Feel free to skip through this rambling to the good stuff
I’ve been doing quite a bit of self reflection over the past few weeks spent away from blogging, and I’ve made a few new notes to myself that I think are worth sharing.. or maybe rather, I’ve accepted a few realities. It should probably be fairly obvious at this point, but I’m just beginning to acknowledge something. I will forever be tweaking our home. Even as a room nears a finished stage, it’s in my nature to make it “better”. What I’ve also learned is that better today is a FAR cry from what better will be next week (at least in my mind). My personal style will never stop evolving and I am certain that I’ll NEVER settle.
A contributing factor in my across the board style is my background. Most DIY/home bloggers play off this whole “I’m not a design expert, I have no idea what I’m doing” thing. And that’s cool, and true for many. But that’s not me. Now, for the record, an expert I am not. However, I did go to design school, I come from a family of designers, and I’ve been soaking this stuff up since I was five. At this point, I would like to consider myself fairly well seasoned in the interior design world. I live and breathe this shit.
My point – I know what I love.. which is almost everything. I have an immense appreciation for each and every design style, so I must accept that it’s okay if it takes me a millennium to nail down just exactly how I want my own home to feel. It’s not because I’m totally lost and should throw in the towel. I just love it all. So, there’s no rush. I’m going to finish it. AND eventually, I’m also going to change it.
This recognition was HUGE. And such a relief. My brain had been at war with itself for the past few months after suddenly realizing that messed up. I mean, I really fudged up.
After moving into our new home, just over a year ago, I’ve been attempting to work around all of our existing furniture. And about 90% of it, I despise. Crazy right? Not just the working around decor that you don’t love, but the mere fact that after owning the vast majority of our home decor for only, I don’t know, 4-5 years, I can’t stand to look at 90% of it. How did that happen?
For a long time, I thought I’d failed. I felt like, as a designer, I must have seriously messed up to have decorated my entire home, only to turn around several years later and no longer love it. Not true. Let’s take a closer look. Our dining space.
Here are my initial thoughts on a daily basis: Change the light fixture, re-stain the dining table in another tone, replace the rug, and replace the dining chairs. Major changes, right? I mean, yes, the structure of the room stays, the layout stays, but pretty much ALL furniture pieces are changing. Here’s the issue. I actually really love everything about this room, down the very last detail. Just not in my house. In my house, it makes me cringe. Turns out, I’ve been decorating for someone else. This room just isn’t “me”. So, it’s time to make some changes. And that goes for our entire house.
I’m taking a new approach. I’ve always been a big believer in decorating by purchasing things you love and everything else will fall in place. Well, that doesn’t work for someone who loves and appreciates ALL styles. You end up with a beautiful room, with finishes you like, but nothing that you really LOVE. You know, heart beating fast, goo-goo eyes, can’t stop starring, in LOVE. I want that back.
So, to kick off this new approach, we replaced the dining chairs. Again, I adore our old dining chairs. They’re super modern, contrast beautifully with the dark, rustic dining table, both in style and in color. They were a good choice, just not for my house. Outside of everything that they do well for the space, I’m not drawn to them. Nothing speaks to me. A chair that does speak to me?
Three of these mid century modern, dowel-leg chairs with their gorgeous molded backs. They’re an Eames knockoff, a classic in any home. Which, while on topic, let’s clarify. I’d be more than happy to splurge on the real deal if we had the extra cash floating around. Unfortunately, dropping $1200+ on the real Eames chairs would not be a good financial choice for our family right now 😉 Instead, we scored four of these replicas on Amazon for $300 total (the fourth is living in the entryway).
I draped a few sheepskins over them to soften everything up and I’m crazy obsessed. And not in my typical, “this is good” lust, but more of a “yes.. finally, this is me“. Mid century modern furniture has been on my radar since I was a kid and I wouldn’t be surprised to see more of it popping up in our house. My grandpa was an architect and had the sweetest pad. Which I remember down to the details, most of which were super contemporary and mid century pieces. I would give my right hand for a virtual tour of that home now.
I’m playing around with the idea of giving the dowel legs a new finish. Nothing dramatic, but maybe a wood stain that’s a little richer. We’re hoping to get a better idea as we live with them for the time being.
I’m soaking up the view from the kitchen. Aka.. where I spend 60% of my day as a personal chef for the girls 😉
And a fun little swap that I couldn’t help but share.
I picked up this yellow bamboo tray several months back (online from OKL or J&M?) and lined the bottom with some extra fabric that I had on hand. A quick little pick-me-up. It’s not secured down or anything, just folded up to fit and easy to swap out when I tire of it (tomorrow, haha).
So, we’re one step closer to a room that I truly love. Really love. And it’s okay that I had to replace major purchases. Yes, it’s money down the drain and time wasted and energy spent, but it’s a lesson learned. And a good one. I feel like I finally have a grip on where I want our house to be. Which, ironically, is an unexplored and unknown place. Does that make sense? I’m guess I’m just accepting that I my style is all over the face of the earth and may not fit in, but it’s me and it will all get there in good time. Whew… such a sigh of relief.
As for the rest of the room, re-staining the dining table may be next on the t0-do list for this particular room. If I go light enough to have contrast between the table and the dark floors I may even nix the rug altogether. It’s never been my favorite to have a rug in an eating space, but the nubby texture of current one works really well. We’ll see.
Or.. we may tackle the lighting situation. Meaning this guy above would be up for grabs. Any takers? I’m thinking either an industrial DIY’ed fixture, or maybe something vintage as a replacement. Thoughts?