A Decorating Style that Doesn’t Get Dated!

Slipcovered Loveseat Birch Lane

Want a decorating style that doesn’t get dated but can evolve effortlessly through the trends? Me too! There are a few easy secrets and I’ll share them in today’s post! Yesterday I invited you to a little peek into the behind the scenes pre-launch party for Birch Lane at the home of Christiane Lemieux (founder of DwellStudio). The next evening in NYC was the actually unveiling of the Birch Lane furniture line. I was SO curious what this furniture was going to be like, so I was really excited when I finally got to see it (they had reassured me I was going to love it, but I was relieved that I actually did). It’s wonderful! I loved the vision and direction for the line, too, and I know I’ll be shopping their online catalog for my own home. It’s just my kind of mix.

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Birch Lane features traditional classics with a bit of a modern twist. I like the layered look of using what you have (whether it is an heirloom or just something you have acquired over the years that works for your family) with something new that can blend right in and stay with you for years to come. It’s a decorating style that doesn’t get dated so quickly! I think when you have some classic pieces, you have such a great foundation to mix, match and layer with the new things you find along life’s journey.

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While I want things to be of a certain quality, I’m also really particular about the style and personality of each piece. I loved that so many of these pieces are at reasonable price points too. I’m the type who really won’t buy something new unless I love it and the price is reasonable for what it is. That’s why I’m kind of slow with my decorating, it takes awhile to find just the right things. I won’t spend a lot of money on furniture and if I ever do convince myself to splurge even a little on something, it better be something special I just couldn’t find for less.

Birch Lane Farmhouse Style

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I am about to buy a few new things for my home. I’m not in the process of moving or planning a move — and that means I want to be settled. I want to make myself at home here and feel like every room is comfortable, functional and yet styled the way I want it. That takes time. I know we all wish everything was done yesterday but if you are a careful shopper and want to be a bit frugal with finances, you have to be content with one step at a time. And really, it’s fun that way!

Birch-Lane-Barclay-Bench-and-Ottoman-Set

Making myself at home here in this house means I spend time considering how I feel when I’m in my home, and how other people feel.

That’s the foundation to all of my decorating decisions. It starts with feelings I hope to achieve when I’m in the room.

How do I want to feel when I’m at home? How could my home be more welcoming to friends? Does it reflect who we are or what could I do to make it feel more like “us”?

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I’m always nesting and fluffing and puttering around the house inching it closer to what I envision for my home. I’m adding layers. I take away things that are not beautiful to me or aren’t right for my home. But when I’m making those adjustments, it’s an evolution of style not a complete do over.

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That’s why I have always embraced a style that has a traditional twist to it. It never feels so defined that it might get stuffy or outdated, but it also isn’t likely to feel like my whole home is too trendy just a year after I decorate it. It’s a mixed style that can evolve with me as my taste and lifestyle does. I can hang on to things that might not be perfect while I need them, but they still mix in just fine until I finally get to pick out something I like better. I can easily move things to other rooms if I feel like I need a change. That just feels authentic and right for my home! It’s a slow process but it’s real life for me.

home office birch lane

I especially enjoy the little things I can do to update my home. I love adding affordable things like adding baskets to bring in those layers of texture that are not only practical but make a house feel layered and lived in.

Mixing up painted and wood pieces makes it even easier to continue to evolve!

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I love when a traditional piece can mix in with that fun new rug. A dramatic wall color can bring it all together.

Copley+Mercury+Glass+Table+Lamp

I LOVE to feel the freedom to evolve in my taste and style, it’s just a fun part of life for me. But who really has money or time to get a whole new new style every few years? Not me! I’ve had the same sofa, same beds, same dressers and dining table for years. Yet my house is always getting updated! Sticking to mostly classic pieces as the foundation makes evolution of style pretty easy. I can just add in new items as I find things I love or want to incorporate to my current look.

