If you were to “hang out” with me for a spell you would hear me make this comment – often – (Maybe too often)
“Just because you can doesn’t mean you should!”
That saying can be applied to just about every area of life – however, today I’d like to discuss it in terms of decorating your home.
I have been in business as an Interior Designer for a little over 20 years and during that time I have seen many fads – come and go.
And while I’m grateful for fads and trends, because they inspire us to try new things.
They also help us to get to know ourselves a little better. We’re not cookie cutter women and our homes should not be cookie cutter styled.
Joanna Gaines has had a huge impact on design style in America over the last few years and she has given a whole new meaning to the word ‘farmhouse decor’ but if you’re only decorating your home in this style because ‘everyone’ else is then you’re going to be stuck in a time warp when everyone else moves on to something else.
I love farmhouse style (and I LOVE Joanna Gaines) but honestly, I loved farmhouse long before I ever heard of The Silo’s or Waco Tx was put on the map. (I’m actually old enough to be Joanna’s mom) ugh.
I love this style because it’s simple and uncluttered and I – Just Don’t Do Clutter! (sorry English teachers)
One visit to my house and you’d realize – My farmhouse style is a different than Joanna’s because I also have to have a little ‘green’ – OK – a LOT of green – and turquoise. So while I like my basics to be neutral I can’t live with all whites and greys – it’s just not me and because I ‘know me’ I could never paint everything in my home those colors.
I love the look and it works great for others – it just wouldn’t work ‘for me.’
My point is: you can’t just follow trends because they’re trends – you have to know who you are and what you truly LOVE.
If you’ve never taken the time to discover what you truly like – you’ll be like a wave on the ocean and every time a new idea pops up, you’ll be ready to redo everything – again. ?
Not only is this expensive – it’s emotionally draining.
Here are a few ideas to help you discover your true ‘personal style.’
Look in your closet. This is the #1 place to get a glimpse of your “true” personality. Are most of your clothes conservative, neutral or edgy? After removing the basics (black and white) what are the one or two dominating colors in your closet? Not sure why it’s so much easier for us to purchase a blouse in our favorite color – then not have the courage to use that color in our homes (especially, if it doesn’t happen to be the current trend) but we do it all the time.
Create an Inspiration Board on Pinterest. Today you have a great tool available to you on Pinterest. Use it! Create a board and when you see something that inspires you pin it to your board. Don’t overanalyze this, just go with your gut.
Pick up a few magazines. Go to your local thrift store and pick up a few magazines that are current – but you also need to pick a few copies that are ‘old’ (at least 4 of 5 years older than current year)
Why? Because “new” magazines only feature the latest “trends” and you are trying to discover your true, authentic style.
Now, comes the fun part – set aside a little time – grab your favorite cup of joe or a tall glass of tea (super sweet- if you’re from the south) and start thumbing through the pages.
Don’t just look at the pictures of rooms – Also look at the ads. Tear out anything that catches your eye, a certain color, pattern, or idea. Put all of this in a folder.
After you have done this for a few weeks, you will start to notice a trend going on. You’ve taken a look at your closet, you’ve pinned ideas to a Pinterest Board and you have a folder with ideas from your magazines.
Now, it’s time to analyze your findings.
If you’re like most people you’ll probably notice that you consistently choose/pin the same colors scheme and style. That’s not to say it’s all going to be matchy-matchy because it’s not at all – unusual- to discover something completely surprising about yourself when you do this exercise.
Occasionally, someone breaks these rules (I happen to be one of those people) but most ‘normal’ ? people will usually discover their own ‘trend.’
If the majority of your clothing is conservative and softer in colors you pinned probably pinned neutral décor and the magazine pages are also pretty neutral, but if your clothes are bright and edgy so are your pins and pages.
Now that you have a pretty good idea of what your style is – it will be easier to choose items that you’ll love for a lifetime.
If you will follow your heart when you decorate your home with what you truly love, you will end up with a home that is warm and welcoming and when friends and family visit – Don’t be surprised if you hear them say “ahh, this house ‘looks’ just like “YOU”
When you stick to your ‘basic style’ (true authentic self) it actually frees you up to experiment with different trends, because all of your basics (large purchase items) to be your style and you can think of trends as ‘accessories.’
It’s so much easier (and cheaper) to add a couple pillows and accessories that are trendy than it is to completely redo everything, every time a new idea comes down the pike.
Remember, me saying earlier that there’s always a ‘rule breaker’ – here’s what I mean:
If you could take a peek inside my closet you would see lots of color but when it comes to my home I tend to want neutrals. I LOVE color (especially bright colors – like you’d see at your local Mexican Food Restaurant) but because I’m a designer I get to work with color all the time so that need is met – so when it comes to my own home the basics (large purchase items) are neutral and I get my color fix with turquoise and green accents and paint.
I hope that I have helped you understand why it’s SO important to “know” your true self and then to have the courage to “Be THAT person” – Not your neighbor AND Not your friend – but your REAL AUTHENTIC SELF!
You are unique – celebrate your uniqueness!