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Brenda has been writing since grade school. She attended journalism school where she majored in professional writing. She loves to decorate, garden, read and spend time with her Yorkies.

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Java Talk: Has Your Style Changed Over Time?




I use to love country and even primitive style in the early nineties. 

Today my taste in decor varies. I'm more eclectic. I like farmhouse, which I suppose borders on country. But yet is a bit different. I think that is a very comfy cozy style. And the ever-popular cottage. 

I love to repurpose. Take some old ratty thing and turn it into something I think is exceptional. So I like repurposed style. 

I use to primarily use red and blue in my decor. But in Texas I had some rooms painted blue, green and yellow. Now I'm painting furniture and items in an assortment of colors, as I have to keep the walls neutral. 

I have come to realize that varied colors is pleasing to the eye. Or at least my eye! 

I doubt I will ever like modern or minimalist decor. But never say never. 


There was a time when I thought bigger was better. Not anymore. I like small spaces. Easier to heat and air condition. Easier to pay for. Easier to clean. Those are my prerequisites for happiness in a home!

So tell us how your style has changed, Or has it stayed relatively the same over time?





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65 comments:

  1. I would love to be a minimalist - but when you share a house with a pack rat it is next to impossible to downsize the junk in the house! My style has changed over the years but not all that much - I have always loved the rustic in the middle of the woods look. I love a small house but the husband decided we needed more room and is adding on to the house - now I wish I would have put my foot down about that!

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  2. My answer to this would be to build two houses side by side. One for you and one for him. I know not many people do this. I have seen them connected only by a breezeway. Just imagine how much less strife there would be!

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  3. Like you, in the 80's it was primitive and country, Williamsburg (but never the peach and Williamsburg blue...yuck), then in the late 90's it was English country. Now, I'm much more into neutrals with pops of color and changing more often.

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    1. I've been away painting a couple of coats on the dining table. I'll go ahead, since we're talking decorating, and tell you what colors I've been painting. The table is the same golden color I painted the kitchen cart. The buffet is pretty much finished, and it is a sage green. I'm happy with both. I had those so didn't have to buy anything. I still have to do the table top. But must wait for the rest to finished, upside down, first. In the eighties, oh dear heavens yes, I had ducks and the whole shooting match!

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    2. I love sage green! Can't wait to see it!

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  4. I got married in the early 60s and you know the colors and styles of that time period.. Golds, browns, olive green, shag rugs, furniture with heavy pine arms and bold plaid material. Formica top tables and chairs to go along with the gaudy colors
    .
    Now I love the country/farmhouse/primitive style. I, have a round oak table in my kitchen and a square oak table that was my mother's in my family room. I did my school homework on that table. I would LOVE to live in a large farmhouse with a wrap around porch with rocking chairs. .

    I love anything wood, iron stone, baskets, crocks, and anything red.

    I have a few pieces of the furniture that I had back then, but have added more antiques from family.
    I love warm, cozy colors. The reds, cranberry, navy, gold, hunter green, bits of black and the fall colors.
    I would like to have another Windsor type chair with arms for my kitchen table.. The only place I could find one was at Ethan Allen and it was $399.00 for one chair.. I think I will continue looking. That price is way too expensive for my pocketbook.

    I don't think I will change my likes of the country style. I don't care for the really modern style. Traditional is nice as is cottage and vintage.. I've seen a new magazine that is all about Prairie style.. I guess that's what makes life interesting-----Change.. I can stand change only if it's the good kind.. Have had enough of the other variety to last me a lifetime.

    This is another fun topic Brenda.. I know I will enjoy reading what everyone else shares.
    Charlotte

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    1. What was that furniture called that you describe back in the sixties and seventies? Was it called Early American? I think back over the years to furniture, wood furniture especially, I've gotten rid of. Now I'd just paint it!

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    2. Yes, the furniture was called "Early American". Especially living room and bedroom furniture and of course dining room furniture too, if it was made of wood.. I guess the formica topped table and plastic covered chairs would be called "vintage".. I see some of them being brought back in furniture stores. I think, maybe, they are on Ebay too.

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    3. C.M. Have you looked on craigslist? I always see a lot of Windsor chairs on our city's craiglist for great prices. They can always be spray painted black if need be.

