Hi there! My name is Vanessa and I'm co-author, along with my sister Heather, of the blog At the Picket Fence. I'm so thrilled to be here today! My sweet friend Pamela and I go waaaaay back and I was honored when she asked me to be apart of her "How I Found My Style" series. Although, I have to admit, I laughed to myself when she asked me because, frankly, I feel like finding my style has been a long process which is still ongoing! You see, I believe that finding your style has everything to do with finding your confidence. And that hasn't always been an easy thing for me. I was thinking the other day about how insecure I was about my body when I was in my early 20's. But, here's the thing....I didn't need to be! I should have been running around in a tube top and daisy dukes every day! ;-)
But I lacked confidence (plus my mama would've hit me over the head if I had worn such a get-up!) and didn't feel comfortable in my own skin. Fast forward to today and at ahem...cough...cough...almost 40, I find that the more secure I am in being myself and embracing my own likes and dislikes, the more able I am to make choices for my home which reflect my own personal style.
I would describe my style of decorating as Traditional with a French Country Twist and I really believe that while we shouldn't feel bound by it, defining and embracing your style helps you stay focused as you go about creating a home you love.
It's funny, you would think that between Pinterest, magazines, blogs and all of the other options we have for getting design inspiration it would make it easier to hone our own style. But, while I feel that all of those things have helped to inspire me, they have also at times made me lose my way a bit.
For awhile there I had this inner conflict of knowing what I loved but feeling that what I loved might not be "in". Kinda like when I was in late elementary and had to hide the fact that I still wanted to play with my Barbie dolls! I got sucked into a decorating Bermuda Triangle for a bit and wound up feeling almost paralyzed when it came to making design choices.
But then, I took a step back. I looked around and realized that what I really wanted was for my home to reflect that fact that I was gaining a new sense of security in just being 'me'.
And you know what? That's really when everything started falling into place.
I realized that I still loved my dining room set that we bought when we were newlyweds (15 years ago!) and that I didn't want to paint it even though I've seen some beautiful makeovers others have done on similar pieces. But that didn't mean that I couldn't freshen it up with some drop cloth slipcovers!
I've also fully embraced my dark cherry cabinets even though sometimes I feel all alone among the sea of white kitchens. I don't ever want to forget how I felt the first time I saw this kitchen and was overwhelmed with gratitude that I would have the privilege of spending so much time here. The cabinets might not be white, the granite might not be the latest look, but this is the heart of our home and I love it.
Finding my style has definitely been a journey and one that has been just as much about being a good steward of my resources as it has about choosing the right accessories. When a new bathroom vanity isn't in the financial cards, a burlap skirt can do wonders towards freshening things up. And mixing in something that might be considered more "trendy" with a foundation that is classic is the perfect blend for me!
We can't help what we gravitate towards, can we? Some of us will always be drawn to pieces that are soft and light and chippy. Others of us will always want a touch of "bling" in every room. Still others will want pieces that have a sense of history and connection to the past. And sometimes we find that we like to have just a little bit of everything!
And at the end of the day, it's about creating an environment where we are surrounded by the things and, more importantly, the people that put a smile on our face.
Now, this doesn't meant that every once in awhile we shouldn't perhaps look at rooms with a fresh eye. Maybe you'll be like me and decide that the master bedroom needs a little lightening. You're getting a sneak peek here at some changes I've recently made to ours but have yet to fully reveal on the blog!
And maybe you will have to be ok with the fact that the vanity you were so thrilled to purchase for your daughter's vintage inspired bedroom is now barely visible under all of her own "accessories".
My prayer is that I will be a person who is always willing to extend myself towards others. And I think that finding my design style is completely enmeshed in discovering how I've been uniquely equipped to be a blessing to those around me.
I guess we could call that my "heart" style!
I want my home to be a reflection of my heart and I hope that others feel that from the moment they walk through my front door. Like my heart, it might be messy at times. It's never going to be finished and "perfect".
But if it is warm and welcoming despite it's imperfections then that is all that really matters, isn't it?
And, don't worry, just because I've got more confidence now then I had in my 20's doesn't mean I'm going to start running around in a tube top and daisy dukes! ;-)
Thank you so much for taking the time to join me here today and thank you to Pamela for being such a gracious hostess and allowing me the honor of visiting From My Front Porch to Yours!
|Thank you Vanessa for welcoming us into your home today! It has been fun watching your style evolve thru out the years.|