Curating Crap, the New Fireplace, & Discovering Your Personal Style

11:30 AM Katy 2 Comments

Back when I spent 3 years collecting fabric and art for the Tybee cottage, I got a little carried away. Because that dream didn't end the way that I'd hoped, a lot of that fabric was never used and I still have it in a bag in my closet. *sad face* I will probably list it on Craigslist someday.

Fruit Doves wallpaper - Palau

yellow counter stools

I'm trying really hard not to get carried away with hoarding curating too many things for this house, in case something happens and we have to sell it. (I am seriously spooked).

But I've already ordered too many fabric samples, alas. I can't resist the siren call of fabric samples. Or paint decks. Or iron beds. (I already bought another rusty one off Craigslist, it's sitting in a pile in the garage.)
My new fan decks + my old bag of Pantone chips. So that when Pantone disappears I will still have them ALL!

And now because we are renovating the master bedroom first (totally not on purpose but whatever), I ordered this fireplace:

Oh yes! I did!

So here is a new discovery about myself, and maybe this holds true for others? I never thought that I liked modern or contemporary design. This is because 15 years ago, I was buying the "cottage decorating magazines" because they were the only publications that showcased the things that I love: bright colors, and lots of white. Back then, we were in the "Tuscan Brown Trend" and everybody was decorating with beige, gold, and sage. It was a hard time, decoratively speaking. ;)
Quick & Easy Decorating circa 2001 -- this was my magazine, yo!!!

We are totally past that trend now (thank God), because now suddenly I can buy fabric and textiles and ceramics in colors that I like! Manufacturers are no longer pumping out everything in earth tones. (The downside is that when everyone gets tired of this trend and moves on, I will once again be making all my own crap. lol)

The result of those years of color-poverty, though, was that I believed that my favorite style must be "cottage" or "retro". That is because it was the only style where you could go wild with bright color. At least in my plebian world, it seemed that way. Did anyone else have the feeling that in order to be a grown-up, you had to have a brown couch and beige walls??  (back in 2000-2005?)

I approached the Tybee cottage from the viewpoint that I had "permission" to go wild with color because it was at the beach, and I was using retro plumbing fixtures and other assorted reclaimed items.

And I still LOVE vintage plumbing and anything pre-war, really.

But... it turns out I like contemporary too, as long as the color balance is there and it still feels comfortable (to me).   I think this is a two-fold personal discovery:

#1.) Your Sweet Spot is already there inside you, and the clues are when you are 23 and painting your first kitchen the brightest yellow you can find at the paint store, and repainting your baby's nursery every three months because you JUST. NEED. ALL THE COLORS (apple green! then yellow! then lavender! then sell the house! lather rinse repeat!!)  But this can translate in many different ways - you don't have to pigeon hole yourself -

#2.) always be brave and try the new thing. And when you try that new thing (like contemporary design), don't be afraid to do it your way. Not the way the magazines do it. Not the way everybody else interprets it. But the way you see it.
one of my first boards for the beach shack, before reality forced me to simplify. ha

Maybe all of this only comes with age and experience? And I am just sooo behind the 8 ball. ! I feel like everybody else figures this stuff out so much faster than I do, but it helps me when I'm talking to my kids about what they want .. 

I can relax because I don't have to find activities for my kids, they just naturally gravitate to their talents! Amazing!  (seriously it was like I discovered the atom or something, when I realized this.)

Happy Thursday, all of you talented and BRAVE people out there. :)

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  1. I find myself gravitating back to the same colors over and over. I love the house we are in though, because it's old, it has a lot of small rooms. No two are the same color! It's fabulous - makes my heart happy.

  2. Oh, and PS - why is EVERY reno show on tv using gray as the neutral base? I am getting so bored of gray quartz, gray trim, gray gray gray!


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