Wednesday, May 9, 2012

What's Your Style?

When we moved from the west coast to the east coast we didn't bring any furniture with us.  Our household items weren't expensive, new or so personal that we felt it necessary to pay to ship them.  Instead we decided to start over in a new home.  That has been an interesting and exciting venture.  When we moved in we had only a couple of lawn chairs to relax in.  So almost right away we purchased some second hand furniture to make the situation more livable.  However, that furniture wasn't purchased with style in mind.  Now as we are beginning to renovate and redecorate, pieces that fit the house are starting to make their way in the door.

Primarily our acquisitions have come from auctions and antique shops.  Antique furnishings work well with this house as it is antique itself.  One such purchase came while shopping at a favourite local antique shop over a year ago.  We saw a cabinet and Jody fell in love.  I was not so smitten.  It was big, bulky and black.  I've always felt black furniture hid the wood grain and looked modern.  I wasn't having it.  But we went back several times and Jody continued to admire it and finally it went on sale.  At 50% off how was I to say no?

So home it came.  Initially we didn't know where we were putting it but as soon as we had to move it we realized it wasn't going far.  It was too big and bulky to try and carry it through the house so it came straight in the front door to the piano room.


Wouldn't you know it fit beautifully.  At just over 4 feet wide it sat perfectly in front of the former fireplace like it was made for that spot.  When you walk in the door that cabinet is what you notice.  I was proved wrong, it was the perfect piece for the room.

The next question was, what else would we buy?  Would we continue to purchase antiques in an effort to decorate according to the age of the house?  If so, should the vintage be the same as the house?  Did we limit ourselves to furnishing only from 1880 to 1900?  Would it matter if something was from the 1940's?  Or would we add modern pieces?

Ultimately we decided that although we love antiques we didn't want this house to start looking like a museum.  The real turning point for me was the rug.  


We purchased this rug many years ago at auction in Vancouver, British Columbia and it was one of the few belongings that came with us across country.  Because I love it that much.  That rug was going in a prominent spot no matter what age it was. 

And that's when it dawned on me.  Our house should be representative of us.  This isn't a catalogue or a magazine spread.  It just needed to be full of things that we love.  I remember where every single item came from and the story behind it and that means more to me than any design magazine can offer.  And isn't that what a home really contains?  A lifetime of stories.

What is your design style?  Do you gravitate towards a certain look or do you simply buy what you love?

13 comments:

  1. Hello Marguerite: Love that antique piece of furniture..It sure is one of a kind..haven't been able to afford antiques, but my sister-in-law had to empty out her mother's house and gave me a vanity and antique dresser for our farmhouse..I will convert vanity to hold sink for downstairs bathroom..as you know I love your red floor..so gorgeous, the rug is also a treasure..my style is varied, some things from my mother's house, some my husband made, so I tressure them, and now some given to me..you are right, go with what you love..happy gardening Lannie

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  2. Beautiful piece of furniture Marguerite. Jody has good taste and look how wonderful it fits.

    Do you have any background on your rug other than where you bought it. Very interesting design.It reminds me a bit of Ukrainian Easter Egg decoration.

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  3. I have always found that if you buy what you like it will blend together. My style is, shall we say, interesting as I have been told. I think of it as traditional with a bit of whimsy, victorian, natural history thrown in. How does that sound? :)

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  4. I tend to like traditional, romantic, classic styles. Like you, I often am drawn to unique pieces, and I like the stories--my own or stories that come with pieces. Your cabinet is so unique and beautiful.

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  5. I buy what I love but with a goal in mind of decorating a space that makes my family and I equally happy. I'm not sure how it would be labeled but I like it. I have a lot of art so it's important my furniture complements it. I love the cabinet, too. It's a bit gothic and very cool.

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  6. You make a great observation about how we live with our things. Getting married at mid life (he had stuff, I had stuff) meant we had to merge styles, memories, lives lived, even kitchen utensils. Then we bought a new house, and a third style element was introduced with things we got together. Mish mash, but it's all "traditional" so it works.

    I like your approach to keeping your antique house from becoming a museum. And I still can't get enough of your beautiful red floor.

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  7. We have lived all over, adding to our stuff (household) as we go from pillar to post. We buy what we love, knowing what we love will all work out as a cohesive look when all together. It isn't a designer's dream, but it is US!

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  8. That is a fabulous rug! I would describe our home as eclectic. It is a mix of antique, modern and everything in between with a mix of woods and textures. It represents US and all the places we have lived and traveled. It is HOME!

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  9. Your cabinet is beautiful! I love antiques and used to enjoy going to auctions occasionally. But these days I find myself trying to get rid of some things rather than trying to acquire more. I like the look of an eclectic style, and I totally agree with you--pick out things that you love, no matter the style or period.

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  10. a lifetime of stories - yes, I too can tell a story about each treasured possession. Those that don't tell a story I want to tell, are slowly finding their way to new homes.

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  11. What you love is your style. You should surround yourself with things you love, not what "goes" with what or when. Eclectic - I think the word was invented for this particular thing - decorating using all sorts of styles - just so it is "you" and not something to impress others with.

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  12. Thanks for all your comments! My apologies for not replying individually. This is a very busy weekend but am taking a break from painting due to a rain shower. So nice to see that everyone treasures their possessions and decorates with love in their hearts. It really is what makes a house a home.

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  13. I'm with you, everything in my house has a story, including the house that we built ourselves. Perhaps my style can be described as eclectic...

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