...because home doesn't happen overnight.

Okay, so yesterday I took inventory of the things I love and detest most about our home.  (And for time’s sake, I’m just talking interior…the exterior is a whole ‘nother ball game.)  Following Real Simple‘s “What’s Your Decorating Style?” article featured in the March 2010 issue, I was on to Step Two.  This step required me to compile a plethora of small objects, momentos, jewelry and even clothing that makes me feel joyful and inspired.  I browsed around the house picking out my favorite home accessories then made my way into my bedroom to grab some lovable clothes and jewelry.  Here’s the Little Lovies Stash I ended up with:

I found it beneficial to take a picture of my stash.  For some reason, seeing my items in a photograph was like seeing them for the first time.  My pile of favorites included the following:

(a starfish from Everett’s nursery, a white ceramic box given to me by my Grandma, a Burrow’s Tail planted in a white IKEA pot, 2 textural stick spheres, a white porcelain artichoke gifted by Handy Hubby, a light green IKEA vase and a woven table runner beneath all of that)

(a false book – the kind that you open to find hidden storage inside – in a geometric black-and-white patterned fabric and a playful wooden airplane from Goodwill that reminds me of my boys)

(a pair of crystal earrings from my Grandma that resemble mini disco balls and reflect light like no other)

(a pair of dark skinny jeans, a white rouched cotton v-neck shirt, a bold turquoise bracelet and a green beaded necklace make up my feel-good outfit)


(my read of the moment, Amy Butler’s Midwest Modern, which contains fun photos of nature-inspired punchy fabrics) 

(framed black-and-white pics of my boys)

(yet another succulent potted in light pink)

That concludes my Little Lovies stash.  Without deciphering the items too much (that comes later in the week), it seems I’m drawn to little things that I have emotional connections with versus items with hefty price tags.  Hey, that could be a good thing!  What itty bitties or clothes make you smile?  Try grouping them together and taking a picture for a different viewpoint.  Stay tuned for Step Three where I take a mini-vacay and attend the Oscars!  A girl can dream…

I finally got around to reading the March 2010 issue of Real Simple this past week.  (My subscription was a Christmas gift from Handy Hubby’s folks…thank you!) 

Of particular interest to me was an article entitled “What’s Your Decorating Style?”  I’m all for not ‘labeling’ yourself as akin to one specific design style, yet I find myself a little overwhelmed by all the home decor options available nowadays.  It helps (me, at least) to have some sort of guideline when searching for a piece of furniture or home accessory.  I took Real Simple up on their little design soul-search and decided to share my results with you this week.  I’m hoping it will help me define a loose design style and also maybe assist you in pinning down your decor preferences.  Feel free to grab a pad of paper, a pen and your camera to follow along!  And your style might be waaay different than mine – that’s great!  Remember, that you’re just trying to find out what you like…there’s no right or wrong.

The first page is a collage of images on which you are to circle the ones you’re drawn to.  No thinking allowed.  It’s meant to help you visualize a general sense of your design taste.  (You can quiz yourself here with similar images.) 

Each item is labeled with either an A, B, C or D.  (I detest these quizzes because I already know that the letter I circle the most of is ‘the winner.’)  It’s difficult to tell from the photo, but I circled 6 images:  a mid-century modern chair (B), a potted orchid (A), a leather riding boot (C), a silver metal bracelet (B), a vase of pink roses (D) and a starburst clock (B).  The B’s have it with a little bit of everything else thrown in.  So, what do mostly B’s mean? 

You’re into color, contrast and clean lines.  You’ll probably like the style Modern Graphic.  Modern Graphic is a fresh, fun contemporary look that combines urban styling (imagine a downtown loft) with edgy, colorful elements and midcentury designs.  Simple furniture forms balance out bold accents and patterns.

Well, I can go with the clean lines, downtown loft and midcentury designs but I’m not really into bold accents or colorful designs.  While the jist of my style may be modern, I prefer more serene colors.  Good to know.  I’ll keep that in mind…

On to the actual Step One, where I’m asked to tour my home and make 2 blatantly honest lists:  “Love It” and “Wish I Could Replace It.”  Easy.  I could do that in my sleep.  I ran around my house snapping pics of my faves and my not-so-faves.  Take a look.


(a chair I found on the side of the road and brought back to life with some wood stain and new upholstery)

(my DIY pedestal table…pedestal base and chairs from Craigslist, tabletop from Lowe’s)

(a Home Decorator’s Outlet find that I painted green inside)

(my West Elm dining chandelier that I splurged on when it went on sale last year)

(my IKEA craft/sewing desk)

(our tall 9-foot ceilings which lend an open feel)

(our functional IKEA console for storing toys in the family room)

(our rustic family room side table from Ballard Designs outlet for a steal!)

(our light and airy sunroom)


(our busy builder laminate countertops)

(this horribly ugly intersection of wood, vinyl and carpet floorings, UGH!)

(our orangey oak stair railing and carpeted steps)

(our electric stovetop…we’d prefer gas)

(the boys’ orangey oak bathroom vanity)

(our first-floor carpet…have I mentioned I don’t like our floors?!)

(our master bath light fixture)

(our master bath orangey oak vanity – have I mentioned I don’t like orange oak?!)

(our master bed frame…a little too delicate and feminine)

(our master bedroom dresser…it was left by the previous owners of our first home…we painted it white)

So, there are my Step One lists.  Don’t know about you, but that was pretty cathartic for me!  Wow, I really don’t like our floors, oak vanities or master bedroom furniture.  Oh, if only I had the time and money to change up those “Wish I Could Replace”-ems.  What about you?  What items in your home popped up on your list of favorites?  What would you change if money wasn’t an issue?  Sometimes knowing what you absolutely don’t like is just as helpful as those things you ogle over.  Stay tuned for Step Two where I’ll (you’ll) conquer the little things.