Finding your style, so that you can bring it to life.

Before we moved I did a serious closet purge and got rid of most of my clothes. {honestly, I could still get rid of more} I would literally stand in front of the closet every morning and, feeling defeated and uninspired, I would literally say out loud with a sigh ~ I don’t know what to wear. Every day.

Did I love anything in my closet? Do I even have a style? Probably not.

It’s so easy in our closets and our houses to just amass a random collection of things over time that we often unintentionally end up living in a space that doesn’t really reflect who we are {now or maybe ever}, or having a closet full of clothes that is in the same state. Things might not all work together and also might not really be elevating our lives, the way we live in a space, or our style and how we feel about ourselves out in the world. Without an overall design vision {for your wardrobe or for your house}, it’s easy to stray off track and end up with a lot of things that you might have loved in one moment, or that were a hot trend, or you bought when you were depressed to feel better, or are beautiful but don’t make sense for your lifestyle… or, or, or… am I right?!

It’s very rare for someone to start from scratch and furnish a whole house all at once, or to throw away all of their clothes and buy a whole new wardrobe at one time, and I don’t think that’s really necessary. I love designing over time and think it brings a depth and richness to your home, just like I love having different clothes in my closet that I’ve gotten at different times that I do really love and bring joy. But everything that isn’t working, isn’t elevating your style or complementing your vision needs to go!

Do you even know what your style is?

As far as my clothes go, I’ve tried this year {post purge} to not really buy new clothes until I can get some clarity on what my style is now… a bit of a detox for myself to have some space to figure it out, what works for my lifestyle and work life now, and what I will really love and feel good in. Of course I’ve slipped a bit back into old habits a few times, and I’ve made a few purchases that I do feel really good about as well. But it’s been  so good to spend some time not accumulating new stuff, so that I can explore my relationship to clothes and slowly rediscover what my style is {now that I’m a legitimate middle aged adult ~ when did that happen?! with a life and career that look pretty different from even just a few years ago}.

And since we are in a temporary home I’ve been able to do the same for my style at home as well… and it’s been fun thinking about what I might like to do in our new place ~ so many possibilities! But I want to narrow things down, get a sense of my natural style, and have at least some idea of a direction so that I can hit the ground running when we find ‘the one’.

For design projects we always pull together a design vision that is our guide for all the selections we make in the space. You can say out loud that you want certain characteristics, but nothing is as good as actually having a real picture to see what you are going for… pictures really are worth a thousand words. So I’m putting together a design vision for both our new place and my style. I’m excited, I feel like it’s really pulling my attention and energy into present time and it really feels like a more powerful way to bring new things into my life… there’s so much more intention and so much more clarity. With a design vision you know right away if something you are considering works with that vision or not, and if not it’s an easy pass. If so, there’s less agonizing over whether to get it, because you know it works with what you are trying to create.

My big challenge for both my house and my closet is that I just love so many different styles. And when I’m out and about I see different items that I think are beautiful by themselves but they don’t necessarily complement everything else I have, or really enhance what I’m trying to create. Then I end up with many things I might have loved in a moment, but that aren’t working together to create a space I love to be in {or a closet I’m excited about wearing!}

I’ve been saving a bunch of inspiration images for our new house, and while at first glance it looks like there are some big differences, when I look at them all together I’m noticing a lot of very strong similarities. Check these out.

light and bright.jpgI tried to divide them up into some different groups but there are a lot of overlaps. It’s clear to see in this first group that I’m really drawn to light bright airy spaces, clean lines, a bit more formal style, and a mix of aesthetics whether that’s a formal space balanced with some casual element, modern mixed with special vintage pieces, or a more minimal palette with a pop of color. gallery wall.jpgI love art and I love a good gallery wall. I just can’t resist! One of my favorite things about them is that there are so many ways you can approach them, whether it’s more minimal and modern, or super colorful and eclectic. And I love that it’s a way to add color and a bit of pattern to a space if that’s the direction you want to go. big art.jpgAnd then there’s the bold statement art. You guys, I need a lot of wall space in my new house because I’m planning on upping my art game ~ for real. And the truth is that there is usually more than enough space to have several different art installations in your house, so hello gallery wall and hello big art!

Last but definitely not least, a solid handful of my images were very saturated with color. I absolutely love all of these spaces {notice the overlap with the art?!}, I love the heightened drama and that they are real show-stoppers. They take it to the next level and really go 100% {that image on the top right ~ be still my heart, lots of people won’t touch trim or paneling with paint, but this one shows just how amazing it can be!}. Whether I go in this literal direction or not in our new space, the characteristics of them, richness, depth, drama, impact, are definitely elements that I love and can be done no matter what color palette you end up going with.bold color.jpg

I also love the idea of having some smaller spaces be bold impactful surprises, like a guest or half bath, the inside of a coat closet, or a study. You don’t have to commit to bold colors everywhere in order to have a balanced space and some wonderful surprises.

I might not know what our next space will look like yet, but the beauty of this exercise is that I don’t need all the answers, or to have all of the actual items selected, it’s just about honing in on what you’re naturally drawn to, so that you have the clarity and the tools to create a space that is amazing and that you really love.

Now I’m off to do the same thing for my wardrobe ~ wish me luck!

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