Sunday, 11 January 2015

Dreams and Desires

 There is a great deal of colour in my life and I love colour.  I love many colours which I do not wear having decided they are not right for me in that way, but it doesn't mean I don't still love them. 

Ironically perhaps, it was embracing the idea that if I love it I should wear it that got me going down the wrong path.  The wrong path for me, that is, since this is a personal journey.  It is a very sound philosophy which works well for many women.  It wasn't working for me.  How I decorate my home is somewhat different from what I prefer to wear and the art I create is often very colourful.  I think it is the the colour I do not wear that makes its way into my art.

Usually I write about my love of colour and am referring to purples and blues and greens, though truly I do love brown and grey.  Although I have written several posts about my equal love for a very  neutral and soft palette, I had not published any of them until I began to share my changed attitude towards my clothing.  I have a strong attraction to a colourful bohemian sort of home but an equally strong one to a modern french country look with greige, beige, ivory and grey tones.  The two don't seem like they mix well and I can only go in one direction at a time so my first instinct has been to gravitate towards colour, not neutrals but I frequently admire an all neutral palette where it is texture that takes over for colour.  My inability to edit, as they say in the style world, has basically kept me from using more neutral palette in my home.  I will fall for coloured things and bring them home.  I 'ruin' a monochromatic neutral palette quickly.

How is it that I cannot stop staring at images like this one? It is definitely more formal than my style and yet there is also a low maintenance rusticity about it.  I doubt I could keep it this sparse if I lived in it and yet I stare and sigh like Holly Golightly at the Tiffany's window.

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But I fall for images like this too and my home has evolved more in this direction overall.

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So why do I feel it isn't quite where I want it?  I believe the answer lies in the same discovery I have made with my clothing.  While I am attracted to a wide variety of colours and combinations, what I can live with best and what feels most like me are muted colours. Faded Persian rugs, aged pewter, faded velvet furnishings, what I aim to achieve is rather Miss Havisham inspired but without the bitterness; cobwebs and lace seem like appropriate decor to me.

The image of this highly styled child's play room attracts me, although I could do without a cherub on my walls and a red gas pump.  There is so much texture on the walls which is not something my home has going for it but there must be things to learn from the overall feel of this room.


Modern French Country is a bit sparse and often an ornate version of minimalism.  It is too sparse for me  to live with despite my attraction to it and I also recognise that often it is great architectural details that appeal to me just as much or more than the decor.  My home lacks any architectural details of merit.



So, how do I reconcile my deep and abiding attraction to modern French Country with my simultaneous attraction to a very bohemian, colourful and rather cluttered style?  Like this, I would suggest.

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  There is a way to blend the two and the above bedroom may be a good inspiration.  It is indeed soft and muted, just as the stony French Country Modern colours are and there is an ornate romance to it with the scrolled furniture and lace.  There is colour here; it is not a monochromatic or tonal scheme but it is grounded by a lot of ivory and soft white colours and wood.

This is essentially a photo of a whole lot of textiles and some boxes but the faded colours and the distressed textures really appeal to me.  There are warm and cool colours here which is quite like my own home.  This is my idea of a French Country/Bohemian mix.

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                       Shall we call this French Country Bohemian Light?



These images of the Paris home of Loulou de la Falaise have appealed to me for years.  Surely in a previous life I lived in Paris part of the time and Provence during the summer.  My own home already looks somewhat like the poor woman's version of this without the white walls and with less ornate versions of mirrors and chairs scattered about and less expensive textiles (tablecloths or shawls) draped over everything.  Instead of a column in the corner I have tree branches.  I am the rustic Loulou. Oh, the rustic, introverted, non-smoking Loulou.  So basically my home and I are nothing like her.   Mainly I am just dying to paint the walls and to sew some new cushion covers but as simple as that sounds those are large projects so for now I dream.  Dream and write rambling blog posts.

                          Found on Pinterest and traced to this blog

                                 found on Pinterest and traced to this blog

And then I go back to gazing at images like this.

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Some books and blogs to check out:

French Country Images are from Cote Sud magazine via My French Country Home blog

Paulina Arcklin  has many gorgeous images on her photography and styling blog.

