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The Style Shift


As I’ve been working on my home over the past few months, a few realizations have hit me.  The first one was that I have too much stuff and I’ve talked about purging, selling, donating, organizing and paring down in recent posts.  I find myself grabbing more and more things to put on the sale pile.  The other day I was cleaning out kitchen cabinets and Jeff stopped and stared at me, sitting on the floor surrounded by kitchen gear and cook books, as he walked by.  I looked up at him and exclaimed, “I’m getting rid of all of this!  What is all of this stuff, anyway?  I don’t use it.  I don’t need it.  I don’t like it.  It’s gone!  I see STUFF in a brand new way.”  He just replied, “I know you do” and went about his day.  He’s pretty unbothered by the things I do in our home!

So, as I’ve been working through things, arranging furniture, deciding what to sell and what to keep, I realized something else.  A lot of the rooms I really love and go back to again and again have some things in common.  Great antique furniture.  Lots of white.  Lots of blue.  A few really great pieces versus a lot of okay pieces.  Beautiful fabrics.  Intentional accessories and wall art.  Definitely a French and Gustavian leaning with some American farmhouse mixed in.  Then I looked at my home.  There was a lot going on that fit that description, but then there was a lot that didn’t.

The another realization hit me.  I don’t have to just sit long for the rooms I’m tucking away in the inspiration files.  I can create them in my home.  I can edit out what’s taking away from that look that I love.  I can be very selective about what I buy to make sure it works with that style.  So, that’s what I’m doing.  Why sit around wishing and wanting when I can do?  That’s so true of a lot life in general.  I want to be healthy and in shape.  I want to start a business.  I want to see the world.  I want to go back to school.  Whatever it is, I think most of us sit around wishing, wanting, dreaming…maybe even planning, but we don’t do anything about it.

The furniture in my home is really not important at all in the grand scheme of things, but why not work towards what I really want?  Especially since it’s a big part of my business?  Especially when, in my case, it’s involving a lot more selling than buying?  So, that’s what I’m doing.

A few of you have noticed that my style is changing…evolving.  But, it’s not really.  It’s the same as it’s been for a long time, but my style is becoming clearer as I’m editing and moving things around to showcase my style better.  It’s a shift in thinking that’s resulted in the style shift.  It’s much more about editing than about adding whatever I buy that I really like and would prefer to keep instead of sell.

And I’m a champion at that – digging my heals in and keeping something I know doesn’t work, but I really, really like.  In the end it’s like trying to eat a bag of kettle cooked potato chips while you’re trying to slim down.  (It doesn’t work, by the way.  Guess how I know…)  So, you have to make a tough decision.  Do I want the chips or do I want to get rid of the love handles and muffin top?  Do I want my style to show through or do I want to keep this really cool find that detracts from that style?

And I’m really enjoying the results…




I smile when I walk into the rooms where I’ve incorporated this new way of thinking (for me.)  I feel more creative in those spaces.  I feel like there’s more room for living in them.

And isn’t that what a home is all about, anyway?


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  1. Sleepless in Seattle has a serious “Sense of Entitlement” issue. Perhaps this is one of those awful aftermaths of parents catering to their child’s every whim. These children have grown up now and are morphing our world into a “Me Me Me Now Now Now” society.

    Sleepless, a person’s blog, along with the rest of the world, was not created to please you. The authors write what They want to write about. Have you written to book authors to complain about their content? You read this blog for FREE. If you don’t like it, stop reading. You want to have Control over the content? Write your own blog, then hope nobody complains about your posts……

  2. I appreciate this post so much so many reasons… I’m going through moments like that as well. We purchased our first home in 2012 and as I’ve been decorating and designing I’m realizing what I truly like and what I don’t… what I would change in our next home, and what I’d like to make the same. I’m finding my style which makes me realize I’m finding myself, too. :)

  3. I am going through the very same thing! Gives me more spending money too! Hey, I have that same run in my den! I got mine at Home Depot. Looks great in your dining room!

  4. Mollie Culpepper says:

    taking away the “sluff” is what I call it! I am constantly doing the same thing, sometimes you just have to work with what you have, then when you have the $, or time to do it the way you envision it…the whole room, spot or even home comes to life!

  5. What a coincidence – I just publised a post about discovering my design style. I really think it’s an evolving process, as we grow and learn who we are, what we truly love and what is most important to us – our design style developes to incorporate those things. It’s an inspiring journey!

  6. cheapdiva says:

    I keep looking at your curtain rods and wondering where you found them?

  7. Oh my gosh, that dining room, those chairs…. i think i may die over the chairs….

    Anyway, i totally know what you mean. Most of my life living on a budget i would use “finds” and try to make them work – as i go through time, i have been getting rid of stuff that isn’t really my style, and replacing them with stuff that is… little by little – when you don’t have much money, i think you tend to hold on to things and try to make them work, because that is what you’re used too. … but a few good pieces are alot better than alot of small cute things that clutter up the space!


  8. Sandra says:

    Your dining room looks so clean and well-put-together……not too much stuff, but what is there looks great……
    Am I imagining it or does your table have extenders on the legs? Whatever, it all looks great.

  9. Jenny says:

    I think that the tan leather sofa is in the family room (not that I have the house memorized or anything) I know though Marian did a post on the cost and how she paid for it a few weeks ago so you could probably search and find it!

  10. You know we are going through the very same thing in our house right now! It helps that 1/2 of our house has been striped back to the walls because we are having new carpet laid tomorrow. As I bring each piece back into the room we will determine what stays and what is sold. As much as I know my husband would love to have everything put back into the room as soon as possible I think we are going to try and take my time. I’ve got great pieces that I LOVE but have been tucked away.