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  5. As soon as I saw the title I had to laugh as my first thought was 'yea and my jeans size too' !! :)

    I grew up with a mixture of Ethan Allen, antiques, colonial, painted and or stained furniture between my grandparents and mom's. So seeing a cedar chest painted red or a green hutch or a gold this or that mixed in with natural wood furnishings, such as I often see in blog land now, is nothing new to me. I suppose I've always preferred older things over modern and always will :) When I was young I doubt that I had anything that was new...it was a hand me down or painted or stripped and refinished by me or covered ( as in a sofa ) and I'd painted paneling and kitchen cabinets...the whole bit. I guess my style was always more of trying to make-do LOL! :)

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    1. Make-do is the best kind! Because you have to use your creativity.

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  6. Good morning to all! During the 1980's, my decorating style was Victorian. I could never afford antiques, so the furniture I bought were reproductions or simply old. Always in dark colors. I loved wallpaper! Always wanted a Victorian style home, but never did have one. Next, my style switched to Country. Lots of floral wallpapers, especially, daisies and sunflowers. I gave all my dark furniture to the Goodwill, and bought lighter colors. And now, I've settled on Cottage/Farmhouse. Probably forever, since I can't afford to switch! I adore this style with white and light wood, furniture with very colorful accessories!

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    1. I never had Victorian. I've never had antiques either, because, even though I can't afford them, doesn't that just mean you have to treat those pieces more delicately? In my house, clumsy as I am, that probably wouldn't work. I'd hate to have something I have to be real careful around. Because even though I try, there are an awful lot of mishaps!

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    2. I have a Victorian bedroom set that belonged to my Grandmother. It had the high head board but some one in the family cut it down to normal size.. There is a huge wardrobe, dresser with big mirror and washstand with towel bar in the set.. I use the washstand in my living room.

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    3. How lucky you are! Your Grandmother's bedroom set sounds lovely...

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    4. Brenda - regarding antiques being fragile, I've lived with antiques for 35 years now, am not very graceful(!) and have never had an issue with them. I find they are very forgiving - after all, they've been around a long time! For instance, I have a big round table that I use in my kitchen, got it at an auction for $500. It was hand-made from mahogany and has a center pedestal with HUGE lion's paw feet. Sounds fancy, but the way it is made it is really pretty rustic. For family gatherings it gets opened and two leaves put in and it creaks like crazy during the process, but it is part of my family! I love to sit at the table with my feet on one of the lion's paws and look out the window.

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  7. What I see with a lot of people is Personal Style vs. Current Trend. My personal style has always been about color, wood, comfort, great lines, but with the look of a human's hand. In the 80's I moved from the Appalachian's to the Silicon Valley. Talk about culture shock. We moved out of a large farm house with a wrap-around porch, full attic & basement, etc. to a very 60's single story, no attic nor basement, ranch home. I had no furniture so I scoured thrift stores and yard sales. I found well made wooden pieces that I still have. Our home was a very modern farm house. One of the trends then was everything lacquered black with white walls. Our home was very black and white, with lots of wood. I made black and white checkered curtains, and had Holstein cows scattered around. While I do not have as many cows around, and there is a lot more color (since I now own my own home) my style is somewhat the same. Same old wood tables, same old wood armoires. Like you I tend to take others cast-offs and make something that pleases me inside and out. I like things that function and last a very long time, :-)

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    1. I must have somehow missed the lacquered black and white. Don't recall that. The little blue house was built in 1934, and strong as they come with cement walls. This patio home was built in the sixties. It's much harder to keep this place cool. If I could have taken the little blue house and put it in this setting without the big yard, it would have been perfect!

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    2. I'd love to move my house to a different setting. I sit on my deck and dream about the ocean rolling in not too far from the house.. I can dream, can't I ?

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    3. Generally that black lacquer furniture was inspired by the Art Deco movement, but this stuff was ugly and usually fiberboard...nasty. I was so not a fan. It was usually paired with pastels and chintz, but there was a bit of the black/white going on. I lived in a rental so I had a lot of white going on. The black/white décor was actually inspired by a cow welcome sign my aunt made me. I took that cow and ran with it! I even had a very old fridge with the rounded top that I painted the kick plate on the bottom black and white check to cover a bunch of deep scratches. Take it and make it good for your home! As you can imagine, my home was a bit different than most of the Silicon Valley folks were used to.
      I am loving reading about everyone's homes/styles and their evolution to get where they are now. Another great subject, Brenda.

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  8. I tried to preview a post before publishing and now it's disappeared. Well, maybe my ramblings will show up! No matter, this was a fun topic to consider and read about! Have a good Wednesday!

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    1. Those things happen. And it's so disheartening!

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  9. I remember my Americana/primitive look and actually have a few pieces left that I still use.

    I could never be modern. I love the all white look, but could never live in it.

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    1. I agree. The all white is pretty. But somehow it seems to me like a coloring book no one has colored yet.

