Welcome to Part 3 of my 5 Part series talking all about the things that are getting in the way of creating a home that feels totally unique to you! Click here to get caught up on Part 1, and here for a look at Part 2 .
I'm ready to dive right into the 3rd thing that may be keeping your house from feeling like YOUR home:
YOU'RE NOT SURE WHAT YOUR OWN PERSONAL DESIGN STYLE IS.
I think there are a number of reasons why someone could find themselves in this position. Most likely it's probably just not something you have put much energy toward. Sometimes I think we don't feel like we are allowed to because maybe we are living in a place of scarcity and assume we will never have enough or be enough, and that only other people can dream of such "frivolous" things. Perhaps, often without you even knowing it, you are chasing trends rather than trusting in your ability to know what will make you feel happiest. Or there is the ever so common conundrum where you start to worry to much about what other people might think.
Right before we moved into Big Blue, I got an unexpected package in the mail. I opened it to find a children's book called "The Big Orange Splot". I was thoroughly confused thinking maybe it got sent to the wrong house, but opened it up and was so very touched by it's message.
It's all about Mr. Plumbean who lived on a street where ALL the houses were the same. The neighborhood had a strong belief that their street was supposed to be neat and orderly. One day a seagull carrying an orange can of paint flew over Mr. Plumbeans house and dropped it right on Mr. Plumbean's roof. The neighbors saw and assumed Mr. Plumbean would fix it right away to restore the order, however that orange splot awoke something inside of him. The next morning the neighbors woke up to see his house covered in not just the orange splot, but bright colorful murals all over his house! The neighbors obviously had a conniption. He then moved his home renovation to the yard, bringing all sorts of exotic landscaping. When the neighbors storm over to tell him he has gone way too far, this was his response:
"My house is me and I am it. My house is where I like to be and it looks like all my dreams".
Totally enraged, all the people of the street appoint his next door neighbor to go and lay down the law. So he goes over, and Mr. Plumbean invites him to sit under the palm tree and drink lemonade while they talk. The next morning the neighbors come out expecting to see their neat street restored, only this time not only is Mr. Plumbean's house a whole spectacle, but now his next door neighbor's home was renovated to look like a ship, painted in all the primary colors.
By the end of the book, the whole street is full of homes as unique as their owners and they live by Mr. Plumbean's motto.
So, with that in mind, I want you to start getting better acquainted with your own design style, so that you too can live in a house where you like to be! If you have no idea where to start, here are a few things that have helped me:
Scrolling through pages and pages of art. When we moved into this house I spent so much time trying to find prints to help set the tone for my whole house. As I did this I started to really notice what types of colors, textures, and styles I was consistently drawn to. I knew that if my paint colors and other design choices looked good with my artwork, I was on the right track.
Just dive in and start experimenting! As I've gone along I have made some design decisions that I immediately love, and others that don't sit so well. Either way they have taught me something important! Remember that paint is one of the least expensive ways to experiment. On $50 can of paint is a lot less costly to replace than a rug or couch for instance. Other low risk ways of experimenting with design include art prints, thrifted furniture pieces or dishware, and throw pillows (depending on where you purchase them!). Sit with them for a few weeks, or months, and see how they feel.
Whatever you do, trust the responses you feel in your body. That's what I do and I'm really happy with where it's gotten me. Keep pushing along and eventually you will become the master of your own style, and you can earn your spot on Mr. Plumbean's street!