/ 10.11.09 / 1 Comment / Decorating , Moving , Organization
The Art of Decorating
Welcome to our Home! Can you believe that we've lived in 18 different houses in 22 years? One year we had to move three times! And not once did we have a budget for decorating. I'm sure you are thinking...why bother if you have to move every year. Well, we actually have stayed more than 1 year...sometimes 3 years. But each time we move into a new home, I have always felt that each room in that home was a 'palette' waiting for me to paint on.
Until we moved to the country, our style leaned towards formal, traditional or Victorian. My favorite look is English. But my main approach to decorating, was to group like colors together to match whatever decor or paint color happened to be there already. I've only painted a room once in all these years except to paint rooms white before we left to get our deposit back.
I knew this was MY house the first time I walked in and saw the border of wolves, bears, and moose. A little cliche I'm sure, but since I have so many quilts and paintings of cabins in the woods...it was absolutely perfect for me and not just a store bought copy to make a 'woodsy' look.
Here was the real problem though...we've always decorated English/Victorian! Where was all this stuff supposed to go in my new 'country' home?!! In the bedroom of course...but it's not just any bedroom now! We have three bookshelves in this room and a beautiful old 70's chandelier thanks to Angela Frye's dad! It really is our get away. Tim loves it too! Every room in our 1600 ft house does double duty...so welcome to our library too!
Typically, I have a fall colors room, a pastel room (hints of the country blue and pink days of the 80's), our favorite blue and burgandy color scheme, and sometimes a forest green/red.
In my sewing room/computer room, I actually did something I wanted since it was our first time to actually BUY a home, so I made the room spring green with Beatrix Potter wall prints that I purchased because I love her art. I wanted to have a garden feel to the room. and am hoping to have Laurie help me actually paint a room for the first time ever!
At first, my sewing/computer room was all pastel blues because of the framed wedding heart that I have...a cross stitch by Tim's grandmother for our wedding, the baby quilt of Rebekahs and a huge beautiful impressionist print of the the beach and a flower garden. But I was so tired of pastel blue that I finally took the print down.
Our last home forced me into a PINK color scheme. Sigh... I discovered I had more pink or compatible to pink stuff than I thought.
Every house has some decorating scheme that I tend to fight or resist. Cream wall paper with pink flowers all over it drove me crazy, but finally, I gave in and made it look like a tea room.
Our bathrooms here are awful colors--hunter green and purple! How I fought it! I finally gave in and discovered I love deep purple rugs.
I played up the white and purple in the guest bathroom but those Sante Fe style splotches on the wall drive me nuts! I found a beautiful shower curtain with silk embroidered flowers on it, that almost made it seem 'planned'. Now I like it a lot better!
Each room has a few pieces of our favorite art but is also full of things people have given us over the years...gifts, giveaway items etc. Very few things were bought on purpose.
Occasionally, I'll buy a rug, or make a matching curtain. But it takes very little to 'complete' my pictures. I just have to be willing to shuffle everything around for the new house. I wait for it to tell me how it should be decorated rather than insist it work the way the old house did.
The kitchen has a lot of blue and white which made it hard to keep my fall colors theme. But I have lots of retro and antique kitchen items. That made it a lot of fun! The coffee pot and a teapot are both antique porcelain pots from Corningware with blue and white flowers which really works well in here. Until I read Marie Killam's post about the best possible color for a kitchen..WHITE, I thought Oh rats! They ruined the wood cabinets. But now I know why it feels so cheery and modern...the white. Check out her advice about kitchens here.
I got the the canisters for $5.00 at our local thrift store to match the counter tops. Andrew and Ebeth gave me the rooster papertowel holder, and my dad, who loves to can, gave me jars of canned jalapenos. They look awesome in here. I'm 'warming up' to southwestern decor, however, I do have a beautiful chicken border which I have not replaced the Sante Fe border with yet.
This hutch is an antique my mother came up with. I have an English china tea set on it, and several items from Tim's trip to Poland, our trip through Holland on the way to Germany and a ruby red antique crystal bell. Some other collectibles and an antique chocolate pot from Prussia (wedding gift to Tim's grandmother) are on the top shelf and our gift wrapping supplies and candles are all tucked in the drawers, plus our art supplies. I had not hung up the rooster in the corner yet in this picture. I was working on the entry way at the time.
The hutch is the first thing you see if you come in through the french glass doors from the deck into the kitchen. It separates the kitchen from the sewing room.
My final challenge is the main entrance into the home, which is supposed to be in the front but ends up being on the side through the laundry room of all places. I did my best to make it look hospitable inspite of the coats being the first thing to greet visitors. I covered the laundry hamper with my grandma's heart quilt--kind of matches the coats don't you think? I even hid the power box with a pretty calendar.
Well, that's our home. I hope you enjoyed my little tour! I really was inspired years ago, by Edith Schaffer, in her book, "The Art of Homemaking" to make every part of my home a work of art. I hope my blog helps to pass on that vision to the next generation of homemakers. I love my job and love to share that enthusiasm with you.