I was so excited when Pamela asked me to be part of her "How I Found My Style Sundays" series! I definitely have been on a journey that has taken me...well -- back in time.
I grew up with white painted furniture -- not just white, but white with gold painted trim. My grandmother, Isabelle, painted a vintage bedroom suite for me that I used until I went off to college. After college, I actually bought almond lacquer furniture -- with brass trim. I accessorized with peach and sage green. Oh yes I did:-) Then, I started collecting American Indian art and gradually traded the pastels for deep reds, blues and greens -- like everyone else in the 1990s. My love for Indian art gradually included Spanish Colonial art and architecture, and after collecting rugs, pottery and wrought iron in Spain, Turkey and Bolivia, I stuck with the Spanish style I loved. Since my husband is from Puerto Rico, it was a natural fit.
Then we settled down here in western North Carolina on land that has been in my family for five generations. My great grandfather, who homesteaded the Palm Beach area, was looking for a summer home here in Balsam.
He bought this place, and eventually, his daughter, Isabelle, moved here with my grandfather. My dad was born here, and I always wanted to settle down here.
When we first moved into our cottage-style house, I had the Spanish style going.
Lots of Talavera pottery, wrought iron and warm colors gave our home a Spanish feel.
Then a combination of factors from going into ministry, not having a lot of money and realizing that we lived in the country in a cottage style house and not in a Mediterranean villa, made me start rummaging through things here in the little guest house that once stood behind the main house.
When the big house was torn down, my grandfather meticulously bundled the trims, bead board, wood flooring, doors, windows and stored them in the little house. It was like stepping back in time for me -- and into a house I had never seen.
Something in those old piles of wood was pulling me.
The first thing we did was trim the mirrors and put up some tongue and groove boards in our hall bathroom.
Then, I matched the grey paint and painted all the living room trim and french doors. After I had picked a blue to paint my dining room, I noticed the color of the paint drips on the back of some of the trim was an exact match.
I thought my grandfather must be smiling at that point, and I knew I was on the right track.
I took some cues from this photo of him in the kitchen, and from there we started adding things from the old house to our house a few at a time.
I made the dining table from wormy chestnut wood off the little house, and Luis made the china cabinet from the wormy chestnut trim and a walnut tree my dad cut. It is filled with things from both sides of my family.
The kitchen got colors and accessories from the old house and is getting wormy chestnut counter tops as we speak.
An old piece of trim gives my sink the farmhouse look, and towels I made from my grandfather's feed sacks are used for drying my great grandmother's dishes.
A screen door from the old house re purposed with chicken wire and burlap divides the laundry/mud room from the kitchen.
The living room is filled mostly with furniture and accessories from the old house or passed down from relatives.
Knowing that generations of my family have used and enjoyed these same things is comforting somehow.
It gives me a sense of belonging...
...and an appreciation of the past.
From my grandmother's iron patio set...
...to the sign my grandfather painted for the porch...
...of the old house.
-- the house I never actually saw, but has been brought back to life.
My style -- well, it's part farmhouse with a little vintage, country and a whole lot of family. It's definitely unique and it's all me:-) I found it in a pile of old wood -- from a house I never saw.