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Expressing Your Personal Style

Gregory Vaughan - Wednesday, June 01, 2011

My cousin asked me the other day if I ever found it hard to be completely satisfied with my personal home décor when I am exposed to so many different styles in my line of work. We were talking about the changes I have been making to a weekend getaway cottage purchased about four years ago. She knew the condominium came furnished and I had joked about some of the really outdated and kitschy furnishings and accessories. I even emailed her some photos so she could have a laugh as well. Having grown up closely together, she knew how eclectic my tastes could be. In fact, they are a lot like hers.

It is true, my personal style is very eclectic. I am drawn to Art Deco, Asian, Neo-Classical, and Mid-Century Modern furnishings and accessories. I also have an appreciation for Early American antiques, rustic found objects, and sleek contemporary things. And, in my 1890 Victorian home in Savannah, I mix it all together in true eclectic style. For some people this may seem like disjointed clutter, but to me it is a feast for the eyes and a reflection of my personal style. To me, what makes it interesting is that it is a unique mix and not just suite of matching furniture and perfectly coordinated fabrics and accessories.

For many of us presented with the opportunity to design and decorate a new home, it can be both a dream come true and an overwhelming task. If you are starting from scratch and you see what you like on display down the street in some big-name furniture store, then by all means go buy it. However, I think most of us would rather do our own thing. Consider alternative choices instead of the matching sofa, matching loveseat, and matching arm chair. Do you really want it to look like a room at the Homewood Suites hotel? 

Use art, rugs, heirloom pieces, or personal collections to add layers to the design and composition of the décor. For instance, an uncluttered coffee table may be just your style. But you could also display a decorative serving tray on its surface, a few colorful glass bowls, some candlesticks and a potted orchid, or even a stack of art books. I have all of them on mine.

Remember too that things go in and out of fashion. Who ever knew shag carpeting would make a comeback? And do you think stainless steel is here to stay for kitchen appliances? The frayed stone-washed denim fabric on the sofa that came with my cottage had seen better days and screamed 1984. However, I absolutely loved the clean, classic lines of the frame, so I simply recovered it. The off-white cotton duck cloth I used will never go out of style, allowing me to easily change-out the pillows when I want to freshen the look with new pattern and color.

Regardless of the fact that the color turquoise it is quite trendy right now, I have always loved it. I find it bright and sunny for a blue hue but still cool and refreshing, the best of both worlds! It makes me feel good wearing it, thus I have a lot of it in my wardrobe. Over the years it has become part of my personal style that carries over into my décor at home as well. So I painted the vaulted ceilings turquoise to give them some depth and interest. It makes me feel good when I gaze up there.

After all, isn’t that really the point when expressing your personal style? Shouldn’t it make you feel good? For me, my eclectic tastes allow me to easily change and evolve my personal décor, making sure I am always satisfied with it. If you need help finding satisfaction with yours then contact a professional designer to help you.


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