Ways to use your personal experiences, personality, and things you love to create a home that tells your unique story.
Did you know that you have been composing a story your whole life? Everyone’s story is unique and helps shape who you are. And your story should shape the way you decorate your home. Let’s talk about decorating from our ever-composing story instead of what we read and see in a magazine and on a computer screen.
What Is Your Story?
Today we are off-roading a bit from a decorating post I had planned. We are still talking about decorating but in a more personal and organic way. Let’s talk about how the way we decorate should pay homage to the things that make up our story.
Your story, so far in life, is the sum total of your experiences. Both the highs and the lows. Both the important and the minutely insignificant. What you see and what you hear and smell and taste and feel create a sensory thread running through your life’s story! Experiences that are alike and pleasing can be big shapers of your story but the juxtaposition of opposites can be too.
Your story is a part of you. So don’t you think it is important to make it a big part of your home? Might you want to tell your story through what you choose to live with? We all have beauty in our stories. Pull from those parts of your story to decorate your home.
Look for inspiration from what you love and translate that into the decor you live with daily. Use the colors you love to create a color palette that makes living and working in your home a joy. Display things that breathe life into your soul and make you smile when you see them.
Color And Our Experiences
When I was a freshman in college I had a kilt-style mini skirt in a soft winter white with a brown window pane design. I wore it with a brown turtleneck body suit and brown opaque tights. I loved this outfit! My second favorite outfit was a brown and black herringbone mini skirt that I wore with a black turtleneck bodysuit and black opaque tights. I have been drawn to brown, black, and white ever since! Maybe it’s because these colors remind me of my first taste of freedom and beautiful fall weather and the exhilaration of first love.No wonder tortoise shells and camel leather sofas and the rug in our living room hold such fascination for me.
Ballet pink, which is more of a whisper of salmon trending just a smidgen toward pink holds precious memories for me. It makes me think of my daughter’s tiny ballet slippers and her toe shoes. It’s why when I saw ballet pink linen dinner napkins I grabbed them up and now they are my favorites.
I love the color of sea glass and chicken eggs. And I’m trying to figure out how to incorporate these colors with black, brown, and white in our home.
Places We Have Been
We all have attachments to colors born out of memories that strongly tug on our heartstrings. They are part of our story and should be part of our homes. As a decorator, I’m keenly aware of the colors I love to be around. After decades and decades of following trendy colors, and making so many mistakes I found a home in neutrals. I must admit the white trend gave me permission to use light colors in our home when I would probably have been too timid to use them. However, I’m not jumping on another trend wagon. I’ll stick with my neutral classics. I think they are beautiful.
The places we have lived are a huge part of our story too. So are vacations and places we visit and revisit again.
I’ve lived in Deleware, Pennsylvania, California, Pennsylvania, Scotland, England, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Pennsylvania. They all are big parts of my story. And I can see some of the places I’ve lived reflected in my decor.
Tartan blankets from Scotland are just small examples of how part of my story spills over into my decor. I tend to repeat what I love. My tartan collection is getting out of hand! My mother gifted me two blue tartan blankets that she bought for the foot of my brother’s beds decades ago when we lived in Edinburg Scotland as children. They have a few holes in them and are a bit worse for wear but I will never get rid of them. They get displayed just as proudly (and maybe more) than the newer Antique Buchannan tartan that is from my husband’s clan.
Lancaster County has molded and shaped my story more than any other place I have lived. Not because I have lived here for over forty years, but because the farmland and culture of this beautiful spot on God’s earth feel like home. I knew it the day I moved here as a bride.
The straw hats and market basket hanging on the hooks in the foyer, and the burlap runner on the dining room table are small ways my love story with Lancaster is reflected in our home. The pots of herbs growing in my kitchen and the picture over the mantel are tributes to where I live.
Are you living with things that tell a story about the places you have lived and been? Collections often are ways of translating our journeys into decor we surround ourselves with at home.
How Collections Tell Our Story
Truth be told, I am not much of a collector in the traditional sense of the word. Like collecting art or things from our travels. But I have way too many dishes, mason jars, baskets, tote bags, and kitchen gadgets. They parallel my story of loving to cook and gather. I guess I’m a bit of a utilitarian collector! Right now I’m collecting more pictures of our family to display. I used to think and say, many collections like hummels and other tchotchkes don’t have room in a well-decorated home. Hmmm, maybe not in a well-decorated home but they are cherished in a well-curated home!
Collections show off the pages of our stories! They help us remember. The warmth we feel for them is because they are a bridge of sorts to a time in our past. And they hold part of our story in them.
Decorating With Things You Love
You have developed your style and decorating personality from your life’s story. It should be celebrated along with the personalities of those you live with in how you live and the things you live with.
Today’s post is all about encouraging you to take a long introspective look at your story. Are you living with things you love? If I came to your home would I see a glimpse of who you are? Just a little food for decorating thought.