The other day I came across an old post from a couple of years ago.
It was a nice reminder to me that sometimes we need a little trial and error, and it’s okay to not get it “just right” on the first try. The journey and the process are supposed to be fun – and so much can be learned along the way.
So in case you missed it the first time, or just need a little reminder too, I thought I’d share it again. Keep in mind this was nearly two years ago, so things have changed even more around here. Maybe I should do a series of room evolution posts someday…
Last week I started talking about finding your style (read it here) and I shared an image that provided a bit of an “A-Ha!” moment for me. It sounds silly to me now, how do you like one style, but do something entirely different? It’s not that I didn’t know what I liked, I just wasn’t paying attention to it when I started decorating my home.
I thought white would be boring or too stark.
I thought color – any color – would instantly make my rooms more interesting.
I thought my love of country/farmhouse/antique décor would feel too “old” or not trendy enough.
I thought I could just head out to a store and buy everything I needed in one day to make a room beautiful.
And I was so wrong on all accounts.
I initially pictured this house in light and airy shades of white and gray, but soon after we bought the house, I chose a color scheme that was rich in earth tones of brown, green and beige. A similar palette had worked for us in a previous home – a home that was completely different in style and full of beautiful natural light. I think that fear of white being boring kept creeping into the back of my brain, and I suppose a color scheme that worked before felt safe and that’s why I went with it…
I can come up with no other explanation for why I went down that road – just wait until you see the pictures. 🙂
I spent so much time and effort trying to decorate these rooms to feel like I wanted – and it just wasn’t happening. And then one day flipping through the Pottery Barn catalog, I saw this picture:
Isn’t that a beautiful entryway? It wasn’t so much that I wanted an entryway like the one in this picture (although who wouldn’t?), it’s more that I wanted the feel of that room throughout my entire house.
What do you think when you look at that image?
To me it feels like a breath of fresh air. It’s light, bright and airy, with lots of texture and the lovely contrast of white, wicker and wood. I remember noticing the weathered wood from the boot inserts in the corner, and loving the warmth and interest that tiny touch had on the room. This was the direction I wanted my rooms to take.
I started flipping through other images I had saved from magazines (I wasn’t on Pinterest at this point) and sure enough 9 out of 10 rooms were white backdrops, neutral colors, and a heavy dose of texture and wood accents.
Unfortunately, I looked up at the rooms around me and saw this
Can you believe that’s the same house? Who was decorating that house?? 🙂
It’s not that it looked bad, but it certainly didn’t portray light, bright and airy. It was no breath of fresh air.
And so I started lightening things up around here. I eased my way into lighter colors – why can white be so scary?!– and initially went with soft shades of gray. Gray was, and still is, very in and so I thought this would be a safe choice. After recently seeing the dining room go from gray to white though, I know now that white walls are definitely more my thing.
I had been fighting those wall colors for so long and didn’t even realize it. Once the walls became lighter, I was able to focus more on the styling and the accessorizing. I was inspired. I didn’t find my rooms boring, instead I found them refreshing.
I removed everything I no longer liked so it didn’t cloud my vision of my room’s progression. Empty spaces no longer made me crazy and I stopped bringing home random things just to complete a room – things that I always ended up returning, or that just ended up in the donation box because they weren’t anything I really felt a connection to. Instead, I started waiting until I found things I really loved. And once I started bringing in things I really loved, my rooms started to come together and portrayed that same depth, dimension and connection that I felt when looking at my inspiration pictures.
So if you’re feeling stuck or less than satisfied with the direction the rooms in your home have taken, don’t get discouraged. Maybe you just haven’t had your “A-Ha” Moment yet. Take some time, do some research, really think about the things that draw you in to a space, and the atmosphere you want to create.
Once you have a good idea of how you want your home to look and feel, start digging in little by little. Maybe you start with the wall color, maybe you DIY some funky wall art to add a little interest to your walls, maybe you save up to purchase a new sofa…or maybe you invest in a collection of pillows to dress up the sofa you have. Or maybe you just clear away the clutter and get rid of the things that no longer speak to you. I think the best homes are created over time, not over a weekend, so do what you can, when you can and have fun with it along the way. 🙂
And because before and afters are always fun…