I love scrolling through Instagram, design magazines, books, blogs, catalogs and watching shows where the (photographed) outcome is perfection. Hands in the air, praise and accolades to the designer perfection. It is strangely rewarding and must speak to my need for harmony and peace or something. Cohesive, all white, black and white with a restrained single bold pink pillow that MAKES the room. I love it. I love to visit it, I love to pretend I want to live in it all the time. I love it when scrolling through the pages of a blog or magazine you see room after room planned, designed and executed with such cohesive vision that it makes your head hurt. I LOVE those homes. On paper. Or at least when they belong to someone else.
The truth is I start out most of my plans and ideas with that kind of image in mind. “I shall create a gleaming white box of immaculate glory!” And 100% of the time what I end up with is not even remotely white, not glory in any sense of perfection but is a truer reflection of me. Any time I try to restrain my color palette to one or two colors, within a shockingly short time, in creeps about 5 more colors and somehow the room feels more like home for it. Not only have I learned that this is OK, I have come to realize this is RIGHT. This is brilliant, this is what my home wants to be.
The homes I find to be the most welcoming, the most interesting and the most like home are the ones that are full of treasures – edited as they need to be for beauty and function of the space – but unrestrained in spirit. Does that even make sense? Restraint has a big place in even this kind of home styling, but when a home has an unrestrained spirit, it shows.
I think this is the thing people are responding to when they come here. I look around and see 15-year-old chairs that would not fare well in a magazine photo shoot, stuff I’ve dragged across the Midwest, then across the country mixed with the new stuff, most of which I’ve purchased with an eye to economy in addition to emotion. And maybe that’s the thing at the heart of it: emotion. Maya Angelou famously reminded us people won’t remember what you said to them, they will remember how you made them feel. Isn’t this true for spaces and environments too, especially our homes?
"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
I’m not sure I can articulate just one thing I want home to feel like. I want people to be comfortable, but that’s not near deep enough. Belonging, to be filled with hope, to be free to be heard, to be able to create, to be surprised by beauty, to feel loved. These are the things. If this isn’t style, I don’t know what is.