homework - evaluation time

To bring you up to speed, a couple of weeks ago I read this amazing blog post which got me thinking about all the little things in my house that don't work. I agree that sticking to a style demands focus and discipline and that if you waiver the whole vision can fall apart. I thought it was time to do a little homework on my house to evaluate what it is I like and what needs changing. I started off last week, by putting into words exactly what my personal style is. I came up with this description: a laid-back and neutral space with organic and historical elements and a touch of bohemian yet spare and modern. It's a bit of a mouthful but it's me. With this thought in mind, I turned the camera on my own house and started evaluating. By the way, have you ever done this - taken out your camera and photographed your own house? I think it is one of the most useful tools when it comes to judging your own home. There is something about seeing a room in a photograph that makes everything much clearer. Below are my notes room by room.

I feel like I have a roadmap now of what to tackle next and where to direct my money and energy. Obviously, many of these things I won't do for a very long time. Still, I think it is good to have a plan. Doing an exercise like this also really helps focus your mind. The next time I'm out shopping I can rifle through these images in my head and ask, "will this work - does it fit with my style?" Hopefully, I'll come home with less mistakes and more winners!

homework - getting started

Ugh, homework! Whose bright idea was it that I start this? Oh right, mine! The hardest part is figuring out where to begin. When I work with clients, the first thing I normally ask them to do is to gather a file of images full of ideas and inspiration. I ask them to grab anything that speaks to them. It doesn't matter what it is. It could be a fashion related, or a bouquet of flowers, or an image of their dream kitchen. Once they've gathered all the images, I ask them to take another look and be ruthless about what it is they like, discarding images along the way. By the end, we usually have a pretty good idea of the look we are hoping to achieve.

I also have one of these files where I store away images that I love. Before I started blogging and collecting images digitally, I would comb through magazines and tear out pages of homes that really spoke to me. I thought it might be interesting to go back to this file and see what I had collected. I guess I'm hoping I will find some clues that will point me in the right direction. I have to say (and I think Michelle alluded to this in one of her posts) that when your working with design images on a daily basis it is easy to become distracted and totally overwhelmed by choice. Going back to the beginning, so to speak, seemed like a good start.

Bedrooms - With the exception of the yellow four poster bed (that might look very familiar and hey, are those the DwellStudio stripe sheets as well!) the rooms I tend to favor are fairly simple with little or no pattern, neutral walls, white sheets, a little bit rustic, natural organic elements, modern, clean lines and comfortable. As you can see, I was heavily influenced by the yellow and grey bedroom for my current bedroom which is maybe not a true representation of what I like.

Bathrooms - Black or white walls again, warm textures, organic elements, historical accents like old radiators and clawfoot tubs, and a little bit rustic. These images seem on track with the majority of the bedroom images.

Living and Dining Rooms - Ok, what do I see hear? Again a mainly neutral palette with a preference for solid colours over pattern, lots of textural, organic elements like sheepskins, cowskins, antlers and carved wood, big prominent art on the walls, mainly low, modern furniture, sculptural lighting, a touch of the antique through old mirrors and chandeliers, slightly bohemian, informal and casual in feel.

Kitchens - The first things that jumps out at me here is wood whether it is rustic and rough or painted or beautifully crafted oak. Again, the palette is warm and neutral with a touch of the industrial, elements like the counters and backsplashes are made of natural materials, the kitchens looked lived in with some things on the counters and open shelves. There is a sense of history with the paneled doors and candlesticks.

Amazing, don't you think? There actually is a clear message being told here. Sure, there are a few exceptions but those are the ones you throw out!

I think if I had to put my style into words it would be something like this: A laid-back and neutral space with organic and historical elements and a touch of bohemian yet spare and modern. Ok, that's a bit of a mouthful but it's me. A layered room is always much more interesting anyway.

The next step in this process is to take a look at each of my rooms individually and see if they fit into the description above. I already know that some of my rooms are going to be in trouble! We'll see what makes the cut and what doesn't next Monday.

Image credits:
1) via Nice Room

the friday files

One of the things I love seeing in a house is a well curated collection of objects. Massed together they instantly make a statement about the home owner and often tell us a little story about what this person may be about. I'm always curious how people start collections: why this object and not that one, what started the collection, and what motivates them to keep it going. When I saw this house owned by fashion designer Nina van Rooijen I was immediately fascinated by her selection of well curated objects. Who would have thought collecting old sporting equipment (among other things) could look so good! Definitely gives me some ideas to think the next time I go to the flea market. To see more of her beautiful space please click here.

Photographs by Rita Palanikumar.

organic modern

When I'm flipping through a magazine there are always certain images that pique my interest more than others. You know, the ones where you fold over the page corner or rip out entirely. (Personally, I rip and put into a file.) Many of the images I pull would fall into the category I am calling Organic Modern. Characteristically, it is defined by sculptural organic pieces made from wood, ceramic, or glass mixed with the clean lines of modern furniture. The colour scheme is a spectrum of neutrals ranging from white through to black. There is something calming and peaceful about this look and I love the way it integrates the beauty of nature into our everyday lives.

Ilse Crawford

Ilse Crawford

Living Etc.

Living Etc.

Living Etc.

Melanie Acevedo

Melanie Acevedo

Australian Vogue Living

George Whiteside

insideout

insideout

insideout