Or, whatever color you favor when it comes to decorating your nest.
That cozy happy place called home.
It's about making it feel like you.
Making it cozy but lovely too.
Making it a space you want to actually be in and enjoy.
I thought we could talk a little about that today.
I love to decorate, do you?
I adore treasure hunting and the creative release of anything décor.
I enjoy light bright colors and antique and vintage elements in my own home.
I never think about anything working together, unless it's a rug or something as such.
But as far as accessories and furniture, I just buy what I love....
Somehow buying things that are you, that you love, magically come together in one space.
I feel like, decorating your space is such an important creative gesture.
It brings so much joy and fulfillment.
It is not about that, it's about creating a space that brings joy to you.
After all, you are the one that has to live in it.
I think buying flowers in your fave colors is a great start.
Especially if you have new surroundings.
That being said, I thought I'd share some snippets of what I've been up to in my space.
This is how I began my journey at the villa.
First of all, I never thought I'd want to go on such an adventure, but it was the right time & place & I just plunged.
Sometimes you gotta just rip off the band-aid of your comfort zone I guess?
There are very tall wood ceilings in the main rooms (20ft) and dark herringbone solid wood floors.
It was a beautiful enchanting place.
But it had brown and dark tan paint in many rooms, along with dark red cornices and window treatments in too many places. The cornices blocked so much of the light and the view. And I thought so much wood & darker colors was just not working in the space.
And while these colors are fine, it was just too much brown paint with the wood floors & ceilings. I left one bedroom in more sepia tones because it has an old world glazing that I love & looks lovely surrounded by antiques.
I do like red, but used differently than it was used here. I should have taken before photos but sadly, I did not.
I liked the Venetian plaster walls in buttercream so I chose to keep them (3 large walls in the great room) because they are done beautifully, but I had all all the accent brown or dark tan walls painted in bleached linen white.
(the kitchen is done in a creamy vanilla Venetian plaster which I like as well)
A lot of people were asking me how on earth I would be able to bring my pastels and pinks, as well as all manner of collected vintage and antique pieces, to the villa. And I just knew it would all work with some minor tweaking, I could see it in my mind's eye.
Pastels in such a strong architectural design seemed to baffle some, but I knew it would work.
I also am very fond of pink and yellow, so I felt it would be fine.
I also know for a fact that if you fill a room with things that you love it usually works out and people say, wow I would have never thought this would work in here but it does.
I think that comes from being true to yourself.
Also, I am keeping the country house pretty much in tact, as I go back and forth, so I got to treasure hunt for this place, which is a fun ongoing process. Thrift stores, antique stores, Craiglist, treasure hunting is one of my passions in life. I love hunting for treasures, even in nature.
Truth be told, I was infusing the place with a lot of neutrals and blues at first (without realizing it) just to get the place set up for the holidays and it wasn't feeling 100% me, but I just forged along. I knew accents would change all that eventually.
And then one day I woke up and I realized, I NEEEEED PINK!
And so the pink infusions began.
Pops of happy pink.
And boy did it change the game for the me-ness exploding here.
Pinks and golds and teals and greens and oranges oh my. (I love brass items too, which are priced the lowest in thrift stores these days it seems)
Just all the pretty happy colors.
You can bring it in flowers.
All those little things tie it all together.
Especially books you love.
The villa has a very formal feel to it, and I wanted to keep a bit of that, but also I wanted to make it super cozy and comfy.
Because I am nothing if I am not overjoyed in my living spaces.
I keep cozy blankets and pillows on the 2 linen chesterfield sofas.
It was hard to choose exactly what I wanted for the main furniture so I went really neutral.
Then I found two white linen French chairs at an estate shop and it just sort of worked out on its own.
I knew I could always elevate it with pillows or throws.
I originally wanted these over the top canary yellow sofas but they were sold out, and now I'm kinda glad they were, just because the neutral linens have been easy to work around.
I also have so many crazy stories about some of the pieces in my house.
For instance, I bought the table below for a real deal from a woman who had just found herself featured in a story on the show 48 hours, without her consent. She literally was a mess and I stayed with her for 2 hours and we chatted, and she told me the craziest tales about her life that I had ever heard. Then she showed me the episode as she had recorded it. I think I helped her a little, then I paid her and took the table with me - which I incidentally had found on Craigslist and she was just down the street from me :-)
She has since moved.
As you can see, my houses will always be dog friendly.
I'm not into rules, but then again my dogs are gentlemen.
I'm really lucky, they are so non-destructive and sweet.
I really am so so lucky in that regard.
I just give them lots of treats, toys and love.
So back to decorating.
I have found that sometimes you need pieces to tie the room together that you simply can not find.
As you know, I shop a lot of vintage and antiques. The only new things in this room are the sofas and a chair. And I would have bought vintage if I had found something I liked, but I really just needed some furniture before last Christmas so that I could have guests over.
