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Sunday, August 7, 2011

My Answer To Friday’s Question Of The Day!!



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Fridays Question of the day was basically asking how do we know when we are making a wise purchase for our homes? How do we know what will have longevity?


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We have all been taught that if we buy  a classic piece it will have longevity because it has stood the test of time. That is all well and fine, but what if you don’t like any of the classics? Will it have longevity in your own life? I personally say No!!


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I believe it is always good to study, and explore all different types of design. I think this is very important to do if you are just starting out in the creation of your home.


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If you are only exposed to a small portion of design choices you will truly never be able to expand, and know what good design is. Always keep in mind that good design will be subjective. What one person love's, another person will find distasteful to their design aesthetics.



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What was once the new kid on the block can quickly become the latest has-been!!



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We as consumer’s, in this economy must make our purchases carefully. When working with my clients I always spent a great deal of time analyzing what they truly loved, not what they thought they should love because they had seen it in someone’s home, or in a magazine. I tried to get to the core of their design personality. Then and only then would I make a suggestion on a purchase for their home.



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If I had to talk in generalities I would say we all should take a good look at our homes every 7-10 years to give it new life and freshen it up.This can be done with paint, and maybe some new accessories. Worn items should be replaced, and outdated items need to be re-purposed, or replaced.


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I will make the suggestion that you keep your main pieces such as sofa’s and chairs in a neutral. This neutral does not necessarily mean beige, but it could be a color that you love, and have always loved in your home. A  color that can mix easily with the addition of different color and patterns over time can be a neutral no matter what the hue is. In my own home blues and greens can be my neutral. I have found these two colors go well with all the colors that I enjoy working with.



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I recently helped a friend with her living room, and her neutral is a beautiful soft blue. Another client of mine loves red, and has loved this color her whole life, so red is her neutral. See how it works?



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Study the classics, by reading  design books  and going to museums. Look at the silhouette of the pieces. Study the lines of the furniture. Keep those silhouettes in mind when you go shopping. Modern day manufactures will often use the classic lines to make our furniture pieces for today.



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Bottom line is…….. If you love it, and have loved it for more than 5-6 years it can become your own personal classic. My best advice is to be honest with yourself about what you truly love and stick with it. Try not to let the marketplace, or a friend, or even a designer sway you. If you do become swayed, you will inevitably choose a piece of furniture that  will give you regrets within two years or less.

  • Purchase what you love! 
  • Purchase the best quality your can afford.
  • Purchase your main pieces in a neutral.

Thank you to all of you who generously gave your opinions in the comments. I think all of your comments will truly help this reader!

“Enjoy the Process!” Of:

Discovering your own personal classics!!

Kathysue

24 comments:

Taylor Greenwalt said...

Kathysue,
Good advise. You nailed it.. By the way, I love the first picture you posted. Every time I see it, I love it all over again. I would love to see the home now and see what changes they made. Most of her pieces could transition into another design very easy. New slips, paint and Wala-a new look...

helen tilston said...

Dear Katysue

You are spot on with this post. One lesson I learned was not to accept a wall colour unless you truly love it. Once we bought a model home and it was beautifully painted and papered but having lived there for six months I found the colours depressing and sadly I had bought a sofa and upholstered chairs to suit the model suite colours.

have a great week
Helenxx

Mona Thompson Providence Ltd. said...

Great wrap-up Kathysue. You can never go wrong with what you really love. Have a great day. Mona

Mona Thompson Providence Ltd. said...

Great wrap-up Kathysue. You can never go wrong with what you really love. Have a great day. Mona

Kathy said...

Great post, and just adore all the pictures you choose

Cherie said...

I am grateful for all of your responses and you've all added to a fruitful discussion. This was my question, by the way. Thank you, Kathysue, for choosing this one and this current post is very helpful. I too am a blue and green gal; green is my neutral and the color that I never tire of and I love blue. I can add a third element of color pretty easily to that combo. Expanding our definition of "neutral" gives us more choice and flexibility and stays true to the heart of what matters to us.

Jessie said...

Great tips and advise. I agree with what you said, Kathysue. Bottom line is, you won't go wrong with your own personal favorites, right?

Love the first and fourth image by the way.

Have a beautiful Sunday!

Jessie
www.mixandchic.com

The enchanted home said...

Hi agree with everything said and to take it a step further, there are many inexpensive ways to update decor, not necessarily having to replace expensive sofas, chairs and sideboards. I personally like you get what you pay for, I would rather own a few good pieces of furniture than a house full of cheap junk. I would take a simple beige couch thats well made over a overly embellished sofa with a fancy fabric that is of poor quality. I think in the long run those quality classics will more than pay for themselves and you can do things like add pillows, small pieces of decorative objects, flowers,etc...to "change up the look".But the best advice I ever received was to "buy the best that you can afford". It is worth its weight in gold. Great post!

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

You always have the best advice and I look forward to all the wonderful pictures you find. You are such a help and so generous with your knowledge. It certainly helps me and many others too. Love ya, have a super Sunday. Hugs, Marty

Carol@SofasandSage.com said...

How true. Design is SO subjective. You answered the whole "classic" thing beautifully. Who cares about classics if you dont like them! And your definition of neutral--i love it. I always enjoy reading you, Kathysue. Have a great rest of the weekend!

