Photo by Cleland Studios
Our home is my laboratory... my playground where there aren't any rules and I don't have to worry about anyone else approving of what I do (except my precious husband who thankfully really doesn't care what I do in our home unless it breaks the bank or is outrageously uncomfortable). So, I am creating this space for us and unlike when I design and decorate spaces for clients, there are no stakes. I don't have to get anything approved and if I get an idea, I can act on it. I find having my own home to decorate is important for my creative process. This is where I test color schemes and methods out and get inspired to take my methods and create space for clients that are authentic to who they are and how they live.
Our home is where I can go wild with color and pattern. Nothing has to be permanent and that's a freeing feeling. When I first started decorating our home, I just got things to fill the space but throughout the last couple of years we have collected furniture, art, books, photos, etc. that all mean something to us and we are rooting out the meaningless things... like this German book, because we don't speak German. I was cleaning out books this weekend and getting rid of any books that we hadn't read or plan on reading and came across this guy. I'm sure he was a thrift store find to help fill a shelf when we didn't have a large book collection, but now we do so he's outta here. Our space is taking shape as a true reflection of what we love and our personalities (although I admit, it obviously represents me much more than it does Kevin... He's cool with it, I promise).
I am in no way supporting a "buy all the things" mentality, but I do think that in order to have authentic spaces that reflect the people that live there, you should buy things that speak to you and stay away from purchases just because they are on trend. Know what you love and let those things dictate your purchases for your home. I don't go to the grocery store and buy a boatload of salmon because it's in everyone else's cart... because I really, really don't like salmon. I think this should carry through to purchases for our spaces. My friend Stephanie summed up my loves in a blurb about me on me website. It reads, "lover of pattern play, pups, and all the colors" and you can bet that most if not all of my purchases are congruent with something in that list.
A few weeks ago, the layout of our living room switched around and we have really enjoyed how it made our living room feel more spacious, gave us more seating, and gave us a place for a desk downstairs where I can work. I was happy with the space but found some orange velvet chairs for basically zero dollars and knew they had to come home with me. So, they did.
This purchase led to yet another shift in the living room and it's feeling cozier than ever. Things may stay this way for a while or they may not. I just love having spaces that feel as though they can change to meet my needs and new finds.
I've been trying to figure out how this mentality translates to client's spaces. Although there are always a few clients who basically keep me on retention, love to collect things and let me move things and make their spaces feel fresh on the reg, most jobs focus on finishing a space which is a very valid objective. Pulling spaces together and pulling together a collection for clients that serves as a portrait of who they are is the most rewarding thing. Creating spaces that make people feel as though they belong there and have a space that is uniquely a reflection of them is important. I think even when I complete spaces for families, they are left with bones and pieces that can transform to meet their needs. We all go through phases of life and our needs for our spaces change. There are times when we entertain more, times when we are alone more, times when I work from home more, times when we need more color and light, and things will continue to change as life goes on.