Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I'm a self confessed style flip-flopper

I’m a serial flip-flopper when it comes to decorating. Now, for all you folks out there that are wondering what a flip-flopper is... it’s my inability to commit to any one style…

I thought that I’d pretty much settled on a 'look' for our home. This was after I’d dallied with a Spanish-come-Italian-come-Provence style. I finally stuck the proverbial flag in the ground and declared ‘English Country Cottage’ as the 'look' that I was attempting to achieve.

That is, until I was seduced by blogs…   Blog upon blog of home décor eye candy… each one more tempting than the other.  At the end of a morning of reading, I was drunk on a shabby chic, French, vintage, beach cottage…

... every blog bombarding me with sumptuous image after sumptuous image of glorious, vintagey white homes…  all effortlessly put together and dripping with a style that I could only dream of.
I looked at my mish-mash of home decoration and the only word I could garnish from any of the blogs that I’d read to describe it was ‘shabby’… unfortunately, not with the word chic alongside it. And so, in my usual flip-flop manner, I started envisaging turning this little place into a vintage, chic, beach cottage... and this is where I fell foul…

Yes, I do live by the beach, but, it’s New Jersey, and it’s cold, and on those long cold winter nights, I cannot commit to an all white interior… I know, I know... a cozy look can be obtained with white … I ogle Sarah’s place  every day… but, I do not have a natural talent for style like she does, and so, I think our place would look about as inviting as the local doctor's surgery, and nothing like the beach cottage home I was attempting to create. So, I’ll be sticking with cream… boring cream… Bleached Wheat… Swiss Almond… Churchill Ecru or whatever sassy name they call cream these days…

Secondly, I also recognize the fact that I have two toddlers running around this place, and, as much as I would love to source vintage china, I can’t even have my morning constitutional without one of the kids wailing at the other side of the door, as though I’d left them forever… and so, the likelihood of me perusing vintage shops and yard sales in search of that perfect tea cup, are slim to none. It would be torture to convince myself anything other than this… So, I'll have to stick with shopping over my "friend," the Internet... and, to think, I thought this whole Internet shopping malarkey wouldn't catch on... tsk, tsk...

Thirdly, I have to accept that this place is the size of a shoe box… a very small shoe box... and so,  I don’t have the room to have vintage scales on sideboards, stacks of vintage suitcases, or vintage knick-knacks popped on vintage chests at every given turn… I can just about squeeze the essentials into this place (and even some of those are missing…)

Anyhoo, I cannot afford to ditch what I’ve packed into this place already… and so, I’m going to stick with a style… you know, the English cottage style that I once loved… and, whilst I’ll keep reading all these beautiful blogs and continue to be in awe of their jaw-droppingly gorgeous home, I’ll take a deep breath and remind myself that, because of the reasons above, I shouldn’t try to pull this look off... admire from afar, and commit to one style...  I guess it’s a bit like window shopping…


  1. I feel the same way you do!! It is so easy to be charmed by all the styles out there and dream of having one particularly appealing style all our own, but there are so many things in the way. For me it is space and secondly, I can't part with some of my treasures that have nothing to do with each other!! ;-D

    From your pictures it looks like you have a very sweet style of your own!


  2. Oh Laura, I love this post. I can so relate to it. I can be quite the flip flopper myself. I have a bit of a mish mash going on and I have come to embrace it. It just is what it is. As long as it pleases me I don't think it really needs a title. And if I tried it might be quite long!

  3. I can so relate to your post. I also struggled with a "style" for a while. I bought a cape cod style house (in Australia, and not on the sea front)and tried to find a match between the furniture and nick nacks brought from the UK and what I thought should be cape cod/Australian like!? Judging from the photos above, you have a lovely comfortable home that looks so inviting and doesn't need anything else. We flip floppers should 'invent' another style....we could even call it flip flop?? x

  4. I agree - I love the 'white' look everyone has - so romantic and cozy! I have the opposite - bright, bold & ecletic. I think I just need 2 houses - one shabby chic and one Anthropologie :)

    You can never go wrong, though, with your wellies & Union Jack :)

    XO L

  5. good morning lovely gal...
    i too adore sarah's beach cottage...because i had/have one....when we are in australia on the northern beaches...our house is all white...calico...pale blue highlights and bleached linens...for the one simple reason- that the sun is soo bright and sydney is soo clear and coast orientated {like no where i have ever been-like no where else in australia included} that it needs to all be white and simple inside ...or nature and house just clash....our entire house back home folds open to the garden so we just couldn't have colour or it would be to much...

    now here- in the english countryside i have florals and faded vintage to the eyeballs- purely as it wouldn't work like this at home...although when we return i am going to try and mix the two...i think this is a pretty american cowgirl look {according to other blogs ;) ?!?}

    so's not just you flip flopping {love this by the way!}...i truely think from experience that the environment plays a huge part...therefor a travelling gal like yourself is combining your engllish heritage with your time in australia and your love for america...god that is a blog style in its own...

    personally from the photos above i ADORE all your bits and love Churchill Ecru....
    melissa x

  6. You are so lucky
    to have the internet
    as a resource with
    toddlers running around!
    When my sweet girl was
    a toddler I mainly used
    the internet for e-mail
    and! Then
    as it caught on, I had
    more resources when my
    little boy came along.
    So much has advanced over
    the last ten years!!!
    That said, I am completely
    on board with the flip-
    flopper crowd : ) and YES,
    I think a lot of it has
    to do with blogging! In
    the end, I'm finding, it
    just has to feel like US,
    no matter the style or the
    color. I'm sure that your
    lovely abode reflects that,
    as well!
    xx Suzanne

  7. Hi Laura,
    Your style looks lovely! So maybe it doesn't have a name, (you could call it the flip flop style)it doesn't matter right? Like your Holland houses!
    Maureen x

  8. I love your style. I call it realistic. When I had toddlers, many moons ago, the coffee table, ugly thing that it was back then, went against the wall. Otherwise one of them managed to always fall and hit their noggin on the stupid thing. I love the white rooms, but can't see myself in them. I would feel like I'd been bleached and washed up to shore, and someone would be asking me how I felt. "My, they would say, are you ill? You have no color, my dear."

  9. Hello - I completely know what you mean...aren't we all abit like that? I veer between styles all the time but then I have some staples I always go back to which are linen, duck egg blue, clean and clear. I long for one of those white-washed homes...but it's just never going to happen! We have an old farmhouse and so the style is pretty much dictated by the house. I love minimal Danish design but frankly it's just never going to work in my house. Ah well - back to living vicariously through blogs... Lou xxx

  10. How confusing is decorating your house - some people have a clear idea of the look but when there are so many different looks to go for what do you choose? I think you should take a bit from all the places you have lived in and then it will have your flip flop stamp on it and I am sure it will be gorgeous!
    hugs Jillx

  11. Great post!I was nodding the whole way through it... there is so many wonderful styles that all having me ohhing and awwing. I'm eclectic and a mixed up mess but it makes me smile. And your style is beautiful!

  12. oh, i think it all looks so beautiful...relaxing and calm. this post made me smile!


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