MIXING DESIGN STYLES (BY CHOICE AND BY NECESSITY)

Recently, a good friend of mine with a similar design background brought up a point that got me thinking. She was visiting our house for the first time and during the obligatory house tour she said something along the lines of “I’m trying to figure out your style.” After a brief back and forth, we came to the conclusion that the style of my current home was a little bit contemporary, a little bit rustic and a whole lot of in between. This came as no shock to me. I’m a big fan of mixing design styles and think that’s how you can truly create a space that feels dynamic and interesting and I’m fully aware of the blending of styles in my own home, but the conversation got me thinking a little bit deeper about the why. 

mixing design styles by choice (and by necessity)

our current dining room

While some of the mixing of design styles is intentional, some of it also comes by necessity. At this point, I’m in house #2 of my adulthood (we’re not going to count the college apartment that made my mother cry…) and like many other 20-somethings, I’m slowly acquiring a household full of meaningful and long lasting pieces but am certainly not in the position to go out and furnish an entire house. Nor would I really want to for that matter. 

mixing design styles by choice (and by necessity)

our current dining room

While we have added a few new pieces here and there to this house, much of what we had came from our previous house, one with a very distinctly different style. Some of what worked perfectly there gets a fresh new perspective here, while some of it just isn’t quite suited to the shape, size, and style of this house. The challenge now is blending those different elements in a way that not only feels intentional but also feel right for the bones of this house.

mixing design styles by choice (and by necessity)

view from the dining room

 

Our big living room is one of the spaces that I’ve struggled with the most in terms of mixing styles and combining old with new. In general, the room is much larger than our old living room and the pieces that were chosen for the previous space aren’t pieces that I would have chosen starting fresh in this room. The room also has it’s own unique attributes that make furnishing it a challenge. The elements that make the space really special (like the full walls of windows, two doorways, and brick wall) also make things like furniture selection, scale, and layout pretty challenging.

mixing design styles by choice (and by necessity)

our current living room

For example, the fun mid-century coffee table that I loved so much in our 1st house just isn’t right in here. It’s too small for the space and the style just isn’t right in this room. And as much as I love our current sofa (and will find a spot for it in our home for as long as it lives), this long rectangular space screams for a big lounge-y sectional or sofa with a chaise. At this point, I have nailed down the layout that I know will work and it’s just a matter of finding the right pieces over time. The purchases that I do make moving forward, will be made with that vision in mind in terms of size, shape, color, etc. When there is a goal at the end, it makes purchasing piece by piece a little bit easier.

mixing design styles by choice (and by necessity)

our current living room

The aforementioned friend and I also talked a bit about purchasing quality over quantity at this phase of our lives and agreed that the buy what you can for as cheap as you can as fast as you can phase is where we find ourselves moving away from. This living room currently houses some quality pieces that will remain in the space but the search for permanent replacements for other items will take time and those future purchases will be made with the intention of longevity. As tempting as it is to replace the items that you know just don’t work, chances are those impulse buys and quick fixes will be the ones that need replacing before long. Patience is so annoying, I know.

mixing design styles by choice (and by necessity)

our current living room

Do I love the combination of different styles in my home? Yes! I think it makes it feel young and fresh and fun. Are there changes that I’d like to make in many different spaces? Of course! But the time and energy that you put into making your space feel just right, piece by piece, is a big part of what makes your house feel like a home, don’t you think? When you can look around the room and remember where you bought this or why you bought that, what a deal you got on that thing or the pile of treasures you dug that out from under, and relive the excitement of the hunt, that’s what makes is special.

So back to the main point (which was what exactly? Stop rambling, Maggie!) when it comes to mixing design styles, sometimes we do it by choice, sometimes we do it by necessity, and often times it’s a little of both. A few tips on making purchases and adding pieces to a mixture of design styles, you ask? Don’t mind if I do…

  1. Purchase quality pieces with intention. As tempting as it is to replace something that isn’t working immediately, impulse buys are often the ones that need replacing right away.
  2. Purchase what you love. Mixing design styles can seem daunting, but chances are if you simply buy things that you love and that speak to you, they will all end up working together to create a space that you’re obsessed with.
  3. Pick a color scheme and stick to it. In order to make a collection of different styles feel cohesive, stick to a strict color palette. This will be the thread that sews it all together and makes the space feel intentional.
  4. Have a goal in mindWhen you have an idea of what you want in the end, this makes purchasing piece by piece a bit less daunting. This doesn’t mean you have a concrete plan of exactly what you want and where you want it, but having a general idea of how you want the space to feel allows you to work towards a goal. This will help different purchases that are made over time work together in the end.

 

A CASUAL THANKSGIVING TABLE

In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve always been a bit of a perfectionist. Just ask my mother. Even as a small child, I liked things a certain way and the slightest discrepancy had the power to send me into a tailspin.

