Yesterday I shared my rather rambling journey of how my style, and ultimately my life, have changed over the last few years, some of my misadventures, and some of the events that led us here. Today, I'm sharing my tips, utilising the mistakes I made, so you don't have too. You're welcome.
Here's some advice if you feel like you're going through a change of life/style, or if you perhaps have itchy feet and are feeling the need for change in either.
How to navigate a style change:
1) Accept that the space you live in is important.
How we set up our home has a pretty big impact on how we live our life. Our home is where we are our true selves. It is where we relax and exhale. It's where we can be silent. It's where we sleep, dream, feed and nurture ourselves. It's where we indulge our hobbies and loves. It is where many build families. Our homes hold some of our most intimate moments. So It is worth spending time and energy on creating a space that truly feels like you, that you feel rested and calm in. Somewhere you can create or reflect in. This isn't frivolous or pointless. This is how you live. Often the state of our homes reflects our lives: if it's messy and cluttered with lots of spaces that aren't being dealt with, i'd hazard a guess that that maybe that reflects in your life somewhere too.
2) Don't feel guilty.
It's ok to want to change your style or way of life. You aren't beholden to anyone but yourself (and ok, perhaps the people you share the space with). So, you spent years cultivating the most amazing granny square blanket and kitsch objects collection but you're secretly craving something calmer or more neutral. Maybe you worked really hard to create a sleek all white home but find yourself inexplicably drawn to colour. S'ok. the world is in constant flux. It's ok to change. Release yourself from feeling like you should stick to something just because you've done a lot of it in the past.
3) Don't rush into it.
But don't rush it either. If you do, you might find yourself changing your mind, and having to get rid of some stuff or re-do projects (like I have) which is super wasteful and not great for the planet. Really make sure its where you want to go. Will it work with your house? Your family? The way you use the space, the way you live your life? Do the other people in your house feel the same?
4) Discard, and Read The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying Up.
I know I've banged on about it a lot before, but it'll probably take you discarding (throwing away or donating) a lot of stuff to really find your way wth what you want, and leave you with itmes that truly bring you joy. Not everything the author talks about works for me, but it's a helpful book to hold your hand through the difficult process of discarding things, especially things you used to love or hold special memories. There are some useful, practical tips for storage too, the first being don't even think about it until you have massively discarded tons of stuff!
Part of not rushing it; mood board the hell out of what you think your new life/look is and how it fits with who you are. Use Pinterest to build one board of potential style ideas, anything that catches your eye or heart, then create a second board with definite loves from the first. Or create a physical mood board. Cut favourite images out of magazines, print off instagrams that capture your heart, stick fabric swatches, leaves or other objects on too. This is about who you are, what you want and how you express that in your home.
6) It's ok to change your mind mid way through!
I had a brief foray into an all monochrome sleek finished house. Turns out it wasn't for me (I didn't mood board it properly- error- see above). I like some elements of the monochrome look but ultimately I prefer objects that are patina'd and weathered, and I like colours too. Release yourself from any pressure to keep going just because you've come x far already. This is less likely if you've really thought about it and moodboarded the hell out of it first.
7) Find your defining values
I thought for a while that after we drastically changed our life from busy London life to quiet Kent town, that I was changing EVERYTHING. But it turns out after stripping everything back that there are a few defining elements that weave through the last few years of fluctuating style changes. Rooms that are thoughtful and full of personality. Neutral backdrops (white walls). Patina, objects with stories. Second hand or ethical production. Colour- but more muted now. Since my big style change I can add "considered, minimal and calm" to that list too.
8) Write a style manifesto
I found it useful to write a summary of what I was mood boarding, a list of the styles and sorts of objects I loved, that fit with my values and personality, a manifesto of sorts. Mine included:
- Overall a style that helps me feel like me and enables to be creative and at peace at home
- Simple, calm, uncluttered
- Considered items, well made with (where possible) ethical principals.
- Things with patina and stories
- Lush texture
- Subtle Colour
- Natural materials, treasures from nature, plants and flowers too.
It includes lots more besides, and I refer to it before I buy anything, in case I get swung by some fashionable item that won't ultimately fit with my values.
So thats it!
What about you? Does your home reflect who you are? Is it a sanctuary, somewhere you can do what you love? Have you been thinking about de-cluttering or changing your style at all? If so, I hope you found my tips helpful.