Are yours one and the same? Or are they are polar opposites? Perhaps you’ve never even thought of the similarities and differences between them before. But if you are like me, and you think a lot, you probably have. And while I’m thinking mine may not be one and the same, they are definitely more alike than not, so while I steer you through a few of mine, please think about yours and be sure to read what my fellow SIGNATURE STYLERS Cindy and Kim have to say 😉
My home is old. It’s facade is 142 years old to be exact. And while we have a relatively modern extension and garden, there is certainly a well lived in theme that flows throughout. It’s styling is based on my heritage and love of the English Country House (although it’s size and grounds are not that grand). So it’s filled with secondhand, mostly inherited eclectic pieces that somehow seem to work. It’s colour palette is warm and repeated in various shades in different rooms. Both of which I seasonally move and sometimes upcycle to sustainably update. And this Spring, in preparation for a late 2023 sale, I’ve started to curate it. I’m currently pairing it back, simplifying, reducing the colour contrast between rooms and creating a muted palette so it appears tonal. What I want is to feel ease, calm and flow as I move through it 🙏🏻
Sound familiar? My wardrobe is also well worn and full of warm autumnal coloured clothes, many of which I’ve had for ages and found secondhand. And as I curated my closet this year, I’ve already paired it down to only include what I love to wear, which not coincidentally I also happen to restyle and upcycle all the time. And I definitely lean towards more tone on tone. All of which makes it simple and easy to wear. It flows….
So let’s take a look at a few outfits inspired by the COLOURS of my interiors…or is it the other way around? I love cream and gold. I love dusty pink with olive green.
And I love a natural palette of various shades of browns and greens…
And while the colours are similar, so is the fact that some of the furniture (bedhead, sofa, dining table, dining chairs and screen) and some of the clothes (both trenchcoats, the pink dress and all necklaces) are all SECONDHAND. Some bought that way, some inherited, like this four panel Chinese carved soapstone Coromandel screen 😍 It was my Husband’s Aunt’s. And when her estate was divided, we were the only ones that requested it. Isn’t she truly divine? I’m using the colours as inspiration for the toning down of my home’s interior colour scheme in preparation for sale. So oranges and honey golds, beiges and creams, various shades of green with black as an accent. I’ve started by purchasing the olive/sage green linen cushions in the picture above.
Before I had my fringed Kathryn Ireland rust and paisley print ones with the Union Jack. The Union Jack is a cushion I currently have in every room, but am in the process of removing as I attempt to simplify. And note the removal of all the candlesticks and blue and white china vase in this picture from the same angle up above… now it’s calmer. And you might note the switch up in dining chairs… the black bentwoods have gone into storage as the larger loose covered ones are a sister-in-law’s hand me downs 😂
And the plaid ottoman is now recovered and repositioned in another room. Replaced with an Antique American Travel Chest in painted wood that my Dad gave me when I moved out of home 35 years ago. And that I have subsequently given to my eldest daughter when she did the same (although now she’s returned home to save for 6 months, it’s back). And I just added this large long timber bowl to its top. All this reminds me of when at the beginning of 2021 I consciously decided to stop over styling myself by choosing one necklace over 3, smaller scaled prints, muted colours and less pattern clashing in my wardrobe. More similarities as I now apply this to styling my home.
My love of sisal, jute, cane, water hyacinth, seagrass, wicker, raffia and straw and wood in accessories for my home also reflects in my use of natural materials in accessories in my wardrobe. Did you note the cane baskets used as storage in my closet? And the seagrass basket used as a plant pot holder on my dining table? That’s just a sample of what else I have that’s similar…. jute rugs, French straw market baskets, water hyacinth stools, rattan trays. I have a thing for natural and handmade in both my home and on me.
Talking about accessories. I deliberately collect them for myself and my table ☺️ as shown below. Of course, all these will need to be behind cupboard doors and in draws when we sell, but I can’t bare to ever part with them. Note the seagrass placemats..they were once a checkerboard floor rug made up of squares that I unpicked (after it faded in parts), and the plates and bone handled cutlery were mostly picked up at markets and charity shops. Others, including crystal and silver were wedding presents- and like my wardrobe, I use them all ☺️
Oh gosh, it’s been a pleasure talking and sharing something other than my wardrobe 😂 and yes, there are definitely similarities in how both my home and personal style have been built. Slowly, and over time I have collected what I love in my own way. It may not be what you do, or your style, and neither should it, because what you lean towards and what you choose to surround yourself with should be, so think about that. And I encourage you to love it, use it, wear it, feel good in it and enjoy being surrounded by it. That’s my aim always in home and with personal style and especially for the next 12 months before I step out of a rather big family home (4BR plus STUDY, 4 BATH, 3 LIVING AREA – feel free to make an offer any time 😂), and downsize into a small cottage by the sea for the next stage of my life.