I was reminded the other day how much my style has evolved since I first moved to this little cottage on the island. I look back at pictures over the years and while some of them make me cringe they also make me proud I was willing to keep trying until I found a style I loved.
I think sometimes we get “stuck” when our decorating choices don’t work out in real life like we think they should in our head. While working on Loblolly Manor over the summer, I met with a design client. She desperately wants to fix up her master bedroom. The bedroom right now looks completely fine but it doesn’t match with the decorative vision she has in her head. Most of the things she wants to work on are totally cosmetic and definitely doable. But there is one thing that is stopping her…she needs to address a small flooring issue. The floor needs to be patched in some areas and leveled in others. Then she needs to decide if she wants planked flooring or to stencil something on the concrete floors. Maybe tile should be an option or should she just consider carpet.
These are the kinds of details that can cause us to feel so overwhelmed that we don’t do anything because we don’t want to make a design decision we’ll regret. While I certainly don’t take the amount of resources it takes to make a house a home lightly, I also want to encourage you to take a chance on the potential you have right in front of you.
The best example I can give from my own home is the breakfast area. When I first moved to the island, we used this glass table for everyday dining. We eventually moved it out to the front porch and for a while, it met our needs.
Meanwhile inside, my bestie S built the new breakfast table and I painted it white.
We bought a new rug from Pier 1 and a light from Ballard Designs both of which we still use today.
I painted a set of chairs I found at a local thrift store in what I thought was my coastal chic style.
It doesn’t look like much but this was the beginning of a change that would ripple throughout the house.
In 2014, the breakfast space evolved even further when I added drop cloth curtains, wicker chairs to the ends of the table and painted the chairs from green tea to white. This is also the time I really started to appreciate my heart spoke in neutrals and wasn’t really coastal at all.
By 2015, the shell of the space stayed mostly the same so I knew I was feeling more settled with the color choices. I traded out the old wicker chairs for new chairs from IKEA and brought in different dining chairs for the table. These are really subtle changes but layering different textures made a huge difference.
Over a late night dinner while we were on vacation in December, we talked about our home goals for 2016. The one theme that we kept repeating was creating a home that was “warm, welcoming, calm, clean, comfortable, uncluttered and relaxing.” When I decided to change a few things in the breakfast area a couple of weeks ago, I kept replaying that conversation in my mind.
I switched out the framed flour sack towels for this sign that reminds me of my grandparents.
I painted two chairs that were taking up space in the garage Valspar’s Fired Earth and snuggled them up to the table.
I moved the weathered cabinet from the entry to the breakfast area so we could see one of our favorite projects filled with treasured thrifted finds as soon as we walked through the front door.
I took down the EAT letters and replaced them with this metal piece I picked up at Kirkland’s using a gift card they were sweet to send me for Christmas.
Finally, I made pillows from fabric I found on sale and dishtowels I found I couldn’t live without. Nevermind, I had to use muslin to back them because the pillows I chose were bigger than the towels would cover.
As we grow and change so do our decorating choices. Sometimes they’re bold and sometimes they’re much more subtle. But the end goal is always the same…creating a home that welcomes you with open arms as soon as you walk through the doors.
See you guys back here tomorrow. I’m sharing my favorite sweet treats to help you celebrate Valentine’s Day.