13.7.12

personal style

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Just lately I've been thinking about personal style, aesthetic values and how easy it can be to get lost and confused in a seemingly endless sea of online inspiration. I'm so easily charmed and often find myself wavering from my own personal aesthetic to a completely different style, one that isn't really 'me', purely because it looks so appealing on someone else or in someone else's home.

And so I end up with this mish-mash of clothing, furniture and objects that, despite creating a kind of eclectic charm when they're thrown together, don't always feel true to my personal style. Sometimes it just feels like a hectic, overlapping collage of 'looks' I've seen in magazines and online that I've hacked together. I think my experience as a stylist also has something to do with it - I can see potential in just about anything and truly appreciate so many different genres of design - it makes it incredibly difficult to remain faithful to what is ultimately my style. And while I do love a bit of eclectic whimsy in my life, I'm finding more and more, especially since starting a family, that I'm yearning for a sense of calm - a harmonious environment.

More recently I've been making a conscious effort to strip back to basics and dressing and decorating with items that are practical, honest and meaningful. I've stopped trying to figure out how to incorporate more colour into my wardrobe or more mid-century modern into the home... because, honestly, I'm not really a colour person... or a modernist. And while I adore a good dose of modern french pastel perfection here, effortless Scandi-Brit style here, romantic old-world industrial here and a bit of pretty Texas kitsch here, sometimes I need to remind myself to be content in admiring from a distance, and refrain from trying to recreate all these looks for myself. I guess I'm in the process of rediscovering my style identity - getting back to my roots. Sometimes that means closing those inspiration folders, logging out of pinterest and and letting things happen organically, with a little less influence. For me, I think it's just all about warmth and texture and Australia and the pieces that tell our story.


1. Our entryway. Framed family photos by Tim hang above a little rustic table found years ago in a Sydney op-shop - it is home to treasures and trinkets representing our past and present. There's coral from the beach where we wed, dried agapanthus stems from the garden outside our Sydney apartment, a tiny stone house we bought in Croatia (Paddy really had to convince me on it but now I just love it), a beautiful brass kaleidoscope gifted to us by Paddy's sister at our wedding, other market and op-shop finds and, of course, a bunch of Australian natives.
2. Lalie day-dreaming on a soon-to-be-reupholstered-in-this-natural-linen sofa and wearing a gorgeous romper handmade by a wonderful friend.
3. Some new spring/summer clothes for Lalie - understated styles in a neutral palette.
4. A little nook. My Mother's antique piano stool covered with a crochet table runner, beautifully handmade by our dear late friend Eirin's Grandmother - also a wedding gift.
5. Is there any better sofa accessory than a tiny bottom and wee little feet? I didn't think so. My soft furnishings are sorted!

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How would you describe your style?  Are you persuaded by trends? Do you experiment or are you loyal to a particular aesthetic? I'd love to know!

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P.S - Of course, Paddy's personal style differs slightly (when it comes to interiors) and we are in constant battle over what stays in the house and what gets banished stored underneath it. He fancy's himself a bit of mid century modern, that boy.

34 comments :

  1. I love your style Claire and I often find myself guilty of hitting 'one clare day' in my reader and lustfully viewing your creamy whites, crumpled linen and native blooms. Some times I want to be you... or at least in your home (DON'T FREAK OUTTT!!!!) ahahaha.

    Lalie is looking oh so sweet in her romper. I must send you some more.

    xoxoxoxo MWAH (yes, i just mwahed at you. deal with it.)

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  2. Wow, I am in awe that you wrote this post because I literally just had this realization a couple of days ago. In fact I got in this really big depressed slump because I felt like I wasn't being ME. I look at catalogs/blogs and say, "thats so cute on her so it must be cute on me!" Then I end up in this floral romper and then later realize, "I am in no way a floral-y bubbly girl, why am I wearing this?"

    So right now I'm trying to discover who ME is. I apologize if I'm just rambling but I am just so happy you posted this. You put what was going through my brain into words. THANK YOU!

    Emily
    www.emdickson.com

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  3. sigh. so inspired now. it's true about the online world - the beauty can be overwhelming, it's so easy to lose your self amidst the prettiness.

    You do "Australian" so well x

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  4. I understand what you mean. I am having a hard time deciding what I want to create as an artist lately and a lot of that is due to the fact that I like so many different styles of art-making. It's more difficult, I think, to find out who you are and what you want to create if you like everyone else and what they are creating.

