Sunday, September 29, 2013

How I Found My Style Sundays- Vanessa At The Picket Fence

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! stucco home exterior 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! ;-)
welcome to Vanessa's fall home
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.
French country fall
living room
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.
hydrangeas on coffee
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!
Drop Cloth
slipcovered dining room chairs
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.
kitchen and breakfast
nook from
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!
French Country Powder
Room from
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!
Fall family room
built in display from
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!
master bedroom from
toile bedroom pillows
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".
Vintage Vanity table
At the Picket Fence
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".
hydrangeas in teapot
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. 


  1. Everything is beautiful. I love all the different textures and the excellent taste in fabrics.

  2. What a wonderful post, Vanessa!! love your style and your beautiful home. Those cherry cabinets are fabulous!!

  3. Beautiful home! I think the bottom line is being happy with your home and the style you choose...whether it's "in" or not. If it's what you love, then it's perfect!


  4. Love her home and her style and she is such a precious person. Hugs, Marty

  5. Well stated and just beautiful!

  6. Love all of this beautiful home. I think when you surround yourself with things you love it will reflect you and be beautiful. Thanks Pamela for sharingVanessa's beautiful home and blog with us.

  7. Luvly Vanessa. Your home is very warm and welcoming. PLUS being luvly! :-)
    I agree... your home should reflect you! Not every trend and fad that floats by.
    Thanks for the post Pam.
    Hugs ladies.

  8. Ah your so young....almost 40 that's nothing.You seem pretty confident to me!Your home is amazing! Thrilled to see Pamela feature you and your gorgeous home!

  9. Vanessa has a beautiful home! I think we have a similar style and I find myself drawn to a lot of her d├ęcor and rooms. It's so interesting to see how you progress decorating-wise over the years. I know my style has changed so many times over the years adapting to my likes. I think I'm finally at a point where I'm not jumping on trends and going with what I like in my home, too.

  10. Vanessa is a beautiful lady and her home is lovely!

  11. Thanks Pam for showcasing this beautiful home. I love that she does her own thing regardless of what is popular at the time. She has an elegant and very comfy home.


  12. Oh yes! If only we'd known right? Bikinis day and night. I have a feeling a few of those insecurities kept us out of trouble though! lol.
    Your home has evolved and changed right along as you do Vanessa, which I think is totally natural. At the end of the day, only we live in our homes. So despite and trend, we need to love them. Your house is looking just as pretty as you sweetie!

    Wonder what you're up to with your bedroom design?

  13. Your home looks beautiful on you. Thank you for sharing your joy.

  14. Words of wisdom. Beautifully said.

  15. I have always loved Vanessa. She is one of the first people I "found" in blogland. Her home is as beautiful as she is! Great feature- xo Diana

  16. Simply gorgeous home! Thank you so much for sharing it!
    XO Barbara

  17. That was a wonderful post and your home is beautiful. You have a warm and inviting home, thanks for sharing

  18. I enjoyed walking through your home. Thank you for sharing your style.

  19. Vanessa..I think you just hit the nail on the head...."HEART STYLE"....when your style comes from the heart, everything else falls into place!....You are a beautiful person inside and out and your home reflects that!...Trends come and go...and when you go with what you love, the beauty can't help but show through...I love your home!!!....and thanks Pamela for presenting Vanessa and her gorgeous home!!

  20. LOVE your home! I love that you let your own style shine through! I love that you can feel the "welcome" right through these pictures! I love "heart" decorating! It is the warmest kind out there! Life to the full! Melissa


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