t promise I will be able to help, but I’d sure love to try. 🙂
So Friday was all about layering (or my version of layering anyhow), because I wanted to get you all thinking about breaking a room down if it wasn’t something you were doing already. My whole approach to decorating changed once I started doing this. I have always loved houses and creating pretty spaces, but for years I struggled. My rooms looked nice and we received many compliments on our home – but I wasn’t achieving the look I really wanted. I just couldn’t get there. But once I started breaking a room down, looking at the individual elements, and learning what I was drawn to, it became easier for me to achieve my desired look. It also helped me hone in on “my style”.
What do I call my style?
I just don’t know what to call it. When people ask, I usually stammer and stutter and spit out something like cozy – cottage-y – farmhouse-y – antique-y – wicker basket-y – pottery barn…ish???
And I almost always say it in the form of a question…
Probably because even I don’t know what that is supposed to mean.
Regardless of what it should be called, at its core my style is a little bit old and a little bit new, with a splash of shabby and a heavy dose of neutral color, natural texture, and warm, weathered wood accents. Who cares if it has a proper name, right?
So what about you? Do you know what your style is?
Some of you might immediately think, Yep. I’m all shabby chic… or I’m all about the modern farmhouse look…or I love me a coastal cottage feel…etc. Or maybe you’re like me, and know the elements you like, but you don’t really know what to call it.
And then some of you might be thinking, I have no idea. I just know what I like when I see it.
So often when I’m asked to help someone with a space or to give my opinion on something, the first question I usually ask is along the lines of “What look or feel are you going for?” or “What kind of style do you like?”
Nine times out of ten I get a blank stare followed up with “I don’t really know…but… I know what I like when I see it!”
Sound familiar? 🙂
So then I’ll try to dig a little deeper…”What colors are you usually drawn to?” “What kind of furniture do you usually like?” “Do you like things to match or do you like a more collected feel?” and so on.
Most often, the answers are hard for people to come by, and that’s ok. There are so many options out there, it’s hard to know which direction to go. I think it goes back to Friday’s post. How many times have you looked at an image of a beautifully put together room and thought, oh that’s so pretty! and then moved on without actually looking at it? Sure, we might notice the wall color, or a pretty sofa – but a room has so much more going on than that.
And sometimes the things we notice first aren’t even the things we end up loving most about the space.
If you’re having trouble determining what your style is – or even if you have a good handle on your style, but get stuck every time you go to decorate your coffee table – give this a try instead. It may seem like a no-brainer, but I’ll be honest, it didn’t click with me right away…
Gather five to ten images of rooms you really like (I think it helps if you stick with the same room type – all bedrooms, all living rooms, etc.) – don’t think about them too much, just gather them up whether it be on Pinterest, Houzz, Google, or pages you’ve torn out of a magazine…
…does anyone still save pages from magazines besides me? I have binders for all the different rooms…
…I am such a nerd. 🙂
Once you have your images, go through them one by one and really study them. What jumps out at you? Is it a wall color? An accent color? A style of sofa? A certain tone of wood? If you’re looking for help decorating your coffee table – study the coffee tables in these rooms. What’s on them? How is it arranged? I’m willing to bet there will be at least one common denominator in all of them. Start looking at pictures this way enough and you’ll start to see Oh, I’m drawn to white slipcovered sofas and blue accents… or…I love rooms with chippy white furniture and dark wood floors…or…I love coffee tables stacked with books and a vase of fresh flowers. Not only will you start to pick up on what you like, but eventually, you’ll start to see how and why the space works and it will be easier to implement that into your own home.
Strange as it may seem, a light bulb went on when I saw this image a few years ago:
I’ll explain along with a little before and after when we continue next week. 🙂
So what do you usually say when someone asks you what your style is? Do you have a name for it or do you just rattle off a bunch of different words like I do? Or are you still trying to figure it all out? Let’s talk about it!
P.S. You said you didn’t care how long my posts were, sooo….. 🙂