March 2, 2016

Defining Your Own Style

A big part of my Project 2016 task is to simplify our living spaces. Although our home is split-level, most of the rooms are quite small. When we undertook a major renovation and raised our house eight years ago, we wanted to keep the character of the home as it was built pre-war and so we didn't change any of the upstairs layout. There are no original house plans, but we think it might have been based on a worker's cottage style that has been added on to over the years. It's by no means traditional, nor is it modern.

One of the main things we've struggled with since the renovation is defining our personal style. Our climate here in Brisbane (Queensland, Australia) is sub-tropical - meaning that nine months of the year it's warm and we tend to spend more time outdoors.

During the summer months, our home is light-filled and breezy, but as the sun begins to creep further north, it can get quite gloomy inside. As a result, the usual summery/resort style that I love begins to feel out of place, and I crave a more cosy cabin feeling.

As you can see, these styles have little in common, apart from their roots in the natural world. So naturally (ha!) timber, wicker and neutral colours are our dominant features. The problem with defining our style however, lies with our furniture and d├ęcor. Most of our furniture is too large for our space and there are far too many surfaces to style. The overall look has become busy and cluttered, and does not reflect our family's relaxed vibe.

And so how do we do that? How do we choose a style that will transition through the seasons, while still remaining true to our philosophy and Australian lifestyle? It hasn't been easy. I've spent way too many hours trawling sites like Pinterest and Houzz and way too much money on home decorating magazines, searching for just the right look... and you know what? I haven't found it. Nope.

Sure, I've found lots of ideas that inspire me... Tropical, Coastal, Resort, Organic, Cabin, Rustic, Farmhouse... the list goes on. But I don't subscribe to any one of those and I don't like the broad definition of Eclectic.

I have however, come to the realisation that style comes from within. That there are no hard and fast rules. That it's okay to mix a little of this with a little of that, as long as you love it and it reflects who you are. I want our home to feel welcoming. Organic. Lived-in. Simple. And most of all, a happy place.

And so I'm defining our style as we speak. I'm calling it Relaxed Natural because that's what it means to me. You might call it something else, and that's okay.

I'll be sharing the rooms one by one, as we pare down and embrace our new relaxed natural style. I hope it inspires you to look outside the boundaries of design by examining what's on the inside.

1 comment:

  1. My style philosophy is so smile... If you love it, it will work just fine. Only surround yourself with what makes your heart smile when you walk into a room. It's so much more than appearance. It's the overall vibe.


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