I'm in love with two seemingly unrelated styles. Which one to commit to? Which one is the better looking? Which one would make a worthy partner? Which one to wake up to each morning?
Lover's dilemma. I am truly torn between two aesthetics: French Country Farmhouse....and Swedish/Gustavian.
I used to like the whole rustic/lake house vibe. Then I had a brief fling with Arts and Crafts style...but both rustic and Craftsman = too much wood. Way too much wood. The older I get, the more I don't want lots of brown wood. I need ethereal, romantic, lovely light. I need light neutral wall surfaces and a few furniture pieces painted white.
Then I sort of enjoyed a cottage style - but that style can gravitate to cutesy, and I am a big believer in the axiom "cutesy kills". (Okay, so maybe no one else has said that besides me, but I swear it is true.) And the whole cottage vibe tends to be more cluttered than I'd like.
For a long time now - much longer than I've let on, I've been loving the two styles French Country, and Swedish.
So. Much like I would if I were the type to be in love with two men (which I'm definitely not...I am The Preacher's Wife heart and soul - there is no man on earth I respect and love more), if I were, I would examine the basic philosophy of each one, and try to determine which one resonates with me the most deeply.
Carl Larsson, of the Swedish style, declared himself an enemy of ”gaudy rubbish and tinseled knickknacks.” That sort of makes me hate my Easter/Resurrection tree, but hey...I'm deep in grandbaby mode. I am living this season of little ones to the hilt while it lasts...so get this: He also said, and I quote, "A home is not some lifeless object, but is alive and like all living things it must change from moment to moment.” Easter Tree stays. It will go away in May and come back out next March. My home is alive. I love it.
That is a design philosophy I want making my breakfast every morning. The Swedish design is so, so, so good looking. Lord knows, I gotta have good looking. Thank God for good looking.
(Image of the Swedish Style from Country Living) Mmmmm-mmmmmm-MMMMM. That clock, that nubbly worn table covering. I know. Nubbly is not a word in most people's vocabulary. It is my blog, so deal with it.
Since Swedish style leans more towards light colors, here is an even better example:
Oh. So good looking. The beat up doors and floors...the clock...the light walls...the leggy furniture...that chandelier. (Secret: I have one. Prettier than the one in this picture. It is waiting for Tim to wire it and place it in my dining room ceiling. God is good to His children. Amen.) I do love me some beat up floors and a fancy chandelier together.
Here is a French Country kitchen:
No granite - instead, the counters are wood. (Granite is so last decade, anyhow. At least one of the biggest design blogs out there says so. Instead, think quartz or marble or wood or limestone. I say wood.) Copper pots. Light colors, painted cabinets.
More French country:
The elements of French Country are time-worn, beautiful and functional. Think of light spaces. Of bringing the garden into the house. Of old furniture. Chipped paint. Texture. Layers of natural fabrics. The French value the handmade and the heirloom, so things rarely match, and, in fact, the look of a well-worn piece of furniture is the favored aesthetic.
I'm still torn. There are some similarities - the graceful curves, the leggy furniture pieces, the well-worn surfaces. But there are big differences. I'm not wild about all the stenciling found in rustic Swedish/Gustavian style, nor am I crazy about the gilded, too colorful nature of some French country.
I am going to try to combine the best qualities of both design suitors, and live with both.
Both, I say. I shan't choose. You can't make me. So there is no name for this new style I am forging. So what. No one has ever been able to label me or my style under any particular category. I'm your generic Sanguine/Choleric/Melancholy, with the Presbymatic theology, the self disciplined hedonist with the Gustavian-French thing going on in her house. Sort of "east meets west", Mother Teresa gives birth to Raquel Welch.
Works for me. Who wants to hire me to design their interior?