I hope the new year is off to a wonderful start for you all. With each new year, there is no shortage of opinions and articles predicting the new trends for the upcoming year, what’s in and what’s out. I’ve read that marble is in, marble is out, copper is in, copper is out, shiplap is over, shiplap will never go out of style, etc. You get the point.
One article in particular really struck a chord with me. The article’s author had been all in on the farmhouse fixer upper trend, but is now convinced that the trend is over. She predicted that people will be throwing away their farmhouse decor so fast it will make your head spin. She no longer decorates her home with a farmhouse style, and has moved on to a more glamorous look. My initial thought was, “Great! This means all sorts of farmhouse decor will be showing up in thrift shops. More for me to score on the cheap.” Ha!
I have been thinking a lot about decorating trends, and how we all can find our style. First, let me give you a little bit of history on how I found, lost, and then re-found my style.
When my husband and I bought our first home about 20 years ago, I threw my heart and soul into decorating it. It was a 1910 brick cottage, definitely a fixer upper (rats in the basement and raccoons in the attic kind of fixer), but loaded with charm nonetheless. I discovered that I loved using vintage pieces to decorate my home, each with imperfections, history and a story to tell. I regularly visited our local flea market, and my passion for vintage decor began. I started collecting old pottery, mason jars, vintage books, and just about anything that “spoke” to me. I also started painting old furniture and filling our home with my DIY projects.
Our second home was an early 1900’s classic Seattle bungalow (also a fixer but sans rats), and my love for cottage style continued. We remodeled much of the house, restoring original details like the oak floors, pretty wood moldings and casement windows. We added back vintage inspired details, like subway tile and bead board wainscoting, that had been removed over the years.
We purchased our third, and current, home when my son was a baby and my daughter was on the way. I loved our old bungalow, but with two babies, we needed a home with all of the bedrooms on one floor, more storage space and a better floor plan. The home was then new construction, had a modern and open layout, but also vintage inspired details like a claw foot tub, board and batten wainscoting, and generous moldings. It was a perfect solution for our young family.
Shortly after we moved into our new home, something happened. Maybe it was the sleep deprivation and general insanity of having a newborn and a toddler, but I lost my mind a little bit. I decided to completely change up my style. I sold my white slipcovered couch, my antique cast iron and brass bed (I’m still crying about that one), and my antique English scrubbed pine buffet and bookshelf. Other pieces went into storage. In their place, I purchased two modern brown microfiber couches, a dark brown leather ottoman, a sleek dark espresso stained dining table and chairs. It was all dark, really dark, and modern, and never felt like me. (In all fairness, the dark brown couches were practical with two small kids, a cat and a dog, so there’s that.)
We lived with the new furniture for many years, but I struggled to make it work, and to feel like home. I eventually slipcovered the couches in a light linen, and that helped. I painted the espresso dining chairs. I sold the leather ottoman and the dark dining table. Over many years, I have been ever so slowly finding my way back to the style that feels like me. I’ve made many more decorating mistakes along the way, that is for sure, but those mistakes have also helped me discover what I truly love.
Instead of trying to decorate my home to fit a particular style, I have focused on how I want my home to feel. I have added pieces that I truly love, regardless of whether or not they are on trend or fit a particular style. My goal has been to make our home feel light and bright, welcoming, calm, cozy, comfortable, and to tell our story. Along the way I rediscovered my passion for vintage decor and of course, lots of DIY projects. It’s always been hard for me to label my style, but I guess I would say it is cottage/farmhouse/flea market and vintage. Is that a style? I don’t know, but who cares!
I pulled my slipcovered parsons chairs out of storage, and use them once again in my dining room.
The vintage books and blue mason jars displayed in my home make me happy.
Comfy white slipcovered furniture fills my home.
I have thrifted furniture pieces in every room.
I decorate with all kinds of vintage and thrifted finds.
With all that said, here is my point. Decorate your home for you, your family, and for how you live your life. Let your home tell your story, and make your heart happy. Let that be your style. If you love farmhouse style, if it feels like “you” when you walk in the door, that is how you should decorate your home. Don’t for one second think you should throw it all away just because someone says the trend is over. If you love brown couches, and brown leather ottomans and espresso stained wood, keep it in your home and do not ever feel bad about it.
As for the woman who wrote the article, maybe farmhouse style was never what really made her heart sing. Maybe farmhouse decor was to her what the brown couches were to me. Just a blip in her journey to discovering her true style.
Thanks so much for stopping by today. It means so much to me to be able to share my home and journey with you.