Developing a Design "Mission Statement"

Since we moved, I've been feeling a bit design-discombobulated. I can not decide what way to go with our new home's decor. I feel like before I can really dig into any one particular space and I WILL have to go one room at a time (due to the ever-present budget/time constraints), I must come up with an overall vision. I need to come up with some sort of common theme/criteria/filter to pass all other design elements through. Kind of like a design "mission statement". John & Sherry did this with their Crate & Barrel napkin over on Young House Love when they moved in their new home. And Ange did it with her overall color palette on The Blooming Hydrangea. I guess I found both of those posts to be so helpful. I yearn to bring a cohesiveness to our new home and feel I can't just do that haphazardly. I must be intentional.

As you can see from the photo above, we're living in an 1800s farmhouse with a 1970s brick addition, shown on the right. Dave & I hope that someday we can do some things to the exterior to make the two sections of the home a bit more cohesive and maybe add some things like a front porch to add some curb appeal.

But, going back inside, I really feel I can't continue with the modern/ contemporary look that I loved in our last home. And Dave would really love if I'd somehow wave a magic wand and turn the place into a log cabin complete with deer heads and plaid wallpaper. But alas, that doesn't go either. Nor would I ever be ok with plaid wallpaper. Haha. Deer heads are currently in the family room but hopefully not forever.

So, somehow I've got to strike a balance between farmhouse, causal contemporary living and rustic log home decor. And make it actually look nice. Hmmmm....so... (as you can tell if you've followed me on Pinterest), I've been busy looking for design inspiration anywhere and everywhere. 

And lately what has caught my eye has been this whole vintage, industrial chic look. In fact, I just started a pin board dedicated to these items. 

I feel this would work in our home especially since several of the main rooms (the main bath and kitchen, living and dining rooms), I believe were remodeled in the 1950s. The feel of these images just seem like they'd "go" with our home. 

Also, as I look back through all my pin boards (Living Room, Kitchen, etc.) from months and months ago, I realize that I've been pinning images like this all along, since last summer when I first found out about Pinterest, well before I came up with this idea, when I was still decorating my contemporary, casual ranch home with fairly modern decor! The industrial chic look is a theme that ties a lot of my inspirational photos together. Apparently I'm just drawn to it. (And I just love how Pinterest helps us realize those things, don't you???)

There's something just so quaint about this look that takes me back to my childhood, standing in the doorway of the chicken house in my grandparents' backyard, wide-eyed as I surveyed the years and years of cast-off items piled inside the building: ancient bathtubs they used before they had running water, old toilets and sinks, furniture, household items, etc, things that completely fascinated me, but they had long since given up on in the name of progress, and left out there for the barn cats to climb on. It also takes me back to the simpler time, when I attended kindergarten and first grade in old school buildings before our school district built a giant new building. Part of me always wanted to stay in those hallowed old hallways filled with history and character and not be part of the privileged pack of students to attend the sparkling new modern school that we had not done a thing to deserve. I just love embracing history and living with and using things that my ancestors used. I love being transported to a time where people knew "how to do" and how to "make do".

Can't you just see a blackboard like this in our homeschool room someday?

And these milk crates in our mudroom cubbies?

 Or some fun open shelves in the kitchen with industrial bins?

And seriously, doesn't anyone want to get me these stools for my birthday?

And I could totally see my honey DIY-ing a clothes drying rack out of iron pipe.

And here, for the honey, we can even work in a deer head.

Or some faux logs.

And wouldn't a vaulted ceiling with exposed beams and vintage lighting be fun in the kitchen?

And oh my goodness, I am LOVING the vintage looking green chalkboard walls here.

Etsy is just full of fun vintage pieces.

Anyone have some old luggage lying around? My living room is calling your name.

Hold up, I think I have some of these items!

Maybe Dave could DIY some curtain rods out of pipe since store-bought ones are so expensive.

Love the tripod light and the coffee table below.

Chalkboard, clock and yellow cabinets! Yum.

Hmmmm...stainless steel adjustable shelving!

More fun lighting and stools!

And shelves for small appliances with scrabble letter labels!

And I've LONG since loved the colorful decor in this kitchen (that I first saw on a Young House Love house crash) with vaulted ceilings, stainless IKEA island and concrete countertops.

So...I think this could be where I am headed to try to combine all those looks (farmhouse, 1950s kitchen, rustic, casual) into one main overarching theme. Furthermore, I feel like it also brings in some of the colorful, fun aspects that I love about Ashley's home over on The Handmade Home.

Not to mention, I may be able to find some design elements like milk crates and baskets, etc. for free or next to nothing since they were probably cast off in both of our family members' barns decades ago. And who doesn't like to practice a little green decorating by repurposing items that already exist?

So, what do you think? Have I lost my touch? Or am I on to something?


Jenny Kropf said...

I missed you! So glad you're back! Have you been out looking yet? Pretty sure I've seen a metal stool somewhere...maybe the shop? Or maybe art class? I know the school used to have the round stools. Dave (in his spare time) could make wooden ones out of reclaimed wood like the one in the milking parlor and what used to be (maybe still) under your bar. Once you start looking you may be amazed at what all the two farms hold...hopefully it will be seen as a blessing that it can still be used...you may have to volunteer to organize some of those spaces though!

Anonymous said...

Please before you buy anything, come over and look through our chicken house! We have a lot of stainless steal items from old cafe equipment. Margy

freshnewday said...

I think it is so wise to try to find an overall theme. I like the vintage + industrial + farmhouse look too. Your posts are always awesome. :)

Healthy Branscoms said...

Love your blog! I got some really neat inspiring ideas! Thanks! I am your newest blog reader! :) Erin

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