Re-examining My Style

Good morning! No photos on the blog today, just some musings on life.

When I flip through my favorite magazines and scan Pinterest for inspiration images, I’m most often draw to bright colors and energized rooms that just look happy. For a couple of years now, I’ve always thought that those bright colors and bold choices were ‘my style.’ In my last apartment, however, I realized that while my living room was blue velvet and purple and color and art!, I always felt most relaxed in the bedroom, which was mostly neutral. What was up with that? Beige is simply not my thing, but the sisal and white and wood just felt good to me. It just felt comfortable to hang out in there. Walking through the front door of my old apartment was always such a jolt, and I usually felt very anxious walking into that space, even when it was clean and tidy.

After reading and re-reading The Glitter Guide’s Style at Home feature with Camille, something she said in the interview made me realize that maybe I am a neutral lover. She said, “I love looking at homes that have loads of quirky, colorful details, but when it comes to the home that I want to wake up in every morning, my style is a lot more neutral and serene.” The feeling that I got in my old living room was not the feeling that I was looking to feel when I arrived home from work everyday. Even though I love looking at homes with bold-colored photos and risky details, I tire of things quickly, and one day, I might love some crazy-patterned pillow, but in a month, I’ll probably detest it. A pillow with a 3-month ticking clock just doesn’t work for my pocketbook, so maybe it’s time to try a new strategy.

In the new apartment, our living room is shaping up to be much more calm and simple. I’m absolutely loving it so far. Walking up the stairs and through the front door of the apartment is utterly relaxing. There’s bright light everywhere, open spaces, inviting places to sit, and just a comfortable space to kick back after work. We still have lots of bold art and beautiful furniture, but I’m learning that sometimes, that’s enough. You don’t have to always add throw pillows and perfectly styled coffee tables and the trendy accessories for something to feel comfortable. If anything, for me, those things make me feel uncomfortable. I realize everyone is different, so maybe it’s those fun colors and patterns that energize you, in which case, I will admire your bold prints from afar, and possibly even put them in my shopping cart only to never check out. Until then, I’m going to live with some grays and some whites and just let my apartment be the laid-back and serene place where I can re-energize, rather than feeling the need to fill it with all the popular accessories that I so love in magazines.

When I think of the spaces that I feel most comfortable, it’s the house where I grew up. A little English cottage with a romantic back garden, a sage green kitchen with terra cotta floors, and big open living room with no window treatments and no coffee table. Are there many designers out there who would design a living room with no window treatments and no coffee table? Probably not many. The fancy accessories are the bookshelves packed with novels and art books and books of poetry, all of which my dad has read and re-read numerous times. The tables aren’t styled with items that would appear in magazines but with the little things that just made their way into the house not through an online shopping cart, but by way of hands and suitcases and even accidents. My parents don’t expect their home to be featured in some magazine, but to me, our little English cottage is more of an instruction manual for what kinds of spaces feel comfortable to me than any House Beautiful or Elle Decor, as much as I love browsing through them.

There’s no real point to this blogpost other than to say, don’t pay any attention to what feels right to other people. Maybe their homes are envy-inducing spaces fit for a magazine spread, but I bet to them, it’s just the place they walk around in their robe and unwind with a glass of red wine at the end of a hard day. Rather, pay very close attention to what feels right to you, and try to make that feeling come to life in your apartment, or your rental house, or your new home. That’s all.

Also, I’m going to post my absolute favorite cheesecake recipe tomorrow, one that my mom used to make all the time growing up and which I made for a friend’s birthday this week. Look for it tomorrow!

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