Can you remember when English country style was all the rage? I pored over magazine photos of chintz-filled houses, with their centuries-old furniture and baker’s-dozen dogs float across wealthy silk cushions. But what enticed me was that the tattered upholstery, the scraped and dented floors, the chests with peeling paint, and thecomfort,welcome and character which these rooms exuded.
Wear and tear may make Americans uncomfortable. “Eeek! It’s a scratch! Aarrgghh, it’s a dent!” The gentle harm of day-to-day life can make us want to place velvet ropes around certain rooms in our houses. The ropes might be removed for particular occasions, but it still feels like you’re living in a tradition and it destroys the welcome we want our loved ones members and guests to encounter.
Maybe we can learn from our English forbears. Let us embrace the character and warmth — such as the scrapes and dents — which inevitably result if we really live in our rooms.
As soon as we select furniture that is already bothered, it takes the agony of that first mar or scratch. When grandsons run their alloy trucks across your brand-new coffee table (trust me, it happens), or some large dude plops down and puts up his feet, it’s no problem. Actually, the fact that somebody feels comfy enough toput their feet up means my interior decorating has accomplished its purpose.
John Maniscalco Architecture
Let us make one thing clear: Embracing a we-actually-live-here style does not mean that you have to love the Shabby Chic look! Quite the contrary. This sleek, contemporary room is created welcoming by the distressed coffee table whilst still staying sleek and contemporary. But pay for the coffee table with your thumb and you have a considerably different space.
Van Wicklen Layout
Remove the distressed black cupboard from this toilet, and also the character of the space varies radically. The scars with this practical piece give the loo a lived-in, comfy texture.
Isolina Mallon Interiors
Among the most basic elements of your home — the flooring — may create an immediate and unmistakable statement. Can you envision that a “Please take your shoes off” sign at this door? Rather, this flooring says, “Please do not be concerned about your high heels or muddy shoes. I only would like you to come in and get comfy.” Plus, do not you love the colorful contemporary furniture with this flooring? Very well done.
Cynthia Lynn Photography
I totally understand if a worn painted flooring isn’t your cup of tea. But do not discount the idea outright. A stained flooring can just as easily have built-in era, warmth and welcome. Consider utilizing a wide plank, such as these pictured here. They are inherently more homey than compact pine strips and are easily available, even in laminate. Check out Armstrong or Pergo for some great, affordable choices.
Frederick + Frederick Architects
OK, I know this is the third picture of floors I have shown you. But floors are such an important part of the subject that I can’t help myself. If your flooring shows serious wear and tear, then rejoice! But if you’re an inveterate and decided do-it-yourselfer, you can spiff up your floor with paint whilst retaining its “you can’t hurt me so do not stress” look. Can not opt for opaque and shiny — you desire a slightly worn appearance.
When the paint is completely dry, complete with a couple of coats of polyurethane and you’ll have a durable but very family-friendly floor. Diamonds really are a girl’s best friend!
Embracing scrapes and dents opens up all kinds of budget-friendly shopping places. Flea markets, antique stores, thrift stores and barn revenue are some of my favourite places to shop because what I find there will be well-used. While I repurpose it for my own home (like using those classic doorways as a headboard), not only will I decorate on a dime, but I shall instantly make clear that no one needs to walk on eggshells in my property.
Girl Meets Lake
The older I get, the klutzier I become. But when I am hanging an image above a chest like this one and I drop the hammer, then the claws and then the picture itself, I do not have to swear at myself! There is nothing I can do for this that will not boost its look — a couple more lumps and dents will not hurt a little. (If only my body were the same way.)
Beccy Smart Photography
Don’t be leery of carrying your lived-in fashion outside. These flea market chairs are painted a bright colour that’s clearly unafraid of rain or snow. And they are easily folded away. The dining table is a warm, rustic wood which happily invites you to sit and stay awhile. Pieces like these positively radiate personality and fashion. It is possible to discover old folding chairs at just about any thrift shop, then paint them your preferred color. Or Google “classic metal folding chairs” and while away the hours searching.
Ever so subtly, timeworn furniture tips at history. I wonder if this primitive table came from Grandpa’s barn or served in Great-Aunt Martha’s kitchen during the Depression. In fact, it may have dropped off the back of a truck last week, or been a wonderful garage sale find. Regardless of its source, the dents and scrapes make me interested.
Karen White Interior Design
Do not hesitate to create your own well-worn pieces. The chest in our bedroom is very similar to the one in this picture. I found ours at a lawn sale, moldering in the California sun. The blot was old and faded, but the torso’s bones were good. I took off the first hardware and cleaned it a little — but not too far! Following some selective sanding, then I painted the chest a soft spa-blue color, with latex paint. When it completely dried, I sanded off the paint in places where wear would naturally occur, such as the borders of drawers and the corners and sides of the cupboard. I finished by rubbing Briwax, which is a wonderful adhesive wax. It protects and provides great patina whilst marginally muddying and aging that the colour.
Kate Jackson Design
Why do I think embracing wear and tear is so important? It’s because great interior layout is not hands-off, and is not intended to impress or intimidate. Fantastic layout causes anyone who enters your home — including your own kids — to feel welcome, precious, nurtured. When our houses and furnishings say, “Look, life happens, and we are just fine with that,” folks are instantly put at ease. The old back in this area is merely one one-piece bit, but it says, “Make yourself comfortable. You are more important than our stuff.”