Defining My Style

Have you ever had something muddled in your mind for a long time but it’s only once someone says it that it clicks in your head and you say to yourself, YES. That makes total sense to me! When I read Kimberly of Swoon Worthy‘s blog post about How to Use Pinterest to Define Your Style, it clicked with me and I knew it was something I’ve wanted to figure out for a long time.

It sounds strange as I’m always writing about design, but I’ve never tried to define my style in words before [actually, I did try once here, and I wasn’t far off!]. Kimberly’s piece is well written and I won’t do it much justice by trying to summarise it, but what you do is create a Pinterest board, pin only the images that really inspire you, write down the repeating themes, textures and descriptive words and from there try and narrow down [to roughly] three words that define your style. I would urge that you read Kimberly’s post as it’s much better explained and whatever you do, don’t skip ahead and try to guess your words because Kimberly will know and she will find you.

I created my Pinterest board and collected my absolute favourite pins. I wasn’t so much surprised by the themes, but I was surprised by having to define them. It was like homework! Trying to describe what themes that connected all the images was tough, for me. Here’s my long list of words, exactly how I wrote them as they came to me …

Hygge, vampire, velvet, luxurious, texture, dark, jewel tones, warmth, cosy, comfort, ornate, carved, antique, romantic, deep, botanical, floral, candlelight, layers, gold, metals, luxe, strange and unusual, Victorian, history, juxtaposition, berry hues, old, flowers, natural, structured.
From that list, I was able to group my words into three categories after much considering …

DARK is one of the most obvious words, but it doesn’t just mean dark colours and shades, I included it as sometimes I like an ever-so-creepy feeling to design. Keeping you on edge a little. Strange and unusual. But not overwhelmingly. I don’t want to scare people off. Just somewhere you feel you can hide away from the world.

ROMANTIC was a surprising one for me. It sums up my always wanting cosy, hygge and warm interiors. It marries dark and cosy together. I do love very dark interior design, but I distinctly do not like stark or cold types of dark. There needs to be texture, depth, layers and a bit of mystery.

LUXE [or luxurious] was a difficult one for me and it was in fact my WhatsApp Clique that helped me put a word to it. Alongside romantic, I love warmth like candlelight, golds, fireplaces, lights, thoughtful embellishments and considered details. I was intimidated by using that word at first because I immediately thought of throwing-money-at-things expensive, but it doesn’t mean that at all. My kind of luxe doesn’t mean over the top or expensive, just bringing something shiny and warm into a setting. Lifting the darkness just a little.  

I found this exercise really helpful and as Kimberly mentions, your three words apply to much more than just your interior design sense. I can apply my 3 words to how I like to dress. Setting myself a guideline of three words has already helped when looking at pieces for our home [or pieces of clothes]. I look at it and think, do my three words apply to this? In the past, if I bought something that was wildly outside of what I usually like, more times than not I would return it a couple days later. This way I can constructively and rationally think about buying a piece. It’s a simple exercise, but for a person like me who likes themes and sticking to them, it has helped immensely.

Do you know your defining words? Or is this something you’d like to try defining? I thought I knew my words beforehand [‘gothic, gothic, gothic‘], but I was surprised by how much warmth I want in my home, and in fact need.

Image sources … 
1. Image by Heather Nette King
2. Image of Kempshott Road 
3. Image of Peruke & Periwig 
4. Image of Palacio Ramalhete Hotel
5. Image originally via Ralph Lauren Home [no longer present on site] 
6. Image originally via [no longer present on site]

Not quite Home of the Year

In September of last year, an RTE researcher contacted me looking to have our apartment take part and be in the running for RTE’s Home of the Year for 2017. After much hyperventilating I pulled myself together, but I decided, however exciting it was to be asked, it wasn’t something we could do. At the very least, the show tours each home for roughly 10 minutes and as I later said to the representative, the camera man would pan our living room and filming would be done. It would take all of three and a half seconds to feature our apartment. Our apartment simply isn’t enough of anything. And TBH I didn’t know it I was up for scrubbing the entire apartment at 8 months pregnant, because there was no way I was going to allow a TV crew and judges into our home without scrubbing an inch off everything.

We had a lovely discussion, I thanked them many times and politely declined after explaining my concerns. As it turns out, we couldn’t have been featured in the end as we don’t own our apartment and that was one of the base guidelines in order to be featured.

It’s a slightly pointless blog post, but the truth is that I’m very proud of that offer and opportunity. Our home didn’t need to be on the show. Having been asked was more than enough for me. 
Happy Friday, homies x

I just want to live in Stars Hollow

I had every intention today of writing about [FINALLY] picking a paint colour for the nursery, but as of yesterday, things might be changing.  
After weeks of waddling to and from our local paint supplier picking up sample after sample of tester paint pots, only on Wednesday did we happily decide on the perfect warm and neutral shade of grey for the nursery. I was planning on picking up a full tin today and get two coats down this weekend, but then yesterday I got a call from our landlord. 

We’re stuck in an awkward situation. Our landlord has since said they may not sell. They’re still going to have the place valued and are instead going to increase the rent to reflect Dublin’s, quite frankly disgusting, rent levels. I’ve been in contact with local residential rights boards and there are some awkward facts; mostly to our favour. One being that our landlord increased our rent this time last year and thanks to new legislation, a landlord can’t increase rent more than once in two years. I’m hella glad the new legislation is retrospective which means he can’t increase the rent until late 2017, but I’m nervous to tell our landlord as this will more than likely push him in the direction to sell. 

Another thought my beautiful mind plagued me with today – have I shot myself in the foot with all the work I’ve done to the apartment over the years? Our landlord has commented numerous times on how much better the apartment is since we moved in. Have the improvements I’ve made increased the value of our apartment? I’ve repainted, repaired, scraped, updated and de-fuglied our entire apartment over the past 6+ years we’ve been renting and living here. Have I increased the value of the apartment, which will further encourage our landlord to sell? Brains. 

Last night we loosely entertained the idea of buying somewhere. After 5 hours of looking, we were left feeling worse. We like where we live and call me a lush, but I’m not too keen on commuting 2 hours to and from work every day because that’s how far outside of Dublin we can afford. Oh, and did I mention I’m due in 5 weeks? I, rather selfishly, would rather be focusing on getting ready for our new arrival instead of worrying about whether we’ll have to move to an apartment we can’t afford in the coming months. A first world problem, I know, compared to some of the people living across Ireland who are homeless because of the housing crisis. I’ve come up with a please-for-the-love-of-science-meet-us-halfway plan that our landlord will hopefully be on board for. Fingers crossed.

Yeah, I probably shouldn’t verbal diarrhea this all over my blog until we know more. But this is real life and real life doesn’t have a filter and I’m all for sharing the shit and the wonderful equally. Because life is both shit and wonderful. 
For now, I just want to live in Stars Hollow and be a librarian. And have a giant G&T. Is that too much to ask? [Answer: YES].

UPDATE: I forgot to mention above that as we hadn’t heard from our landlord in almost a year [we only contact each other when it’s necessary to do so], he didn’t know we are expecting. He took this into consideration and actually offered to postpone selling the apartment for another while. We know we won’t be living here forever, but for now we can exhale. Hell yes for landlords with souls.