"I love classic beauty. It's an idea of beauty with no standard."
I've felt like I've made some good choices when designing our cottage's renovations over the past 13 years, but was frustrated that I seemed to be making choices that didn't have as much lasting power as I'd initially hoped they would. I was wanting to change things after only a few years that were supposed to never be changed as long as we lived here (50+ years). Through the series mentioned above (particularly the Personal Style Boot Camp) I discovered that I had to define some "don't buy words"--style definitions of things that I'm lured to but are, in fact, my design "kryptonite".
Here's an example of what I mean... my head is easily turned by mid-century malt shoppe/soda fountain/diner decor, colors and accessories. I will ignore all else if I see something in that style. But (and this is a big BUT) 50's diner/malt shoppe kitsch in my own home doesn't really sit well with me for very long. It's too busy... too much like a movie set... too kitsch-y for my long-term aesthetic. As stated in the blog series that enlightened me, "...it ultimately will not have 'staying power' in my home".
Once I read that, I felt free for the first time in a long time! And I could finally declare that what did have staying power in my home was classic beauty—the kind of design that could be hundreds of years old or brand-spanking-new and you'd have a hard time discerning which it was. The classic design that emerged in the early part of the 20th century is a great example because you can see it in very modern homes today and it doesn't look dated.
My other realization was that just because something was "vintage" or "antique" didn't mean it belonged in my design aesthetic. And just because something was "new" or "modern" didn't mean it was verboten. I could mix the two and be quite happy... so happy that I never feel the need to change out that design element ever again.
Man, I wish I'd had Pinterest 13 years ago. I really REALLY wish I had. Fortunately, I'm resourceful enough and thrifty enough that I'll figure out ways to switch to my real design aesthetic without spending a lot of money.
And I just have to keep telling myself, "Lesson learned... move forward" instead of looking back and bemoaning my previous choices. I think that will be a bigger challenge than the actual work. In fact, I know it will.