Bohemian style images are from various sources and collected from Moon to Moon on Pinterest

The original pictures of the home of Loulou de la Falaise are from the book Paris Interiors by Lisa Lovatt-Smith


12 comments:

  1. Interesting musings but I love them all!!! How does one choose?? X

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  2. pretty images!
    you know i love me some color in my house :-)
    the good thing about the house is i can live in different parts depending on different seasons. seasons around here a very typical - cold snowy winter, rainy or golden autumn, hot summers, very spring-y spring. so with the addition of the outdoor-salon i have spaces for every season: the warm colorful red salon - with the best oven - for winter, the sunlight flooded white sewing room for spring, the rosé boudoir with a cosy corner for autumn. and summer of cause the garden outdoor salon.
    maybe you can fake this with seasonal changing deco and textiles - the cooler colors in the warm seasons, warmer, colorful things in winter..... or like you mood changes. it prevents from getting bored too ;-)
    did miss you!
    xxxxx

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  3. Shawna, I believe we'd enjoy sharing a snoop of Loulou's palais, a peculiarly charming display of "ornate minimalism," which I call "Moroccan Messy." My walls are covered with colorful original art -- and a few inherited tacky prints -- but my own notebooks are filled with simple black and white sketches. Perhaps it's a version of duality: the soul's quest for restful silence, the personality's hunger for sounds of life?

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  4. Gorgeous post Shawna ... I love all the photos and like you are drawn to the first photo and the muted colours.

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  5. This is so interesting. I sway with my tastes too. I think we could have been interior designers just for the fact that we have an appreciation for different styles. My living room changes at least once every 5 years. It goes from cluttered and colorful, then to sparse, neutral, cleaned up lines. I guess it's the variety/change that I crave sometimes. I also can see myself living in about 3 different styles which I equally love. I think I'm like that with clothes too. I love both the langen look and edgy street style.

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  6. Beautiful pictures, Shawna. I'd love a French country home...in the actual French countryside. Complete with a housecleaning staff to dust all those piles of old books and objects d'art. And while I'm dreaming... might as well throw in a cook.

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  7. Drool-worthy photos! What strikes me about them is that they're pretty much all in old rooms, or at least rooms with great presence. This is something I've been thinking of in the last week or so - I want to live in an old building. The windows, the high ceilings, the extra details and flourishes add so much character, which is lacking in modern buildings. All your choices of furnishings come alive in those settings.

    If I had the space, I'd have one room left minimal - a neutral oasis. But I couldn't do the whole house that way.

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  8. Gorgeous images. I love the French country style. My decor style is much more minimal. I do embrace color, though. I love to combine different colors throughout a space and hope that it all somehow ends up working. That room with all the plants has me drooling!

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  9. I view colors in such a strange way. I am attracted to subtlety - Soft, warm colors and neutrals in my home and in my wardrobe. However, on occasion, I may throw in a hint of color. Often times I view too much color as pretty at first, but then later it begins to overwhelm and annoy me. Strange but true. During the summer, I love wearing yellow, however in the autumn, I don't want to see it anywhere.

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  10. I used to think my tastes in interiors were wildly eclectic until I started tearing out pictures of homes that inspired me. Once I laid them out a pattern developed - most had antique white, the palest ointment pink & cement grey walls and austere oak floors, dipped and stripped doors and glass chandeliers, the perfect foil for crazy collections, weird art and inherited treasures.
    Looking at your choices I think we have very similar tastes. xxx

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  11. Such beautiful images, very inviting spaces. And to me, they are not that far from each other. My home is full of color, but our bedroom used to have all white furniture with a little natural light wood. I added colors with details. But over time, it developed into a more eclectic space - colorful furniture, black shelves in addition to white pieces... but it's easy enough to change it back to mostly white by adding white curtains and removing a couple of bright pieces, if I want to. Also, our daughter's bedroom is her own space - much more modern and urban, her favorite cool color palette... It's rather eclectic here. I like homes that change and evolve over time. And I think that if some day I have a bigger home to decorate, it will be even more eclectic - I really like variety a lot. :) Hugses! xxxxxxx

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  12. I have exactly the same dilemma! Choosing between the same two types. Our home is very colourful but slightly faded with quirky stuff with stories. We have collected many interesting things over the years. Where does one put them in a minimalist home? We have no archetectural details except dark wood trims and an archway in the lounge. I prefer our cute 60s cottage with open out windows in NZ.
    Loving your waffling and browsing :-) xo Jazzy Jack

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