Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Homemade Lovin:Part 2--Not

This was supposed to be the post where I gave you the grand tour of our unfinished master bedroom and sought your decorating advice. Unfortunately, the master bedroom is occupied today by one very sick Big Red. We suspect flu.

I'm not going in there.

Nope. Nada.

In my defense, I have been a good nurse this morning, but we don't want to have any family bonding over this, know what I mean?

So, let's talk style for a moment. Today is not a deep day.

(I'm promise I'm going somewhere with this. Maybe.)

After reading this post, I thought about the house journey that Big Red and I have taken over the past 16 years. During our first year of marriage, we lived in a three-room rental with a sloping floor and a major termite infestation.

I liked that little house. It was a happy house.

Slowly rotting away, but happy.

With the first big career move, we bought a tacky 70's ranch house, our foray into the fixer-upper -with -no -budget world. That house is really where we cut our teeth (and gnashed our teeth) over matters of style. (Eventually, it became a special, happy house, too.)

Most of our friends were building/buying houses like this:

Image from Donald A. Gardner

We thought we wanted that, too, at least sometime in the future. One of our truly impulse purchases was a beautiful bedroom suite--cherry, four-poster, very traditional--that would have been perfect in our friends' homes. Yet, something wasn't quite right. Our friends' homes were beautiful and warm and inviting...but not us, somehow. As we drove around our town and county, both of us would point out the window at different farm houses or bungalows in the old part of town and say, " I love that house!" Eventually we had a duh moment and figured out that our style was more like this:

Image from Architectural House Plans

or this:


We are cottage-bungalow-old farmhouse-shabby-chic-in-a-not-girly way people. (We finally sold that bedroom suite this year. Hence the master bedroom re-do.)

Or as DD#1 calls it, "Old-used-thrift-store".

Over the years, we've been refining what's "us", getting rid of unfortunate purchases that reflected what others had or what we thought we wanted for a while. Now we're filling our home with things that have meaning (like corn stick pans) and beauty to us.

I still love reading decorating blogs and changing things up and repainting and asking for second opinions. Fresh perspective is good! Only now I'm more focused because I know what I like.

So, what's been your best discovery about your style? Or your worst mistake? Let's gab on this last snow day!



  1. Ugh Ginger! I just typed a big long comment and it disappeared! I hate when that happens.

    Right now, our style is used, hand-me-down furniture :). We're slowly weeding that out and buying new stuff as we can afford it. I'm dying to buy a new bedroom set. Ours was purchased used when we got married and is probably 35 years old (the mattress we bought new, don't worry!).

    As for our house, we build a 1500 sq foot ranch, which was all we could afford at the time. Big A did a lot of the work himself, but we still had to get cheap flooring, fixtures, etc... We figure we'll upgrade as needed and as we can afford :). And since the kids are little, used furniture and cheap fixtures aren't so bad. I don't freak out when the kids break something or spill something.

    We don't like ornate decor or too many pieces of artwork that look nice but don't have any sentimental value. I do a lot of crafty things to make the house homey and sew all of our curtains. We like comfy and functional and not fancy.

    By the way, I love your choices for houses!!!!

  2. I love your house ... love cozy, cottagy ... snow day? We don't have any snow. :) ha. Hmmmm, now I'm thinking .... we have antiques -mostly family stuff, some purchased non-antique items and have struggled as well with 'who are we', just as you commented. I like to group things together -huddle them but don't like dusting them. Swing over to spartan. Nah. Swing back to dusting. Anyway, I end up eclectic which I don't mind, it just goes too far sometimes. Weed out. Cull. What DO I do w/The Devine Miss Bovine? (I plan on taking her photo some day...soon. When I'm feeling better.) Hope Big Red gets better quickly and no one else gets sick! Take care! Jenn

  3. Praying Big Red is feeling better soon!

    Oh my, I could spend forever commenting here! Since our last move, five years ago, God has been refining us too. I've gotten rid of so much fluff or stuff that is not really me. The move allowed me a fresh start in this area of our lives too.