We are moving house this weekend and I've been feeling terribly guilty because I've not been able to help packing, instead I've just sat there pointing and directing my brilliant husband whilst he does all the hard graft. This will be our tenth house move since we got together ten years ago and he has moved us each and every time - he is an absolute star - but I think this may well be the last time he agrees to not using a removal company! Despite the fact that we live life minimally with no clutter it is amazing how stuff just adds up when it comes to packing. This brings me on to what I want to talk about today: finding your own style & decorating your own way.
|What does a/w 2012/13 hold in store..? Trend Bible|
I was reading an interiors article recently, which was all about the new autumn / winter 2012 interiors trends and it questioned the reader as to what their style of preference is. This got me thinking and it brought various questions about how we style our homes into my head;
Do I have to choose just one style & stick with it?
As humans we are in a constant state of evolution and by this I mean our tastes are forever developing and changing. What we like one year may change the following year. How we feel about a look in one house may not be how we feel about it in another. As a serial house-mover, the way I have decorated each house has always been different. The overall appearance has always been one of clear surfaces, open spaces and fuss free styling but never have I been rigid about a specific look. How could it, I seem to love so many different designs and styles that I can never make a decision!...
So, can I mix & match?
If you read any of the interiors magazines like Ideal Home or House Beautiful etc, they are full of brilliant, inspiring and affordable ideas. However the way they break it down, is to categorise interiors into neat little boxes. I appreciate in terms of publishing, it makes segmenting the magazine much easier but I fear it has created a narrow minded approach to interior decorating. Let me demonstrate by showing you a 'typical' room for each category;
What has happened is that phrases like 'vintage' and 'coastal' have been used to categorise and pigeonhole certain looks, making them so contrived that they no longer look real. This categorisation has destroyed, what say maybe 5-10 years ago, was more laid back, less definable and much more unique. I am not criticising what one could call a 'making interior decorating more accessible and affordable campaign' that has taken place of since the mid-late 90's (think about just how many home improvement magazines, television shows and websites that are available nowadays) because I think it is all brilliant and hey Home Restyler is part of that movement. However, what I think is that a natural balance needs to be re-established.
So fight the desire to fit yourself neatly into one box and 'think outside that box' and create your own style...
Can I trust my own decorating instincts?
Of course you can! There is absolutely no one right way of decorating your home. Yes there are some fundamental rules that help create a cohesive overall look (more on that another day) but after that it's up to you baby, go with what you love and what makes you smile. The way you style your home is personal to you and needs to work with the way you choose to live your life. I created an easy to follow process to help you create a look that works for you (here). This process will give you the confidence to trust your gut and go with what you feel is a fab look.
But how can I successfully mix and match without creating a right old hotchpotch?
"If you love it, buy it". If you feel strongly about a painting, a chair, a vase or a fabric, it's because it suits YOU. Something about it makes you happy, so how can it be wrong. I have to enter a caveat at this point... not everyone has what you could call 'good taste' but who are we to judge. Some like neutral, easy to live with interiors a la Kelly Hoppen, some like loud, bold statement interiors a la Abigail Ahern. These two varying approaches won't mix, they just don't marry up BUT who says you can't live in a minimalist, contemporary design-led new build and hang antique paintings, drink out of dainty tea sets or place an up-cycled, vibrantly distress painted bombe chest in it's hallway? You can mix modern and retro or 'vintage' and 'coastal' together, it just comes down to having the confidence to doing your research and trusting your instincts.
|Love it or loathe it. Abigail Ahern lighting.|