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    2. I love the all white look also, but could not live in it. Also I would miss my 'stuff'. My collections and all my eclectic finds.

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  10. I too had the ducks, and chintz fabric of the 80's and 90's. That would give me hives today! When I started out, right out of college, in my first apartment, I loved earth colors and have found I've come full circle there. I use neutrals for furniture and my favorite fall colors year around for pops of color that are easy to change and move around. I've never liked Victorian or modern and don't see that changing. I also don't always follow the trends and in today's trends don't like chevron patterns or the very bold geometrics that are popular now. The updated versions of cottage, coastal, farm house that look clean and light are what I tend to save photos of.

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    1. Gina, I tend to agree with you. Victorian seemed too dark and formal somehow. Too much chevron makes my eyes cross!

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    2. I look forward to seeing the sage green you are adding in. It's been my favorite color for a while and I have my bedroom walls painted that color. It goes so well with all the colors in the varies quilts I change often on my bed.

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    3. I really like it. I had purchased two of those little Valspar jars (plastic) that are about $2.99. Just because I liked the color and thought I'd find a use for them at some point. And I did!

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  11. I LOVE those little sample jars! So handy to try new colors or even to use for touch ups on walls and painted furniture.

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    1. I have about eight of them I've picked up over time. Am using them now. Love that I can just go get a quart if I find a color I really want to use quite a bit. I need to check that price against these sample jars next time I'm in Lowes.

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    2. Brenda, a lot of the magazines have coupons for a free pot of this Lowe's paint, especially when the seasons change. I have a few I have acquired that way.

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  12. My main problem is that I like every style! I need to have a dozen houses so I can decorate each one differently, like Barbra Streisand used to do. I once had an apartment in all vintage mid-century Heywood-Wakefield and barkcloth! But I have always gravitated towards antiques in oak in a craftsman sort of style. My dream, which may never happen, is to live in a Craftsman bungalow. For the last ten years my colors have been chocolate, cafe au lait and taupe. Now I seem to be loving watery beachy blues and greens. My family always says it is hard to remember where everything is because I keep moving things around. But I get bored and like to try different arrangements. I will never understand people who decorate a room and then never move so much as a pillow for twenty years!

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    1. Yes, and there are quite a few like that too! It's as if they're afraid to move things. I CAN'T NOT move things! I too love the Craftsman style.

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  13. I think my style is always evolving, but I definitely like serene, muted, neutral colors with pops of blue. I find it calming. xo Laura

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    1. I doubt my reds would be soothing to you!

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  14. I did a bit of the country look because it was cheap and I was poor when my kids where young. My home has always been an eclectic mix of things. I'm not a good decorator at all. My current home is probably more me and with a bit of style then I've ever had. If I could move into something decorated it would be beachy style I think! meanwhile I live in a pretty neutral pallet since I have so many collections that add color and texture to my home.

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    1. Wouldn't it be fun to have a little beach house right on the ocean?

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    2. It would be a dream to live on or even near the beach!

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  15. Good topic Brenda. When i was a kid I liked what I called Late Victorian Ranch Junk. And in the 50's and 60's it was just junk. The stuff that homesteaders could have afforded. Usually those things got shunted into the shed and new stuff took it place. I still like it. I have a few pieces, including a treadle sewing machine, my grandma's round oak table, a glass door cupboard from a country store, and my mother's oak secretary/ curio cabinet. My Mom was always painting old stuff, and I still love to do that, but I wish we had not painted that oak secretary. It was fumed oak, and we painted it with that gold antique paint popular in the 60's. It would look better oak. My house is old furniture, elk and deer antlers, cowboy collectibles, and quilts. I probably won't change.

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    1. It's always hard to decide whether to paint something that nice. I have a mirror I keep debating on, but Judy would strangle me if I painted it.

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  16. I just posted on this today myself. I loved the vintage 50s look when I first moved into this little house, but I am ready for a simpler, less cluttered look inspired by the beach. Of course, I'll always end up collecting something and our house will be filled with books, but it is time for a change. Taking it one little project at a time. BTW, I haven't been blogging much lately, and I just checked out your kitchen makeover! Wow! Hard to believe that is the same place. It looks fabulous. Your time and effort on it were well worth it.

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    1. I'm ready for simpler too. I keep getting rid of stuff. It seems to multiply overnight!

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  17. I was into to the rusty raggedy primitive style for a while but I got tired of the dark colorless things and decided I wanted my colors back..now my style is pretty close too yours Brenda..I am anxious to see your freshly painted furniture!

