HOW I DEFINE MY OWN SIGNATURE PERSONAL STYLE
This post is a little less about beautiful photography and perfectly styled rooms, and more of a look into my thoughts on creating a look that’s unique and personal in our home. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly how I define my own signature personal style. My tastes change and evolve continuously, and always I’m influenced by so many outside sources. I love to find inspiration through various social platforms : Pinterest, Instagram, and my many talented blogging friends. Magazines such as House Beautiful, Elle Decor and Traditional Home have always been my go-to sources for endless inspiration. I’m always studying my favorite interior designers : Barclay Butera, Alexa Hampton, Mary McDonald, Suzanne Kasler, Mark D. Sikes, Bunny Williams, David Hicks…to name just a few… What does personal style really mean? How do you take all of that inspiration and use it in a way that is yours and yours alone? Everyone has their own taste and what they like and don’t like. Everyone (or most people) are inspired by trends. I know I love many different looks and styles, and I definitely have an appreciation for many eras of design. I think as a creative individual you tend to be able to see things in such a way where everything has beauty in it’s own right…
Some people have a style that you can recognize immediately and they’ve always kept true to it. It’s a reflection of their personality. Their travels, the things they are passionate about. For myself, I’m traditional and classic, but also a little bit eclectic and I love to layer and give a room a little bit of a curated look. Let’s start here in our dining room. It’s undergone many transformations in the 7 years we’ve lived here. From layers upon layers of pattern and rich color, to a more refined palette with layers of neutral textures and color – take a look back at this room here. Mixing pattern, prints, textures and various design styles is part of what I would call my ‘signature’ style. I just love something about the juxtaposition of pairing things that you wouldn’t expect to pair together. It feels good, it excites me…it makes me happy. When it feels that good, you know something is right! I’ve learned through all of the reading and studying I’ve done over the years that for our home, I prefer a room that has mixed elements and different pieces, rather than a complete set where everything matches. It speaks to who I am as a person and is more unique to me. Thankfully my husband is all for it! And if he’s not sure about something, he at least lets me show him and usually ends up agreeing and loving it just as much.I always love classic elements in design. Architectural detailing with traditional lines always speaks to me and gives me that feeling I’m talking about. Classic shaker style kitchen cupboards with detail trim. Panelled walls. Transoms. Subway tiles. Nailhead trim. Symmetry. All traditional design elements you’d find in a home over 100 years ago. There’s something about the look of a home with the feeling of deep-rooted traditional and classic features that gets my design senses all tingly. Does that mean that my signature style is traditional? Maybe so. It can also mean that’s only one facet of my style. I prefer the latter. Yes, I love a home with the quality or feel of those ‘old bones’, but it doesn’t mean my home has to be traditional in every aspect. I always like to look for ways to make it more me, and a little more modern or current. Our kitchen, has all those classic elements, but I’ve added my stamp by foregoing upper cabinets on the focal wall, adding ceiling height classic subway tile and mixing metals with the lighting and hardware. Something just a little less expected. You can see more of our kitchen in my recent Spring Home Tour, here and Summer Home Tour, here.I see our home as a place to experiment and discover. Yes, because I’m a designer and blogger, I’m always looking for new ways to reinvent things or create a story to share with you. I’ve told you before that our home is my creative ‘studio’, where I’m working around the clock to bring newness and a fresh perspective. Before I ever started blogging, I would constantly be doing the same – looking for ways to try new things, all without spending a a lot of money. I’m always talking to you about moving your things around and repurposing – shopping your own home (the most cost effective way to redecorate!) and finding ways to create something new. Trial and error, and discovery are key to discovering and defining your style and your signature look. Sure, it’s easy to replicate something out of a book or from Pinterest. But why not take it to another level and make it yours?I grew up with my mother always decorating and redecorating our home, we’d redo my bedroom every few years, with paint or wallpaper and new bedding. I’d come home from school to a completely rearranged bedroom and new bedding, or we’d have a gorgeous new antique armoire in the living room. There is no question about it – my mother (who has the most impeccable style like no one else I know), has strongly influenced not only my passion and love for interiors, but my taste level and my personal style. My mother has the best collection ever of blue and white (many of which I borrow for my photos), and my collection is finally becoming as impressive! I’ve talked about my passion and love for this classic (and when I actually got rid of it all in my twenties…don’t ask!) in this post here, all about the timeless palette that I love so much. The ones below are all mine! That makes me really happy ;)In our recent outdoor makeover (see it here), it was so important to me to carry the look of our home outdoors. If you look closely, you’ll see the elements I always turn to : layers of texture and pattern and an injection of blue.I always try to carry the same idea over to my tablescapes as well. I feel it’s important that a table says something interesting to our guests. I like to make them feel special, and that I’ve put thought into the table we’ll be sharing together – eating a meal with friends and family is an intimate experience, and to me, a tablescape should reflect that as well.
