Happy Monday! Thank you so much for the kind comments and constructive feedback about the new look here on my website & blog! We will be making changes and tweaks over the next few days to make things even easier to find and navigate.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about my decorating style and how it’s evolved over the 12+ years I’ve been sharing on this platform. I thought it would be fun to look back at the things I did about 10 years ago that I still use and love today. This is really a great exercise for anyone because recognizing the things that are timeless and have staying power in your home will help you make better decorating decisions in the future. Here are some of the things I liked then that I still like today…
painted legs & wood tops
I love painted furniture, as most of you know, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like wood! In fact, most of the furniture pieces in my home are wood. But, when I paint a piece, I prefer to leave the top wood. I’ve been doing that since I first started my decorative painting & mural business and I still love the look and practicality of it today. When I first started painting furniture about 20 years ago, I learned that painted finishes can scratch and mar easier than pieces with a clear finish over natural or stained wood. It is just a more forgiving finish, especially for tabletops. So, that is how I’ve finished the majority of my pieces over the past 10+ years. I also love the warmth the natural wood brings to the party.
(PS – I’m thinking I might paint or refinish that buffet. It’s always looked a little too orange to me, but I haven’t had a clear vision for it.)
blue & white
I have loved blue and white for over 20 years and I can’t imagine that ever changing. I love to paint with blue and white. I like to wear blue and white. I want to be the blue or white pieces in a board game. To me, it looks classic, cozy in the winter and cool in the summer, and I never tire of it.
dishes on the wall
This is one I thought I might grow out of, but I haven’t yet! I started hanging plates on the wall because it was affordable. I could find pretty dishes at thrift stores and yard sales for just a few cents a piece, so it was a great way to cover a wall and add vintage style to our apartment. I still think it’s such a pretty look and I like how it brings 3-dimensional texture and interest to a wall. It’s also another way for me to display my extensive ironstone collection!
the (gently) karate-chopped pillow
I have seen this discussed in articles on decorating trends that are “out”, but I still like a little divet in the tops of my pillows. I’ve never done the harsh, full-out karate-chop, but I like little indent and pointed corners. I think it’s a subtle visual cue that the pillows are soft and inviting. Pillows that are stiff squares can give the impression that they are not very comfortable.
I can’t imagine ever being tired of my ironstone collection. It is one of my very favorite things and I love that it’s such a feature in our home. It is in just about every room…used as decor, as our daily dishes, as holders for pencils, paperclips, and toothbrushes. When I’m in an antique store, I still make a beeline for ironstone. Even if I don’t buy it (which I’m buying less these days since I have so much), I enjoy spotting it and taking a minute to appreciate the maker’s mark and pattern.
I have always loved the clean and classic look of marble. It is such a beautiful, timeless material. In every bathroom and kitchen makeover I’ve done in the last ten years, I’ve used marble for the backsplash, flooring, and/or on the shower/tub surround.
I was heavily influenced by Sarah Richardson, Carrie Raphael, and Rachel Ashwell when it comes to slipcovers. They sold me on the versatility and beauty slipcovers can bring to a home, not to mention the ability to give quality upholstered pieces a longer life. I made my first sort-of slipcover about 20 years ago and have continued to make them for pieces I sell as well as most of the upholstered pieces in our home. I like knowing I can change the look of any piece and I don’t have to stress about stains and spills.
I’m sure there are other mainstays in my house, like jute rugs, white cabinets, warm wood tones, quilts & textiles, and more, but I think the ones that made the list are the biggies.
While there are a lot of things that have remained the same, there are a few things that have changed..,
Art & Art Supplies
Jeff and I were watching a documentary on an art heist yesterday and I said, “If I were an heiress or somehow had massive amounts of money, I would become an art collector.” Of course, you can be an art collector on any budget, but I mean I would go to auctions at Christie’s and Sotheby’s and start a serious art collection that I would probably donate to a museum one day. Anyway, I never would’ve even had that thought 4-5 years ago. When my mom and I went to Paris a couple of years ago, I wasn’t even planning on visiting any art museums! Other people talked me into it. Now, I can’t wait to go to more museums and I’m consistently trolling for new books to see more works from more artists.
All of this to say, creating art has made me a more passionate supporter of other people who create art and I’m using original art more in my own home.
It’s also given me a whole new love for antique art supplies. Since I don’t really *need* or have room for any more ironstone, I have turned my collecting efforts to antique art supplies.
I still love primitive pieces, but they just didn’t work in this house. The taller ceilings just the general feel of the house felt at odds with chippy, worn pieces that were smaller in scale. Those worked great in my little 1940’s Cape Cod, but the style of this house dictated a shift to pieces that are a bit more refined.
What are some of your decorating mainstays? How has your style evolved over the past decade?
Tomorrow, I have a fun announcement to share along with a giveaway, so I hope you’ll come back for that!