Can I tell you how happy I am to meet you?
I wear yoga pants and messy buns and purple nail polish and currently own almost every shade of red lipstick on the planet. I watch Hallmark movie marathons and I have hands that wave when I talk and oddly long toes and I spend my days trying to find homes for abandoned furniture. I’ve been decorating since my first Barbie house, and I love a DIY, and for seven years, I’ve written a blog called Thistlewood Farms.
I still remember the first day I started the blog.
I had big plans. It was going to be detailed and full of decorator terminology and important, meaningful words of wisdom and lengthy discussions about what to do and what not to do when decorating your home. At the time, I had no idea how to take pictures. I used disposable cameras that were yellow. You know. The ones you took to Walgreens and then threw away after you used them.
I hired a photographer and he came to the house and took the most incredible pictures of my Christmas decorations. I still remember when he sent the photographs to me. I sat at the computer staring in wonder. I was in awe. I was so full of joy. At the risk of stating the obvious—my Christmas decorating was on fleek. I couldn’t wait to show the world.
Oh—the blog I was going to write.
I sat down at the computer with words swirling around in my head about neutrals and Christmas trees and why gray was so 2011. I added the first picture to the post and smiled. It was amazing. Didn’t my chairs match my ottoman and pick up the tiny flecks of silver in my stockings hung by the fireplace perfectly? And the tree? Had the world ever seen such a tree? It was nine feet tall and covered with glittery ornaments and snowflakes and twinkling stars and pinecones and…and…and…
…WHAT WAS THAT?
There, at the bottom of the photograph were the giant metal feet of the tree. It was awful. It was terrible. And to make matters worse, the wide-angle lens only amplified them in all their metalness and made them appear as if they were taking over the room. How had that happened? How had I forgotten the first rule of Christmas decorating? What was I thinking?
My room was decorated without a tree skirt.
The fancy decorating blog never happened. The pearls of wisdom never really showed up. On that long ago first day of the blog, I never wrote the post I intended to.
I wrote about celebrating imperfection and living with what you have and learning from mistakes and skirtless trees and the people who love them. Every day. Every week. Every month, I shared things that inspire me and how to decorate with what you have and letting your house reflect you. And along the way, something incredible happened, I discovered a world of people who were just like me.
People who loved their homes.
People who wanted to decorate without all the fancy words and fancy explanations and rules and guidelines.
People who wanted to decorate with their heart.
This book is an extension of that message. It’s all about finding a design style and building a room by room design framework and learning what works in your home. The book is filled with inspiration and creative ideas and layering in pattern and color and texture to fit different styles.
Before you open the book. Before you glance through a single page. Before you take the quiz or discover your long lost heart for all things coastal or farmhouse or contemporary, I wanted to point out the obvious and say something you’re probably already thinking at this point because we both know how brilliant you are—there are enough decorating styles in the world to fill an entire set of encyclopedias from A to Z. I couldn’t cover them all within the pages of this book, so I did the next best thing. To make it easier, I chose five major categories of design styles to work with. Within these pages, we’ll look at Farmhouse, Traditional, Coastal, Transitional, and Colorful Contemporary.
But here’s the thing.
You have your own style. You have your own voice. You have your own heart for the things that make your home beautiful.
And I want to celebrate that.
I want to honor it.
I want to shout out how amazing you are to the world.
I want to give you permission…
…to be YOU.
You probably identify with one particular style more than others; however, there may be elements of different design styles outlined in the book that speak to your heart. If your style is traditional, but you love driftwood? Use it. If your style is farmhouse, but a colorful, eclectic accessory calls your name? Answer. If your style is coastal, but you decide you can’t live without a set of wingback chairs? Bring them home and introduce them to your conch shells.
Let your style inspire you, instead of define you.
In all this world—there is only one you.
This book was written to spark joy. It’s the start of an exciting design journey. Inspiration and style ideas and creative design solutions are just pages away. Embrace your style and your heart and get ready to create a home that’s amazing.
Exactly like you.
KariAnne Wood is the author of The DIY Style Finder and The DIY Home Planner, as well as the creator of the award-winning lifestyle blog Thistlewood Farms, a tiny corner of the internet where all her stories and DIY’s hang out and drink sweet tea. She also writes, photographs, and styles for several national magazines including Better Homes and Gardens Christmas Ideas, Country Women, and Flea Market Décor.