Image via Design Sponge
I have a treat for you today! Our virtual Director of Customer Service & Delight/Event Coordinator Lisa Borton, based out of Naperville, Illinois, has written a guest post for us. We asked everyone who applied for this position to write a blog post and I loved hers so much, I’m sharing it with you!
Those of you who attended my Vancouver Specify Colour with Confidence™ event got to meet both Lisa Borton & Tricia Firmaniak my Design Assistant (from Edmonton). I was excited to have everyone together!
Here’s Lisa’s post:
Am I the only one? As soon as I finished painting over all of the swine pink paint left in our house by the previous owner, the color trend shifted again.
As soon as I completed my Tuscan color scheme: golds and greens with pops of red (example below), the rest of the design world had moved on.
Design via JS Brown Design
Of course, since my husband and I do all of our own painting, it can literally take YEARS to complete all of our rooms, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised we are constantly running behind. It seems like my paintbrush and I are on a hamster wheel that just won’t stop.
Can any of you relate?
So, what are we to do? How can we be happy in our homes at all times, regardless of changes in style, color trends, etc.?
I believe the answer is to PERSONALIZE your home. In this day of Pinterest boards and Houzz Ideabooks, this advice may seem counterintuitive. Wouldn’t it be easier to just make your room look like a photo you like?
Well, those who know me well, know that I have an obsession with decorating. I read too many shelter magazines; I read too many blogs and spend a little too much time on Pinterest and Houzz.
Design by Lindsay Coral Harper
In my opinion, looking at all of those images can lead to one of two things: 1) You develop a bad case of house envy and want your home to look just like those in the polished, professional photos, or 2) You learn what you like and don’t like and can translate that to decorating your own home in your own style. I won’t lie – I have gone through both of those phases. But lately, I have felt a distinct shift in my thinking.
As I grow older – and hopefully wiser – I am beginning to take time to think about decorating our home beyond the trends. How do we want it to feel when we walk in? What impact should it have on our children? On our guests?
One of the most important things I have learned, and what I want to share with you today, is how to make your house feel like YOURS. Personal.
Image via Style me Pretty (I LOVE this coral shade)
Maybe this means your home won’t be featured in a magazine, but what is it you want from your house?
At the end of the day, I want it to be a sanctuary for my family. To be their favorite place. To be that safe place where they can relax and be themselves.
So, to that end, I have started filling our home with things we love. You may say, “Doesn’t everyone do that?”, but I know that in the past, I did not. I bought that black, wrought iron candlestick because it went with the Tuscan trend I was in, not because I liked it or felt a connection to it.
So now, I am decorating with intention. It is certainly a work in progress, but my goal is for each piece of art and accessory to be something meaningful to us. Because of who made it. Or because of the memories it evokes. Or because it brings a loved one to mind. Or simply because we find it beautiful.
So, how do we personalize our home? Let me give you a few examples so that you can try it yourself!
A few years ago I decided to update the artwork in our family room. So, I bought a print that was filled with the colors of the room, had it framed and hung it on the wall. It looked FINE. But, each time I entered that room, I felt empty. That painting looked lovely with the color scheme, but it did not bring me any joy at all, because I had no connection to it.
We have since replaced it with a picture that was painted as a gift for us by my father-in-law. The subject might not be something I would choose, and the colors are more muted than I prefer, but it makes me happy. He made it for us and I treasure it for that reason.
My son’s bedroom is one of my favorite rooms in our house. Each item decorating the walls is something special to him. He has his plaques from playing on his beloved basketball team through the years, pennants from professional and college teams he loves, a piece of art made for him by his sister, and ribbons he has earned playing water polo.
He also created a collage using ticket stubs from events he has attended. When he is in his room, he is truly surrounded by things that remind him who he is. That is what I want for each of us in each room of our home. To feel warm, loved, connected to who we are and those we love.
Most recently, my daughter and I have started painting, drawing and lettering. We are in the experimental phase, trying acrylics, watercolors and pastels. Rather than stack our attempts in a pile in a closet, we have begun hanging them on clipboards for all to see. It brings us SUCH JOY to have our creations displayed. And, as we create something we like better, we can so easily swap them out!
If you long to personalize your home, I suggest starting with one room. Take down the art and accessories you have in there. If you have lived in your home for years, you may have become immune to your surroundings.
By actually handling each item and deciding if it makes us happy or not, we can begin to transform our home into a place that is truly reflective of who we are. As you go through the process of removing things you don’t feel connected to, you will make room for the things that actually bring you joy.
Just a warning: this may not be a fast process. I currently have a few empty walls because I am waiting to find something personal to hang; something I feel a connection to.
Once you go through this process in one room, it will begin to feel much more natural and you will automatically begin to examine the accessories in ALL of your rooms.
But be patient. Give yourself grace as you go through this process slowly, room by room, to ultimately transform your home into a personalized sanctuary you love.
Thanks Lisa! Don’t you feel empowered after reading this? You can see why we’re so excited to have her with us.
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