A lot of the pages I tear out of home décor magazines show shabby chic, heavily French style, dreamy white/pink floral confections and other ornate fancies. What I actually live with is a mix of modern/plain/simple and a bit of French gilt.
A friend who visited my home for the first time many years ago was shocked that my home was not all English/French country cottage style. Her home was, and I used to love going from room to room and taking in the details.
I haven’t made a conscious effort to replicate the rooms I saw and liked. What I did was choose items which spoke to me at the time I needed them. Some are new and some are second-hand. I’ve ended up with ‘my-style’ which is actually quite different to what I thought I liked.
I made a cushion cover once, of quilted cotton cabbage roses in shades of pink, with green leaves. It was a beautiful, expensive chintz-type (bought as a bargain basement remnant of course, I’m a thrifty girl). The back was lined with layers of calico and fastened with small, creamy rose-shaped buttons which were recycled.
That poor cushion always looked out of place, no matter where I put it – on the bed, on a chair, on the sofa. It then went into the linen closet (minus its inner). Perhaps I should gift it to someone whose style suits it.
The colours I have ended up gathering around me are: mushroom, taupe, camel, caramel, white, cream, licorice and black. Lots of cream and white balanced with the neutrals and a small amount of the darker colours.
A colour I would really like to introduce is the burnt orange of a Veuve Clicquot label. I’m not influenced by the French champagne link at all, really.
When I come home I need a place where my eyes (and body) can rest. That's why I'm on the constant path of editing. The home interiors images I am most drawn to these days are ones where there are clear table tops, empty spaces, room to breathe.
I'm certainly not a pointy corner modernist though, I love the worn-in goodness of old stuff, just not too much please, and the right pieces.
I think I am going about home décor the same way I am looking at my wardrobe. Getting rid of items that are not quite right first, and then slowly filling in the spaces.