I thought I would share an article that I wrote for my friend's blog that she started. The blog is called Modern Domestic Mamas. Enjoy!
“…the homemaker, who in her inimitable way creates a place of comfort, beauty, and interest for her loved ones. It is she who surrounds her family with furniture, gardens, color, and warmth. She looks to others for inspiration and education.” – Martha Stewart
Ahhh…Martha: A modern domestic diva with a dash of performance enhancement gone mad. In spite of her well known character flaw she has mastered the art of living well and in the process made it mainstream and popular. We are no longer just “homemakers” but “artists at work” and our blank canvas is our homes. A house must be transformed into a home. I challenge you, Modern Domestic Mama, to live in a more thoughtful, more meaningful manner in a home that expresses your own personal style.
Color has a huge influence in our daily lives. Specific colors set a particular mood, emotion, and energy. It is an easy way for us mom’s to express ourselves when we feel like nobody is listening. I find myself dressing in the morning (or afternoon, no judgment made dear one) according to my inner emotions and desires: Light pink when I am feeling playful, blue on a calm day and grey when I am feeling “ho hum.” I use color to let the outside world know what is coming to them before I even open my mouth, crack a smile, or give the evil eye. I would love for my husband to pick up on this daily context clue…but I digress.
As an interior designer, I feel that color tells a similar type of story for your home. What mood, emotion, and energy are you trying to portray in your personal spaces? All Modern Domestic Mama’s have their own flair that is bursting to get out. You need to channel your inner “joie de vivre” and let your creativity and sense of humor shine through. That being said, I have a few design guidelines that I have let inspire me.
#1 There is no single way to decorate and that good taste has no passport or price tag.
#2 When in doubt as to a good paint color for your wall go with a neutral. Never underestimate the power of a good neutral and I mean it must be good. I have a paint deck devoted solely to whites and there are 133 different shades of white!
#3 Definitely fill your home with personal and meaningful items. You can do this with furniture, accessories, artwork, dishes, etc. I love a good show house but they are void of personality and interest. Boring! And of course you can tell that nobody lives there.
#4 Even though you have a favorite color there is no need to have it in every room, accessory, clothing item, and artpiece. I think that you understand what I am trying to say. There is a time and place for everything in moderation.
#5 Enjoy the freedom of editing. Did some distant ancestor will you a monstrous china hutch that does not fit anywhere in your home let alone make sense? You have my permission to get rid of it! Many design crimes are committed with good intentions. Simplify your life by purging unnecessary and unsentimental items.
#6 There are always exceptions to every rule. Yes, your middle school English teacher was right in many ways. Although there are definite design mistakes and examples of bad design there is no “right way of decorating.
So friend, I encourage you in your domestic adventures to master the art of living well in your own home. You owe it to yourself to tell your own personal story in your home. I urge you to come up with your own inspiration guidelines!