It is no secret that in a military life, we move a lot. So that means a lot of decorating. A lot of starting over with my spaces. A lot of blank canvases. A lot of "What the heck do I do with this space??"
So I blog stalk.
[blog stalk (blɒg stawk)
v - to frequently view the online journals of other unknown/known people.
She would often blog stalk home decor and DIY blogs as inspiration for her own home.]
I find some pretty awesome houses, ideas, and design. I've fallen for Katie Bower's crisp, fun style; The Youngster's clean, cool house; and I have found inspiration that has left me desiring.
In order to create a cohesive, pulled together look, I have worked hard to come up with an answer to the question: what is my design style? Nautical? Feminine? Eclectic? Traditional? In order to do this, I started bookmarking rooms that I loved. Only the rooms that I really LOVED and wanted to live in, because I, like many people, like pretty things. And just because I find a room pretty & interesting, doesn't mean it is "my style."
Now, looking through these inspiration rooms, I find a few similarities.
- I'm drawn to muted, natural colors. Think neutrals; whites, beiges, greys, blues (especially navy), blacks.
- I love wood paneling. I know, weird (I do like them with a nice whitewash on them).
- I love all sorts of natural woods. Deep, dark woods; light, airy woods; perfect woods; and imperfect woods. Love them all.
- I love when a house feels like I can walk outside and be on the water. Whether it's a cold, gray beach in the Pacific Northwest, a colorful harbor on the East Coast, or a romantic sunset on Lake Michigan. I am a water baby.
So what do these all have in common? The three C's: Classic, Clean, and Comfortable.
Desire to Inspire
I like design that is classic. I don't want to have to change my decor every year, because the look just doesn't work for this year. I like pieces that are going to be here for a while. Nice clean lines, warm neutral colors, and a look that can transform with age.
I like design that is clean. I don't like clutter. While I do find many home accessories to tickle my fancy, I do not indulge on these things often. The less "stuff" I have, the cleaner, simpler, and nicer my house feels. I don't like to have shelves full of things. I'd rather have a few pieces that mean something to me.
I like design that is comfortable. Lived in. Cozy. I want people to come into my house and feel like they can sit down on my couch with tea or hot chocolate and talk. Take off their shoes and stay a while. I want my house to be warm and welcoming. I want my house to hug me.
That being said, there are many other styles that speak to me. I love a soft, feminine office with lots of pink and gold, curvy furniture, and a Parisian feel to it. I love a cool, beachy living room with shades of sea glass and shells everywhere. I even love a dark room, with very masculine lines and leather furniture.
But because I know my style, I know what pieces will fit into my house without a problem. I know when I'm thirfting, that wood Ralph lamp will fit seamlessly into my living room, while that cool, low, mid-century dresser might look better in my neighbor's house. Being on such a tight budget, its nice when I know if a piece will work with our house or not before I bring it home.
All that being said, I have two disclaimers to add. First off, I never feel as though I cannot love a piece that is not defined in "my style." There are always exceptions. You might have a very feminine style, but fall in love with a big leather couch. Thats okay! I've found that as long as you love it, it will find a place it belongs amongst the other things you love.
Secondly, I discuss at length "my style" in the post. "My" is defined as J & Mallory's style, as defined by Mallory.
So, you knew it was coming... what's your style? Soft and feminine? Loud and vibrant? Eclectic and bold? Not quite sure yet? Take my advice, start a design folder. Save the pictures you love. Then look for a pattern. And then share! :-)
All photos courtesy of Desire to Inspire or Pottery Barn.