I’m so happy today. Not because tomorrow is a holiday and I’m going to my favorite place on earth, the beach. I’m happy because a new editor friend of mine up at Canadian Home & Country sent me a care package of magazines, and as I skimmed through the April ’07 issue, I fell upon something magical.
Three magic words, to be exact. Modern Euro County. If you have the issue, it’s on pages 56-61, and the article is called, “Le Femme Boheme”. I finally found a magazine that addressed my personal design style to absolute perfection, and gave it a name that sits well with me. It’s the style I’ve had for years, long before the blog, way back when I moved into my first apartment at age 19. The magazine calls it Modern Euro Country. It’s a light, free-spirited approach to design that incorporates some florals, organic shapes, ethnic prints, some wood, some bright colors mixed in with pale ones, “patina meets pristine”, as they put it.
Yes, this is exactly my style. Modern Euro Country. It’s not vintage modern as I thought because I still have my issues with that look. I don’t want to confine myself to one set style, but with MEC, it’s like saying your style is eclectic with more of a focus, if that makes sense. Eclectic can mean anything. But this style immediately calls to mind a visual, at least for me. It’s the rustic farmhouse table paired with my blue Eames ‘eiffel’ chairs, flea market finds, soft comfortable sofas with dainty exposed legs, and a mid century teak credenza throw in. Soaring ceilings, transom windows, architectural details, wood floors, a balcony. And art. Pretty paintings and framed prints with personal meaning. But the overall look is casual, charming, comfortable, and very welcoming and warm. Not fussy. And it allows me to own china in many different patterns.
(Thanks Rebecca for sending me these great magazines!)
I have a confession to make. I’m not concerned about the evolving state of the internet, the frantic pace of blogging, or coming up with new things to talk about here. Hanging out with you each day is fun. It’s the constant exposure to products that have me worried. I think my days before blogging had their benefits. Let me explain.
You see a tiny fraction on decor8 of what I field in a week via email. So many inquiries, everything from strollers to high tech gadgets, and beyond. And then there are the gems. Those are the things that I post. The sincere emails that actually address me by name (!) and completely blow me away with their talent and overall design aesthetic. But it takes a lot of digging to locate the diamonds. A lot. And frankly, I often miss the old days when I was a bit naive to it all. I could walk into a store and not feel like I’ve see that already a thousand times. I’m not being uppity, I’m being honest. You must understand. You read blogs, so you see tons of great stuff constantly, too.
The overwhelming exposure to products is wonderful on one hand, because when you are a somewhat new writer trying to balance interior design consulting and clients, the more you know the more you are considered a valuable resource and are looked to for guidance, and that is undeniably a great thing. But on the flipside, ignorance is bliss, right? It’s almost like the internet and email in general. You don’t know how you survived without it, but you certainly have no life now that it’s here. And you wouldn’t trade it for the world, but still.
So! Here’s the real issue. I was standing in the middle of BoConcept over in Cambridge the other day looking for a simple bed. Nothing crazy. And I felt a tad bit overwhelmed. I think the sales associate noticed, because he grabbed me a bottled water and asked if I had additional questions. I detected that he put emphasis on additional a little more than all the other words, but who can blame him? I was absolutely determined to know everything about their beds, aside from all the product knowledge I already had from pouring over their catalogs and website before I even hit the showroom floor. I think I covered every single question known to man about a bed.
But the one question he couldn’t answer, that I need to know desperately, “Will this bed truly make me genuinely happy, or once it arrives, will I have regrets because 100 new styles will be available by then?” I didn’t ask him that, but the thought crossed by mind. I mean, God forbid it arrives and there’s a pang of regret because a new style is introduced that I like even better. This is a bed people, a bed. And I’m having hot flashes. But I assume this is the life of most designers, and design bloggers, and anyone else who is constantly surrounded by product, product, product. Blog readers included. I can only imagine how a magazine editor feels after about 10 years of sifting through product submissions. I know that the average consumer feels overwhelmed when making design decisions to, because I hear this constantly from readers and clients.
Truth is, I can make decisions and decorate for you and all of your friends, but lately, I can’t seem to make a single design decision for myself. Okay, I purchased those Alex drawers that I blogged about from IKEA recently, but I’m talking big ticket purchases more than the under $500 stuff. I have no problem spending money in other areas of my life, but when it comes to big ticket items for the home, my brain freezes.
So I’m throwing these thoughts out into the world today, somewhat Dear Abbey style, to see what you have to say on this topic. Does anyone else suffer from design ADD? What do you do to manage it so that you can make decisions, throw down that wad of cash, and just roll with it?
(image from holly becker for decor8)
We’ve all spotted the Norm 03 light designed by Britt Kornum before, but usually in contemporary spaces with clean lines and lots of furniture from stores like DWR and BoConcept. Isn’t it refreshing to see the Norm 03 in a cottage home, the abode of our blog of the week, Dutch blogger Yvestown?
It’s always exciting to see homeowners who know how to create healthy tension in a space by mixing something contemporary (and unexpected) into a more cottage, bohemian decor. It’s a fusion that I’m drawn to constantly, one that I’ve admired since I was in my teens, when I first starting purchasing design magazines and books and going back and forth to England. I find that there’s a definite ‘art’ to merging several styles together, vintage and modern, and I’ve decided that our European friends must have this talent hardwired into their genetic blueprint because they effortlessly nail it time and time again.
Psst: Click here to see more gorgeousness inside of the Yvestown home.
(image from yvestown)