Sunday, June 23, 2013

Finding My Style

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I don't know if you happen to remember the 80's country craze or not, but let me refresh your memory. Almost everything was slate blue and mauve. There was lots of pine furniture and an abundance of wooden knick knacks. Geese happened to be the animal of the era and were put on everything from dishtowels to breadboxes.

When I got married in 1988, I happened to get a lot of these geese-covered items. I am not exaggerating when I say A LOT. There were no registries back in those days, so you were just thankful for whatever gifts people gave. But it did mean that I started off housekeeping with a lot of slate blue and geese surrounding me.

I came from a home that wasn't especially decorated in one style. My mom just like things to be comfortable and had lots of knick knacks around--really in no rhyme or reason. My husband's mother, on the other hand, was country through and through (except for the geese--I think she wisely totally bypassed them!)

So, with some encouragement from my husband to decorate like his mom, I climbed on the country bandwagon for many years.

But around ten years ago, something happened. I saw this at a craft fair while on vacation in Gatlinburg, Tennessee--

I fell in love with it. My sweet husband saw how much I wanted it and we splurged. We carefully wrapped it in a blanket and found a safe place for it to travel. When we arrived home, the beautiful piece still intact, I searched for the perfect place. Since then, it has moved around once or twice, but it is always placed in a prominent spot. It is still my favorite piece.

With that painted window, came the exodus of the "country-style" and the entrance of "my-style". I started getting a feel for what I liked (so what if my mother-in-law, or my aunt, or my friend doesn't like it? I'm the one who has to live with it!) I became aware that I really love metal art and flowers. It's not for everyone, but it's for me. And so I bought pieces like these--

 You see, what I figured out was that I have to decorate in such a way that shows who I am. As long as I am being a good steward of our money and my husband is in agreement (thankfully, my husband has been very gracious with the changeover), then I should take an interest in making my home pleasing to the eye in such a way that represents my personality.

Every now and again, I find a really good bargain, like this picture that I found at a yard sale for a few dollars. It was a perfect fit and just my style--

I don't have need for many more pieces, but every now and then I just see something that is worth making a spot for--like this beautiful metal art. I spotted it over the weekend. It is made out of used oil drums in Haiti. I wasn't planning on buying anything, but I knew immediately that this was for me.

You see, once I started understanding who I am and what my style is, it became much easier making my home a beautiful and comfortable place for my family because it represents who I am as a woman. 

One of the things I struggled with early on in my journey of figuring out my style was my need for validation and appreciation. After all, if someone didn't like it, didn't that mean my style was bad or wrong? But then I realized that we all have very different tastes. Have you ever looked at a magazine and thought, "wow, that is just not me!" That's what I usually think if I look at a room filled with the clean lines and austere surroundings of the modern look.

But that doesn't mean that either way is right or wrong. They are just different. We need to develop our own style, while at the same time appreciating the taste of others around us. It's not a contest.

What have you discovered about your style? I'd love to hear if anyone went through a similar journey of figuring out who they are as a home decorator? 

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  1. It is fun to come to that realization that I don't need to decorate in some particular way just because it is "in style". It is so much more fun to have things that really represent you.

    I love the old farmhouse look (not the cluttered country look with geese) with wood furniture, a practical yet beautiful tools. I like rag rugs and quilts and things like that. What I have really discovered that I like best is having our home filled with things that either we made or somebody we know made - they might not be done as perfectly but to me they have character and I like that.

    I really like your window flower painting that you got. Very pretty. I can see why you fell in love with it.

    1. Thank you! I have never gotten tired of that window :)

      Actually I love the look that you are describing with the quilts and things --it's just not "me" :) But that look I definitely appreciate (whereas the modern look doesn't attract me in the least!)

      And I agree! I love having things that are handmade by our family or others we know. It makes it all the more special. Thanks so much for reading :)

  2. Beautiful window! I have been on a similar journey to finding my own style - I have so many 'hand-me-downs' that I need to purge because they just don't fit! I do love handmade and vintage. :)

    1. Thank you! Yes, I purge sometimes, too. Which is good, since every once in awhile it's nice to get something new :)

  3. I love your window with the painted flowers.

    Oh my style has changed over the years. I started out really liking Tuscan and faux finished walls, dabbled in British Colonial and now I'm sort of anything goes cottage style. It's funny to see how my tastes have changed!

    1. Thank you! I do love my window :)

      That's a great point--how what we love changes over the years. My style, too, has changed and evolved through the years. Cottage style is one of my favorites. If I had the right kind of house for it, I would def choose that :)

  4. I enjoyed your post very much. I remember well the gaggles of geese from the 80's!
    Over the years, I've found the "My Style" never really fit into a category. A little traditional, a little country, a little arts&crafts. Anytime I tried to reproduce what someone else said was Style, it just didn't work for me.
    You definitely have a flower theme going with these pieces you love,but so varied!
    (stopping by from deep roots at home)

    1. Thanks for visiting! Yes, reproducing what someone else loves is never a good fit--one of the reasons I would never want to pay an interior decorator ;)