Every home has a personality. It might be quirky, conservative, playful, regal, humble, sleek… The home brings something to the table. While there are some homes that need to be stripped to the bones and entire reworked, most homes just need for you to cooperate with them – let them be what they are and bring out their best qualities.
As I’m working on this new home, first of all, I’m falling more in love with it every day. I was admittedly a little disappointed that buying an old house wasn’t going to happen at this season of life, so this house felt like a compromise. A really good compromise, but a compromise non-the-less. As our family and belongings have populated the space, I have come to realize I was selling this home short…misjudging it simply because it was young.
One of my wise readers put it well, “All old homes were once new.”
This house is already blossoming just by adding some texture, warmth, and personality.
I’m also realizing, though, that this house is not my last house. I know that’s an obvious statement, but don’t most of us pack up our belongings and plop them into a new house, expecting it will all work?
What I mean by that is I need to decorate it differently. What worked in my last house won’t necessarily work here. Stacks of ironstone look simply like white dishes when put into new maple cabinets with glass shelving and a lit interior.
I need to work with this house, blending my style in gently and thoughtfully. It’s not an old house and I don’t need to try to make it look like one. It’s not a farmhouse and I don’t need to try to stuff it inside of that box. Doing that to this beautiful home, which can stand on its own two feet quite well, would be a disservice.
That being said, this home has a lot of features that echo those found in old homes – the arches, the transoms, the back stairs. I can highlight those traditional features and still embrace the newness of this home.
And working with the house might mean selling some of my most beloved pieces. This house seems to favor woods sporting a warm patina and antiques that have a European style. My more primitive, farmhouse pieces, like the blue step-back cupboard in the dining room, my pie safe, and the cream hutch, all feel a little out of place.
Maybe painted walls will help. Maybe they need a fresh coat of paint. Maybe they just haven’t found their perfect spot. Or, maybe I just need to sell them and find something better suited to this home. We’ll see.
Here’s what I’m learning, though…I’m not going to fight this house. I’m going to work with it and let it be what it is. I’m going to find a happy compromise that merges my style with the style of this home.
I can already picture it in my head and, it might take some trial and error, but it’s going to be really fun to see how it turns out.
So, how about you? Are you working with the style of your home? Are you fighting it?