Birch-Lane-Fenton-4-Door-Sideboard

Now that I’m ready for a few new foundational pieces (which I’ll be showing you my dilemmas and solutions in an upcoming post), I want to make sure I pick things I know I can love for years to come. I especially love items that can work in more than one space.

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I’m a detail girl. A little nail head trim gives a style boost that catches my eye.

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I love things that are unique in a tasteful way and suggest a story or history.

Hanley-Ikat-Pouf- Birch Lane

I love when classic patterns or fabrics are also modern so you can add in a fun touch without your house feeling outdated next year.

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Birch-Lane-Starboard-III-Framed-Print

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How is your home evolving in style or do you tend to keep it the same?

*My trip to NYC was sponsored by Wayfair & Birch Lane, but my posts and opinions are my own.

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Comments

  1. Ours definitely changes over time as well, and like you, we work with a small budget and just buy “on the cheap” until we find something we really love. Recently we were finally able to buy some coordinated pieces for our living room and now our whole downstairs feels pulled together and inviting. What a change! At the same time, we got rid of some smaller pieces that just didn’t work anymore. Now the room is more cohesive and less cluttered. We feel peace in the whole downstairs! We love mixing family heirlooms (handmade by my dad and grandpa) with newer pieces – and lots of books! Gives it that lived in, loved up look that says, “Welcome home!”

  2. That is the style that I love and that I want my house to look like. Just stunning. It makes a house look comfy and cosy and somewhere I want to hang out.

    Keep it coming please :)
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  3. Absolutely gorgeous!

  4. I’m so excited for you to have had such a wonderful time in NYC. And that special dinner the night before. And the gorgeous apartment. Melissa…you are a “rock star” as “Thistle” would put it. ;)

    I can see why you are enjoying the new Birch Lane line. It really does harmonize with your style. They were smart people to include you in their launch.

    Traditional is a style I have always embraced. By default I have acquired a fair amount of vintage decor and look forward to when I can add a contemporary flair to the mix so that it doesn’t feel so stuffy. It will come in time. I’m sure that when I finally get my things out of storage I will approach decorating differently. Living without my things in this “in between” time has caused me to look at them so much differently. I feel a new personal style emerging….time will tell.

    Congratulations on the BHG award!! There’s no surprise here. ;) I rejoice with you and celebrate God’s goodness, blessing, and favor in your life. After a long hard road…isn’t it so sweet? [hugs]
    Diane recently posted..Rustic Burlap Easter Egg Wreath | Project Inspire{d} Week 61 Link Party and FeaturesMy Profile

  5. I love the photos you shared in today’s post – timeless and practical pieces. Who can afford to replace items when the fleeting trend is over? Not I! So I look for ones that can last because the budget dictates. I can always accessorize with trends. Thanks for sharing. And congratulations on being voted our favorite decorating blogger over at BHG!!

  6. Love the new line! So versatile- I’ll definitely be using them on my next project…
    Jenna Pizzigati-Coppola recently posted..Newsletter: Freshen Your Home for Spring!My Profile

  7. Victoria says:

    My style is evolving and I think that is OK. My problem is there is problably something about almost every style that I like. Those online test that you can take, yeah I’m the girl that comes out 33% this, 33% that and 34% this… so I say I have DADD (decorating ADD). I follow you ad Rhoda on your blogs and on FB and when I saw some of the posts you ladies were sharing I went to Birch Lane online and fell in love. I’ve already bought some things! I love the style and it all looks like great quality.
    Thanks so much for sharing! Victoria
    http://www.dragonfliesandthistles.blogspot.com/2014/04/spring-wreath.html

    • Decorating ADD (DADD)–I like that! And I have it too! I love a wide variety of styles and think that an eclectic mix is more interesting that sticking to one style (which can be lovely too) but it a lot harder to pull off so that it looks polished. And I have far too many little sentimental items that remind me of family and travels and happy memories. I try to rotate them, but they make me smile, so I keep more than what is proper or practical. I appreciate the more spare aesthetic, and it is certainly practical, but I don’t know if it is anything I can ever achieve. I’ve always been a less is a bore and more is more kind of gal.

