I've never felt like I have much of a sense of style when it comes to home decor. Other than the boylets' nursery, I've never even decorated an entire room. The Ex and I always had plans for the basement, when we finished it (we never even started), and for the dining and living rooms (we never moved beyond an area rug and some paint chips.) Even in my home with MTL, we never did get around to painting the bedrooms as we had planned. Time ran out, school started up, and other than choosing paint chips yet again...nothing. There are a few desultory photos and pieces of art on some walls, and decorative pieces placed on bookcases and the entertainment cabinet.
The most cohesively decorated room in our house is the downstairs half-bath, which has developed a soft seaside theme. It's nothing overwhelming.
I don't have much confidence in my ability to pull together cohesive, lovely interior design. I've doubted my instinct for it, and it's certainly never been put to the test. I was recently in the home of a friend-of-a-friend who had every room beautifully painted, with just the right decorative pieces and pillows and furniture and art. It felt pulled-together and homey and elegantly artsy. Even though I might not have made the same choices for my own home, I felt a streak of envy over her design instinct.
As I mentioned in my self-pitying moan yesterday, I've become addicted to Etsy.com, the home of many many beautiful handmade things (along with the downright bizarre and fugly, much celebrated on Regretsy.com, which I discovered first.) The brilliant and very artsy Heidi finally got me hooked on Etsy a few weeks ago, and I've been obsessed ever since.
As my list of favorite items and stores has grown, and as I've channeled my creative and obsessive urges into crafting thematic treasury lists, I've begun to recognize definite trends in what I like.
Apparently I am much drawn to stark, elegant trees and branches (like these pillows and these drawings and these incredible woodburnings and this pendant and this print collection and the breathtaking photography of a fellow Michigander). I can picture the art and pillows in my dream living room, with lots of wood and soft earthy tones in the furniture.
I knew that I like birds--at least when they're outdoors--but did not realize how much I love their images in art and jewelry until I started recognizing the trend in my Etsy picks. From stylized art to Poe-esque gothic photography to fantasy illustrations to incredible watercolors, birds appear in much of the art to which I am drawn. They even show up in some of my jewelry picks, sometimes combining both bird and tree, as in this elegant pendant.
I also love a number of quirky items, such as the work of the artists OddFauna and Kellie Schneider and Studio Lyon, as well as the slightly less weird but still left-of-center Eastwiching (check out the adorable foxes and elephants, especially!)
I'm beginning to create rooms in my head. I'd have the living room done with trees and birds. Animals and fairy tale creatures would frolic in kids' and guest bedrooms. I already have a huge gorgeous stick-and-ink drawing of three female figures in my bedroom (courtesy of my sister from her art class days), and I'd continue on that theme with work from artists like Krystyna and Kellie Schneider. (I don't think MTL would mind.) I'd increase our collection of wood carvings with work from the Natural Selection Studio and DD Wood Creations.
My dream house would be filled with rich earthy tones and soft blues and greens. Brighter colors would pop in accent decor. There would be wood everywhere, along with comfortable but streamlined furniture. It would be a place where I would be surrounded by beauty in every room, but where my heart and mind and soul would be soothed.
I have a home wherever I am with My True Love, but I can dream of a place that would our home in physical as well as emotional expression.
Now I just have to win the lottery...