6/04/2017

Not My Mother's House



Yo yo fellow design pals! Caroline here. Dropping in to tell you a little story about my own personal design journey, and how I discovered that design is so very specific to each person; that following your own gut is often the best thing....



"Who inspires you most?"
"What person would you most like to be like when you grow up?"
"Who is your hero?"

All questions that trace the memories of my younger years in elementary school. Fill in the blanks that never strayed from my constant, forever answer: my mother.

Now, at 27, I still live by my "What Would Sheryl Do", mentality. I make my best decisions by following W.W.S.D. Call me a fangirl of the woman who raised me, but I kind of think Sheryl hung the dang moon. For example...

Sheryl keeps her house spotless and prepares a meal via Ina Garten on weeknights?
Oh, well fork, I should do that too. 

Sheryl has a subscription to "The Atlantic" and learns enormous amounts of what's going on in the world by reading every night before bed?
Here's my credit card, hit me with a subscription. 

Sheryl wakes up early and uses not only a Nespresso maker but also froths her own coconut milk?
Why am I not yet doing this?!

In short, I kind of want to be my mother.

She's my best friend, the easiest person I know, and owns a deep wisdom about what to do in both the oh-so-great, and shittiest of situations. I respect her in all fields, among all things. My family jokes about this, but we're all deep in a never-ending funnel of bonging the Kool-Aid. Mom's a badass and we love it.

There is one part of my life, though, that I've found won't quite fit into the "strive to be like your mother" picture. It's a jagged, rough puzzle piece with frayed cardboard edges that won't fit the puzzle. For years, I've been trying to make it lay in its place.

Enter 2015, when my husband and I got surprise IUD (gasp!) pregnant and bought our first home. Holding our homeowner keys at closing my immediate thought was: I must make this home look like the house I grew up in.

So I called my mom, and began ordering all of the W.W.S.D. neutral pieces. Chairs, sofa, coffee table, lamps. They all spoke soft, calming vibes as I remembered my mom has always told me she chose her designs to create a calm home, a place of tranquility. The woman loved to add color in accessories and art, but she mostly needed calm colors, neutrals, and the soothing choices only she could make. Growing up, our family was struck with medical chaos time and time again, and home for my mom needed to be very, very relaxing. A place of safety.

And this is where I made the mistake. I never thought about why she chose to decorate the way that she did, I just thought that mimicking her taste would be the best for my home, and my family. But as the updated traditional pieces flowed in, something didn't feel quite right. I was living in a space I thought would bring me ease and tranquility, but likewise I was craving adding my very favorite colors, blue and green, into the mix. I too tried introducing color with art and pillows, but that still wasn't cutting it. It didn't feel like me.

I wanted the patterns, the bold choices, the turquoise geometric coffee table that says "Check me out. I'm awesome. Bring it". And all while I'm feeling these feelings, as luck would have it, I meet my tried and true gal, Amanda Louise.

AL introduced me to the idea of keeping my neutral pieces, but placing them throughout our house, instead of all in one room. She was the first to show me that a bold cheetah pattern could live next to a blue couch, and that said blue couch didn't have to be a scary unknown, but the ideal item I'd always aimed to own.

It was a big leap, going from what I've always known, to what I've always wanted. But damn, I'm so glad that I did.

May we always go with our guts, and design the homes we live in to an I-want-it-that-way T.

-Caroline

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