Sunday, October 20, 2013

How I Found My Style Sundays- Sweet Chaos

Good morning! I'm so thrilled that Pamela invited me to join you today for How I Found My Style Sundays.

My name is Carolyn, and I share an Indiana home with six men ...  my husband, our 4 little men and a big mutt named Lucky. Our home is loud, busy and chaotic. But, it's filled with love and laughter, which makes it pretty darn sweet too. Hence, the name of my blog is Sweet Chaos.

This is the house we have called "home" for the past 6 years. The architecture is probably best described as "Williamsburg Colonial." And, while I have a deep appreciation for the bones of the house, I haven't felt compelled to decorate it in homespun Early Americana.

Instead, I would describe my decorating style as "traditional with a twist." I like to mix classic furnishings with modern transitional pieces. I'm definitely drawn to the colors (aquas, blues and greens) and natural elements (seagrass, bamboo and grasscloth) of a coastal cottage. But, I also really like a little boho chic (and pink) thrown in from time to time.

How's that for a concise description of my style? Ha! Pamela is probably kicking herself for inviting me here :)

So.... how did I find this style that I can't eloquently describe?

Well, I suppose it began back in the 1970s with Tuesday Taylor's Townhome. It wasn't the luxury estate that Barbie lived in, but Tuesday could be either blonde or brunette with the twist of her head. So, she had that going for her. Anyway, my point is that I always enjoyed decorating my dolls' homes more than actually playing with the dolls.

Despite spending a good part of my childhood in a bedroom with a red shag carpet, I somehow developed an appreciation for interior design at a young age.

I've always loved home tours and open houses and reading shelter magazines. And, when given the choice between clothes shopping or home shopping, I'll choose home shopping every time.

But, as much as I loved decorating... for many years, I didn't trust myself. I was so afraid of making a mistake or buying a piece of furniture that I might not love in 10 years time. I always wanted someone (usually my poor mom!) to weigh-in on my decisions and validate my choices.

I'm sure my mother would like to go on record that she did NOT validate my choice of dining room chandelier.

But, here's the thing. I love this chandelier. And, I have come to embrace my style and not worry if other people like it or not. I still value my mother's opinion, but I've learned to trust my own instincts.

That turning point came when we embarked on a remodel of our master bathroom a few years ago.

This was the first room I ever designed from scratch. I had a vision for how I wanted it to be, and I remained faithful to that vision, even when the remodeler would try to sway me in a different direction.

As a result, I absolutely love this room! It is exactly my "style." Even when I see a gorgeous bathroom on Pinterest or in Elle Decor, I never wish I could trade for it.

The master bathroom project gave me the kick in the pants I needed to start making the other rooms in the house more a reflection of my taste. Simple changes like paint and throw pillows have lightened and brightened the rooms that I had always felt were too dark.

When we first moved to this house, the sunroom was the one room that really reflected the colors and the style that I loved.

I found myself always adding little touches to the sunroom, because all the things I loved seemed to fit in there so perfectly. That's when I realized I needed to incorporate that look into rest of the house.


Slowly, but surely, our house is starting to reflect my style. I love my boys for never complaining about the pops of pink :)

Family Room
I've even started an interior decorating business to help others uncover and express their personal style.

My advice for creating a beautiful home is to trust your instincts and have FUN! Don't concern yourself with the latest trends, because we know they won't be around for long. Make your home a reflection of you by surrounding yourself with things that you love. Even if everyone else thinks your chandelier belongs in a haunted house. Ahem.

You can't go wrong when your big ticket items (sofa, loveseat) are neutral and classic. Then you can easily and inexpensively update your home as your style changes or evolves.

I also believe in seeing the beauty in imperfection. There isn't a piece of furniture in our house that hasn't been nibbled on by a puppy or scratched and dented by a toddler wielding some sort of toy. I like to think that life has given our home character.

Side Entry

I know someday I will be sad when there are no dirty little fingerprints on the woodwork.

Or when the toilet seat is always down.

Kids' Bathroom
Because although I love decorating... more than anything, I want our house to be a "home." A place where my kids feel safe and loved. The people I share this house with are my greatest treasure.

Tween Bedroom
I want to thank Pamela for having me here today to share my style story. I'd also like to invite all of you to visit me anytime at Sweet Chaos.

Carolyn I think I have already told you how much I love your new dining room chandy! Great words of advice you have for us today. I still am majorly in love with your bathroom renovation. Thank you so very much for coming by and visiting with us today!


  1. I love seeing Carolyn's gorgeous home featured here today. I have been a fan for years. Oh, and I love the chandy, too.

  2. Carolyn's home and style are so pretty and full of personality! I love all those touches that make it unique, and the small doses of pink are cheerful and lovely.

  3. I've commented on her blog before and told her how much I love her home. This is like my dream decor. And that bathroom! OMG!

  4. Lovely home!! It is stunning. And, some of the prettiest colors!

  5. I love taking virtual tours of homes such as this. She has done a fabulous job. It is stunning!

  6. Carolyn has a beautiful home! I love that pink ottoman in her living room. She has given some good advice, too. Thanks for sharing Carolyn's style, Pamela!

  7. I love all the lightening up of the home that she has done, it is so fresh and beautiful...wish it were mine....The big fireplace and wood wall would look fab painted white, wow it is so beautiful, love the sunroom..thanks for showing all the pretties...

  8. The outside is lovely and manicured - with good curb appeal. However, it would be hard to believe that any man would feel comfortable inside this home. The interior is too feminine...and white! Reminds me of a little girl's room.

  9. Pamela... thank you so much for having me over today! I really appreciate all the nice comments from your readers. Hope you are having a wonderful weekend :)

  10. Carolyn's home is gorgeous! She never has to doubt her lovely choices and style.
    Mary Alice

  11. Carolyn has a beautiful and spacious home and has made it not only stylish but family friendly too. Love that! Thanks for sharing the tour, Pamela. I always enjoy this feature that you bring to us.

  12. Beautiful home! I like the chandy, it adds character!

  13. Carolyn's home is so stylish but also warm and cozy, she has a knack for decorating! Thanks for sharing Pamela!

  14. What a lovely home. So inspirational! Thanks for sharing.

  15. So happy to see Carolyn here...I love her blog and home...she has impeccable style and her home always looks sensational...she has truly made a beautiful home for her "boys"....!! Thanks Pamela for todays great feature and thanks Carolyn for bringing us into your beautiful home...

  16. Pamela,
    Thanks for sharing Carolyn with us. Ohhhhhh her home is just gorgeous. I love that her style is exactly that her style. Surrounds herself with what she loves. It is just beautiful.

  17. Thank you to both of you for sharing. Carolyn, your home is stunning.♥


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