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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

What Do YOU Really Love?

I think all of us creative types love to look at pretty images. I know with the internet and blogging we are inundated with an abundance of beautiful rooms.

Sometimes I think it might confuse us to what we really love, because we see so many images of different styles, and different colors that we really love, but we would not put them “ALL” in our rooms.

Most of us are probably pretty eclectic in our style. We gravitate towards more than just one style. I know for myself it would be hard to pin-point just one style or word to describe what my home reflects.

I think that is what makes a home interesting. If it has a nice mix it will have the homeowners personality. If it is one style or a copied vignette from a showroom, it will lack soul or personality.

In my years of consulting with clients I developed an exercise that would help me analyze what direction or style to take them towards in making their house a home that they would love.

One of the exercises I would have them do was to clip images from design magazines that they loved. I just wanted them to go with their first impression, and what they  were drawn too by the picture. After they had several images I would go over each image with them ,and begin analyzing what it was in each image that drew them in.

Each picture would evoke some kind of feeling or emotion. I would keep track of what they said and when we were done with that exercise I would have a very good idea of what this homeowner needed in their home to give their home it’s own personal style.

We have all heard of Pinterest!! It is a  very good way of clipping and saving images that speak to us in one way or the other.

I have several boards that I have pinned images on. I have one board in particular where I put what I call my, “All time Favorites!”

This is very much like what I  had my clients do for years with images from magazines.
I thought it might be fun for me, and hopefully for you to go through some of my all time favorites to see what design elements speak to me………

I am showing you this image first! Why? Because I really love this, in fact I have pinned it three different times here and once in my own picture files. There is nothing here that I don’t love. Here is the list of words I would write down if my client showed me this image:
  • Black and white (high contrast)
  • Lots of light
  • Natural elements with plants or florals
  • Textures with baskets
  • Simplicity
  • Lantern hanging fixtures
  • Stripes in flooring and roman shade
Remember I am keeping track so I can analyze what my client will require in her home in order for her to love it.

  • Clean
  • Crisp
  • white
  • order
  • reflective surfaces
  • charm
  • vintage
  • lantern type hanging fixture
  • plant for touch of life and greenery

This is another image that I have saved several times in my own personal photo files.
  • Warmth with wood
  • black and white contrast
  • real flowers and foliage for life and the color green
  • lots of light
  • vintage pieces
  • blue
  • symmetry
  • cottage charm
  • checks

  • black and white contrast
  • natural elements with flowers adding pops of green
  • warmth with wood
  • lots of light
  • charm
  • simple, clean, uncluttered

  • contrast of black and white
  • texture with baskets
  • vintage pieces
  • live plants to add life and pops of green
  • charm
  • lanterns
  • stripes

  • crisp white open and airy
  • live florals to bring in green
  • lots of light
  • lantern type light fixture
  • warmth with wood
  • vintage and antique pieces

  • contrast with white
  • symmetry
  • green with plants
  • lantern type fixtures
  • stripes

  • Contrast with white
  • painted green cabinet
  • green in florals
  • warmth with wood
  • texture with baskets
  • stripes in rug
  • checks

  • contrast with white
  • Green in cabinet and tile
  • live plants
  • crisp,clean, airy
  • stripes in tile work and towels

  • Lots of light
  • black and white contrast
  • green with fruit and outside views
  • vintage charm
This is just a sampling of the images I have saved as my favorites. You can see that there is a consistency in what I have chosen.
Shall we go through the list of words that describe the feel and requirements I will need to have in my home in order to make it my own personal taste?
  • Lots of light
  • crisp, clean, airy
  • contrast with white
  • black and white
  • live plants/flowers for life
  • Reflective surfaces for light
  • colors: black and white, green and blues
  • texture with baskets
  • warmth with some wood
  • lighting vintage and lanterns
  • symmetry and order
  • checks and stripes
  • mix of vintage,antiques and new
This is the list of what I require in my home in a nutshell. See how easy it is when you line-up images and you analyze what elements you love in the image.

A consistent list will occur right before your eyes.
I hope this little exercise will help you in your own journey of discovering what you need in your own home to make it your own personal style.

Design is an ever evolving process that can take years. Our taste will also evolve, but  and I do mean, BUT, always stay true to who you are and try not to fall into the pit of  trend-land. If you maintain a look that you love you will be able to evolve over the years by simply tweaking and adding a few  new pieces now and then. Remember what I always say.......

...............“Enjoy the Process” Of:

Discovering your own personal style!



L.Duncan@Home23DuncanBoys said...

I think I need several homes! I didn't realize I liked black and white so much! I also love simplicity. Hmmm, you've got me thinking now!

You always do;)

Silvia C said...

This is a great exercise, Kathysue. It is true that taste changes through the years. A few years back, I was totally into clean lines, completely uncluttered (almost sterile?) spaces. I wanted a modern loft in NYC. Now I want an old stone wall house in Provence! The older I get, I seem to appreciate more the beauty of older structures (like me!) I love your taste! Beautiful images. Hugs,

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

All of these pics really do look like you. The clean lines, the colors and the bright light areas. Your home definitely has all of these things. So you and so perfect. Hugs, marty

Susie @ Maddie G Designs said...