Our living/family room from my Fall Home Tour last year (you can see more of this post here), was bathed in the blues that I love, paired with punches of rich yellows and golds. Again, layers of texture, color and pattern mixing – all things I love to incorporate when decorating any space in our home. Christmas last year (see more of our holiday home here), was a boatload of mixed metals infused with touches of icy blue. And this Summer is more of the same, with a whole lot of mixing pattern and different blues going on.
I love a clean, crisp tailored room as much as I love a collected and curated room. I’ve learned over the years that it’s completely fine to take a little bit of everything that you love and shake it all up for results that speak to our individual taste and personalty. Of course you can find your inspiration by pouring through design books snd magazines and perusing Pinterest and Instagram. It’s how you interpret those spaces into your own decorating language. Your home is yours, not someone else’s. It should speak to you, and make you happy and inspired. Just because you love something doesn’t mean you have to replicate it – however thats perfectly fine if that’s what makes you happy and makes your heart sing. I would encourage you to dig a little bit deeper and find a way to bring a little something of your own to your spaces and if you’re not sure how to do that yet, that’s ok too! Pay attention to the things you love and what types of inspirational images you’re drawn to. You’ll start to notice a pattern in those images, and from there you’ll realize that you’re soul is speaking to you, telling you how to create that signature look you’re looking for.Our home is not perfect and it’s not everything I’ve ever dreamed of either. It’s a result of years of curating pieces and collecting ideas, working within a realistic budget, and knowing that it’s an ever evolving canvas, where experimenting is part of the process. I love to create and inspire… for myself and for you! Today I hope I’ve shown you a little glimpse of how I do that, so you can do the same. xo
Hi, thank you so much! This is Collingwood by BM – it’s a true ‘greige’ – a warm grey!
What color beige gold did you use? I have dark hardwood floors and half walls as well I’m trying to warm up my space I have too much greys and whites and it’s too cool…I love how your blending cool and warm tones
I do love your style and your communication with the details. Please tell me what color your dining room wall is? I have a very large room with a pool table and two couches. I am looking for a color to warm up the room. Thank You!
Terry I think you said it – everyone has their own taste, it’s figuring out how to express it the way you love that can be so hard, and I know for me it takes a lot of work!! Always trying something new to get it just right! Love you!! xo
Such true words about taste. Everyone has their own. Yet having it and displaying the way we like it is a whole other challenge.
Tam your post is encouraging for those who have trouble.
Love it all..
Thanks to mom for giving us the taste and know how.
Thank you so much Isabel!! Love you my friend! xo
Love it all! Thanks for sharing Tam. xox
Aw Trace that makes me so happy, I can’t even tell you!! Honestly that means to world to me – I love you!! xoxo
Hi Suzy, a neutral sofa is the perfect place to start! It sounds like you know what direction to go in and I’m excited for you! SO happy you’ve found inspiration here! Thank you for reading!
Thank you Sherry! I really appreciate that so much and it makes me so happy that you are happy to read along! Thank you!!
I love your style. It inspires me. Though everything doesn’t have to match, you make the decor items blend so well. It is classic and therefore timeless. Comfortable appeal, yet elegant throughout. Seamless transition from room to room. So glad I found your blog!
I am in the process of painting my living room a light beige gold. It should cast a worm glow to the room. You have given me inspiration on what to do next. Hopefully a new neutral sofa will be start of a new look. My style is pretty traditional. It will be fun working on it.
I do agree about having someone or something that has inspired us. I have to say that, what I am learning about decor/style/furnishings, and what I do know, has been through your blog and your beautiful design :) I learn more each day!!! Xoxo
Marty that is so nice f you to say…thank you for such a wonderful compliment and thank you for reading and taking the time to say hello! xoxo
Great post. Love your style, it is so fresh and yet so classic. That to me is the best of all.