This post came as a request from Dianne – thank you for your blog topic suggestion! Her question was, “I wish I had Diana’s sense of style, but don’t. What to do?”
I’m flattered that anyone would want to understand my style, and I also am flattered that my home decor style is worthy enough to be considered a style to define. My home decorating style has evolved a lot over the years – due to the places I’ve lived, where I was in life, and how old the apartments and homes were.
In the past year I really have changed our home to a different look that I know in my heart is here to stay. So to answer Dianne’s question, I am sharing some key things I love, and rules I have for myself that I believe helps define my style and my thought process when I shop and fill my home with things I love.
Wallpaper a room or two, or a closet
Wallpaper closets and small spaces like your mudroom and powder bath to start the places that are small so you don’t feel frightened of getting tired of it. Make tiny spaces unique and like a jewel box.
I’ve had friends say you’re gonna be that grandma with all the wallpaper. Why, yes I am. Why let closets look so dull and boring? They are so ugly! Make them fun! Why have an ugly mudroom? There’s no reason! Make them beautiful passageways every time you go to the car and come back in your home, it’s your entrance after all.
^^See this bathroom post here
Schumacher, Cole and Son are the most well-known traditional wallpaper brands out there if you want to look. Permanent? Well is anything ever permanent? Nah. Sure painting is easier, just repaint but how often have you repainted your home? I don’t know about you but I don’t repaint often so I’d rather just wallpaper – I can always remove it and put new wallpaper up!
Have a silver plated serveware and crystal collection
^^ See entertaining closet post here
Travel a lot! To Europe especially
I am influenced by my past travels, it’s a mix of the places I’ve been. But even if you haven’t been able to visit Europe or are waiting for the world to open back up like myself, there’s a great solution – the shows! Whatever you are watching can influence your style if you let it. I love Downton Abbey, I watch Monty Don’s gardens, I am always watching period pieces to take in the scenery of gardens and charm. I also read lots of design books, in fact, I study them! You are influenced by your surroundings and if you choose to sit and study and learn from what you see, it will impact how you design and decorate. And if you can’t visit, there’s always the Internet or TV shows!
^ Versailles, November 2019
Say yes to brown furniture
Live in an older home (maybe before 1980), and preferably stone
My dream home would be a stone or old red brick home in England. Now I know you can’t just get up and move to a new home and what you have is what you have and that is OK! You can decorate the inside however you want, the inside does not have to match the outside, it’s just a bonus when it does. Historic charming homes have more character and therefore you can bring those elements inside, but if we’re realistic they are hard to come by and no one really moves out of them. Also to live in a natural stone home might mean not painting it. I would not consider painting brick unless – it’s newer brick, or, the different blocks that are the brown blocks. Or if the way the brick is placed looks a bit dated that painting it all white would give it an update. There are always exceptions. If it’s an old red brick house, I would paint the facia a dark green with black to give it an English tutor look – if by chance it had those details.
Buy blue and white
Blue and white porcelain, plates, ginger jars, lamps, planters, I love blue and white! If you can, limit the Home Goods blue and white though. Never overdo Home Goods because it looks too new and not passed down or antique. Look for the blue and white at thrift and antique stores that have more patina. The problem with the new blue and white is they just look new and mass produced with little history or character. Alice Lane Home has great old looking blue and white jars. Use code DIANAELIZABETH for 10% off the entire site.
Add drama, skip typical
Here are some ideas of adding touches of uniqueness and drama to a space.
- Use black furniture to ground a space, especially in light rooms.
- Pick a wallpaper that isn’t safe, it’s dramatic and drama and sexy and grown up all at the same time! Black wallpaper even.
- Architectural prints.
- I love chinoiserie – panels, oriental furniture rugs mixed with contemporary is a sweet Southern look. I love the use of bamboo too, even for shades!
- Color > neutral – but pick one color and have it throughout your home, mine is blue.
- No boring hooks or light fixtures – look for unique details, Anthropologie has great hooks and things. This is the set I have in our guest bath. However if it’s all too much, then maybe go sleek and contemporary.
- Mixture of antiques and contemporary to avoid an antique store look
- Have candles in every room and a set of vintage hurricanes! I love these twisted candle tapers.
Unique prints on wallpaper and pillowcases
Now you can buy meh pillow or you can buy WOW PILLOW COVERS. You won’t catch me with a Target or Home Goods pillow around my home, it’ll be rare because I love designer fabrics and what people can make on Etsy with trim and piping just look at these pillow covers by Pillow Fever on Etsy! Also go BIG, these 30×30 pillow fills fit in a 26-27″ pillowcase for a very full look. Or a 26×26 Euro will fit in a 22″ custom pillowcase. Or, these 28×28 will fit in a standard Euro sham.
Diana Elizabeth is redoing her site soon with a bit of a facelift she’s excited for you to see it!