Saturday, February 25, 2012

Does your house look like your closet?

I think mine does, in many ways.

I like simple forms and minimalistic style, uncluttered interiors that are inviting and comfortable. I don't like anything too fussy, both in my home and my closet. I use my dining table all the time and I need to have a coffee table that would support the weight of my legs. On the other hand,  I also like crystal chandeliers and white lace bedding.  Would you say this falls into 'boy meets girl' , 'tomboy turned fashionista' sensibility?

I love color and if I decorate with neutrals, I like to add a bright accent.  I do the same when I dress. I do not have too many knick knacks and I use pattern sparingly.  Similarly, I don't like to wear more than one piece of jewelry and I dress mostly in solids.  I like older houses, hardwood floors, plaster walls, wood windows, architectural details etc.  I would compare it to my love of good tailoring, natural fabrics and classic styles.

We completely renovated the kitchen last year, it was a nightmare

My house is not decorating-magazine-worthy and my furniture and wall decor are neither designer nor antique, although I do have a few pieces of original art.  Similarly, I don't usually wear designer fashions, but I like to be inspired by the runways and may occasionally splurge on a designer purse or a pair of shoes.

If I have to pick a furniture/decorating store closest in style to mine I would probably be Pottery Barn, even if,  in reality, I do not own many pieces from there (some window treatments, many picture frames and my dining room table and chairs), but the general sensibility is there. Is Pottery Barn is the J.Crew of home decorating? Like J.Crew with its aspiration style, Pottery Barn has built his image on a strong following among those who have a generally good taste and like beautiful interiors but cannot afford to hire a professional decorator. Both have ambition to be more that 'just a mall store' and trade heavily in the business of selling us the vision of lifestyle. It is the middle-of-the-road style, while on the other ends of the spectrum antiques and designer furniture are equivalent of designer clothing and accessories, just like thrift shops compare to shopping at flea markets and estate sales.

When I look at the pictures I realized that even the colors I use in both my closet and my house are similar. Just keep in mind that brown (as in wood) is the black of home decorating. Neutrals with pop of red? And did I say I like blue as a backdrop? This is the navy of my closet. Even if it it is called 'silver sage' in Benjamin Moore lingo.

Lee Industries sofa and chair, Crate and Barrel coffee table and rug

My house is from 1920's (which was my favorite fashion decade, by the way), but my husband made sure all the underpinnings like electrical, heating, plumbing, air conditioning, etc. are super modern and up to date. We have 5 heating zones in this rather small house! Most of my furniture is modern interpretation of traditional forms.  Is this home decorating interpretation of 'classic with a twist'?
Pottery Barn table and chairs, armoire from Craig List

So what do you think? Do you think a lot of people decorate the way they dress? Is that good or bad? Is it boring and predictable or personal and cohesive?


What is your decorating philosophy? 

20 comments:

  1. First of all, I love your home and I want your kitchen! A kitchen renovation is beyond stressful even if things go well, don't you feel you've earned it?

    I too use colors that I wear - I want to be comfortable in my own home. If you know that certain colors are not flattering, why put them on the walls? I always twitched in my in-laws' home, although I must admit color and fussy decor were just part of it. But olive green with peach accents and gold fring on lampshades definitely did not help!

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    1. Thank you fred! My mother used to have the gold fringe on lampshades. I thought they were fancy when I was a child. But I think she got rid of it about 20 years ago. Do you think you can accidently set them on fire?

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  2. first off, love your new header, it's perfect for your blog!

    and wow, i really love your home. i love homes built in the 20's. what state are you in again?

    i think your comparison of pb and j crew is correct. i think they are both above average and yet the average person can pretty much afford them esp if they watch for sales. i love walking through both stores for inspiration to take back out with me at yardsales and thriftshops.

    btw, i always look forward to your posts and i don't know how you do it all with working full time!

    have a lovely saturday. xo

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    1. Hi Janet. I write many of my posts on the train, perfect way to pass the time. I was always rambling to the imaginary audience in my head. Now I can put it here and I love it. I am infinitely grateful and humbled by the fact that anybody wants to read it and comment on it.
      Thanks for being here!

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  3. I too want your kitchen, mine is such a dump! Your home is beautiful, very calming and warm and inviting.

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    1. Oh Tabitha, you woudln't believe what this kitchen looked like before the renovation. Pure seventies with dark wood greasy cabinets, maroon ditsy flower wallpaper, white countertops and backsplash (that was the best part) and psychodelic style linoleum (covering hardwood floors). I had about 3 feet of counter space and moth nests in the pantry.

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  4. You have a beautiful home. It looks so inviting and cozy.

    We are in the midst of a full-scale renovation that includes all the mechanical, ripping off the plaster walls to install new insulation and installing new windows so it is taking a long time and is incredibly messy. The kitchen will be very last but we did put in a dishwasher, new faucet and new appliances to make it more functional. We also built a garage and new fences, had some large dead trees removed, laid two stone walkways and put in a hot tub and deck so the first couple of years the interior was pretty much left as it was, pristine 1950's. It is a solidly built home but was never updated. It will be a few more years before it is all finished.