    • Ha, I think I’m the same way, with decorating ADD. That’s why I am so cautious in what I buy, I want to make sure it’s going to work long term because I can be all over the map on what I fall in love with! Birch Lane is great for offering core style that can last, I’m glad you found things you love!

  8. Lyzz Pickle says:

    I love my Birch Lane catalog. I’ve been thru it at least 3 times and online. I’ve become absolutely smitten w the navy bedroom. Can you please find the name of the navy wall paint? I want THAT one in my guest room now! I have everything else! Like you, I “curate” for my home and buy what I love so it can go in any room in my house. Love your blog!

  9. This furniture is looks nice, very pretty. However… I may be wrong, but I was just thinking that there is nothing in this collection that I haven’t seen before. It’s a little Restoration Hardware meets a lot of Pottery Barn & Ballard, already copied by Target. I like all of this but I expected the founder of Dwellstudio would have something new to share, maybe something a little edgier; a new twist on classic. As a girl in the market for some new furniture, I’m just a little disappointed.

    • I agree you’ll find core similarities among these brands, probably because they all know what most consumers want as far as an updated traditional style. Price points and quality vary between leading brands, as do sizes of pieces, colors available and style options so I think you still shop around to find what pieces work in your home and budget. I found so many things at Birch Lane that I could justify buying both from a price point and style view point. I think that is what they were after.

      Even with a few brands offering options, it can still be challenging to find just what you need in an updated traditional style that is affordable but not cheap looking. So many times you’ll see something online you like but in person it’s tiny and not at all of lasting quality! Or you can fall in love with something you really want and then it’s just too expensive to justify. Or you can’t find it in the color or size you want. Christiane is a smart lady and I loved talking to her and her team about their choices for this brand, it was definitely geared towards those basics you can build upon.

      In my home I’m am drawn to a fresher twist than just the basic or more formal traditional. I would want some of these core pieces combined with a few vintage flea market finds or “acquired over the years” furnishings and then add in those edgy, trendy or unexpected items (which can be so fun!) and feel like I had the perfect mix that can evolve as I do. In Christiane’s own home she had that gorgeous dark wood traditional antique dining table under a vintage chandelier and then an edgy modern light fixture over the kitchen island. It was a fun mix! :-D

  10. Suzanne of Simply Suzannes at Home

    It was an honor having you come by! Thank you for your kind comment!
    I agree with all that you shared in this post regarding traditional and classic style. I’m a believer in acquiring traditional and classic pieces that provide a strong base to our home. I’m always mixing up colors and accent pieces with every season, so having a strong base allows me to do that . . . and have a home that looks cohesive.
    Love the Birch Lane pieces you’re featuring in this post!
    Thanks so much for sharing.
    Have a great weekend,
    Suzanne
    Suzanne of Simply Suzannes at Home recently posted..lemon & honey tart with salted shortbread crustMy Profile

  11. Lovely home! I change things up with pillows and accessories. The major pieces don’t change. I try not to be too trendy…except maybe wall colors.
    Lisa recently posted..Something has to ClickMy Profile

  12. Melissa, I relate to just about every single comment in your post. I’m definitely into keeping and using favorite pieces and either finding a way to make them work in a room or repurposing them for another room. I love to find things that I can use for unusual purposes too. Like so many others, I’m on a very tight budget – fixed income with good cash reserves but no easy way to replenish those reserves if I tap them. But what might be a curse to some has turned out to be a blessing to me because, although I’ve had to think and plan very, very carefully, I’ve been having a ball since I bought my forever home in December 2012, learning from your blog and others I follow, and I’m loving the way it’s coming together. I really do wake up every morning with a smile on my face that increases as I walk through my little abode, opening all the curtains to let in the sun, on my way to the kitchen to make coffee.

