Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Evolution of Inspiration

Inspiration comes from many places. Blogs and design shows. Retail stores and catalogs. Homes of our friends and family. Flea markets and antique shops. Books and magazines. Those of "us" like-minded design and home decor nuts are bombarded with messages, ideas, and photos of amazing homes and creative decor. It can literally be overwhelming at times to decide what we want to do with and invest in for our homes. Do I keep the walls white or dark red? Should all my throw pillows be burlap? Does every bit of paint in the house really need to be chipping off? Should I combine silver and gold? What if in a year am I going to want to totally change everything in my home?

Right now, this quilt embodies inspiration for me. The colorful and torn patchwork vintage fabric, the soft flannel lining, the sightly weathered white cotton on the outside.   It speaks to me, it says farmhouse and cozy cottage and baked goods and puppies lying by the wood stove.

My style, my interest in this home decor world- it has evolved over time. Twelve years ago I was into Shabby Chic, lots of pink frills, and flowers. Ten years ago I was into the modern, classic, posh New York loft look. Six years ago it was french country (a friend got married at a farm that was authentically 'french country' and set me off on a kick.)

Some of my Nana's Franciscan Desert Rose dishes.

Interestingly, no matter how eclectic I've been over the years, I always, always go back to the antique, to the vintage. It is at the heart of my soul, inspired and nurtured by family members when I was a kid who also appreciated the nostalgia and memories of "old things."

I love my home to reflect a style that is meaningful, livable, and personal. I am a sentimental person and I have a hard time letting go of things (oh yes, I still have many greeting cards from my early childhood.) I want things to be purposeful, even if that purpose is to simply look cute and make me smile. To help me feel at home. From here, I can start building a collection that I can cherish and pass on to the next generation.

How has your design style evolved and what inspires you?



Sares said...

For someone who couldn't think of what to say. you certainly whipped out a very thoughtful and very insightful post! Love the quilt. Mom has an old one of Buba's that's mainly in greens on the front and flannel on the backside.

BTW~The 4 pieces of Nana's dishes in the front aren't part of the "Desert Rose" pattern. They're pieces she bought a couple years ago at Phaltzgraft when they went out of business. I bought her the BIG bowl in that pattern because I thought it matched her DR pattern really well. When I gave it to her she started laughing because she had the same thought when she saw and bought the creamer/sugar, butter dish and pitcher!

All That Jazz said...

{Sares}~ Do you think facing the big 4-0 birthday next month has anything to do with all this inner soul-searching and reflection??? Hee! ;-) xo

Funky Junk Antique Show said...

I've been reading/viewing inspiration all this month, hoping to find the right fit for my new/old's fun and overwhelming, I agree! And I've totally changed my style over the past few months, but vintage is still paramount for me too!

Junebug Furniture and Design said...

Michelle! Thank you for visiting us and leaving such a sweet comment!
I LOVED visiting you, your blog is beautiful! How much fun you are having discovering your style, looks like you have found it, or it has found you!!
In my 20 years designing and creating for clients I have found mixing vintage treasures with new pieces creates a timeless look. The key elements I hold true to are; comfort, simplicity, an appreciation of the imperfect. xo Glad

Desert Rose said...

i wrote a long gone??? makes me mad...but great post....I would be a RALPH LAUREN COWGIRL if he had such a line! I evlove my home as I evolve!!!

Vintage Gal said...

Michelle ~ thanks for stopping by and leaving that sweet comment. My style has evolved from heavy victorian to funky to shabby chic to vintage...I am with you vintage reflects who I am and what my family is comfy cozy with ~ I'm definitely vintage ;-)

C'est Moi, Julie Marie said...

Hi Michelle, I just love this post!... I have often wondered what all the ladies do who totally change their homes to fit the current "trend", and then later want to change it again? My home has always been country farmhouse style... I grew up in the country and still live in the country, and that is just our way of life, and my home reflects that. To me, these things, like your beautiful collection of your nana's Desert Roses dishes are timeless, and the memories they hold are so very precious... thanks for this post, it touched my heart so... xoxo Julie Marie

Polly said...

Great thought provoking post Michelle!! My "style" has always been what I will call "shabby vintage". But over the years, I have changed what I've added to it. I went through a leopard print phase, a blue/seafoam green pottery phase (inspired by Martha about 12 years ago), a red french country phase, and an I love every shade of green phase.

I'm sure I'll continue to evolve as trends and styles change!

You have great style Michelle! I just love your new photo there on your side bar!

Happy Friday!!

Jennifer Rizzo said...

It's funny how those things change as we grow.

Tricia - A Rosy Note said...

I used to like things more vintage than I do now. Now I like vintage, mixed with some more modern pieces. I wonder how long this will last? :)

Anonymous said...

You have some great inspirational pieces, Michelle!! I get inspiration from so many different places, too, and my style seems to be constantly evolving. I think the whole process is so fun. :)
Have a wonderful weekend!

Robin said...

Your beautiful quit is inspiring me! I love all the colors.

I'm much like you, in my early 20's it was all dark colors and a streamlines/modern look then I found Country Living Magazine and it was like coming home. Nowadays I still like the paired down country/cottage/farmhouse look with lots of color and vintage goodies.

Lolo said...

Isnt it funny how much we "grow" up with our decorating style? I was such a country gal when I was younger and had moved out on my own. Now I dont even know how to classify my design style! Rustic Vintage?? Hmmm...I have lots of ideas in my head that I would love to do but are sooo different I think my home would look like a crazy person lived in it! I think the hardest part of design is deciding how all the different parts of us come through in our home and making it work.
Im a little bit girly, masculine, modern, vintage, dirty-rusty, sparkling clean, bright and muted all at the same time.....yep...Im wacky ;)

Always love your visits and comments sweetie :)
Get you some Lionel!!!


ps - is it weird that I still have almost all my childhood cards and letters too?!

Susan said...

It's so true that keeping sentimental treasures in our home really makes it personal, and even better when they're well-loved and vintage.
Great post!
- Susan

Angela said...

Seems like I've always liked the cottage country look. Casual beauty and classics. However when I was in high school I thought I liked Victorian until I saw true Victorian decor and it was way too busy for me! A few years ago I started liking cleaner lines, chartreuse, darker browns. All are still in my home but now I'm gravitating towards Frenchy whites and frills.

Tracey said...

O.K. so last night I literally said your same first paragraph to my husband. It is overwheliming to have constatnt new thoughts about decorating...but I would not change it! You are a like mind! I am so glad to find you! My dream is to have a store! I will be back bunches! Oh and I think my style has evolved into coastal vintage shabby cottage farmhouse:)

Linda said...

I think our homes constantly evolve~ we surround ourselves with what makes us feel happy, comfortable, and safe...that's what our style should be... it's home!

Elyse said...

what a fun post. my style is always evolving. i went from crate & barrel to cabbages & roses to sum it up succintly! i like all kinds of things, all at once! i figure, if something makes me GASP: it's in!

my oldest sister is very into the franciscan ware. fun to see on your blog.

happy weekend~


Andrea at Opulent Cottage said...

This is such a great post, Michelle! I'm in the midst of my style evolving from lots of mixed florals to a more unified, but still cottagey, look. I think we all need to keep evolving, and freshening, to keep us creatively inspired!

I'm enjoying reading through your blog. Thanks for your visit, I'm glad to have found you ladies!

Cheers, Andrea

Andrea at Opulent Cottage said...

Michelle, did you see Jennifer Rizzo's post from yesterday? She's hosting a Style Evolution party on February 1st, it made me think of you!