Do you ever have those light bulb moments in your life that are immediately followed by,
“Well, DUH…how did I not realize that???”?
Yup…all the time.
Sometimes they even include a face palm.
My most recent epiphany (I wrote about it HERE) was realizing that I do not, in fact, like farmhouse decor in my own house. I couldn’t put my finger on why I didn’t love my rooms anymore, and it was because I was being influenced by all the gorgeous farmhouse style blogs I’ve been reading. I was following the trend, even though my heart wasn’t in it.
I’ve come across articles on Pinterest about how to find your style, and I always scoffed and breezed past them. I have always been pretty clear about what I like and don’t like…it’s a no-brainer, right? But since I’ve begun blogging again I’m reading decor blogs more than ever before. I didn’t realize how much they were influencing me – until I realized they were the reason my rooms started looking like a hot mess.
Coincidentally, around the same time I tackled a fun project for a festival I’m involved with, creating a funky and fun bohemian style artist lounge area (detail and pics are HERE). I had a blast doing it because I got to play around with a style that I wouldn’t normally put in my own house. But a funny thing happened…
I realized I was totally digging it. Like, I was spending all my spare time searching Pinterest for “bohemian decor”, drooling over Morrocan poufs and trying to figure out if I could keep houseplants alive.
I haven’t done anything in that style since I had my first apartment (the land of wicker and rattan) in the late 1980’s. When I think of “bohemian” I think of tons of colors, wildly uncomfortable furniture and lots of plants and clutter. I also think it’s easy for it to look like a dorm room or college apartment. But boho has grown up. It can be all those things, or it can be sophisticated, chic, earthy and eclectic. And it doesn’t have to be crazy colors – a monochromatic scheme gives it a very elegant, refined vibe.
I shouldn’t be surprised, really….a significant chunk of my wardrobe is devoted to flowy gauze tops and peasant skirts and I’ve been collecting chunky turquoise jewelry for years. Bohemian chic isn’t that big of a stretch for me, especially since it’s so easy to put your own stamp on it.
After I dismantled the festival artist tent, I starting playing around with some of the items from the project in my house. And it totally worked! I started purging my half-assed attempts at farmhouse decor and replaced them with some of my boho festival bargains. And for the first time in a long time, I liked what I was seeing.
The first room I tackled was the little sunroom which is just off my living room.
I’ve done a couple projects out there already – I’ve written about my Old Door Upcycle and West Elm DIY Bentwood Pendant Debacle. I was happy with both projects, and it was kind of an interesting, quirky little room – but still lacking any real direction.
I didn’t change the furniture arrangement at all – the room is TINY, so options are limited. I grabbed a Boston fern from my pergola and hung it on one end of the room, and added the bargain mirror from Hobby Lobby – $89.99 marked down to $9! I topped the tile table with the 3 globes of varying sizes.
Man, I wish had “before” pics of that project! I made that table years ago from a rusty black plant stand with no top on it that I got for $1.59 at the thrift store. I added a plywood top, framed it out, spray painted the whole thing brown and made a tile mosaic pattern on the top.
Since my color palette is so neutral, texture is super-important. I used some of the pillow covers I wrote about HERE on the wicker chairs.
And a soft and fuzzy throw:
And this fun poof ottoman, which I totally love:
The round coffee table was something I picked up at a thrift store for $10 back when I had my home staging business. The style is mid-century modern, which I never used to like – but I’ve come appreciate a piece or two in a room for its clean lines.
I dug out my weird little collection of vintage table top cigarette lighters that I had packed away in the attic and put them on a thrift store tray.
I used to pick these up at the flea market. I’m not sure why I became fixated on them since I’ve never been a smoker. My best guess? My grandmother smoked when I was a child, and she always had a fancy lighter on her coffee table. She was always very elegant and put together, so I think I associate them with her.
I made a bohemian style wall hanging out of yarn, copper couplings, and a white birch stick:
I know this does not look great in the picture. It’s one of those projects that looks fantastic in real life but doesn’t translate into a great photo with my rudimentary skills.
I’m hoping to share a tutorial next week, so I’ve got one of my photographer friends coming over to take a crack at it. Until then, you’ll just have to take my word for it – it looks pretty cool. 🙂
What a difference! I’ve always struggled with this odd little room but switching out the accessories was exactly what needed to happen . I can honestly say, I LOVE the room, and for the first time in the 15 years I’ve lived here – it feels like me.
(and not because I keep the wine in here 😉 )
Are you struggling to figure out why your rooms aren’t quite working?
How to Find Your Style
- Are you following a design trend simply because it’s everywhere you look? Ask yourself if it really gets you excited, or if you’re just following the crowd. If truly makes your heart go pitter-pat, have at it. If not – keep looking.
BTW – I am not knocking farmhouse style. I like it in other people’s homes, it’s just not for me.
- Take a close look at your Pinterest boards and look for common themes. Chances are good the same colors and styles are showing up in your pins. When you find a reoccurring pattern, take a closer look at it.
- Look at what you have hanging in your closet. My affinity for bohemian clothes and jewelry should have tipped me off a lot sooner that I would like the same style in my home.
- Keep in mind that you don’t have to commit 100% to one style. Farmhouse decor has spun off into modern and industrial, Traditional can be casual or very glammy, and eclectic can combine just about anything. Personally, I think the most interesting rooms are a mash-up of more than one style. The most important thing to remember is to incorporate pieces you love into the space. Does it make you happy every time you walk into the room? If not, keep experimenting.
Your style will evolve over time, and what you love right now might make you cringe 10 years later. But – if you don’t absolutely love your home, it’s worth spending a little time trying to figure out why. The best feeling in the world is coming home at the end of the day getting a huge smile on your face because your house is the best place on the planet.
And sometimes it only takes a few minor tweaks to get it there. 🙂