Well hello there, readers of From My Front Porch to Yours! My name is Molly and I blog over at The Poor Sophisticate. I am so overjoyed and honored to be visiting you today! Pamela is one of my very favorite bloggers and it is such a privilege to be on her stunning blog!!
I hope you all can kick up your feet, grab something hot and delectable to drink, put on some jazzy Christmas music to set the mood, and come tour our barn with me!
My husband and I moved to the German countryside last year with the military. We were so blessed to have found this 130 year old barn that was converted into a home next to the largest castle ruin in Germany! My landlord let us paint over its vibrant, pastel orange, yellow, and purple walls and we switched out all the light fixtures (we can take all the lights we purchased wherever we go) and started making it home. Fresh paint and dazzling lights can make all the difference in the world! It hardly feels like a rental anymore. Because we are on a strict (military) budget, everything you see in our place was built by us, someone else's throw-aways (that we have fixed up), or things we scored for next to nothing at flea markets. We want to save our money for traveling while we have the opportunity to live in Europe. We have had a blast creating a home here in Germany. We really feel as though it is an expression of the two of us and our journey together.
We are having the time of our lives exploring Europe and implementing old world, and folk design and traditions into our own home.
(To see before pics click on our "Home Tour" tab)
The picture above is our village castle. We love taking walks there, it's a pretty incredible structure.
After attending Interior Design school in San Francisco, I learned to appreciate pretty much every style out there. The more I learned the history and the inspiration for different styles, the more I craved them...ALL of them. Like with school, the more I traveled the world the more I was inspired by everything I saw, and all the emotions that were evoked from my different surroundings. Because of my appreciation and interest in so many different styles, I like a big blend of it all in our home. I found that collecting unique pieces is a way to re-live the wonderful experiences that we have had.
These little red mushrooms actually exist here in Germany, Can you believe it?! I thought they were just in the Mario Brothers video game!! Silly me...They are simply darling and the Germans love decorating with them for fall and winter festivities. I had to use them in our Christmas decor too.
My sweet husband and I designed and built the mantle in the picture below with old barn wood, a barn door and beams our landlord was about to dump. The decoration on the front was dug out of the trash, and after it was cleaned and painted, it added the perfect amount of embellishment to our cozy little fireplace. I am thrilled to be able to take the mantle we built (from parts of the old barn we lived in) any where we go! What a wonderful keepsake my husband and I have from our time here.
The contrast between the oil painting, gold Florentine trays and the Russian ammo boxes is one of my favorites in our home.
My favorite thing in our barn is this giant Vintage school map of Germany. The colors absolutely inspire me and I can't help but feel giddy when I gaze at it.
Even our silhouettes are dressed and ready in holiday attire.
Because we are known as the village hoarders, we received some gorgeous old doors and this antique drafting stool from our generous neighbors! The industrial stool is the perfect contrast to the frilly and more feminine sconce and chandelier. A few of the industrial pieces in our home does the same trick throughout. Our time zone clock wall has clocks that represent our homes. It is a fun way to know what time it is in our home states (California and Kentucky) and we can imagine what holiday fun our family is up to.
Let's move on to our cozy kitchen!
Our quirky country kitchen was inspired by some of the colors on the Polish pottery that we have collected. It also is inspired by the patisseries that we have come across in France, mostly in the Provence region. I have pops of funky pieces because I love the combination of vintage and contemporary. A design style that is relaxed and doesn't take itself too seriously is what is just right for us. Our home is definitely quirky and has little touches of "humor" in a design sense.
I have painted the tips of our antler candlesticks gold to give it some extra pizazz... I am so thrilled with how they turned out!
Like I said in a post when I first did our striped hall..."I have learned a lot about my own personal style while working on this home. I found that I fancy a nice blend of every style. If things start looking too antique-y I like to throw in something clean and contemporary. If things look too feminine, I'll add something rustic and more masculine... A nice balance of all styles is what is pleasing to my eyes, and makes things livable and comfortable for my family. I have also discovered I don't like things that match. I like things to go together and compliment each other, but don't like things to match perfectly. I am most comfortable in a space that looks like things have been collected over time, not all ordered out of a catalog. After all, that's what makes each space charming and unique to the people living there."
When finding your style, if you go with what makes you feel good, colors you look good in, what makes you happy and reminds you of good times, you can't really go wrong. To tie a bunch of different looks together, make sure the colors compliment each other and have a piece like a rug, textile or painting that gives you a unified look. Every piece will look intentional.
Thank you so very much for coming to our home and celebrating the Christmas festivities with us! To see more of our barn click the home tour box in the tab section of my blog, I would just love for you to stop by!! I change everything seasonally so, different seasonal looks will be in the side bar under seasonal.
My sweet dog, Penny and I are off to visit our neighbors!!! Tschüss!