Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Unstyled: My kind of 'style'.

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Have you noticed that current trends in decorating and fashion pay no attention to color or texture schemes? I sure have, and I am loving it. I called it "unstyling" (if you're someone important and you've already coined this term, I am unaware. I swear).

Here are some examples of what I'm referring to:

 Random fabrics, bright colors, a mixture of textures (ruffles, quilts, chevrons, damask), a hodge-podge of design. It's lovely to me.

I've always taken pride in styling my living space. I remember when I was a little kid, I felt pressured to have a room that "matched." I wanted all my pictures and knick-knacks to go with my comforter, curtains and furniture. I would even put my favorite porcelain dolls away if they didn't coordinate well enough. You don't match the bedding? You're sleeping in the closet, Rapunzel!

Yeah, it was really like that.

When I was 15, my mom repainted the whole house and bought all the kids new bedding. My younger sister and I shared a room and muted patriotic quilts became our fate. I immediately felt tons of pressure to color-coordinate all the furniture and decorative items in my room to match this theme (which I hated, by the way. I envied my other sisters' blue and canary floral print). With decorative fury that can only be described as American, I refinished all of my frames and dug through my mom's 4th of July decorations for any wreaths and knick-knacks I could scrounge up. If we made a decorative craft in church youth group, mine was red, white, and/or blue. All other colors: banished. Hot pink? Be gone! Canary yellow? Off with your head! Nothing could come between me and my Americana theme. NOTHING.

That was back in the late 90's - early 2000's, back when you had to pick a color scheme and stick with it if you wanted to be "in style." And not only a color scheme, but a fabric/texture and time period scheme, too. You could never mix denim with ruffles, or stripes with florals, or vintage with modern. NEVER. It was seen as bizarre and crazy and ... even trashy.

Around the same time my room looked like Uncle Sam exploded inside it, my great-aunt Mar-Jo built a cabin up north. This "cabin" was actually a darling cottage nestled in the woods of Heber-Overgaard, complete with designer cabinets, flooring, fixtures and a delightful front porch. Before I go on, you should know my great-aunt Mar-Jo is just about the coolest lady around. She always looks put-together, but she has the quirkiest sense of style: chunky jewelry, bright colors, odd textures. It really matches her personality (the personality that often so generously gives my mom a check for no apparent reason and requests that she split it with her kids).

Anyway, of course Mar-Jo's cabin was decorated with such whimsy and cuteness you felt like you could curl up in a ball and be lifted up to Shabby-Chic Heaven in there. But the one thing I noticed about the decor was how random it was, and how, despite this fact, it worked. Really well. She decorated her home with pieces that had meaning to her, things she liked. She paid no attention to color schemes or what "matched," she just went with whatever she wanted and threw it all together to make a masterpiece of unstyled brilliance.

I realized one summer at Mar-Jo's cabin that I wanted to adopt her style. I fancied her unstyled flair and I was ready to jump right on the bandwagon. Except at the time, it wasn't all that cool to be mismatched. People were still coordinating their colors and prints very meticulously. If you paired striped pillows with a floral print couch, you looked crazy, not chic. (That is, unless the stripes were burgundy and hunter green and the flowers were, too).

Well, I am happy to see that this mindset has changed. Unstyling is all the rage and I love it. I'm relieved that I can throw a ruffled tank over a striped top or put purple shoes with a yellow blouse. I love that I can toss pillows of several bold prints and colors on my couch and it looks good. And color scheme? What's THAT?

ban.do sequined heart clip I won from Mandy!

I am totally eating this trend UP, you guys!

What current decorating trends inspire YOU?


  1. Love the heart headband.

    I remember those 90s styles well. I hated the midcentury house I grew up in (at the time). I wanted to live in a bland, every house the same neighborhood like my friends. Now, I LOVE the home I grew up in and would happily settle in one just like it. Does it help that midcentury is in? Yes :)

  2. The heart looks ushmaziing on you! I love that you added it to a headband!! Love your 'unstyling' term!!

  3. Mmmmm...i know what it is you speak of. Its eclectic! I am all over this...and if i knew how to make it work...my house would be different.(sigh)


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