A Style to Call My Own

I believe that true personal style evolves over time and is influenced by a person's perspective, experiences, character, aspirations, and surroundings. I grew up with a mother who has great style and was always re-decorating our home. With every changing of the season she was doing something different. Regardless of what she did, it was always beautiful. My grandmother also had a beautiful home. It was an antebellum home stuffed (and I do mean stuffed) with gorgeous antiques and collections from her world travels. So from a very young age I have been exposed to and fascinated by design personalization and as I've grown older, I realize the importance of turning a house into a home. Home really is where the heart is and it becomes a huge part of our lives and our memories.
3posthomedad My dad’s childhood home (built in 1865) which sadly ended up burning to the ground. That is a pecan tree in front. It was great for climbing…
3posthome1stMy first childhood home. My dad loves anything that looks like a log cabin or is a little "ranchy" or rustic…
3posthome160 The last house I lived in before I went out on my own…
CCI07242010_00000  Our old vacation home in the Smokies. It was called “The Bear Necessities”…
CCI07242010_00000 Some view, huh?

While going through design school, and even before that, I changed "my style" over and over again. From British colonial to retro/mid-century modern to bohemian and many more and my husband always laughed when I said "I figured out what my style is!..." because he knew it would be different next week and that I would be just as certain that this was "the one". I was so hell-bent on trying to "pick" a specific style that I only found myself incredibly frustrated when I fell in love with something of another style or period that didn't seem to fit in with what I had already decided on. (To look at my home right now, you would definitely see the changes I've gone through. It's a bit higglety pigglety at the moment.) I kept thinking to myself, "This shouldn't be such a frustrating process. Why don't I know what my own style is??" I wanted to have it all; all that I loved of all my favorite styles from all around the world.  I wanted rich, saturated colors, but also lots of soft, neutral hues, and patterns, and textures, less, more, organic, abstract, Indian, Scandinavian, Latin, French, beachy, modern, traditional, zen, old, new,...lions and tigers and bears, oh my! Right? I was feeling a bit overwhelmed. Yep, it was definitely overload. Too much out there, too many options, and I loved them all. I was beginning to wonder if this was just the life of a designer- too much exposure to design and being in love with pretty much the whole world and every time period in it which equaled madness in my own home. Surely not. There must be a way. Must...find....cohesive style.....for home...(do you hear the desperation?)

Well, just as I was beginning to think I would never decide on a style to call my own, I realized something that drastically changed my view on the topic: I already had a style. Think I've “gone 'round the bend”? Well, you're probably right, but not in regards to this. You see, once I stepped back away from the trees, I could see the forest. I was going about it all the wrong way. "My style" was there all along. I started thinking about what I love and what my husband loves, our passions, our goals, our memories, our interests, our personalities...and it became clear. A home should be about you...full of things that are close to your heart and less about style that someone else has already established. And as long as that's the common thread, everything will work together. I mean, what's the fun in having a home that just says modern or just says bohemian? That's flat design to me. It has no real meaning or substance. It’s just a pre-existing style slapped onto a room. A home should feel like life. Rather than "Once upon a time two people fell in love, lived happily ever after, the end", it should tell of all the moments shared, good and bad, big and small, failures, learning, and triumphs, all the things that, somehow, all together, make up a beautiful, wonderful story of you. Its layer after layer, experience after experience, an evolution.
My husband is my best friend, my soul mate, my partner, and the man I want to share all of my crazy life with. We want to build an empire together, travel to the ends of the earth, laugh at what we find funny, eat things people think we're crazy for trying, drink Rhone wines and Malbecs until we're silly and our teeth are purple, and just squeeze life completely dry. And that's what I want my home to reflect. Him and me, living life and enjoying things we love together. That's all that matters and I realize that that is the only style that will make me happy.

A home full of all things loved and shared by those who live inside is what makes it beautiful and meaningful. Now that is a style I can call my own.    
This is part of a series so stay tuned as I break down my own style one step at a time...

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