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Personality in the Home

Personality in the Home

I have long been a fan of the shabby chic look and, for many years, practised it without really realising that was what I was doing.

I believe any style – in clothes, home decor, gardens – that comes naturally to a person, generally reflects its author’s personality and genetic background. No, I don’t have statistics to prove that but, from many years observation of those around me and how they live their lives and decorate their homes and wardrobes, I’m confident and happy to cling to my belief.

Simple yet....

Simple yet….

For instance, take the minimalist look. This is most popular with people who can’t stand fuss or clutter. Even their ornaments have long clean lines and take up minimal space; paintings generally reflect the same cleanness and windows are often bare of covering or have slender slatted blinds barely noticeable unless they are pulled down – curtains are a definite no, no. Walkways are generally free of ornamentation or furniture – a painting on the wall perhaps or, if it is a wide hall, a narrow table graced by a single piece of artwork. In the bedroom a headboard is a total, NO WAY!

Contrast this look with the romantic elegance of shabby chic and you have two entirely different personalities shining through.

My best friend has a lovely home. It is very gracious and traditional in style and suits her warm no-fuss personality. I, on the other hand, am a hopeless romantic and my home is a show-place of whites and florals, soft rugs, roses, framed cross stitches, revamped furniture, lots of books and beautiful home and craft magazines, and a collection over many years of gorgeous Capodimonte figurines.

Dress-wise, I have an hourglass figure and prefer tailored lines as I look like a box in anything loose or baggy, and my friend has a leaner more athletic build and looks great in the looser shorter styles that are so popular today.

A touch here and their

A touch here and there…

As friends we couldn’t be more unalike and yet, putting our taste in decor and clothing aside, we agree in a lot of areas and our friendship has stood the test of time and living in different countries. Our personal bucket lists both include a cruise down the rivers of Europe with a long stop off in Paris to drink wine in pavement cafes and explore the side streets and markets. For me a return to the Place des Vosges in the Marais, considered by some as the most beautiful square in the world, is an absolute must. My heart skips a beat just thinking about it.

We women are strange and wonderful creatures – `I am fearfully and wonderfully made,’ Psalm 139:14 NIV – I have always loved that verse, it is so uplifting and reinforces my belief in myself. I read it for the first time in a little diet book I found many years ago and have repeated it often as my own personal mantra ever since.

So, what has this to do with personalities and homes?

Everything and nothing I suppose, but anything that raises our self-esteem and reinforces our belief in ourselves and our lifestyle can only be a good thing. So while we can admire another’s home presentation that is entirely different to our own, we can feel quite happy and relaxed about what we have at home, even if it is just a little cottage compared to someone else’s mansion.

Belief in ourselves reflects itself into every corner of our lives, including the way we present our homes; the way we dress; and how we care for our gardens.

Bedroom setting

Bedroom setting

Each time we say to ourselves, “I believe I can do this,” we gain a little more credibility in our own minds and, subsequently, in the minds of others. It’s the simple law of attraction at work – what we give out, we get back. How amazing is that.

It seems that everyone has read, or at least heard of the book `The Secret’ by Rhonda Byrne, and its sequels, `The Power’ and `The Magic’ and I have no doubt that these books have helped many to improve their lives.

For myself, I have always believed in the power of one, and that every action has an equal and opposite reaction – the third of Sir Isaac Newton’s laws of physics, and reading each of Rhonda Byrne’s books (which I highly recommend) was a reinforcement of what I already knew. The girl is a genius, she took a simple truth (that most of us know but forget about from time to time) and distributed and reinforced it to the world, three times over.

We all know the text from the Book of Matthew. “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.” That is the New Living Translation, which I quite like. The older NIV translation that most of us know says it like this, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”

Relaxed style

Relaxed style

If that was written over 2000 years ago and we still refer to it, it surely has to have credence, particularly when so often we do ask and we do receive, we do look for things and find them, we do knock and doors do open. Ask this question – if we don’t ask, look, or knock, is anything likely to happen?

These three actions are part of our everyday existence, we do them all the time and the reaction is always equal and opposite. Yay! I’ve just solved the problems of the world. Well, it works for me and millions of others, why not you? Just make sure that what you send out is not going to bring you back what you don’t want.

Now to tie this all together.

Every time I leave the house I am on the lookout (often subconsciously) for something to add to my home, some way to enhance the things and layouts that I already have. I don’t race off to Harvey Norman’s looking for their latest wonderful trend in furniture (and they do present lovely things), I am more likely to find myself in an old second hand shop or at a market or car boot sale, rummaging around in bags and baskets or heavily laden tables.

It's got comfortable

So cosy and elegant

Sometimes I find nothing, other times there will be a treasure that I can’t wait to bring home and restore or just clean up and find a special place for if I don’t already have one in mind. That is my personality and when I walk in the door to my home, I inevitably smile because what I am looking at is warming to my heart. It’s an extension of my personality and what my genes have taught me to love.

Personality in the home?

We all have degrees of difference, even when our taste is basically the same, but to understand someone’s personality, look at their home.

Happy home-making.


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