As I’ve grown into adulthood, I’ve tried to take the good from my perfectionist tendencies without letting it control me. That’s not to say I don’t still have my moments. Just ask my husband.

Celebrations and holidays can sometimes bring out that side in me, but this year, I am determined to embrace the magical season that is upon us and approach the holidays in a much more relaxed and laid back manner (something I’m sure my mother and my husband will appreciate) which led to a casual Thanksgiving table.

a casual thanksgiving table

I started out with a really simple white linen tablecloth, a couple of rosemary plants, and a collection of dishes and linens that I’ve collected over the years.

a casual thanksgiving table

a casual thanksgiving table

I used what we had around the house, mixing and matching different sets of dishes, glassware, and silverware to create a table that felt really casual and comfortable.

A certain little helper of mine made simple place cards out of leftover cardstock that we slid between the plates as a a mere seating suggestion ;)

a casual thanksgiving table

The sweet fruit dishes and striped paper straws add a playful and colorful touch to the table and small gourds scattered along the burlap runner give this Thanksgiving table that bit of fall flavor. Super simple, super casual.

a casual thanksgiving table

The table feels fresh and bright and completely casual for enjoying a meal with friends and family. Just the right recipe for this recovering perfectionist’s holiday celebration ;)

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

 

BRINGING FALL INTO YOUR HOME

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Last week officially marked the first days of fall and I couldn’t be more excited about it! Anyone who knows me well knows that this is my absolute favorite time of the year. The crisp, cool fall air instantly puts me in a good mood and there is just something about this season that is so magical and inspiring.

Today, I’m over on the Havenly Blog talking about my tips on creating that perfectly cozy autumn atmosphere and  my thoughts on how to bring fall into your home! Check it out here!

Happy Fall!

LATEST UPDATES

Over the last few months, I’ve done a bit of sharing about what is going on outside our house (like in this post and this post) so I thought it was about time I took you inside for a look at some of the latest updates we’ve made around the house. We have slowly but surely been working our way from project to project getting things done.

Ideally, it would be great to just get it all done at once, but busy schedules and pesky budgets mean slower progress and a whole lot of DIY. It’s a long process but there is something to be said about putting love into your house and perfecting it over time. The end result of each project is so rewarding and so appreciated when so much time and effort is put into it. Now that things are really starting to come together, this place has never felt more like home.

So, enough rambling, let’s get into it.

The biggest and most exciting project that we were finally able to check off our list was moving the duct work in between the kitchen and dining room. Here’s what we’ve been looking at for the past year…

a current house tour

a current house tour  a current house tourNot so awesome.

But here is where we are now…

latest updates

LATEST UPDATES

latest updates

It looks and feels approximately one million times better.

While it would have been nice to open all of the walls completely and extend the kitchen out into the existing dining room space, as you can see in the “before” pictures above, an existing plumbing wall remained in this area. Moving that plumbing wall wasn’t something we were willing to tackle so we decided to create a pantry in the existing nook.

Latest updates

I’m SO excited about this pantry. I have a feeling it is going to be a game changer for how our tiny kitchen functions. Now that everything is framed in, drywalled, and painted, we plan to build some custom shelves in here and install a door. I promise to share that process with you over the next few weeks.

latest updates

We’ll also be tackling the floors over in this area and you can see the direction we’ll be going in the photos above. Woohoo!!

We’ve also finally tackled a major project in the dining room/living room.

latest updates

latest updates

Before we closed up the walls while moving the duct work, we were able to wire the dining room for an overhead light. I’ve been busy searching for the perfect fixture to hang above our DIY door table but until I find the perfect one, I’m content in knowing we’ll be seeing the light at some point soon ;)

Notice anything else?

Here’s a reminder of what it looked like before…

current house tour

Yikes!

We finally finished building the steps and trimming out the doorways leading into the living room!! Of all the projects we’ve tackled so far, this one might just make the biggest impact!

latest updates

Everything just feels so much brighter and fresher. Obviously. Not having to look at those jagged bricks and unfinished edges helps tremendously in making the space feel more put together.

Here’s the view from the living room side…

latest updatesLatest updates

One of the living room AC supplies was located under the opposite step so rather than using a conventional grate, we cut a piece of decorative metal sheeting to make this area less of an eyesore.

We have yet to make a final decision about flooring in the living room, but for now our painted tile floors are holding up nicely. Once we do settle on the flooring and install baseboards in here, the space will really be close to finish. Well, as close to finished as it can be for me ;)

And since I can’t resist a good before and after, I’ll leave you with these…

latest updates

LATEST UPDATES

LATEST UPDATES

Things are shaping up around here! I promise to keep you in the loop as we continue to tackle out to-do list.

Have a great week!