It has taken me several years, three apartments, three homes, and some confidence until I found my own style in decorating.
My first apartment was full of brightly painted furniture and quirky artwork. I spent the summer in my parent’s garage with a selection of hand-me-down furniture that I decided would be fun to paint in the boldest colors. Remember that crackle paint phase? I rocked that! I could also decoupage a framed mirror with the most vivid wrapping paper pieces. My apartment was fun but not very functional. It definitely wasn’t cozy and it looked like the Care Bears from the ’80’s were my roommates.
My first home with Bill, which was a 1920’s co-op near New York City, looked like your typical Pottery Barn catalog from the year 2000 that included black accent furniture, dark woods, khaki walls, and a red couch mixed with preloved and pre-owned family pieces. On top of that, there were countless accents of black and white toile.
It was about this time that I started
hoarding collecting and claiming used and secondhand furniture and gaining some focus in my style that, though mimicked much of my mom’s formal tastes, was becoming unique to me.
When we moved to our second home, we had more space, we were preparing for our first born baby, and we were very conscious of our spending. I couldn’t live in an empty, unfurnished house, so I became very skilled at repurposing and updating my collected pieces and mixing them with newly purchased furniture.
While fixing up our current home, I have come to believe you don’t have to pick just one style. I have touches of traditional, farmhouse, eclectic, industrial, cottage, and french country in my home. I don’t feel forced to define my decor and always stay within that realm. I don’t believe in limits when it comes to adorning my home. This house goes beyond the walls and roof and tells my personal story with the elements in it.I have my great grandparent’s antique furniture that is still as elegant as the day it was made against a backdrop of rustic burlap.I have found worn furniture with imperfections and layers of paint that I imagine has an interesting background.I have pieces that I’ve literally pulled from a dumpster that was previously loved by one family and is now loved by ours.Hanging in my house is Ella’s drawing of her daddy, a bright Keith Haring, and a bold gold elegant framed oil painting with a narrative written on the back by my mom.I have brand new industrial looking pieces that share a space with a family heirloom.
I’m so appreciative and pleased with my furniture and accents that I’ve realized they should be the highlight of the room, so over the past few years, I’ve transitioned my wall colors to warm neutrals. Much unlike my first two homes, where each room had a bold wall color, my neutral walls put the focus on the decor in the room. The walls are the blank canvas and what dwells in those rooms is the art that is full of life and meaning. I can tell a story about each piece of furniture, whether it be the dresser my mother had as a child or the leather chair we splurged on as newlyweds.I’ve found my niche, even though it does not fit into one style category. I’ve found a balance of having enough detail without being overwhelming, while also maintaining a sense of humor and flexibility. If I love a piece, I use it and I don’t worry about if it will go with the other elements in my home.My home is authentic and comfortable, and, I hope, welcoming and friendly. It is a reflection of me, my family and those I love.
Do you have a decorating style?