I think this is a great exercise and one that is good to repeat after time passes. I wish I had two places to decorate so I could get a little more bold with a vacation home that I don't have to live in everyday! The last image you posted is in my "Love" file as well.

Cyndi said...

I loved the black and white in these pictures too.Because we are house hunting I have been asking myself this same question to help me to narrow down the houses we are choosing from.Cool huh? I have a diy project to tell you about and you are going to like it :)You know the topiary trees on the outside of the door in one of your pics,I can tell you how to make it for less than 10 dollars :)

K&B by the Sea said...

Great post - you've really captured the whole concept behind how to use inspiration pictures. I love every one of the pictures you selected, by the way!

Another approach is to find pictures of rooms that don't appeal to you and list all the things that you don't like about them. That can help too :-)

Bring Pretty Back said...

Kzthysue - I am just learning what is my style. As you know I LOVE pink. And I know i will be doing al ot with pink in the new house. but ... what else? Do i like white accents? BRIGHT colors or pastels? I am really taking time to see what I love to look at . What "feel" I want for our new home.
Great post as always
Have a PRETTY day!

debra @ 5th and state said...

what great taste you have my dear...........most of these are my favs and if not there went into my favs :-)

great idea that i have used. also ask them to not discount the whole image, maybe there is an element they like and the puzzle becomes clearer. that list you formulated kathysue is brilliant. i always get so many ideas here!
ps; thank you so much for the lovely comment on eddies post xo

The enchanted home said...

No wonder I love coming here!!!!! We like so many of the same rooms, I love something about each one, I think at heart they are all traditional but many of them have a small twist, the first is the black and the very oversized lantern, but it looks amazing and like you said, not a think I would change! Have yet to open Pinterest though I have been invited several times, I am afraid it will keep me in my house at my desk 24/7 if I do as I am already fighting an addiction to being in blogworld..all I need is one more thing! Excellent post once again!

Kathysue said...

SHERRY HART has left a new comment on your post "What Do YOU Really Love?":

Oh gosh...I love every one of those pictures...all of them have that edited look.....we have the same taste:) Need a bigger foyer....whaaaaaa

Sorry Sherry I mistakenly deleted your comment, so I copied and pasted it from my email, Sorry!! KS

Sue said...

Around here, there are things that I tell my husband (or whoever happens to be around) that simply "want to go home with me"! I brought something home from Michigan this week that isn't my style or the style of my home...doesn't look like "me" or anything I would have at least in this decade, but I just couldn't leave it in the store. I will put up a picture soon (maybe for Table Top Tuesday next week) because it is pretty funny actually and yet I'm not sorry I bought it.

It seems to me that you are very interested in the entry to a home from looking at the pictures!

Linda @ theLENNOXX said...

That's such a great way to analyze style, even for yourself! As design bloggers, we are looking at gorgeous spaces every single day, and its so true, you do get confused as to what you really want in your own home. I will definitely try this to pinpoint my own style. Thank you so much for sharing this!!

xoxx Linda

Jemsmom said...

What a wonderful post! I have kept a file of all the magazine pictures that I have liked for years, and I have found that my style and what I love has changed a bit, but I bet if I went back, I would still find some of the same elements in all of them! Thank you for sharing this!

Splendid Sass said...

Great post, Kathysue! Such beautiful images here.
I have been trying to save only images that grab my attention immediately and see what they have in common. I love so many different styles and I am trying to determine which color grabs my attention most. I know that an olive brown is one, and I love black and white.
I am going to go through and look at what I have saved.
Thanks for the inspiration!

Anonymous said...

Its always so hard to decide! Love these images and love your blog :)
-Jessica & Holly

Karen said...

I need to do this. I love so many styles but have never really analyzed what it is about each that attracts me.

Carol@6WilsonBlog.com said...

Hi Kathysue,
I can hardly breathe over that white kitchen with the brown check valances. It is so me I want to live in it now!! Great lessons here. You have such great perspective. Hope you have a wonderful 4th :)

quintessence said...

Many of my favorites as well. I don't always go through the process of analyzing them since I don't design for anyone else. I think I have most of these in my files, but might just have to pin a few to make sure :-)

Mel@Georgica pond said...

More sage advice from you KS, I was just toying with the idea of what colours and look to go for in my house as I have so many things I love and looks I adore, one day it's blue and white, then it's aqua, then it's green, then it's all grey, some days is relaxed country, but other's its Hollywood Regency, or Florida brights and I'm getting lost and confused - I want it all. So many delicious things to be tempted by, but I think you're right, stick with timeless, classic and simple rather than trendy and you'll never tire of it.

Anonymous said...

love the direction you are headed in with this post...I was seeing quite clearly certain patterns in your favorites images right away, such as the clean, crisp lines...I too am drawn to that as well...
fabulous exercise for your clients to crystallize their preferences..
have a great 4th,