Back in November I moved from the new build flat that I’d lived in for eight years – into a 30 year old house…which although completely liveable and not in a bad condition, is in need of a drastic update.
The finishing touch has only this week been added to the now one completed room in the house – the office. We thought this was an important room to sort first to give us a calm and dedicated space for the times when I work from home and when Dan does his freelance designing.
We wanted this room to feel like a sanctuary; somewhere that when the world felt crazy, we could recharge just by being in it. And boy did we nail that! White walls, floor to ceiling shelves we built ourselves for our books, games, DVDs and CDs, white chest of drawers, and now the grey office chair that has just turned up (ordered weeks ago!) – it’s our little room of pleasure. It’s my favourite room in the house and I have a sneaking suspicion that it always be. Sadly we couldn’t also fit a reading chair in there but well, you can’t have everything.
But that’s it – the rest of the house is still the pink beige makes-me-want-to-cry colour throughout with plenty of dado rail to boot. The house itself does not feel like a sanctuary to me. Well, not yet anyway.
Pinterest has been a good friend these past couple of months helping me to visualise what I think I want, what I now realise I don’t want and coming up with new ideas of what I would like to do with the remaining rooms. Needless to say I’ve changed my mind numerous times and had many a disapproving look when I keep coming back to the idea of a distressed wall in the living room.
Decorating is always a tricky pastime and also a very personal thing. What one person will love, another will loath. Trends come and go quickly. Decorating is not cheap. It doesn’t always turn out the way you imagined. And there’s always an argument to be had somewhere along the line – unless you live by yourself, then you can decorate any bloody way you want.
But for most of us, we have to compromise and take inspiration from where we can find it. Online, a pretty view, friends’ houses…but where exactly does the taking inspiration from stop and the copycatting start?
This is a question I am currently asking myself as things I’ve decided I want to do to the house – to be different from the people around me – turn out to actually be ideas that must have subconsciously been planted from the people around me. Let me explain.
I want the majority of my house to be white. White walls throughout, white washed floor boards downstairs, cream carpet upstairs – minimal. Not like some sort of sterile waiting room into which anyone who enters is terrified of spilling something:
no, no. Something softer with colourful touches – I already have a rusted lamp, turquoise sofas, dark wooden sideboard and side table, and grass coasters for colourful hints; so it definitely won’t be scary white. But, my ideas for decorating in such a way that no one else around me would have…well, that just isn’t true, as I realised last weekend when I stayed at a friend’s house. A pretty-white house.
There was white-washed floorboards, white walls, heightened ceilings (which is something we’re looking to do in our bedroom – but we knowingly got the idea for that from these guys), folding patio doors, furry rugs – the majority of what we want to do our place; has already been done by these guys.
We love these guys so much. They have style, grace and do it all with such an effortless air. I admire them and what they’ve done in their home…apparently so much so that I’m copying them. I felt in shock as soon as I realised, and it quickly turned into embarrassment.
It was so not intentional and I know they won’t care two hoots about us doing our space in a similar way but seriously, when does taking inspiration become copycatting?
I know the end product won’t look the same anyway as that’s impossible it couldn’t possibly look exactly the same but even so I still worry that we will just bee seen as copycats in decorating. Those that can’t come up with their own ideas.
Stupid, I know. No one’s going to judge and we’ll definitely be putting our own spin on it all. I just hope they take it as a form of flattery…hey, maybe they won’t even notice.
The one saving grace in all this? They’ve just put their property up for sale.
Until next time.