home about me our home

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

LIKE or DIS-LIKE That is the Question???


 This is not going to be like most lists, because you don't have TO DO anything or even shop. You are going to have to be reallllly honest with yourself about what you put on this list. I do not even want you to think of the home or a room you live in right now. This list needs to consist of what you honestly love. At the top of the page I would like you to put LIKES and DISLIKES. Under the likes I want you to put down what you like to see in a room, you know the things you seem to just gravitate towards. Here are a few questions to help you make your list:

  1. What colors do you like?
  2. Are the colors you chose warm or cool (think of warm as being fire,red,yellows,orange and cool as the water in the ocean,blues and greens)?
  3. Do you like for your colors to have a clear quality (no grayed undertones)?
  4. Do you like light ,medium value or dark colors?
  5. Do you like your colors to be a little muddy? Now don't be afraid of that word. It just means they do have grayed down tones in them, thats all.
  6. What textures do you prefer?
  7. Would you paint mouldings in a room? Would they be white or a color? Or, would you leave them natural wood?
  8. Do you prefer light wood,dark or painted?
  9. What choice of metals do you like?  Nickel, bronze,brass, or stainless?
  10. Do you prefer casual or elegant looking pieces?
  11. New pieces or Antiques?
  12. Simple lines or ornate?
  13. Curvy legs or straight on your furniture?

Now, in this column you can answer all of these same questions with what you do not like.

Look at this list very closely. What have you identified as your personal likes and dislikes?  Keep this list and see if you can find pictures that meet the qualities you have described. You have just made up a list of what you need to have in a room in order for you to be happy living in it. Stay true to yourself. You are unique and no one is like you, therefore, no one will have the same taste as you. I am going to use myself as an example just so you can see how this can work. Here we go. Readddddy???

  1. I love spring colors: green, pinks, blues, yellows and black and white for contrast.
  2. I like warm colors with a contrast of cool blue.
  3. I like clear colors, crisp and fresh with a touch of softness.
  4. I like medium value colors.
  5. I prefer pastel colors or lighter valued colors to be a little muddy, I think it gives a more sophisticated look.
  6. I like all textures but prefer smoother, fine textures over a nubbier texture.
  7. All my mouldings need to be white.
  8. I actually like light, painted and dark woods.  I like a mix.
  9. If I had to choose one metal it would be shiney nickel - nothing prettier but I also like the warmth of brass.
  10. I prefer what I like to call, Understated Elegance, comfortable but a little special.
  11. I love antiques or, at least older pieces with character.
  12. I like simple lines.
  13. I like a little simple curve in my legs (my real legs included, sorry I could not resist).


  1. Two colors you will never see in my life are orange or burgundy - just not for me. I know that for sure. Earthtones (Sorry ladies! I love them in your homes, I just can not live with them and this is My list).
  2. Not a big fan of colors with a cool undertone, I like my pinks to lean towards watermelon not a blue base pink. I like my yellows to be a warm undertone not with any cool green base to them.
  3. I can not live with a lot of muddy or grayed tones in a room.
  4. I don't like jewel tones or dark values of most colors to live with except for touches of black.
  5. I don't like too much dark wood in a room, it suffocates me.
  6. I do not like a room filled with too many rough textures,I prefer smooth and shine with a little bit of rough,it feels more balanced to me.
  7. I don't like too many natural wood mouldings, too heavy of a feel for me.
  8. I don't like overly red or yellow toned woods.
  9. Not a big fan of oil rubbed bronze in faucets, but I don't mind it in lamps and chandeliers. I really don't like a room that is overly formal or overly casual. I like a mix.
  10. Not a big fan of modern, but love to see it done well in others homes - just not in mine.
  11. Nothing too ornate in furniture or overly curved and carvy legs. (this answer covers #12 and #13.
I will attempt to find just a few pictures of my likes and to show you what I mean. (I won't show my dis-likes because I think the list explains them pretty well and I would feel badly if I showed someones home and offended them)

This room shows the lighter value in some of the colors that I enjoy - soft blue-greens, creams, whites and yellows. Notice the painted pieces mixed with the natural wood of the table and the floor. The textures in this room are on the smoother side. I find this room to be understated elegance.