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    1. Almost done painting! Had to put on so many coats of primer. I am liking these lighter softer colors in combination with my bright reds and blues.

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  18. I honestly don't think that my style has drastically changed much in 30 years. Even all those years ago, I was drawn to simple Scandinavian style, even before it was all that popular. My walls have always been white, and I have been fortunate to have wood floors in most of our homes. Back then, I liked simple pine furniture, a few live plants, a quilt or two, a couple of my reproduction 19th century samplers, and generally spare but cozy rooms. When I look at photos of my home from 20 years ago, I still like it! I realize that how I decorate today isn't very different at all.

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    1. Well you didn't have to "grow" into your style. You always knew it!

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  19. I made it! Not in time for coffee...but I'm here in time for the chit-chat! I've loved reading all the varied styles and the way we've changed.
    I eloped my senior year of highschool-- and moved to Tyler! So you could say YES my style has changed; since our first place was a rental, mobile home--FULLY FURNISHED! Very minimal furnishings.
    I've acquired lots of furniture over the years and now own several family pieces-- there has only been a couple of times we had new. I guess you could say- my style has only grown. I have pretty much been a Thrifted- Flea Market kind of person. "Early Second Hand"! I've gone from having barely anything-- to having way too much. Now, I'm finally working the other direction and paring down.
    There was a time in the late 80s and early 90s where I leaned toward primitive-- but the Honey liked the heavy over stuffed contemporary. Eclectic --tends to be the way for us, it helps to blend our styles. After all, my man lives here too!
    Anybody else decorate to their spouses tastes?
    This has been fun. Thanks Brenda for hosting such a great feature. :) Pat

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    1. In many ways, I miss Tyler. A nice sized town. I miss my neighbors, who I keep in touch with today. They were the best neighbors I've ever had.

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  20. Hi Brenda, I like your style. I am a color person. Although I also like the natural wood. So I have both. I am a little eclectic. I am not modernist or minimalist. I like too many things. Although I am getting rid of a lot. I have had to down size several time. I like the painted look, but I do have some things I won't paint. I don't change furniture. . .if I have something I keep it. My bedroom set is old. It is the french style I think from the 60's it belonged to my husbands mother. I do have a bedroom set that belonged to my grandma. Nothing fancy, but I love it. I have never had a new bedroom set. I just use what I have or I have things family has given me. I think you should be happy in your home. I too live in a small space. I once had a big house. I don't want another one. I love my little space, and I love decorating it. It is cozy and homey. And that is how I think a home should be. Thanks so much for having Java Talk. I love reading your blog. You have given me hope when I have had to leave behind my "other" life. And I found life is good. Home is where your heart is. Karie

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    1. Yes indeed, Karie, home is where your heart is. And no matter if you have a big fancy house and a terrible marriage, the big house just isn't worth is. I love living on my own, in my tiny space with the pupsters. My bed I picked up at a junk store for $35. Left my ex the fancy stuff. Let him pay for it. I am so happy to have readers like you!

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  21. Sorry I'm so late getting here, been one of those days! Lost my car key, the key opener fob, my gate key and house key. They were on another set of keys and slipped off, so I've been in a tither over that. And I went to see a friend who fell last Nov and broke her coccyx, confined to a bed now, and her tale of wow over the medical situation the country is in and what they are dong to her set me off, too. Sorry, I'm done ranting! My style is pretty eclectic, but if anything I guess it would be a mix of cottage country. I used to feel awful sometimes as I had no matching furniture. I have lots of old pieces, a beautiful English armoire, a terrific oak china hutch from the 1800s, a great wooden coat rack, and some pieces I picked up along the way and refinished myself. In the past few years my daughter found this awesome farm table at our local antique shop, it's narrow, but the cool thing is it has farm animals carved into it all the way around the board that faces you when you sit down. And as we've had chickens, goats, horses, it is perfect! It replaced a huge dining room table we didn't need any more. I brought it home and got down on my hands/knees to look under it expecting to find "Made in Mexico" stamped on it, but NO. It has tongue and grove legs! No nails whatsoever. I love the piece. I also love mixing painted wood with antique pieces. I know people debate whether or not a piece should be painted, but for some pieces I think the the time has come and I love the new life they take on after having been painted. There's no fancy paintings here, only things I've painted over the years. IN 08 I went out on a limb and had my great room painted yellow, with white trim on the windows, oh how I love it. Such a happy and bright room. Well, I better shut up and let you all go to bed! Thanks again, Brenda, for such a great topic!

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    1. Wow, farm animals carved in to it. What a great piece she found! Now we don't like matching furniture! How times change. Take a photo of that table. I'd love to see it.