And so I found myself really needing some decorative items to make the room feel like I was seeing in my mind.
Then I came across these beautiful antique urns from China (on the mantle) in an glass case in an antique store.
The price was just more than I could fathom and so I walked away.
I looked for a couple months for something like them at decorator home stores.
But of course, where will you find teal aqua urns with candy pink flowers when you need them?
And so I made an offer that I could afford that was significantly lower than the price on the urns, thank goodness they were still there. You just never know unless you try.
Lo and behold, the dealer agreed and I brought them home.
I was beyond amazed.
(Sometimes you have to just try, and that's the beauty of antique stores, you can usually make an offer)
Then I thought, I bet some candy pink pillows would really add some spark to my vibe :-)
I could not find any anywhere.
And if I did they were the wrong shade of pink and not very nice.
Then I stumbled upon these out of print, new in package Versace pillows on Ebay - from a dealer who only sells vintage Versace.
Truth be told, they were more than I ever intended to spend for pillows - not crazy more, but more. Actually pillows were pricey everywhere I looked, especially handmade ones on Etsy.
But here's the thing.
There are some things you will pay up for in decorating, and some things you will get major deals on. I got major deals on this whole room.
Like the candelabras (pair) on my mantle were $65 and 25% off that day at the antique store.
(They had originally been priced at $249)
The teal mirror was a brown mirror for $125 and 50% off at the thrift store.
A real heavy true antique, and I painted it teal and gold leaf.
There are many examples of that throughout both of my homes.
It's funny the things you pay up for versus the things you get deals for.
I'm always open for the hunt though, because it makes me giddy with joy.
My pillows cost more than my coffee table. Which incidentally was not a pricey table at all (Craigslist), but you see sometimes accessories to tie things together can run a bit higher than other items.
I could not find anything like them anywhere, and they brought the punch of pink I needed. I will have them for years to come and they tied my whole room together for me in the way that I wanted. The hunt to find great deals is what I love. Ebay, Craigslist, antiquing & thrifting.
(can you see my pup napping down there?)
It's like that when you are a collector decorator :-)
You pay up for the funniest things and get major deals on others.
It always amuses me.
And so, we come back to bringing the most you-ness you can into your home.
I'm fanciful at heart.
Throw in a bit of my whimsy soul, and always candles and fairy lights for good measure.
Books are a must.
Colors that make me happy come first.
And an openness to changing anything around if I thriftventure something else I fall in love with.
(my favorite invented word)
I'm sure my décor here will change as I get more settled over time. I knew I would not create my ideal space right away. These things come into their own over the years.
The point is that you can make any place feel like you with what you surround yourself with. That's a big thing I've learned. I've always shunned change, but really you will always be you, even if everything is changing around you.
My mom says the pictures of the villa décor before, and the way I have decorated it, are soooo different - (we saw some magazine décor pics as the previous owner had it, which was fine, that was her style, but décor can easily change something from someone else's vision to your own). Color and décor truly can make a huge difference. Even if your home isn't your ideal style or architecture, your décor is what ultimately makes it.
You can morph it into a place that brings you great joy with some paint and treasures. And while I can easily visualize things and bring them to fruition, I think you and anyone else can too. Just surround yourself with things that you love. Who cares if no one else is going to like it. You are the one living there, keep that in mind. I don't follow trends, although sometimes they sneak in if I find something at Home Goods that I like (love that place). But my point is, don't box yourself in to the happening styles on Instagram and Pinterest, or how you think your house "should" look.
But instead, focus on how your home makes you feel.
Surround yourself with things that you utterly adore, that make you happy.
For me, the home is the most important creative space of your life.
Whether you rent or own, you can make it you just by bringing in the things you love.
You can have some basics in furniture, but throws and pillows and accents will elevate it to your liking.
It doesn't have to be some huuuge make over, it's so easy to make a major difference with the decorative pieces alone.
It's not hard, just ask yourself what you feel like you need, and what you like.
Then go out an search for it.
I'll tell ya, in the treasure hunting world, what you seek has some odd way of finding you. Sometimes I even find it sitting on the side of the road, discarded.
It has happened to me time and time again.
The villa will be an ever evolving place, but there is one thing for sure...
I need fresh, happy, collected me-ness in it.
No matter what.
Later I will show you the over 8 foot mirror hanging over the mantel (came with the house) and you can tell me if I should paint it, get rid of it or leave it to match the carved antique wooden columns from India throughout the house.
I am undecided at this point.
What is your style? Do you have a color you simply can not live without?
An item you have taken from home to home?
I'd love to hear.
Well, I've chatted you to pieces I'm sure.
Time to go for a walk & cuddle some dogs.
Promise to see you really soon!