I read way too many decorating magazines. I'm absolutely fascinated with the myriad of ways people turn houses into homes.
It wasn't until I was in my late 30s that I decided I was even interested in any kind of decor, and by that time I'd already had two apartments and was living in my second house. Until I visited a romantic country inn in Stowe, Vermont, that kind of stuff just didn't interest me. I never cared what I sat on or the dishes I ate off. It just wasn't something I was aware of.
I had my decorating epiphany at that lovely country inn. My husband had taken me there as a birthday gift. (We'd been watching some syndicated show on country inns and thought it might be fun to have the whole B&B experience.) Suddenly, all the cast-off pieces I'd been living with for so long seemed like ... well, cast-off pieces.
Soon after that birthday trip, Hubby and I bought a contemporary ranch house. I loved it simply because, like that inn we visited, there were so many potential places to settle and READ (and sip a glass or two of whiskey).
What attracted my husband to this house (besides living on one level) was the contemporary lines. What attracted me was the former owner's antiques and handcrafted quilts. (She had a lovely marble-topped table that I still covet.) Hubby still likes contemporary style, while I like English (and French) country style. What we've ended up with is an amalgam -- eclectic style.
It took us eleven years to furnish this place. It's a big house and tends to ramble. For instance: we have five sitting areas (with four full-sized couches, two love seats, and five comfy chairs) and now you see why it took so long to furnish this place. (Oddly enough, it also took me eleven years to get published in novel-length. Hmm. Coincidence?)
Our "best man" and his wife have the ultimate eclectic home, with beautiful antiques, original artwork, and all the modern conveniences, and that's where I first picked up ideas for blending contemporary and country decor. Seeing their home gave me the confidence to experiment in my own.
Mind you, a lot of what I have are still a castoffs (I think "antiques" is a nicer term), such as the dark-stained blanket chest that serves as a coffee table, the oak dresser in our guest room (at right) or the chestnut commode that sits in my entryway. And I have a lot of wonderful things my parents made for me. My Dad made a lot of my furniture, from a Shaker bench, to "convict" (small, round, drop leaf) side tables (in oak, cherry, pine, poplar and black walnut), a dresser, end tables, as well as built-in bookshelves, and my Mom has made me quilts and many quilted wall hangings.
Thanks to all these things, we have a lovely, comfortable place to live and many places to READ!!! My problem: Who has time to do that? (Or at least, not enough time to do that.)
What's your decorating style?
The truth? My life has NEVER revolved around basketball. I LOATHE sports. As I confessed in Jennifer's comments the other day, if there's one thing my life DID revolve around in high school it was Star Trek. Basketball geeks were forgiven in those days (even the girls who played), but to be branded a Star Trek fan was pure geekdom.