Finding Taste

Now that I have a real house, it feels like any “new” furniture we get should be, well, real furniture. Or, at least, furniture we plan on having for a while. Not “this will do for now” furniture. There are exceptions, and arguably most things from Ikea may be considered “this will do for now.” However, their website is relatively easy to navigate and they have good pictures.

But here’s the thing: I have had a really hard time nailing down exactly what my personal “style” is. There are quite a few design blogs I read, and from those I have learned what I don’t like. Well, those and Craigslist.

  • I love shabby chic, but I don’t want any of it in my home. Please stop distressing the edges of every single piece of furniture (furniture remodeling blogs, I’m talking to you).
  • French, modern, Victorian, country – I might like a few of the pieces (very, very few), but again, I don’t want them in my house. I do, however, like Mission style. They seem to have clean lines and square corners and not too much flourish. I want pieces to have personality, but not overbearing ones.
  • Sometimes, style opinions that I’ve had for a long time change, and sometimes they stay the same. I used to love cherry furniture. Still do, actually, but I find it incredibly formal, fussy, and fancy (the 3 Fs), which does not belong in my house which I want to be calm, comfortable, and classic. (Wow, I really worked the alliteration there, didn’t I?) I used to think that it was a good idea if all my furniture was painted white, because then it would be easy to quickly change the decor of a room just by painting the walls, and the furniture could all stay. I still hold to this opinion, though perhaps for different reasons. White looks clean, and it does coordinate with almost everything. I love cream and brown, but it is just too difficult to decorate with, and looks a little more dated than I wish.
  • Let’s talk about Honey Oak. I really don’t like this color, especially when there are heart cutouts or something else equally “cute.”
  • Painting furniture bright colors is really cool, and I am totally not brave enough to do this. I’ll stick with white or wood, thank you very much.

All that said, what I’ve really found is a lot of dislikes, without much guidance for actual likes. Bummer. This isn’t really a problem, since we have no immediate needs for furniture. I would like to have a general vision for the house, though, so that I have a goal to work towards.

To that end, I have quite a few pictures that I’ve printed out and put in a notebook. Since I did it that way, I can’t actually share them with you, because I have no idea where any of them come from. So instead, I’ll share with you my thoughts on some current Ikea furniture. Seem random? Perhaps, but I started this post two months ago, and after being in draft status that long, I can’t really remember what I meant to say. That happens sometimes.

Being in the process of refinishing some of the bedroom furniture (and I use that phrase “in process” very loosely), I’m drawn to dressers. I dream of the day when we have a headboard, and a cedar-lined chest at the end of the bed. Also, some day in the future (a long way in the future unless I find something fabulous for $25 on Craigslist), I would like a corner hutch for the dining room. Yes, we do have one whole corner in that room, and I have a plan for it (not everyone in the house agrees with me on this, but seeing as how this is a plan that won’t come to fruition for quite some time, that’s not really a problem).

(Clicking on the pictures will take you to the appropriate section of the Ikea site [links removed].)

Ikea Hemnes – I do like these. Of course, white doesn’t work for our bed, and neither does the footboard, but the basic idea is nice. The dressers are clean with just a hint of personality, and I think I could easily vacuum under those (once you have two cats and hardwood floors, you understand how important this is).
Ikea Hemnes – I really, really wish this came in a color other than red. Alas, it does not. Wouldn’t this look lovely holding all of the quilts I haven’t made yet?
Ikea Edland – OK, not a fan of the black, but look at their pretty curved legs. Stylish without being ostentatious or frou-frou, I think. Again, nice clean lines, and vacuum-under possibilities.

So, to end this random, pieced-together post, I will not complain about the difficulties of figuring out one’s own style while having to negotiate a significant other’s [quite different] style, or muse about couches and how I don’t even want to think about the day when we have to pick one of those out together. Instead, I’ll say this: it’s a good thing there’s so much variety out there, even if it does make decisions* like these difficult. How boring would it be if we all had to decorate with Malm?

*By “difficult decisions” what I really mean is “first world” problems, or “rich people” problems. I mean, it’s not like we’re struggling to find food to eat or pay our mortgage. These are really quite petty things in the big picture. But, what else is one to talk about on one’s blog, if not petty things? 🙂

2 Replies to “Finding Taste”

  1. Hi, just a quick suggestion. I’mnot sure if it’s popular in Minnesota but try It’s a website where people near you list their stuff fo sale. Out here in the SF Bay Area it’s really popular. I have found a lot of really nice furniture from IKEA to Restoration Hardware and Ethan Allen. I would suggest buying some pieces that you find there and experiment with what your style is before investing a lot in furniture.

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