This picture shows a good selection of the colors that I like. You can see the white architectural details. This room has painted pieces and natural wood in the side table. This room also shows the smoother, shinier side of textures that I enjoy, although look at the texture in the lamp.  This keeps the room interesting. There are some older pieces and some newer ones.

Here we have more blue/green.  The white mouldings add the architectural interest that I love. The painted console is an older piece and a little more elaborate than I usually like.  However, the white finish makes it more casual and light. The lamps are a newer shape almost on the comtemporary side, but on this console they become more transitional.  The old world print is just the right touch for me.

All the above rooms were designed by  my design idle Phoebe Howard.  These rooms are a good representation of what  feeling I would like my living room to someday have.

I love the use of the black chairs here with the warm wood. This room shows some texture that I do enjoy in plants and baskets as represented in the tray and matchstick blinds.  I absolutely love the dark metal hanging light fixture and the simplicity of the window treatments.  Also, notice the live green plants in the time-worn pots. I think this picture shows the textures I do enjoy.
This room has it all for me. The natural woods in the chairs, floor and table. Notice the painted cabinets and my pop of black and white in the checked curtains, which is one of my favorite patterns. The texture here is in the natural linen on the bench and the rough hewn bowl on the table.  I get my shine with the glass fronted cabinets and the beautiful counter tops.  The legs on the chairs are straight, but the bench has a lovel gentle curved barley twist leg which is repeated in the lamps on the counter.  Again an understated elegant room to me.

In this room I have my light and dark woods. I have a slight curve to the bed leg and a straight leg on the settee.  The look of old in the bed and new in the lamps.  This room feels light and airy and inviting to me.

By now, I am sure you can name all the things I love in this room. The gentle curve of the legs on all the pieces. The older painted piece mixed with the newer look of the light fixture. The texture in the pot on the table and the bamboo curtain rods. Love the creaminess of this room mixed with the whites. The interest in the chairs with their monogrammed backs. Notice the elaborate mirrored made to look more casual by making it a chalkboard, that gives this room a little whimsy, I really like a little whimsy. One last thing I like is natural living green plants in my rooms. Also, it is a bright and airy room.
It is just as important for you to know what you dislike as well as what you truly honestly like.  The reason is, styles and trends are changing constantly. Some of the things on your dislike list will be a new trend and you just might try to talk yourself into buying it. Don't do it!! Look at your list and stay true to yourself.  Have you ever bought something that you just thought you loved and it was the latest trend?  Or, you  saw it in a friend’s home and you loved hers, so you talked yourself into buying it.  Lo and behold, two weeks later, you hated it, but lived with it for the next three years because there was no way hubby would understand this dilema.  By knowing what you really LIKE and DISLIKE you will always stay true to who you are! That is what I call good design.

I would love to see your list, it might be fun to do a post where you show your list. Let me know if you decide to make a list on a post. I would love to come and see it. I am sure other readers would love to read it so feel free to leave it in the comments.

"Enjoy the Process " Of: Discovering what you truly Like and Dislike.

BTW: Tomorrow's post has some information that you can add to the information you are putting down on your Like and Dislike List.  Be sure and come back. I know you are really going to like this, promise!!


Acanthus and Acorn said...

Wonderful, insightful post! Plus, it is so fun getting to know bloggers better....

Enjoyed many of your "likes" and have a few of them in my save file too.

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

Great lesson, Kathysue. You do like to make us think. I will have to think about this when I am more awake. I love those rooms you showed that show your likes. I love color, but also love lighter rooms, too. Just can't change everything again now. Mr. Savvy would certainly commit me somewhere. I have lightend up my great room for Spring and Summer with some cheap fixes and will be sharing it soon.

Jules said...

