How To Create An Authentic Home

How To Create An Authentic Home

Creating an authentic style, inspired by you and the things you love, does not have to be a daunting experience. It is a journey of self-discovery and self-expression that can be enjoyable, even for the creatively-challenged. Here are a few ideas to help you along the way to finding your style:

  • Think about beautiful places that have profoundly influenced you. Have you traveled abroad? Spent memorable time in the solitude of a mountain cabin? Walked on a nature trail? Been entranced by charming English gardens in a quaint old neighborhood? Spent Sunday mornings in a architecturally stunning church? Incorporate the mood of these experiences into your home.
  • Create dream box or notebook. Keep clippings of magazine photos you are drawn to, note cards with patterns you find charming, swatches of fabrics or ribbons, photos of beautiful things you come across in your daily life or travels. These things can prove valuable to you as you design your rooms. Details of what inspires you will begin to emerge. You might find you are consistently inspired by Asian culture, simplicity, a particular shade of pink, nature, or old world charm like carved wood and antique light fixtures.
  • Don’t be afraid to mix styles. There are no rules. Your goal is simply to create a pleasing environment with your own authentic style. You can be inspired by classic styles but consider adding in other elements of who you are to create a unique mix all your own. Add an antique French hutch to a contemporary room or painted table in a kitchen with natural wood to make your rooms more interesting and real.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask a professional for guidance, but do avoid asking friends for their approval. Creating a home is very personal. A professional decorator can help you translate the feelings you want in your home into a pleasing style, saving you money and frustration along the way. You may not have time or the inclination to put it all together, but be involved in what goes into your home. Find a decorator who is sensitive to authenticity, using what you have and love, and does not try to push their own signature style.
  • Be true to who you are. Don’t buy to ‘keep up with the Jones.’ Be content with where you are in life and design your home appropriately. Take finances, children, pets, entertaining styles, and both solitude and social preferences into account so you will be comfortable in your own space.
  • Be sure your home is alive with happy memories. Objects in your home can conjure up positive warm feelings. Gather things in your lifetime that bring you happiness when you see them. Buy a teacup when you visit a teahouse on your birthday. Have a silhouette drawn of your child. Bring back a pretty map from a vacation to frame on a wall. Buy things that move you, not meaningless objects gathered for the sole purpose of filling space.
  • Edit your possessions. You cannot keep everything you have ever owned or loved. Does the object or furniture suit your current lifestyle, home or taste? If not, let it go! Take a picture of it if the memory is strong and file it away in a memory box. Does something in your home have a negative memory associated with it? Get rid of it! Replace it with something happier.
  • Refine your style continuously over your lifetime so it always reflects who you are today as well as where you have been. Don’t get stuck in a time warp that no longer suits who you are. If you continue to refine your home even in small ways it will feel constantly fresh and alive.

Birthday wish list: toilet seat

We had a great day celebrating my daughter’s 16th birthday yesterday. This was just her family party, friend event will come later. She wants to take a group of girls to our family beach house, which current looks like this:

Birthday wish list: toilet seat

Clearly you can see why the friend party will have to wait.

We all had a good chuckle over how we do birthdays around our house. You see, we all LOVE to get things for our house. In the case of my girls, they love to get new things for their rooms. This is basically how we decorate on a budget year round.

“Hey, sweetie, your birthday is coming up! How about a new toilet seat for your bathroom and a set of sheets for your bed?”

Yep, no joke. A toilet seat and nice sheets were among the gifts this year. And she was thrilled — she really was! Nothing like a shiny new toilet seat to brighten a girl’s special day. I’ve trained her well.

We have bought something nice (whatever our budget allows) for our house every year for our anniversary too. We almost always forgo staying at hotels in favor of shopping for something new — a cool new lamp, an accessory, something for the walls, furniture or plumbing — whatever strikes our fancy, or is a need that we normally would put off due to a limited budget. That is our kind of romantic evening! :-) Dinner and a new faucet!

It has worked for 20 years, and we are still happily married! Who needs diamonds or pearls? Give me new plumbing fixtures!

Come to think of it, maybe that is where I got the tag line phrase for my business: Refining your home for authentic living™. We make refining our home a priority all year round, with really no decorating budget. We just make our home the recipient of lovely and practical gifts on holidays that we can use or enjoy all year round. Other people buy jewelry or cars or electronics. We buy house stuff. Nothing really fancy, just stuff that makes life in our home fun and adds to the beauty of everyday living. Authentic stuff. Like new toilet seats.