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  5. You've got great style Claire. Naturally, as a stylist! My style is very different to yours. It's simple, no clutter, natural (ikat, white, chocolate and honey) with a dash of bright colour here or there. I think I do the same with my clothing...but I must admit, I do wear ALOT of leggings and long cardigans as a muma ;-) As much as I like looking at others style, I'm really happy with my own and I'm not easily persuaded with trends or looks. x

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  6. I'm totally guilty of seeing your house and others and what different bloggers wear and thinking about adopting the look myself. I guess the big bonus to being on a tight budget is I have to stop and think first so it doesn't usually translate into money spent on things that aren't quite me. That being said the inspiration is very helpful as I'm very much at a stage of redefining my style so it helps to try different ideas.
    It also helps to remember that our weather and light is so completely different to that of most of the bloggers I read that a lot of things just wouldn't translate into our setting.

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  7. Your style works so well. I adore your home..it looks so homely and styled so effortlessly. My style is whatever comes from the charity shop. I hardly look at pinterest as quite frankly it ends up depressing me, but then we didn't come all this way to spend too much money :)

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  8. Completely relate to these thoughts at the moment Claire. I am currently in the process of trying to make our home more "us" as we've decided to stay put for the time being, rather than make the big move. Isn't it funny that we can feel uneasy about being true to ourselves? Thank you for sharing beautiful snapshots of your home. Absolutely gorgeous x

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  9. I too am easily influenced by things I see on other people's blog...your blog being one of them...and on Pinterest. I often wish my house looked like theirs or that I was wearing the same outfit as them.

    But really I think I am happy with my house. I always think if I won the lottery what would I change? And other than doing a kitchen renovation I honestly don't think I would change that much.
    My husband and I see eye to eye on most interior issues. I would say our style is old...not necessarily antique...but besides baby stuff nothing in our house is new. And if we need something our first stop is always an op shop or an antique shop.

    My wardrobe however is another story! If I won the lottery there are some definite additions I would make!

    http://motherdownunder.blogspot.com.au/search/label/Home

    PS I love that natural linen...I have the same plan for one of our couches that needs to be reupholstered!

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  10. Claire - every word here is so true. I've been thinking the same so much over the last month and it's inspired the de-cluttering I blogged about earlier this week. So much of the stuff that's made it's way to the charity shop are bits for the home and my wardrobe that were never 'me' but that I probably spied something similar to online and thought how much id love it. But then we end up with such a mix match of things.
    I'm feeling like streamlining our home is making it somewhere we want to be even more. I'm trying to resist Pinterest and spending hours staring round the house wishing I could do this and that.
    Your home and style is so lovely, exactly what I think of when I think of Australian interiors.
    And having some special and sentimental pieces dotted around is the most important thing.
    Beautiful Lalie too, of course! xxx

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  11. I am so surprised to read this claire - your wavering style - it certainly doesn't appear that way! obviously we only see little snippets of your life, but everything seems so strong and constant to me, earthy and grounded, with your natural tones and simple, uncluttered, one off decor. everything I see screams unique, from your clothes, to your home furnishings, to lalie's vintage everything. it is beautiful, all of it! I am the opposite when it comes to colour, I must have colour. I try to only keep what is purposeful and used, sometimes a hard task with three little people's belongings to keep in check. not sure what my style is? must be eclectic something! x

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  12. Oh I just love your style Claire, it seems so effortless and true. I wish I could be the same, or maybe that you could come and style my house for me!!
    I find it so hard to put things together, I know what I like, I just can't get it to work or leave things unfinished. My home is more un-styled i'd say! x

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  13. it is really refreshing and interesting to read your words today claire...so much i relate to and yet having visited your blog before i would have thought that your style seemed very individual. thanks for being honest! it has made me breathe a sigh and feel a little easier on myself for thinking the very same thoughts lately.

    there is just so much beauty out there to see on the web in so many places isn't there? i really have been inspired but also perhaps led in directions that i may not have gone had i just done my own thing. but it all helps in arriving at that home and person that you feel real in...even if it takes a bit of experimenting and realisation to see what you really love.

    the rooms in our home are forever evolving. my husband is kindly patient with my hobby (or should i say habit) but i adore making changes and rearranging and rediscovering the treasures collected on our journey together. now sprinkled with a whole lot of teeny toys and crumbs.

    clothes? well i have been very much cutting back on what goes in my wardrobe and getting rid of a lot. i could write an essay here on that story!

    enjoy your weekend in your lovely space there xx

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  14. Beautiful. I can relate to everything you just said.

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  15. I don't even know what my style is anymore. It seems to have become so fragmented, for all the reasons you describe. I know it's got a hefty dash of 2.5 year old splashed over any aesthetic I'd even attempt to go with though.

