Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Decorating With What You Love

I never believed there were any hard fast rules to decorating. Trends come and go, but certainly if you decorate with what speaks to you you'll never be stuck with three dozen resin molded lamps and fifty million Fleur De Li's. Personally I shun tawdry trendy icons that mass producers stick on everything from kitchen towels to measuring spoons in hopes of getting on the bandwagon while they are hot. Decorating with only that which you love eliminates the need to refit your house with the latest. You never want to get rid of what you love.

Everyone's style is different from minimalist to ultra feminine and everything in between. There are certain things that are pleasing to me and create a happy peaceful vignette for me to look at. First you must identify what you love to look at. Personally I love nature, books (new and vintage), everyday items from the 40's to the 70's, vintage Pyrex, milkware, and magazines.

Decorating my home has been a fifteen year process. Byron and I slept on mattresses on a metal frame with old doors as a headboard for years until I found the perfect bedroom set. I still have the same sofa I bought the first year Byron and I were married, and I still love it. Simply because I will only buy that which I love. We made do with, less than what I wanted, hand me downs until we could afford some items.
Here is a vignette near my front door. I love the portrait propped there. It's interesting to do something unexpected here and there.
Items from nature have the most magnificent colors. I love to collect something from nature where ever I go. The large clam shell is from Newport, the small clam shell in the back is from Mississippi's Percey Quin state park lake, the other shell is from a Florida beach. The rock is from Colorado. I love the patina on the gourd in the back. It was the first puny little birdhouse gourd I had ever grown.
Dried burgundy and green okra have the richest color and look wonderful together. I love how the spines of dried okra split open to create cream stripes along the edges. I am going to make a fall wreath from dried okra pods my sister grew in her garden. The turtle shell was saved from one my brother in law gave to my mother in law to make a turtle soup.
This pickup truck and book were my husband's when he was little. It doesn't mind hauling a few votives for me.
Seleste discovered this needle packet and thread in a sewing kit my Mother In Law gave to her. I just love the looks of domestic bliss on the ladies faces as they sew.
I bought the bird cross stitch for cents at Goodwill. I love anything with animals on it. The little doggy was Byron's when he was small. The angel dreaming in the window reminds me of myself. I just get a kick out of the puppeteer puppy stone. These are Carruth Studios stones. I love them.
Sometimes living in a small house forces you to be creative with storage and decor. I like to sew, knit, cross stitch and crochet. Except, I do not have an extra room in my 1,680 square foot home to put all my supplies for my creative urges. These pretty boxes serve the purpose. When stacked, they are neat and orderly and hide a multitude of clutter.

Sewing machine, threads, tools, material and patterns are all hidden inside. The old yellow salesman sample bag hides my cross stitches. My yarns are pretty enough to be seen and I like them to be close at hand for when I feel like doing a few stitches. (By the way, the green dresser in the back has served as a console and storage for years. I bought is for a few dollars at Goodwill.)
Matisse is one of my favorite artists. I love the colors he uses and the fact that everything he does feels happy and optimistic. My sister bought me this print when she went to New York. The glittered feathers in milkware lamp bases make a grand fanfare for the print. The little bird is perched in a place fit for a Pharaoh.
I've had this classical lady bust for what seems like forever and I still love to look at her. She is forever beautiful, and deserving of the thick wreath of dried oak leaves. I wore the oak leaves in my hair when I went to a masquerade party as a woodland fairy. The framed postcards are a tribute to National Parks of which I am a huge fan. Again there's a bird.
Here is my cookbook nook. It also houses the majority of my vintage pyrex bowl collection. They serve double duty. I use them daily and also they are beautiful. The cross stitch in the back is my first one.
Here's a little snatch of my large bookshelves. My books are interspersed with photos of my lovely family and figures of animals.


Egghead said...

Oh those apple snails look disgusting. I have an aversion to slugs and snails mostly because they destroy plants and gardens pretty quickly here. I love your decorating and I agree...decorating with only those things you love is exactly what I do. I am going to show your cookbook nook to my husband. I had all my cookbooks on a shelf in my pantry and they were so heavy that over time it broke the shelf support. But in my defense (I have way too many cookbooks) he was supposed to build my cookbook shelves in a space much like yours only about seven years ago. Still waiting.

Sandy said...

GREAT entry! It made me want to go around my house and start snapping pictures! Totally agree with the whole marketing trap too. One thing my husband and I do is whenever we travel some place special we buy a piece of art (usually a painting) and a piece of pottery we can hang on the wall - like platters. It's so memorable and timeless from a "decorating" perspective. Looking forward to the gumbo - thanks! :) - Sandy