Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Day 984: undecorating my house

Lauren of Pure Style Home posted an interesting discussion yesterday on decorated vs. undecorated spaces. The short version is that the "undecorated" rooms -- though often very intentionally decorated -- feel like they were created naturally over time and through collecting and editing. As a designer, Lauren's perspective is that she is trying to create this look on a schedule and in a limited time (whatever that may be).

My perspective is that yes, I do want my own house to evolve over time. Not be redecorated all the time, but to change organically, to reflect our needs and what we think is beautiful, and -- above all -- to be a haven for our little family. Our guest bedroom is kind of a microcosm of that idea. When I started working on it I had a time frame: Money for it came from a garage sale, and it needed to be finished (I use that word loosely!) about eight weeks later because we were expecting visitors. You can see it then here.

I liked it, but it didn't thrill me. I updated it a bit early in the fall and have moved a few other little things around since. Now when I walk by and look in (and sometimes sleep in there just for kicks) it makes me smile, which is the goal, I think! The basics were there in July, but it's taken a little longer for the room to settle into a groove and have its own identity. Now if only our bedroom would get over its identity crisis (but that's for another day!) ...

Now, for the whole point of this post, here are some of my favorite "undecorated" rooms. Which have been decorated, but not overly so.

I remember this story from Cottage Living. The homeowners downsized and took all of their furniture to the new house which was a completely different style architecturally than the old one. Just goes to show that if you buy quality pieces that you love, they will always work (see another view of this room here).

Another good one from Cottage; this dining room doubles as a library. I was watching The Marriage Ref last night, and one couple was fighting over their dining room. The wife sets the table and leaves it that way for 364 days a year and they only actually eat on it on Thanksgiving. The husband, appropriately, thought this was crazy. People. Please use your dining rooms! Even if you don't eat there, surely you can find some way to use it. Why spend the money to have the space and decorate the room if you aren't "allowed" to use it?! Okay, rant over.

Ruthie Sommers can do the best of both worlds, in my opinion.

I really love a spare dining room. Crystal chandeliers need not apply!

Yet another favorite from Cottage Living. This Charleston house had such a great mix of style and periods -- it felt like the very definition of "collected over time."

And again, just a simple dining room where the function meets form just beautifully.


paula said...

so true. loved her post and I am in constant change. I need it to feel right. I think my dining room is finally getting there.

Design Esquire said...

Her post really spoke to me too. She put into words what I wanted to do with my home.

Blueprint Bliss said...

Your post is great. I'm off to check out Lauren's now...

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Hi, Jen, I loved Lauren's post too. She has such great ideas and articulates them well. I too want an "undecorated" look & it's not always easy to achieve.

CRICKET said...

My husband and I have both agreed that in our next house if there is a formal dining room it will double as a library/paint studio.

Pine Tree Home said...

I have found over time my style has changed. I no longer have a lot of stuff and like it very minimal. My family comes over and comments why my walls are so bare. I like it that way. I'd rather play up moldings or sentimental pieces.

3 Peanuts said...

They are all beautiful rooms. My husband and I collect things we love over time and I think our house has an undecorated/decorated look:)

lee and erin said...

I like to switch things up a lot and tend to favor the less is more look too. Great pictures!

claudia bravo / design said...

i switch things up a ton in my house! my mind is always thinking of how to change my space around. love the images. thanks for sharing. xo

Rachel said...

Well, like your guest bedroom, it seems like my house is always a work in progress! It definitley has been changing organically over the 3 and a half years that we've lived there.

I don't know about other people, but I get bored with the same old stuff in the same place over a periods of time. I love to change it up - I'm always seeing new things that inspire me!!

By the way:
1) I love that you sleep in your guest bedroom from time to time for fun!!! I do too!!
2) Wasn't that episode of the Marriage Ref crazy??? I couldn't believe that lady would set such an ornate table just to sit back and "reflect" on it!! LOL! Can you imagine dusting that every week?

Have a great weekend!

Haven and Home said...

I agree, love a room that looks undecorated but it takes time. I don't like our guest bedroom but just have not been inspired.

Lauren said...

jennifer- thanks so much for the mention.

LOVE LOVE LOVE all of your images (as usual) and have to say that whenever I see pics of your house they always seem to have this effortless quality about them. i love your simple beautiful & kind of quiet style and how you play with the things in your house by adding flowers, new pieces, etc.


Luke and Laura said...

mmm, yes, this is lovely clutter. I claim I don't like clutter, but you need some to show character :)

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