    I've been feeling lately a bit of a disconnect between how I feel on the inside, and how things are represented on the outside. Myself. My Space.

    Your photos are always an inspiration.

    Beck

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  16. I love your style, Claire. I definitely don't get a huge amount of say in our house - Shane just brings home everything and anything off sets! But if I had my way (and a massive budget), I'd be jostling with Paddy for the mid-century buys. Happy weekend to you guys. Kellie xx

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  17. I've come to this realization too. I know my style and as much as I love colour or pattern on others or in homes, it's just not me. I've found myself giving away all those things I thought I'd love & strpped back to basics. Practical is key around here, and a little old pre loved charm. I love your neutral tones & your pictures are always so lovely..

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  18. It's so cool and interesting that we evolve - especially our style. I honestly thought I was a modern kitchen gal and cringed when we moved into a Sydney federation home with it's plaster work ceilings, wood kitchen and cream + hunter green + burgundy wall colour scheme. Yikes! But then when we moved into our new place, we chose one with a wood kitchen. On purpose! That old house sure changed my style aesthetic.

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  19. I see your home as Australian, it's got such a gorgeous south east Asian twist to it too. Doesn't look like a mish-mash to me at all. Me? I'm basically channeling don draper's office! But it's all me now, I really know what I like and what I don't down to the fine details. Maybe declutter and start again keeping only the things you really love. x

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  20. Hi Claire! So I've totally been stalking your archives because you have fabulous photos! I found your blog via a link to little Eulalie's nursery and I'm so smitten by the whole thing! Newest follower here :)

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  21. Such a great post, Claire! I tend to do exactly what you described. I know my style (scandinavian with colors), but like you said...sometimes you see something else that looks awesome, and it's just too tempting....and this actually is true of my blog too and what I select to show there. Sometimes something looks so great or sounds on someone else's blog, and I have to kick myself really hard to refocus so that I can stay true to who I am and what I like. Again, thanks, this is very inspiring!

    PS: I love Tim's picture - you guys look so happy!

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  22. I've come to find that less is more in a home. I'm such a minimalist so I decided to keep our little nook clutter free : ]

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  23. I find that becoming a mum changes everything, also your style of the home. Before kids my whole house was colourful with big wallhangings and coulourful cabinets and drapes. Now, with 2 children, I find my home is colourful enough with them in it. For me I need a simple and basic room. Now my tables are wooden (oak), the cabinet too, eventhough one is grey and modern, chairs and couch black in an white clear and sunny room. Apart from that the colour comes from photos and the toys of the kids!!
    Love to read your posts! Patricia from the Netherlands

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  24. you have a beautiful home :)
    I lust after a white (with pops of colour) scandi mid-century home - but I just can't fight the clutter! Maybe I need to re-think an aesthetic that I can really work with!!

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  25. i think you stay true to your style pretty well claire! but i'm the same - always trying to add bits and pieces i see online. and of course, it never quite works! x

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  26. Oh these photos. Sigh.

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  27. Lovely images as always . The new clothes for your daughter look so lovely! Where do you find such neutral colours ? I am really inspired to dress my girls in colours like these and move away from pink.

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    1. Hi Judy, most of the clothes in that pile are actually just from Target - they are doing some lovely neutrals at the moment!

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  28. I think you have a very sense of style in your home but I know exactly what you mean about liking a bit of everything. I like so many different styles of homes and interiors but am also happy not to cram them all into my house (perhaps a beach house and a country house would do the trick though!)I love white, wood and lots of colour. melx

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  29. the frames are so good. i love them. and your style too.

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  30. I totally hear you Claire - I feel the same. And wow, you truly have impeccable personal style. Love reclining bubba shots too - she is just so beautiful! Briar x

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  31. completely get this and couldn't agree more.....and VERY flattered by the 'romantic old world industrial' label :) do what you do best...you get it so right!!

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  32. So funny, this post is all about originality, & celebrating that, & here I am DYING to ask you where you found those INCREDIBLE frames!?

    But truly, your style is ... captivating.

    I can't help but watch, in awe, & with complete respect.

    Keep being YOU!

    We all want to copy that ;)

    Love Cherie x

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    1. Hi Cherie, thank you so much! The frames were purchased in a local homewares store months ago and they have since sold out (I went in recently to buy more!). Unfortunately tehre is no brand or label on the frame, either... x I think Ikea may have similar ones?

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Thank you so much for taking the time to comment - it really means so much. I will try to reply where I can! xx