Finding my style, or: Sometimes it takes a while for the penny to drop

I admit it, I’m still a “paint probie” (and yes, I’ll also admit that watching NCIS is one of my many guilty pleasures ;-)). To be accurate I should probably have said that I’m a decorating probie, but all accuracy aside – paint probie sounds just so much better. Have I mentioned that I have a thing for language? I do. To the extent that I posted something on facebook the other day and almost felt the need to explain why, from a language point of view, it’s not all that weird to call furniture “yummy”. But I managed to contain myself. Just about. And I should probably stop babbling now. Not that I know if anybody will ever read this, so me babbling along might be just fine, but just in case anybody does read this, I should probably get on with what I wanted to say.

Style. That’s what I wanted to say. How did I find my style? It’s funny because I always thought I knew exactly what my style was. Until it came to taking action and until I started painting.

If you’ve read my “About” section you know that we’ve been a bit unsettled in the past. I like to call it “continent hopping”. And while I decorated our homes (so technically, I’m not a complete decoration probie) it was always a bit half heartedly, always knowing that we’d be likely to move again. So I stuck with what I liked but the whole house was never completely tied together. But now that we’ve somehow settled and we’ve lived in our house for some time I finally feel like it’s time tackle the house as a whole.

Since I’ve been a teen I’ve been in love with Tuscan homes. There was just always something  simple, warm and cozy about them. I always pictured myself cooking in one of those rustic Italian kitchens, sitting in a living room with terracotta colored walls.


It’s gorgeous, isn’t it? That kitchen? And that bathroom! I was totally smitten with it. Until… until I put those dark brown beams up in our hallways (well, Rob did, but anyway…). It hit me right there and then that I could not transform our whole house in that style because I simply wouldn’t be able to breathe. Don’t laugh but there were moments I was kind of suffocating just looking at those beams.

Now don’t get me wrong, I still love that style. I just realized relatively quickly that this style was not for me. So there I was, in a house that in parts has wonderfully warm Italian colors on the wall but I’ve just figured out that I don’t want Italian. But I also didn’t have a clue what I wanted. I just knew that when I painted, I painted mostly white. And blue.

I still liked the simplicity of the Tuscan style but I needed something lighter. Poking around a little it didn’t take me long to realize that French country style offered exactly that.

See? Feel it?? Here you can breathe. Yet it’s all still wonderfully rustic and simple. Good, all set. I thought. For about a second.

Then I became aware of this little nagging voice in my head. You’ve always liked it beachy  it was saying. And it was right. I did always have a thing for beach decor. But I thought that our house finally needed to have a theme run through it and I just didn’t see how I could combine Tuscan with beach and so sacrificed the beach. Now with white beams and lighter tones the beach voice in my head was getting stronger by the minute.  I mean really, just look at it

Doesn’t it make you swoon? I mean, really, just look at it! The blues with the whites? The driftwood? It’s just how I paint my stuff. Well, some of it.  But hang on, my the-whole-house-needs-to-have-a-theme-voice said, how will you tie it all together? Do you want rustic, or do you want beach? Stick to one theme!

Bummer, so there I was again. How to combine French country with beach and have it run kind of smoothly? It didn’t help that while looking around for inspiration I had come across some lovely Scandinavian homes…

Now here you can definitely breathe. Perfect. Although, mind you, as gorgeous as the all white rooms look, I’d still like a bit of color. Some cozy colors maybe? Oh, here we go, seems like I’m not done with the whole Italian thing yet after all. I could feel my mind having a little breakdown. I think at this point my brain was actually telling my eyes to go blind so I’d not see other pictures that would inspire me and throw some additional styles in the mix.

Since I’ve started painting I’ve found that there are two blogs out there that I’ve learned a ton from. One is Shaunna’s Perfectly Imperfect, the other one is Marian’s Miss Mustard Seed. These girls are just full of inspiration and good advice. So I poked around some more on their blogs and this is when it finally came to me. I just needed to shut up this stubborn mind of mine that a house should only have one style. We’re not living in a show home that represents a certain style, we’re living in OUR home, a home that represents us, that represents what we like. And if that is a mix of cozy Italian colors and some “French rustic white”, some “beach white with a splash of color” and some “Scandinavian bright white”, well then I’ll make that work somehow. It will be our style.

By now I’m already well on my way – although I still have a much longer way to go.  And yes, I know, many of you have probably been screaming at your computer screens from the very beginning Just get over yourself, mix your styles finally! But my penny just seemed to have taken its sweet time before it finally decided it was time to drop. I am this way sometimes.

I’ll let you know how it all works out. Maybe… maybe we’ll just have a European house. Oops, there it is again, my wicked mind trying to find a theme…


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