Realistic decor

>> Monday, January 31, 2011

So I always get super-excited when looking at interior design stuff, from books & magazines, to images that are more inspirational than instructive.  I even bought a "Better Homes &  Gardens" New Cottage Style book on clearance this weekend (it's so not me to buy the conventional brands...though writing that, I realized I sound super stuck-up.  Sorry.)!

I often get stuck in two places:  The first is that I get turned on by entirely different and clashing decor styles.  A recent post had a picture from Seattle University's Chapel of St. Ignatius, which is a contempory take on religious iconography in decor.  Then, I recently sent Brant a link to a DIY Zen decor web article which features dark woods, Asian-inspired pieces, lots of earthy candles, and earth tones.

At first, it doesn't really seem like a 'problem' but what is so wonderful about both these looks is the total commitment to the ideal or theme.  I'm sure I could marry the two, and it might look beautiful--really really stunning, but the piece I love about it would be lessened significantly.

The second challenge I come to is that I choose ideas that aren't realistic for me at this point in my life.  One issue is money, obviously.  I think we all have this issue, honestly.  So I can skip talking about it in detail.  The next issue is sustainability and reuse.  I don't want to throw out/donate the majority of what I already have in order to acquire new pieces.  I also don't want to set out to alter every piece I have either; with a 5 month old, it's just not realistic, not to mention unsafe, considering the toxins present in many of the materials I'd use to create certain effects.

So...imagine my joy (yes, joy!) when finding, on the same Etsy trend page as the DIY Zen article, an assemblage of pieces and images to inspire a DIY English Country home!  I'm attracted to this natively (see above, my book purchase) and have much of the mishmash of pieces that fit into this theme.

We have a tin watering can we bought vintage that could do this...
and we have a woodstove featured in our living room :)

What I love about this is that many different styles can be added here to form a cohesive whole; we just need some bit of a through-line to pull it together.  I know it's more 'cluttered' than the zen home, but--let's face it--I'm cluttered.  Especially with Owen; could you imagine trying to keep every piece of the zen home together while he's learning how to crawl, walk, spitting up, etc.?

Some pieces we already have:

Vintage chair w/floral print

Rustic side table from the Red Door

'Antiqued' bookshelves

We also have wicker baskets, a floral print couch, an 'antiqued' white dresser (perfect for the living room, ha!), and tons of little knick knacks...

So we can be on our way!


Liina January 31, 2011 at 2:30 PM  

I have been really into home interiors for many years now; I've looked at so many books. Kaden's mom actually bought me a subscription to Better Homes and Gardens for a few years, too, and I have a ton of cut outs. I have never been able to commit to one style, either. Kaden is really, really happy with the way our home is right now, but I feel like it might still be too cluttered. We are constantly getting rid of more stuff, and I've come to realize that organizing & getting rid of stuff is seriously my favorite thing to do.

One of my favorite sources is Most homes featured there have a combination of styles. That's pretty much the hottest thing right now, is combining styles & eras!

I have also reaaaaaaaally been enjoying this flickr group: it's all about "re-styling" pieces you already have (clothes, decor, furniture), and it's so clever & inspirational!

I finally took a bunch of photos of my place in daylight weekend before last, I'll probably post them tomorrow. I love love love your blue flower patterned chair with the bold fuchsia and orange flowered pillow!

I AM February 1, 2011 at 9:16 PM  

Yay!!! I LOVE getting new design idea sources! I'll totally take a look.

orphansparrow February 3, 2011 at 12:05 AM  


is there not a personal message thing on blogger? i guess not.

i just wanted to say, that i got a package from you and colleen! thank you SO so much.

i will email you about it soon.

<3 me

orphansparrow February 19, 2011 at 10:04 AM  

also, i love looking at design stuff too. but i try to stick to art, and not to look at interior design too much. i get too covetous and depressed. i'm going to wait until i am much older, and own my own house to get into it. ^_^ but i love cottage style/shabby chic stuff as well. :)

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