    I’m excited about Birch Lane – looks like all the lovely things I see at Ballard’s and Pottery Barn and other like places that are way out of my budget. Looking forward to seeing what you tackle next. Should be fun

  13. My design style is pretty consistent – a mix of traditional with a few heirlooms. It’s layered with collected finds from flea markets, garage sales & ebay, along with Scandinavian influences (more folksy than contemporary). If I include anything trendy, it’s in accessories that are easy to switch out. I’ve been craving a shift in the style. I want to maintain much of the same feeling, but evolve to include more white and fewer objects. Your design style is one that’s influenced me in that direction. These photos & others on the Birch Lane site are right up that alley. Thanks! I really enjoyed reading about the NYC dinner party too – How exciting!

  14. I completely agree, and love your home. My design philosophy is simple – invest in classics and buy trends on the cheap, always keep the base neutral and accessorize with color, and finally, be true to myself (don’t do it just because everyone else it).

  15. One of my favorite posts. I resonate with this so much. My struggle in doing a few rooms has been keeping it classic but updated without breaking the bank. And yet, one of the rooms I have is a living room that we rarely use. Now that could be because the room is so uninviting and not my style. You have hit on a good point to keep some classic pieces and add a few things that are current to keep it fresh. Now…on to make those decisions! I am swooning over the sofa in the middle of the post (the blue and white room as well as the piece behind it.) I might start there! : )

  16. This is a great post Melissa, with some really beautiful pieces and rooms highlighted. I love Birch Lane too, thanks so much for sharing this! This post comes at a perfect time…I’m currently looking for a new sofa since ours is not only pretty outdated, it’s starting to sag in all the wrong places [boy, I know that feeling!]
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  17. Where can I buy the white linen, (pillow shams and comforter) on today’s blog. Thank you. I am a linen junkie. LOL

  18. All the things you’ve said about style evolving over time are certainly true! My home is a mix of very traditional pieces purchased twenty years ago for our previous home, newer more modern pieces, and some DIY projects. I don’t think that I will ever be “done” since things get moved around or replaced as our needs cage. Lately, since my illness keeps me more housebound, I have been making a more conscious effort to make my furniture comfortable and to accessories with the things that bring me joy.
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  19. Lovely post. My style… Let’s say it is rather eclectic :-) , but on the classical side. Things are not super-coordinated in our home, it’s a mixture, but it does feel warm and cozy to us. Many things are made by ourselves – wooden plaques I’ve painted, pieces of furniture made by my husband, all kinds of repurposed objects… What I love is that just about each object has its own little story. It brings up memories of a particular moment in our lives, it evokes certain feelings… Our home is definitely a work in progress, but it really feels like it’s ‘ours’. :-)
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  20. Melissa, I have serious decorating ADD!!!!!!!!! I’m moving again next month and def. going for a classic look! Thanks for sharing!
    Alison

  21. Love this post. I try to instill this my clients all the time. Buy reasonable but beautiful furniture pieces that will stand the test of time and bring their personality to the space.

  22. I will have to check out their catalog online. I am drooling over those benches with the red stripe. I really enjoyed this post! I agree, I love the foundational pieces I have and it is so easy to update with a new lamp here, a new painting there.
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  23. Hi Melissa – so love your relaxed and easy style of writing and the content so simple but sooo good – I learn so much – yep Im a fluffer and tweaker as well – always playing around and rearranging till things work the way I want them too, Im all for the little changes adding up to big changes. Love your blog and your pretty house – I voted for you from all the way down here in Australia – hope it counted. Can we see more of the garden?

  24. I find myself taking more chances. As I get more confident in my choices, and loving the result. I find I am using more color, more pattern and more textures. I know how to balance it all and not overwhelm a space. And I agree completely in what you said about having staple pieces and then adding others in layers. Sometimes you love it and sometimes you bring back a layer, but it is always evolving. It is so true. I have come to accept I will never truly be done with my home. It is too much fun!
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  25. Wow! terrific interior design and style. Very chic and homey. By the way, did you get your gorgeous lamp and lighting fixtures from http://www.lighting55.com ? I seem to have seen your beautiful table lamp there or something similar-looking.
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