style by way of like

I like a change of seasons. Verbena in the warmer months. Yellow and bright pinks, offsetting the traditional navy and white everything. I like cinnamon sugared doughnut candles that smell cozy and warm in the colder months. Strong coffee. Come fall, I like the scent of fresh apples, baskets full of them. Cider. Country roosters and chicken wire.
[Tweet “If we don’t bother to list the smallest joys, we don’t experience joy as deeply.”]

Just the small act of making a list of things “you like” can actually make you feel lighter and brighter. But it’s not just about being mindful or expressing gratitude. What about actually making physical, *uncluttered room for these joys? It might not be spring yet, but we might as well start decluttering now. Phil will be happy to learn that I refuse to buy anything new until I gut the place and minimize all the boxes and storage. Out, out, out. As for what to take in? Ah, hah. Now we’re diggin’ where the ‘taters are! How about figuring out your design style by beginning to list all the things that bring you joy, and seeing what common string they have? Imagine you’ll visit with an interior designer, and they’ll require a list of loves. What belongs on your list, and how is it incorporated into your living space today?
I like peonies and cabbage roses. Stacked coffee table books. A sliding ladder in a library. I like white kitchens and the very impractical look of carrara marble. Dark wide-planked wooden floors. White hallways, floor to ceiling, in a cluster of photographs. I like cozy and classy, with only a hint of quirky. I’m a lover of nautical whimsy, but it’s easy to over-do it. I love pops of color, but my favorite color combination is blue and white. Ginger jars. I am wholly consumed with Ginger jars. I love cane umbrellas. I love stripes. I love boats. I am obsessed with stewart plaid, buffalo check, gingham, and lots of chinoiserie. Rain boots. I am all about moulding and trim. Fig trees. Topiaries. Stone fireplace. Whale weather vane. Unusual front door colors, a glossy navy or a deep red. A bold door knocker.

coffeetable plaid monkey

Winter whites and golds mixed with the rustic wool Swiss Chalet. Old world England, formal tea, cucumber sandwiches, one lump or two. Copper pots on display.

I could live entirely without the existence of Halloween. Christmas is by far my favorite holiday. The movies and snuggles, the tradition, the cookies and anticipation. The acoustic guitar is my favorite instrument in the world. A sing-a-long of any type thrills me.

Alberto Pinto China

Alberto Pinto makes my favorite china. I adore the Juliska Berry & Thread five-piece place setting. Champagne coupes do it for me. I love America.

My style, according to the book Styled: Secrets for Arranging Rooms, from Tabletops to Bookshelves: traditional (without a doubt), defined as:
•  Persian rugs
•  Wingback chairs
•  Crystal chandeliers
•  Antique tea sets
•  Classic patterns like damask, chinoiserie, or matelassé
•  Tufted headboards
•  Gilded accents
•  Alabaster lamps and marble busts
•  Oil portraits or landscapes

But in the book, Henderson suggests that one mix her style with its polar opposite, which in my case is “Mid Century Modern” defined as:
•  Tulip or Eames-style molded plastic chairs
•  Warm wood finishes, like rosewood or teak
•  Geometric patterns
•  Long, streamlined sofas
•  Low, long dressers or credenzas
•  Bar carts
•  Furniture with tapered legs
•  Chrome and brass accents

I’m not an Eames lover, and I don’t like warm (read: orange) wood finishes. Bar carts, however, are something I can get behind. And I think where I stand apart from my mostly traditional tastes is in the art category. I despise landscapes and oil portraits (unless it’s of a dog). I love bold art! One of my favorite artists? Michael Gorban (painting below).


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