    I prefer warm, neutral, calming shades on the walls. The two bedrooms that are finished are painted in Benjamin Moore's lambskin, which is not in my wardrobe. It has just enough pink undertone to make the light flattering and soft, yet bright enough for the long, dark winters here.

    I have a bookcase from Crate & Barrel and some lighting from Restoration Hardware but the rest of the furniture is antique or purchased from a designer. We have several pieces of original art that were either purchased by me or were given to us by my FIL, who is a collector. They are all on display in the finished bedrooms, kept away from the reno activity. It's a bit spartan and a lot chaotic but most of the time I am by myself in the city house so it's just fine.

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    1. hi xoxo, it looks like you are tackling on so much work. But I bet it will look great after it is all done. We installed new electrical, heating system, A/C, gutted out two bathrooms, added bathroom, laundry room and side entry. The plaster walls were covered in large scale floral wall paper and the beautiful hardwood floors were covered with unidentified color carpet. We have been here four years and it finally started to look like home about a year ago.
      But it was definitely worth it.
      Most my walls are neutral, I love the BM historical colors. It seems more colorful in the pictures but it is only the dining room that has a strong red terracota color.
      The rest in various off white/beige colors, except my younger daughter bedroom that is (surprise) pink. Yes, she is a girly girl.
      I'd love to see pics from your renovations, maybe you can share something on your blog.

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  5. I think your house is absolutely lovely!

    I cannot say that mine does entirely. My home is chock-a-block with antiques, eccentricities and definite old world, classic style, and my walls are painted in colours that I love, deep rich hues, but not shades that are necessarily lovely on me personally....My clothing tends to be simpler, though I do not shy away from colour. I think decorating wise I am Anthropologie, but clothing wise, I would be JCrew, elie tahari, theory and if i could afford it, Lanvin or Valentino...

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    1. Thanks WMM, your house sounds lovely, I love interiors with deep rich hues, I could only do it in the dining room,
      Funny, when I was growing up my mother's style was Anthro mix with designer but our house was, I don't know, Macys? Some nice enough stuff but mostly no style. I was determined to have something different.

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  6. i love your home,it looks very inviting.
    my house is a mixture of midcentury,modern danish and antiques.
    colorwise i have mostly white(walls),grey and red and some green.

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    1. Hi ina, I love mid century modern!

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  7. I think that we have similar styles! I too sometimes feel that my home reflects my closet and I have also considered Pottery Barn to be the JCrew of home decor. I must say that my house tends to be more neutral than my wardrobe. I like creams and tans, use stripes and other "clean" geometric patterns (chevron, trellis, etc.)in fabrics and rugs. I also like blue and green and tend to use these hues for a pop of color. In contrast, my closet is currently full of a lot of JCrew brights...modern red, cerise, neon azalea, papaya, bright dahlia, etc. Although green is my favorite color, it's not very flattering to my complexion. I have noticed that I tend to use a lot of stripes in my home decor as I do my closet. I think that I favor the lighter neutrals in home decor because I have 4 kids and love the clean, bright, uncluttered feel of them (since my home is cluttered in "stuff" most of the time anyway). Thanks for sharing...great post!!

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    1. Hi Lisa, wow we really are close in style! I have a lot of stripes too and other "clean" geometric patterns. Like I mentioned to xoxo my house is actually more neutral that it seems from the pictures, it is the strong color in the dining room that makes it seem more colorful. And it is the same for me with green, I love it at home, not so much in my closet. But I did buy the viridian green skirt this year, I was sure it will not go with anything but I was pleasantly surprised.

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  8. Your home is lovely! The eye catching kitchen is magazine/Internet posting worthy, and surely someone is sure to stumble upon it and pin it or post it to their interior decorating blog. I agree home decor/ wardrobe style mimic one another to some degree. Difference being maybe we tend to wear colors suitable for our features, and decorate with colors we love but couldn't/wouldn't wear.

    Btw, if the linen, barrel shaped lampshade with contrasting red bands of trim is from Pottery Barn, I have the same one in my home office. :) Mine sits atop a tall wood floor lamp too. It matches the stripes in the drapes and area rug, and a solid lamp shade in the same shade of red, all of which are from PB.

    Five! heating zones?? Wow, I was excited to have two; one for keeping the bedrooms warmer than the rest of the house. Thanks for opening up your home and sharing with us.

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    1. JustVisiting, thank you for the compliments. It makes me feel proud because I designed the kitchen myself and agonized for weeks over all my choices. Btw, my cabinets/backsplash are from CraftMaid from Lowes, nothing fancy here.
      And yes that lampshade is from PB, good eye.

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  9. Your home is beautiful!!! Thanks for sharing!

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