A few weeks ago, I worked up the courage to resurrect cringe-worthy photos of my past life as a farmhouse-obsessed, skull loving glamor-ista to share via my IG stories.
The photos were abundant with design mistakes, lack of color, lack of style, and they each represent my past overall confusion about interior design. Some mentioned they liked these photos, but they just don’t represent who I am anymore. Even when the photos were considered to be my style, it was all over the place.
It’s also just a very distant cry from where I am today.
I’m going to share a bit about my personal journey to finding my design style and elaborate on how my style evolved from this:
I know this photo screams LOOK AT ME! I am from NEW JERSEY!!! but I promise, that was not the intent.
Same room, BTW. Seems rather bipolar of me, but I’ll explain.
I defended myself via IG and provided rationale behind these photos. A few things:
- We had never lived on our own before prior to buying our house (traditional Italian parent rules), so I’ve never had more than my own (messy) bedroom to decorate. And quite frankly, I never gave a shat about design until we bought our home
- Because we never lived on our own, we had no furniture at all – just a cold plastic table from Wal Mart to sit at until we bought proper furniture.
- We had no money to even buy new furniture (I hadn’t discovered Facebook Marketplace yet). In hindsight, I’m so happy we didn’t have the money to spend because I know it would have been wasted on crap that I would have regretted in a few months time.
Now, where does a millennial with impulse control issues, no knowledge of design, a passion for hoarding junk, an empty house to fill and a limited budget go?!
At the time, Pinterest was filled to the brim with reclaimed wood, cotton stems, 51 shades of gray, and getting the farmhouse-glam look on a budget. I thought I liked that style at the time, but I also didn’t know what I didn’t know, and Pinterest kept shoving it in my face. What was I to do?!
Our dining room table before we had some guests over during my farmhouse-glam phase
I didn’t know the first thing about design, how to furnish a home, mixing colors and patterns, and most importantly, what I actually liked.
And by what I like I mean….deep down in my soul, who I was, all the experiences and things I loved as a person and how to incorporate that into our home.
During this phase, I found myself at Home Goods every other day to hunt for anything fresh on the shelves that screamed “HEY! PUT THIS IN YOUR FARM HOUSE THAT IS MOST DEFINITELY NOT AN ACTUAL FARM HOUSE”
At some point my style morphed into farmhouse-masculine-glam. I suddenly felt the urge to paint black walls and hoard skulls. I could have been subconsciously expressing my rebellious teenage emo punk-rock phase.
Angelo watched the chaos unravel. The black paint can open and close. The skull hoarding. And yet, he was silent.
Just wrote a post about pillow sizing for sofas, BTW.
Still cringing? Cool cool, me too.
As cringe-y as these photos are, I see it. I see that I was trying to get somehwere – trying to find myself – but couldn’t. I just didn’t know how.
I eventually stumbled upon Laurel Bern’s blog a few months after we bought our house and I realized I was doing so many things wrong. The biggest mistake I was making was not having a plan when designing a room and buying a bunch of random one-off items.
Soon after, I discovered Paloma Contreras, Summer Thornton, and other designers who’s style is grounded in traditional and I had an epiphany. I remember thinking their style is what mine would be if I was just able to actually describe my style and piece it together.
I never felt that way while looking at cotton stems on Pinterest.
I wish I could blame my style confusion on being hit upside the head with a plank of reclaimed wood, but I can’t. I just didn’t know what I didn’t know.
I was so focused on bright and shiny trends that I never thought about who I was and what I’ve always liked.
I never thought my obsession with floral shirts translated to chintz and chinoiserie.
I never thought about pulling the forest green color of my ruffled blouses that I cherished and wore every other day to upholstery or my many pairs of leopard shoes to pillows.
I never thought my infatuation for old things and history meant I should go thrift shopping for antiques.
It never occurred to me that I could use the thriftiness I learned from my mom to shop on Facebook Marketplace for secondhand furniture rather than spend thousands on new furniture that I would have tired of eventually.
This epiphany wasn’t a situation where my interior style changed per se, I just simply never realized how to translate what I’ve always loved and who I was into our home. I also wasn’t previously exposed to the modern-traditional designers and styles that I am exposed to now. These were my ah-ha moments that brought my current style to fruition.
My moment of clarity was immediately followed by a fresh bout of rage – that I had wasted time and money on filling our house with crap that never pulled at my heart strings.
Luckily I discovered Facebook Marketplace and have been able to do a complete style-180 with buying things that fit my traditional style and selling furniture I bought during my farmhouse phase.
The irony of all this is that I went from the trendiest of trends to a style that is the complete opposite of trendy: granny-chic. I refer to it as modern-traditional. This quiz on house beautiful confirmed I am in fact a grandmillennial.