Thanks so much Pam for having me and letting me share "how I found my style". It is truly an honor...Pamela's home is absolutely gorgeous!
Now, let me introduce myself.....my name is Melanie (Sweet Melanie). So nice to meet all of you and for letting me share a bit of my world.
I live in the capitol city of West Virginia....which is one beautiful state with beautiful mountains and lots of farmland.
Growing up, I always seemed to love painted furniture. It was an inexpensive way of making mixed matched pieces look like a set as my Mother always said. I especially loved white.
After our two daughters got older and I didn't have to worry about mishaps, I was looking at a magazine that had a home featured that was in all whites and creams. That's when I made the decision to finally do what I had always loved.....go for white! I guess you'd say that my style is Shabby Chic.
Let's start with the heart of our home...the kitchen.
I love to use old pieces like this mantel paired with a top piece of a buffet. The perfect compliment to give that shabby style with all of the detailed scrolls and woodwork. Old brass chandeliers painted and blinged up give lighting without having to have an electrician.
I love old windows and have them everywhere. This one gives a bit of separation between our kitchen and living room. The openness of it all makes it easy on the eye with this style.
I love to sew which has helped me achieve my style with all of the slipcovers I've made. Not to mention my love to paint...lots of white paint, lol.
Most people think white is so hard to keep clean and take care of....quite the contrary. Those slipcovers come off easily for washing along with all of the pillows as well. Even my lamp shades are slip covered. An easy way to save some $$$ without buying new shades. I learned that trick years ago when I started going all white. I used to have lots of reds, greens and golds with pine furniture. So making sure I didn't waste money that I didn't have, I gave them new life with a little hard work and sweat.
With lots of family visiting at different times, I wanted to make sure I had plenty of beds. No one likes sleeping on the sofa...at least I never have. I want to make sure people feel welcome when they enter and stay for awhile.
One of our guest beds is by some windows which gives a sleeping porch feel like back in the (what I call) the good ole days. Pulling the shade and turning off the lamp for that sweet rest we all love and need makes my guests feel at home. They all say they sleep very well...hope they aren't lying!
I think my style is one that makes people feel at home and relaxed just as we do. Nothing is off limits to anyone, every ounce of our home is used on a daily basis.
Another guest room....plenty of blankets and pillows are a must for comfort. So why not make them a part of the room instead of hiding them in a closet?
Our oldest adds her own twist like adding the touches of black to her room. I love the look and think you should decorate your home, room or whatever by how it makes you feel. Friends and family have all talked about how our home flows from room to room. I think that is a key to finding your true style. When you love a style, it will be everywhere.
Our youngest shares my love for Shabby Chic. We took a twin bed comforter set, ripped it apart and used it to make another matching sham, a slipcover, some pillows and pictures.
The "little girls room"....again using what we already had, painting and sewing made it all flow with the rest of the house. Little updates like adding bead board, changing the faucet and hardware made it feel a little older like I wanted.
Making sure the adjoining laundry room carried on the same flow, we made the cabinets and shelf, re-purposed a throw away table and a garage cabinet into folding and storage spaces.
Our deck needed a little something to cozy it up a bit, so we made our own picket's. Painting them all white and adding a peak with a scrolly piece really added that cozy charm that I love about Shabby Chic.
As our little girls grew, we made the transition into making the basement into our master so our youngest could have our old room. Instead of spending lots of money by adding on, we worked with what we already had.
Making this open space flow was easy with slipcovers, yard sale items, old pieces getting a new paint job, along with a few new pieces. All easy on a tight budget. It has taken me about 10 years to get our home exactly how I've wanted without spending a fortune....but it has so been worth every aching muscle and cramping hand from all of the painting and sewing I've done.
Adding old columns and curtains instead of walls was an easy way to add privacy and to separate our office area from our bedroom.
With it being a basement, the shabby style really works in making it all feel nice and bright.
Using an awkward space like under the stairs was the perfect place for our office. Again, using paint and fabric along with a custom built in desk and shelves that we made.
A tiny bathroom can look huge done in all white with touches of color. I love pastels with white...I call them Easter colors. Easter makes me happy so those are the colors I love!
My most treasured piece in our home is this armories. It was a purchase on a yard sale site that we went and loaded, brought home and then painted. It is heavy and HUGE...but it is absolutely beautiful to me!
I guess from what I want to share about my style or any style is try and work with what you have in your home instead of buying all new. Paint...anything can be painted. And if you don't like it, paint it again. Learn to sew...I highly recommend that! I love to look at pictures, so study magazines, go online, look at other peoples homes, see how they make you feel. Then decorate with what makes your heart feel happy...I did and I haven't looked back once!
Thanks so much for letting me share my style,