Saturday, September 6, 2008

A Mile of Style

Why is it that I have such a hard time succintly describing my style? Is it because we are exposed to so many styles and ideas through HGTV, blogging, shelter magazines, etc. that we are overloaded by images and media and therefore cannot sift through it all to determine what it is we actually like? I also wonder if those of us with the design gene are inherently our own worst clients. It can be so difficult to settle on a style, or a mix of styles, when we have so many options available to us.

Lucky for me, I have spent the last 5 years decorating and redecorating our 2 homes, first a small townhome with 1970's details (read: popcorn ceilings and gold swirl bathroom counters) that I reimagined into an old world broken-down-palace meets vintage french flea market kind of style. Last year we bought a new home, a little larger, definitely better details & surfaces, and I'm creating a new nest with a more refined look and feel.

Since the original owners of our current home had just done many thousands of dollars in updates, including new granite counters in the kitchen and 2 baths, new tile in the showers, new kitchen and bathroom cabinets and some new appliances, new light fixtures and faucets, etc. AND we bought the home and moved in 7 days before I had my second daughter, Ava Reese, we didn't do much else other than paint some of the rooms. Was that the world's longest run-on sentence???

Now I am trying to customize our home to my liking through paint colors, furniture and accessories. I think that is a dilemna for a lot of us. My dream kitchen, for example, would have white recessed shaker-style cabinets, beadboard, a subway-tile backsplash and old industrial lighting with white carrerra marble or concrete countertops; in reality my kitchen has new clear-coat raised panel maple cabinets, butterscotch-y granite and lovely brushed nickel hardware. Not bad at all. Just not what I would have necessarily chosen. Therefore, we use paint, furniture, accessories and the like to create the elements of style and a look that we identify with our ideal rooms. This is not a bad way to decorate your home, and is certainly gentler on your time and budget than ripping all the surfaces out and starting anew. It also lends itself to being able to totally reinvent a room through these elements, on a whim and a dime, according to our mood or current favorite style.

I am so grateful though for my wonderful home in which I am able to stay at home and raise my children and create family memories to cherish. I hope to be in this home for a very long time, and no doubt I will amuse myself for many years to come tweaking the contents and style of my home. It's fairly cheap entertainment, definitely cheaper than gambling or therapy.

These experiences have helped me evolve and hone my style, and I know it instantly when I see it: an item on the bottom shelf of an antique mall's back stall; the clearance item at TJ Maxx that looks just like that Ballard Designs item you've been lusting for; the primitive wood box my Great-Grandfather made that was in my Grandma's garage about to be thrown out.... I know it when I see it. That aside, I feel my style could best be described as:

  • rustic

  • elegant

  • french

  • farmhouse

  • cottage

  • urban

  • vintage/antique

  • garden inspired

  • natural

  • textural

I hope that's not too vague or all-inclusive. Oh, and just for fun, the amazing eye-candy above is from a company in England that looks absolutely divine. Definitely hits a lot of my style descriptors. How I would love to have lunch in their garden area!

Hope you enjoy and I will be posting more soon!



Anonymous said...

Well good luck with your decorating! I love your inspiration photos so far. Very muted and calm, just my style. :) Thanks for your sweet comments on my blog Kari. :)

No.35style said...

Love this post and agree with you! I'll be back to visit again!

Jen - Balancing beauty and bedlam said...

KAri -
Being a new blogger myself, I wanted to come and welcome you. (I am "the old friend of the Nester's that she mentioned on her post). That is how I saw your comment. So glad that you have decided to jump on's such a fun, odd world - making all these blogging friends that you've never met. Glad you're making your mark. :)

Reese and Marie said...

Wow! I am so thrilled to have THREE visitors! Thank you so much for your comments and your welcome to the blog world - it is much appreciated. I hope to be posting more inspirational pics soon!


Layla said...

LOVE your blog. Won't miss another post. I felt like I was reading about MYSELF! Your descriptions of what you love are EXACTLY like mine would read.

The Lettered Cottage

Reese and Marie said...

I am so flattered! I hope I can live up to the expectations! I have been thinking about blogging for so long, I'm sure I'll have lots of things to post about. Now I just have to get to them!

Thanks again for the visit - hope to chat with you soon! :-)

Laurel MacD said...

I just found this blog an feel exactly the same way about my house - a new build that I'm trying to get some character into. I'm very amateur and am trying to learn - your site is definitely going to be one of my go-to blogs for ideas.

Reese and Marie said...

Hi Laurel!

Welcome! I am so exicted to have a new visitor (well, you're all new, technically speaking) that I can bounce ideas off of. I hope this blog will be as inspirational as I envision it to be.

Thanks and check back soon for a new post!