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  22. Migraine yesterday , but have enjoyed reading all the responces..

    Thru the late 80's 90's and into 2004 I lived in 8 different homes in totally different style.
    When I finally moved into a home I knew I'd be staying in for several years it was what I called,
    Classy Cottage:) my colors were white, taupe, sage green with pops of black for grounding each different space.

    I moved here on nov. 23 2013 , havent decided what do to with it yet.. all the living room furniture is a light taupy grey so definatly neutral. starting to add some teal blues..aquas and sage greens in toss pillows and and art work.. wood furniture is mostly white and what isnt will be getting painted or replaced.

    I have decided to have a more LIVE decor, as in lots of plants versus a bunch of stuff to dust ..
    I;m taking things slow here because its possible within 2 years we'll be moving, so with that in mind I want to keep things simple and moveable .. I have done a Major decluttering and still I daily see more to dispense with. I might be , becoming a minimalist lol.. well compared to what I used to be anyway..
    great post Brenda and many thanks to all who responded. really enjoyed reading about you and your style.
    Sonny

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    1. Plants, unfortunately, do collect dust. And I really need to get each one of mine in the kitchen at the sink and wipe the leaves down with a wet rag. I still need to declutter. I just keep giving more and more away. And then find more I don't have room for.

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  23. When we bought our little house 31 years ago it was those yucky gold and browns. Then I did blues and yellows. Now I have neutral walls in most of the house with splashes of color here and there. My bedroom walls are painted green (called cricket from the peaceful series) and I just love it. The room is so cozy. I have always loved crocks, wrought iron and baskets and still use them in my decor. I love painted furniture. I have friends that just cringe when I paint over natural wood.

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    1. I sometimes leave the wood natural, and sometimes I paint it. Lately I've just painted the $10 kitchen table Judy found for me. It is now a golden yellow. I'll show it really soon. Just got back from running errands and got knobs for the now newly painted buffet in the living room. I hope they fit!

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    2. I have been tempted to paint my kitchen table, at least the legs and chairs. I like the look of natural and painted wood together. I have a couch table that I plan to paint black. I love a piece here and there of black furniture, although they really show the dust.

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  24. I grew up with that "Early American" stuff. Big heavy wood pieces, shag carpets, gold or green appliances...etc. I actually have my parents big old bedroom set which I'm working toward getting rid off...so big for our little bedroom. I guess my style is hodge podge...I like a mix and match and throw that in there decor! When we first moved into the house we're in now it was white...EVERYTHING was white but I knew a little paint would cure that and it has...The kitchen which sold the house for me is huge and it was so "Italian" so I went out and bought all Tuscany...when it was all said and done I hated it.....I guess I've always been a little country and probably always will be. I have slowly been changing things and I guess I will always be a work in progress...I get bored with stuff so I love to change for the seasons...might not be big changes but changes none the less. Thanks to your blog Brenda I have become a big fan of color expecially red...so I have been adding it here and there and it really makes things pop!

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    1. In TX we had a dining room that was sort of Tuscany. Then got paintings to match it, etc. I came to hate it too. Just wasn't me. Our homes are always a work in progress, just like our selves are. A little "throw that in there" decor is what spices things up!

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  25. When I got married in the early 70's, the country look was all the rage with lots of little wooden dust catchers everywhere. Our home was full of those type things. Then I moved into the shabby chic romantic look, again with lace and rose-themed items all over. Now that I'm in my 60's, I find that my style is more traditional with a modern twist. I love color and colorful accessories and am always looking for those to update the look. I have a traditional dining room set that was my husband's grandmother's, otherwise our home is pretty electic. Love that look!

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    1. It's wonderful to have things handed down from other generations. I don't have that, but I do have my "flea market relatives" and flea market finds. They had to come from SOME generation!

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  26. I was Victorian and am now glamorous palm beach with a sixties flair!! Quite the difference! Lol fun topic! I loved it!

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  27. Oh, I'm late to the party again! Great topic, Brenda. I think I am the sort of person that is always aware of what is going on style-wise. That includes the way we dress, the cars we drive, the way we decorate. And I can be very influenced by all of that. But I'm a renegade and I usually do my own spin on what is current. I don't like bright colors, I like things around me to evoke a calmness I don't always feel! lol! I wear a lot of neutrals as well, at least clothes that don't have busy patterns like stripes, flowers, etc. So, I would say my home decor is pretty much casual cottage. And I'm really glad we have permission from the decorating Gods to mix and match styles (and even give them our own titles!!).

    Jane xx

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