Oh dear Kathysue my like list and my dislike list were exactly the same but in a different order!!!!
For me it depends on the room or the place. eg my like list said every purple shade in the garden. My dislike list said any shade of purple in the room NO WAY!!! go figure you would think I was a bit more decided by my age but I rather think it is never going to happen!

Cashon&Co said...

i have always love that kitchen with the wingback chairs. And the pelmets in the yellow living rom are FAB!

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Hey, Kathysue, really good post! In fact, I'm doing sort of a post on this line probably next week. I do see so many falling for the newest trends out there, like everything white slipcovered, Swedish & French design, but it's just not practical to change over a whole look to that. At least for me it's not. I will continue to keep my antique pieces, my brown wood (with a mix of painted pieces), & you're so right. It's important that we find our own style & stay true to ourselves & in decorating that gets so hard to do as trends come along & look so fresh & pretty. We pick up those magazines or see blogs with gorgeous pics & think we've got to do it too. Yep, gotta stay true to oneself!

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Oh, I just scrolled down to the pillow post! HOw funny, my friend, Debbie, just bought that bird pillow too for a bedroom redo she's working on. It's TOO cute & I almost got one too, but it just doesn't work in my living room, which is where I'm adding some new pillows. I love that one!

Tricia said...

Fun post Kathysue...guess I'll have to add writing up my likes and dislikes lists to my never ending to-do list! Yikes.
It would be interesting to write up these lists every two years and see how our tastes change over time. Just two years ago I was ok with dark wood and more masculine lines with jewel toned accessories. You know all about my transformation to neutrals and more feminine looks now.

La Dolfina said...

It's funny, I know what I like when I see it. The same with things I dislike... I know it immediately though I've never committed either to paper. I'm sure it's a very enlightening exercise!! Leave it to you Professor Kathysue!!!!!

Patty said...

Oh wow I love the decor in all these rooms! I think Morning T has a super fantastic idea, write a list every year and see how much your tastes have changed.

Design Esquire said...

Wow! Great post. I love the first three images - I really like blues, greens, creams and white. I need to sit down and write this out!

Anonymous said...

I know what I like when I see it...I go for a lot of the things you mentioned....and that kitchen with the buffalo check curtains...rocks my world every time I see it...I adore it !!!!

I don't care for dark rooms and red rooms make me feel closed in...I like a splash of red here and there though...

Light, bright and airy describes my likes !!!

And the color orange...love it, burgandy not so much lol !!!

Nice post Kathysue,

All the best,
Kathy :)

kanishk said...

I've never committed either to paper. I'm sure it's a very enlightening exercise!! Leave it to you Professor Kathysue!!!!!
free internet jobs

vignette design said...

I know what I like and dislike, but have never made a list or put pen to paper. Most of my likes and dislikes have "gray" areas where they overlap. Like it's ok sometimes to like blue if it's deep and paired with crisp white like RL does or Barclay Butera, otherwise I strongly dislike blue and don't have it in my home -- ever. Like how you feel about orange! A great, thought provoking post Kathysue!

Unknown said...

I know I LIKE that kitchen with the wing back chairs, A LOT! And I am so with you on the earth tones!

vignette design said...

PS: I love that last picture. Doesn't it have mostly earth tones? Those walls are my favorite and that room feels warm and inviting. I think it's interesting how color affects all of us differently. Hey, I might think of something else to say later Kathysue as you have us all thinking!

A Perfect Gray said...

excellent exercise. we so often don't take the time to hone our vision...good job!

Kellie Collis said...

What a fabulous post. And what fabulous taste! x

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Great post Kathysue, I love this idea. Now I just have to decide what I really like. Then put that to work with what I have that I just can't part with. I have learned one thing and that is that I really do like my neutral living room and being able to totally change the look with different colors and accessories. You are such inspiration for me to decorate my home. Thanks. Hugs, Marty

Jeanie Cash said...

You are extremely talented, my friend. Thanks for helping those of us who are "inspirationally challenged" by giving us pictures, suggestions, and helping us realize we can have a beautiful home if we just copy your ideas!