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Defining Your Style

Are you like me?  Have you struggled with the desire to define your decorating style but yet do not fit into one category?  Before we go any further let me explain this is not a huge dilemma for me but merely a lingering thought that has plagued me for years.  Since my blog is primarily a decorating blog and it is time for Inspiration Friday I am hoping that you will indulge me on this train of thought today.

No!  Not that kind of train!  But that one is so darn cute this time of year, I just had to show it again!  LOL!
My train of thought has recently come to a stop, perhaps a depot if you will.  I have come up with a term that I think defines my style completely!  I do hope someone else has not already coined this term, especially in blogland as that would be terribly embarrassing.  I have decided as far as my decorating style is concerned, I am 100% Traditional Southern Country!  How about that?  Sounds great doesn’t it?
Yes, I admit it!  I am not that much of a genius.  Big surprise right?   I have drawn my inspiration to name my style from my three favorite magazines.
Now before you go clicking off to another blog, please hang in there.  This is not just a spur of the moment thought.  I have been wanting to define this for some time, partly because I know several people who define my style as “country” simply based on where we live.  This is so wrong!  Shame, shame!
In my mind, we are sooo not “country”.  Mind you I do not have any problems with anyone being country that enjoys that style, and/or truly are, it’s just not who we are.  I am sure lots of people use that term very broadly to encompass anyone who has a touch of country in their homes but I sure don’t.  However, as most Southerners know, there is country and then there is “country”.   To the horror of every South Carolina native there is always the shame of having to endure the entire nations view of  South Carolinian’s as “country”.  It never fails that when the national media does a story from out state, they always seems to find the most wacky backward people to represent us.  This doesn’t help to define the term “country” as many of us southerners do.  Therefore being country is not a term I have come to identify with easily.
For me country is a style that takes its roots from American history.  It has such simplicity too!  Country has space, and gardens and color.  It is not at all cookie cutter, yet cookie cutters to me seem very country.  I am drawn to some things that are country.  Here are a few items that I own that seem very country to me!
My barstools are very farmhouse country to me.

This desk has very country lines, along with the flour crate underneath with checker board on top.
Our ladder back chairs that have seen several generations and coats of paint.
And my washstand in all it’s glory is definitely very country to me.
Now if you are someone who is visiting my blog for the first time you may be thinking, yeah, she’s country all right.  But hold on now, that’s just not true!  You see I am also very Southern!  I think Southern is a term that was coined sometime ago to define those who had a bit more style then just country, and thank God for that!   Now there are those that think southerners are just wealthier versions of country, but that is not true.  I sincerely know people who are very wealthy but choose to live very country lives, go figure.  Again, I don’t have a problem with that it’s just not who I am.
For me “Southern” style is a bit more refined.  It has history too, but takes it’s roots from Europe.  Southern style tends to also enjoy fine antiques and also appreciates the value of decor being enjoyable to look at rather then just functional.  Speaking of, the Mr. must be much more country then I cause recently he has started asking me what purpose does this serve?  Duh?  It’s appealing dear!  OK, let’s not go there, anyway, you get what I’m saying though. 
 Southern style also enjoys simplicity but with a touch of elegance and gracious thoughtfulness towards the comfort of the home owners and guests.   Here’s a few decidedly Southern items of decor in my home.
A big wide welcoming front porch is sooo southern.
A huge fireplace has always marked a southern home to me.  Even though we southerners rarely need a fire now, we’ve been building homes with fireplaces for century’s.  Southerners don’t let go of things easily, we put a lot of value on history.
Like inherited family pieces.
For example, my huge claw foot round kitchen table and…
monogrammed silver, trust me it’s there on the backside of our silver. 
Monogramming everything is definitely southern thang!
Finally, you have not experienced southern living until you have lounged carelessly on a hammock.
Now to try and wrap this post up for you cause I know you are tired of it all by now, let’s talk about being traditional.  To me being traditional is much more about standard clean lines.  Without even having to say so, traditional style has it’s roots in history too.  It is all the items that have with stood the test of time.  They have proven to be of some value and purpose.   OK, maybe the hubs is just more traditional and not so country after all.    Yes, that’s much nicer.  My traditional pieces are all about comfort.
My club chairs, are very traditional!  I just love that!
My rug and…
Coffee table and

…side table all have decidedly clean lines and traditional qualities too.
And now my newly painted black door is totally traditional looking right?
So now you can see a little bit more why I have defined my style as I do.  What do you think, would you agree that I am definitely a Traditional Southern Country?  I think so!  Woohoo!  I love it!  This is a term I can live with. 
 How about you?  What’s your style, do you know?  Have you been able to pin it down or are you still looking for just the right definition?  If your still searching, take a look at what inspires you and you might just find what your looking for.  I did!
Thanks for stopping by today!  Have a great weekend!   Weather looks promising and I’m sure to be out on the boat somewhere living “lakey”??? 
Mary
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16 thoughts on “Defining Your Style

  1. Since South Carolina is one of my very favorite states, I can attest South Carolinians are not all countrified. I will also agree with you that the media scrapes the bottom of the barrel residents to interview.

