I grew up in a very classical Colonial style home on the East Coast just outside of Washington D.C. It is beautiful. My parents truly have a gorgeous home that is decorated to the nines with wonderful details and traditional decor. I love home.
I have been on a mission to turn my house into a home.
However, my mom’s style is not my style. This is something that I just recently came to terms with and when I did, it kind of threw me into a decorating identity crisis. Isn’t that ridiculous? No really, you can say that it is. I actually called and talked to my mom about it. She said, “I’m traditional. You’re eclectic. What’s the big deal?” She cracks me up …and understands that I am ridiculous.
It’s true. I am kind of eclectic, I guess.
Sara and Me.
What? You don’t have a style and decor idol? You don’t have a person to which you openly and gushingly praise thereby making everyone around you uncomfortable? Well, you can’t have mine. Sara and I have a long history. It wouldn’t work between the two of you. Trust me.
Graciously, she let me take some photos of her home …and told me the story behind them. (I love home decor with a history.)
This is a fabric garland that Sara has in her dining area and going up her stairs. It is made from scraps of ribbon and fabric that she had handy. They are tied on twine and adorably colorful.
Sara’s daughter told me about the mailbox idea–I am in love. She was telling me that she writes letters to her parents during the day and they check it at night before they tuck her in. Genius. The mailbox was found in a consignment store and Sara hot glued it to a black candlestick they weren’t using at the time. “I can’t take credit for the idea; I saw it on Pinterest and copied it,” Sara says. (You should totally be following Sara on Pinterest, btw.)
The magnetic board in the background was built by Sara and her dad–sheet metal sandwiched between a frame that we built. Then they put that puffy window sealer tape stuff all around the edges so that it would be cushioned in case the kids ran into the edge, then decoupaged fabric scraps onto the whole now cushioned frame. “The project took awhile,” she says, “but they use it everyday – we’ve had it for about 3 years now.”
This is Sara’s old baby dresser and is officially “vintage”. It was originally white with a now slightly tacky gold trim and brass handles. About 4 years ago she removed the handles, painted the dresser glossy pink and added glass handles. Then, before their adoption of 2 babies from Ethiopia, her oldest daughter told her that she would LOVE a red dresser. So she spray glossed the entire thing red. “It took a lot longer than I was anticipating. Getting a smooth gloss finish is hard work. I kept the same glass handles. The top to the dresser is still the same as it was 36 years ago, some kind of white laminate. I love this piece – it has great bones and is very well made.”
This is a vintage handkerchief wall hanging for her youngest daughter’s room. The handkerchiefs are decoupaged onto canvas with yo yo embellishments added. So pretty, right?
Ahhh yes. The pièce de résistance, her chandelier. Swoontastic. It changes every time I see it with a little something added here or there. Those adorable yo yo thingies are added to the lampshades–some from Anthropologie’s sale section, one is from a yardsale and another is one that she decoupaged with scrapbooking stickers/pieces. Then there are random birds and garlands hung on it. It is magical and quite possibly my favorite thing in her home.
You can see why she is the Style Idol, right?
Sara also took me antiquing and treasure hunting at her favorite spots in Napa. Truly inspirational! I mean, how many people get to do such a thing with their professed fashion and style idol? On the drive over, I told her, “Okay, talk me through your process when we are there. Tell me what you look for, etc.” (She didn’t even roll her eyes or laugh in my face. Now that is love.)
This conversation morphed into my little identity crisis and she said something profound, “Lindsey, fill your home with things that you love. There doesn’t have to be a theme or any rhyme or reason, the cohesive element that holds it together is just that you love it all.” Then she talked about her home in the same way–filled with things and treasures that she loves, warm colors and lots of creativity.
It was so freeing!
Then, as if to fan the flames, she introduced me to Pinterest where I have been finding my style by pinning “Spaces I Love” and finding tutorials on how to create most everything myself. (This is a great exercise for someone going through a style crisis.)
Since we’ve been home, I have been filling my house only with things that I love, throwing theme or put-together styles out the window.
My style is …me.
Eclectic and all.