  11. Gloria says:

    Hi Marian…
    Please take a picture of the door and post it. I would love to see it finished!!!

  12. *sigh* sending a (((hug)))

    I have a question about your rug. Someone did ask recently but I didn’t go back to find if you answered or not, with this rug you now have under the table, how do you keep it clean? As for vaccuming, can you run a vaccum over it? Will it create pulls if you do? Do you feel these types of rugs are best used in areas where there is less traffic?

    I’m debating on whether to purchase one for our den, but we have dog that did ruin our lovely looped wool rug. I never imagined there would be an issue but his nails got caught on the yarm loops and snagged it, not just once but several times. I spent many hours on my hands and knees with a crochet hook pulling the wool back into position.

    Now I wonder if a jute rug would have the same issues. In a nutshell, in your humble opinion do they;

    hold up in high traffic areas
    vaccum well
    and I know you don’t have a dog, but do you think they would get snagged by dog nails?

    Maybe some of your readers may know.

  13. Linda Boyte says:

    Oh, did you step on my toes!!!!! I’ve been going back and forth regarding the knitting and jewelry I have made. I have sold some and given a lot away, but I want an outlet to sell the items. I keep hedging about doing Etsy. Even started the process, but… One of these days it will happen when I least expect it to. Thanks for the encouragement.

  14. I think someone else asked the question and I’m curious as well? How’s your jute rug holding up? I’ve taken one rug out of the dining room already and now have bare floor. (Only 1 of our 5 kiddos is a clumsy mess- but all in all I’m ok with those stats) So, I need something that will clean well and hold up to our Squatch teenagers. Thanks much :)

  15. Teresa says:

    When I first found your blog, I was attracted to your decorating style. Yours is the only one of it’s kind of the chippy/worn-paint furniture, lots of white that I really, really love. Maybe it’s the prevailing blue and ironstone that does it for me. (Neither of which I collect or decorate with.) I was sort of dismayed by your change as I so loved your former look. [I am loving the new look.] I am not a person who embraces change very well. However, I am very inspired by your, “only have what you absolutely love” attitude. It’s made me reevaluate my “stuff.” I am also a person who has a very difficult time letting go of “stuff.” With that said, I am determined to whittle down my stuff. Determined to only keep the “I LOVE IT” stuff over the “I really like it” stuff. Additionally, whereas I appreciate your resolve to get rid of things that you love but doesn’t fit your style, I’m not there yet. May never be. I do love an eclectic style. However, I’ll revisit this thought in a year. Perhaps I’ll be singing a new tune.

  16. It’s a exciting but hard thing when your style changes. It can be a time of dissatisfaction or of great possibilities. I am still purging post-overseas move back to the US and getting everything we own under one roof. It’s great to say I love this…keep. Hate …gone!!!

  17. Wow, I can relate to this. I am devoting 2014 to ridding my house of all the things that don’t serve me and my family. I want to return to simple living. And my design aesthetic is changing as well. I have already donated a ton of stuff to various organizations and feel good that it will be helping people in need.

  18. Maybe it’s the time of year. I am purging my “stuff” too. I think sometimes our style just needs a little fine tuning. It may take a while but when we find it we know. :)

  19. Love this post! I feel like I am never done getting rid of “stuff”! Good to know others are in the same boat as well!

  20. Deborah says:

    I love your style, and wish it was in my home, but I have a husband who loves what he loves and is involved in what our home looks like. That’s a really good thing, too! So, keep posting your beautiful home and insights and I’ll keep drooling and loving the one I’m with. God bless!

  21. Wow! Amazing, just yesterday I was going through boxes of stuff I had stored, I put some stuff aside to sell, and just couldn’t make up my mind what to do with the rest of the stuff so I repacked it. This year my goal if to downsize. Reading your blog today really spoke to me, it’s given me direction, now I know what I’m going to do with the stuff I just couldn’t make a decision on. Thanks, thanks, thanks. You can’t know how helpful this has been to me. I also printed this out, to reread.

  22. This is SO GOOD!!! All of it! I feel so energized to tackle my home this week and once again edit out all the stuff that found its way in but doesn’t need to stay. I like the way my home looks, but I don’t LOVE it – it doesn’t reflect my true style. Thanks for the encouragement to work toward my goal.

  23. I think it so important to be inspired by your surroundings! Thanks for sharing yours!

  24. Susanna says:

    I have read your blog from its beginning and enjoy it. My suggestion would be to post LESS. I think you will soon reach the oversaturation point. I don’t think people would mind at all if you blogged, let’s say, four times each week. You want to keep your readers wanting more! I have noticed that bloggers like Maria of Dreamy Whites only seem to post when they feel like it, and she still has thousands of followers. The daily posting can get a little manic, in my opinion, and there is naturally a tendency for redundancy. You don’t want to be “talking” just for the sake of talking. It’s very obvious!

    I really don’t think this would affect your advertising on your blog at all. I do think that quality trumps quantity in the arena of blogging. As a reader, I would feel that four times each week is enough for a busy mom and business woman. Why don’t you consider that? Best wishes from a faithful reader and remember to stay the humble girl we all first knew! :)

    • Miss Mustard Seed says:

      Thanks, I appreciate that, but I do post when I want to and I guess I’m just chatty and have a lot to say. :) This blog is an outlet for me and I enjoy it. When I need a break, I take it!

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