    My style is eclectic too. I think it would be boring to have just one style of decor in a home.

    Have a great weekend! La

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  2. THIS IS A GREAT POST! Seriously Mary, I love this one!!!! I think I might fall under your newly named Decorating Style too and I just think you are quite clever for creating your own style niche. You need to copyright it or something! And, I totally laughed out loud at your comment about reporters and who they find to interview…my husband always wonder why they seem to only find folks with missing teeth! So, it happens in every part of the country my friend!
    Thanks so much for linking this up to the party and being such a loyal and supportive friend here in blogland!
    Vanessa
    P.S. Your home is so lovely and it was fun to take a little tour today! 🙂

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  3. Wow, style, Me????? Let me think. Hmmmm…..

    I think it's eclectic. A mismash of of everything I love or at least like. It's Me….June Cleaver with attitude meets Martha Stewart before prison….with a little sassy pants thrown in on the side. Yep, flannel meets crystal and everything in between.

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  4. You covered a lot of bases in this post and I like your Traditional Southern Country style!! I am often trying to determine what my style would be coined, but I'm afraid I just love a little of everything!! Or at least it changes every day! lol!! But your post gives us all something to think about! Thanks, Mary!

    XO,
    Jane

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  5. I love your style Mary! My style is a hot mess right now! I'm trying to get out the jungle right now! I also don't want to get caught up on roosters either. I just have a few and plan to keep it that way! Yes! The newschannel here always get the most ghetto, hillbilly, toothless meth smokin peeps they can get on the news here. It's a shame! I'm proud to be a southerner! Yee haw!

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  6. I run the gamut of styles in my decorating and the last style test I took classified me as “globally eclectic.” I like bits of traditional, French country, contemporary, industrial, and who knows what else? *grin*
    Nice to meet ya!
    ~ Sue

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  7. Great post. I think my style is always changing. Just read a great article in Southern Living about “The New Vintage” is to mix modern furniture with your vintage finds and heirloom pieces. I think that is me. We have leather couches and a pier one kitchen table with vintage cameras decorating the family room and vignettes using old butter churns and vintage door knobs! Scary but it works! Our house is painted very dark and rich colors which I think makes it easier to pull off this type of mix. Have a great weekend!

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  8. This was a great post to me because I have had a hard time nailng my style too! My biggest problem is that the style in my head is not exactly the style in my house. So… when I tell people my style, they correct me.

    Ah the hardships of being a dreamer.

    I might redefine mine as “Sailing Simply Style” since I like yours so much. Really!!

    And as a Georgian, I *get* what you're saying about the media picture.

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  9. This is perfect!!!!! You have described your style down to a T!!! I am with you that country doesn't necessarily mean country and as a South Carolinian myself we do have a southern grace and elegance that doesn't fall under just simpy southern. I love this post and all that you said. Perfect!!!

    That is some old silverware if it is monogrammed on the back!!! I love when I see pieces like that. The story I know with that is that it is from England and monogrammed on the back because when a table is laid out in Europe, the pieces are turned on their backs (or what we would refer to as their backs) because that is how you hold them in your hand to eat. Had you heard this??? It is true about eating with the proper hands. We learned how to eat with our fork in our left hand and knife in our right at all times when we lived in Germany. People told us they could tell we were Americans right away because we switched out hands so we converted!

    Hope you have a great weekend!!!

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  10. This is an awesome post Mary! I would say well defined by your description too. Mike and I have evolved into the style we are now. We did not know what we liked for many years. That was until a trip to Arizona. We then where very drawn to the Spanish missions and the history. From there it has elevated to what we like today. I have had people ask me if our home is OLD or NEW…and that is exactly what we want to keep you guessing…is that OLD, well is that New? Eclectic definitely. Thanks for a thought provoking post. Your home is very warm, and you can see a lot of love and thought is put into it…that to me is the best kind of home.

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