Ann from On Sutton Place said...

Let me ask you this...what if your design styles evolve and change over the years? This is my situation: 20 years ago when we moved into our home we bought good, formal living room furniture. Cherry tables, nice sofa and chairs. I liked it for a long time but my tastes have changed and I'd like a less formal look. I have replaced my red sofa for an inexpensive white IKEA Ektorp. Most people can't tell the difference between this and the $1200 Pottery Barn one. I didn't want to spend alot of money on a new sofa that I would have to keep for another 20 years. I wanted the flexibility to change again. I'm afraid I'm stuck with the cherry tables...4 matching ones with brass fixtures and Queen Anne legs. I can't convince my husband to let them go or let me paint them. I can work with them but I'd really like something different. I have learned one thing though...I will never buy another upholstered piece of furniture that's not a plain neutral. I have a beautiful red plaid chair that I so wish was creamy white. Any words of advice would be welcome! Excellent post. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday.

Lynne (lynnesgiftsfromtheheart) said...

Hi Kathy, very sound advice. Like you I always study my clients likes and dislikes, narrow them down to their personalites. Not what's in at the time. Trends are fun, but can't always stand the truth of time.... I've discovered most of all stay true to yourself...great reading and advice.. hugs ~lynne~

Heidi said...

Hi Kathysue,
This is excellent advice, and I will take it to heart now that I will be rebuying almost everything new for my home. And when I say "new", I don't necessarily mean brand new, just new-to-me! I love to find pieces that have a history, after living in a rental with all rented furiture the past 4 months I realize more and more how much this is true for me. I miss only the things that were a part of my history, that told the story of our lives together. So, I am on the look out for good, basic pieces that are my favorites, my "neutrals", with an interesting history! That is some challenge, let me tell you!
Take care Kathysue, thanks for the always inspiriting posts.
xo
Heidi - Heart and Home

Heidi said...

Hi Kathysue,
This is excellent advice, and I will take it to heart now that I will be rebuying almost everything new for my home. And when I say "new", I don't necessarily mean brand new, just new-to-me! I love to find pieces that have a history, after living in a rental with all rented furiture the past 4 months I realize more and more how much this is true for me. I miss only the things that were a part of my history, that told the story of our lives together. So, I am on the look out for good, basic pieces that are my favorites, my "neutrals", with an interesting history! That is some challenge, let me tell you!
Take care Kathysue, thanks for the always inspiriting posts.
xo
Heidi - Heart and Home

laxsupermom said...

Great advice! I think what you said about neutrals is spot on. Each individuals neutral may be different, but keeping that clean palette will always feel timeless. And definitely figuring out what you love, is key to decorating. Thanks for sharing.

FABBY'S LIVING said...

Great advice Kathysue, you're so generous for sharing your knowledge with all of us...I love this more than any decor magazine. I love your clean neutral palettes, you're so very right, it is timeless. A home decor tells of one another and the home speaks of us, I love new and old and I think my home is me, with the things I love. Have a terrific week. FABBY

eclecticrevisited said...

as always, Kathysue, You hit the nail on the head with the issue of classics and "neutrals"...I was just out today looking at antique twin bed frames and trying to decide if I would paint them or keep them as is with their dark stain..I've always loved dark stain so I'll stay with that instead of paint in the trendy french gray/blue..dark stain may not be in style but it's my "neutral"..
btw, thanks for helping me make up my mind!! :)
best,
maureen

Designs By Pinky said...

What a great post! I so agree with using what YOU love. And that major pieces should be neutral colors. I bought a cream sofa 25 years ago and would replace it with something very similiar. I LOVE it, and can change the look for seasons etc. just with different pillows! I loved Oriental pieces LOOOONG before any of my friends, when I was in my early 20's! Only because my FIL was a pilot and brought back gorgeous pieces that I fell in love with! Luckily, I have inherited many of them! They are treasures to me. Thanks for your windeful generosity with your knowledge. XO, Pinky

Splendid Sass said...

Agree, Kathsue!
If I like it , I keep it.
I hope that you are having a great Sunday!
Teresa
xoxo

Stacy Curran said...

Perfect answer to a great question. I love that you explained how one person's neutral can be red, and anothers can be blue. Great advice!
Stacy

Confessions of a Plate Addict said...

Great advice, Kathysue! I just know that I love what I love and I have to use that as my design compass. I'm the one who lives in my house, after all! Happy weekend!...hugs...Debbie

sissie said...

Good advice Kathysue. I have found that the things I love most in my home are the pieces that have stood the test of time and been in our home for ten years or more. I have always stuck with neutrals and I'm glad that I did.

It's so easy to be persuaded to change by looking at the many blog designs and current marketing trends. Believe me, I have made many costly mistakes. Live and learn for sure.

hugs
Sissie

designchic said...

I totally agree...buying what you love is so important in design, and I try hard to stick with my instincts. Great advice!!

Karen@StrictlySimpleStyle said...

Sticking with what you've loved for at least 5-6 years is a great piece of advice. For many of us we are fickle and fall in love regularly with the latest color palette in the magazines, but there are always those colors that we never stop loving-like you with your love of blues and greens.