Archives for March 2008

Style Tips: Embracing Your Authentic Style

Style Tips: Embracing Your Authentic Style

By way of illustrating how you can find an authentic style inspired by and for YOUR life, I thought I’d share these photos from a story found at Traditional Home online. I was drawn to the cheery bright clear colors and when I read the article, the fanciful style of the home was perfect for this family. Why? The home was originally headquarters to a well-known circus! Their home address? One Circus Place. How neat is that?

To decorate, the family played off of the home’s colorful history, the fact that they adore children (they have two of their own) and that the woman of the home is a children’s photographer (her studio is on the third floor of the house). Their home is all about youthful fun. This house’s design makes sense for them, reflects the history of the home and illustrates their own life on many levels. Whether or not you like the fun colors and patterns, you have to admit this is an original and authentic home.

Style Tips: Embracing Your Authentic Style

As you probably know by now, I am not a fan of “theme rooms.” However, with that said, I am a fan of authenticity. There is a difference between creating a home full of your memories or passion for life and getting confused by overdoing a theme. Authenticity can evoke feelings without making everything too obvious. Here, they chose lively, high quality fabrics that produce the same feelings you might have at a circus. It is a happy place.

Style Tips: Embracing Your Authentic Style
I like how they were careful to let their furnishings pop, without painting all the walls vivid colors and going crazy with a colored carpet too. The pink chairs and and stripped ottoman are enough. Also, the serious architecture of the home is a nice contrast to the fun decor. This home can handle some whimsy without getting too sweet.
Style Tips: Embracing Your Authentic Style

Here, they added colored walls but let this corner of the room have a break in the color by incorporating a black table, simple wood chairs, and neutral mantle. The rug is neutral and this whole corner helps balance things out so you are not overwhelmed by the room as a whole.

When I came to this photo (below) of the clown, I started to worry that the circus theme was being overdone. HA! Seeing the big clown face was (at first) too obvious for me. In designing a home that is personal to you, you still want to keep good taste in mind. It can be easy to veer off into buying everything that screams “this is my THEME.”

But, in this case, as I read more of the article, I found out that the home owner’s aunt was a photographer who a generation ago took circus photos. This was one of her photos. Ok, then! If anyone else had a circus themed home with photos of clowns on the wall, I might scratch my head and wonder (or cry), but in this case, it makes sense! It is a fun conversation piece. So, SEND IN THE CLOWNS, I say! WHY NOT??

Style Tips: Embracing Your Authentic Style

I just noticed, that table next to the Designer Guild pink chairs has rings, like in a circus! Clever!

The Inspired Room’s Authentic Style Tips:

1) Consider things in your life (past & present and dreams for the future) that are meaningful to you or your family. Family history, places you’ve been, life experiences and your dream life are all good places to start looking for the real you. No one else will share your style if you are true to yourself.

2) Consider the architecture of your home. You don’t have to match its style, but it is helpful to be aware of its impact as you select furnishings and decor.

3) Learn the art of subtlety. Consider ways to incorporate the significant things into your decor without making everything a “Ta Da!” moment. It is more intriguing to let design elements unfold rather than have everything hit you right off the bat as you walk in.

4) Definitely avoid cheap and tacky. Fun, sure. Great deals, absolutely. Cheap & Tacky, no. Who wants their authentic style to be cheap & tacky? That is not giving off the right vibe at all! You deserve better than that!

5) Incorporate conversation pieces that allow visiting friends to get to know you.

6) Design a room to work as a whole, not as a bunch of individual pieces. Your house can be full of life, memories and color, but the idea is to pull it all together in a tasteful way so that it all works when you step back.

See more photos and the story from Traditional Home here:

designer: Betty Murdock

Style Tips: Inspired By Life

Style Tips: Inspired By Life

Not too long ago, I was honored to be interviewed by The Home Office Organizer blog . In the interview I shared how the name “The Inspired Room” came about (Newsflash, The Inspired Room is now a registered trademark and LLC!) tips for personalizing a home office, who inspires me, along with a few other tidbits. I thought I’d share a few of the tips on finding your authentic style! For the rest of the interview, click here. Here is an excerpt from my interview:

You are a “Style Coach.” What are your top 5 tips for someone who wants to create rooms inspired by their life?

In no particular order, here are some tips for getting started on finding your own personal style:

1) Spend time living the life you want and gathering mementos along the way. Your home will come together as you experience life. It shouldn’t be an overnight process!

2) Create rooms and spaces to inspire and accommodate your life. Evaluate what kind of life you really want to live and set things up to make that life possible and enjoyable. Do you love to read? Have friends over for movies? Cook? Write? Have the neighborhood kids over to play with your children? Do you have hobbies? Do you host large parties? Make sure your house is set up to accommodate you—homes should never keep us from fully experiencing what we love to do. Nor should they be staged for someone else’s idea of a good life. Your home should make sense for you.

3) Eliminate things that are unattractive or don’t stir your senses in some way. Avoid random decorations. Most everything should have a story that makes you happy or reminds you of a special time or person. Or at least things should be attractive and facilitate your life in some way. If it is useless or ugly, get rid of it.

4) Make ordinary things beautiful. Most of our life is spent doing ordinary things. Those ordinary activities should inspire our homes even more than the few highlights of our life. Everyday we spend time eating, cleaning, bathing, sleeping, working. Take the time to make these every day experiences more organized and pleasing to your eye.

5) Don’t be afraid to ask for help in creating a beautiful home, but be careful who you ask. Friends mean well but can confuse their personal taste with what is appropriate for you. Friends don’t have to love your home. Designers can be a wealth of information and ideas but can also lead you to spend money you don’t need to spend and end up creating a home that reflects their style rather than yours. Find someone who understands what you are trying to achieve and can use what you already have and love to create something authentic to you.

Not everyone is naturally inclined to be able to arrange things in attractive ways — we all have our strengths. Don’t feel badly if you need some help in organizing or pulling your belongings together so that you can truly love your home.

For more of my interview on The Home Office Organizer blog, click here!

photo: House Beautiful online