Saturday, November 28, 2009

There's Gonna Be An Evolution......

Ever since I could remember, I have been re-arranging and decorating my spaces. Growing up I shared a bedroom, quite a small bedroom as a matter of fact, with my big sister. My father worked multiple jobs to make ends meet and my mom stayed home with us. We didn't have much but my folks did their best to make what we did have work as best as possible.

In order to give each of us girls our own personal space, they bought 2 standing metal shelf/bookcase units and placed them side by side down the middle of our room. One faced my sister's side of the room and the other faced mine. The back of her shelf/bookcase was a laminate-type particle board. It made for a very cool backdrop to all my "groovy" artwork and images. (I was a budding artist influenced by the psychedelic era of graphics and a teeny-bopper fan of the Jackson 5, The Monkees, The Partridge Family, Bobby Sherman - ya know - that generation of Pop music. Hey, I was only 9 years old...)

Anyway - the remaining space that we each had accommodated a twin bed and a highboy dresser. Period. If we had 18 inches between the bed and the dresser, that was a lot. I just remember my parents having to walk sideways to manuever through our room. But at that age- I didn't know what I didn't have. I only saw what I did have. What I did have got decorated. And arranged. And re-arranged. And re-arranged some more. My sister would kid me that if I got even the littlest knick-knack, I would re-arrange my entire side of the room around it.

The room I would have died for when I was a kid

Old habits die hard. As I got older, I went through phases. Not uncommon.We all do. It's part of growing up and "finding ourselves". Well, in the seventies I went through my hippie period. By this time, my sister married and I had the WHOLE room to myself. Indian tapestries, buddhas in every size and shape and incense were my design staples. Actually - that all carried through most of my college years, too.

After college, my phases continued but at a faster clip. Once I found antiques and anything vintage, I was hooked. I even dressed in 1940's clothing that I could find at the Goodwill. Back then, it was easy. No one was really wearing that stuff yet.

Over the years I have been able to fine tune and more successfully blend contemporary elements with vintage and antiques so that my home didn't look like someone's grandmother's.

Presently I  incorporate Mediterranean, Federal, Arts & Crafts, Rustic and Pottery Barn-ish stuff. Amazingly, it all works. The key is finding a common element and keeping that as the common thread throughout. And keeping it simple. But that is another topic for another day.

P.S. - I hardly buy anything new. Even if I had an excess of discretionary income, full retail just isn't in my blood. Plus, I am not a fan of the cookie-cutter look. If it's all the rage, I go the other way. Plus, I love the "hunt" of finding that certain something that I wouldn't really be able to describe until the moment I see it. And you can't beat the quality of the older crafted stuff. I mean, there's a reason why it is still around years and years later.

Did I mention it is also earth-friendly to welcome vintage and antique items into your home? Called re-cycling, up-cycling, re-purposing, just makes sense.

So, check out your area resale, good-will, thrift and antique shops. High-end, low-end and everything inbetween are waiting to be re-discovered and brought into your home. Have fun with decorating your space. Mix it up. Change things out. Add a new piece. Edit out another. But don't rush it.  It takes years and layers of experience to evolve into the person you are today. The same evolution applies to your home. Layer in the pieces over time so that your home is your home. There's no better place to express your personal interiors -your passions, interests, lifestyle and personality - than through your home's interiors.

*images courtesy of flickr


Maria Killam said...

Fun to learn some more about you!

Vintage Living Magazine said...

Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your soggy basement experience (good luck on your eventual move back to civilization) and for providing insights into your background and design evolution. :-)


Unknown said...

i'm inspired! i hereby pledge to try and avoid the cookie cutter stores and do more rummaging.
thanks for your comment on my blog today!

Anonymous said...

ha, I will test my thought, your post give me some good ideas, it's truly awesome, thanks.

- Norman

inspiration is all around even where we least expect it