The Victorian House

Changing Taste

I’ve been thinking a lot about how my taste has changed. Our last house was fun to decorate because even though it was 100+ years old, there wasn’t a lot of ornament in the architecture that dictated a certain style. It lent itself well to mid-century modern furniture, and that design era had a huge hold on me throughout my twenties.

It was also an easy house to add basic, inexpensive furniture to. As I mentioned yesterday, I bought several BILLY bookcases recently. We had them in our bungalow’s landing, as our home’s library, and they were excellent!

Library Landing, Making it Lovely

Simple and well-priced, but with glass doors that made them look higher-end; I continue to receive a steady stream of emails asking about them. Now we’re using them sans-doors in the Victorian, up on the third floor as media storage for DVDs, video games, and CDs. Nearly all of our storage conveyed with the old house, so four months in, we’re glad to finally have some shelves up. We still have boxes upon boxes to unpack here though. So many books! Gah. We plan to add built-in bookshelves to the front parlor downstairs, but in the meantime, I did pick up one additional BILLY bookcase for my office. I’m happy to bring a little order to the room, but well, it looks cheap.

BILLY Bookcase

I suspected it would. Poor BILLY. It’s not his fault! This house is a completely different style, and he just doesn’t work so well here. The exciting thing for me though, is that it’s exactly the style I felt myself moving toward, starting a couple of years ago.

These dressers. Let’s talk about them.

Vintage-Inspired vs. an Antique Dresser

Before, I would have gone for the first, hands-down. Look how cute it is! And think of how adorable it would have been in my white-trimmed, clean-lined bungalow. Now though? No contest. I love the spoon-carved antique. The patina! The detailing! It would hold its own and yet not compete with the Victorian. It’s not about price (the antique is actually less than the brand-new piece here) — it’s about assembling the pieces that are going to make up the fabric of our home for a long time to come.

I’m finding myself drawn to more detail in other areas too. Below is a graphic patterned rug I would have put in the first house, vs. a traditional style rug that I would choose for this one. I can picture it playing off of the teal sofa in perfect juxtaposition.

Rug vs Rug

Of course, I haven’t done a complete 180°. I’m still drawn to both styles, and I’m enjoying the process of blending the different looks together. Plus most of what we had before still works here. I’m not chucking it all and starting over! I’m a big believer in making furniture work for you as your life and tastes change. I mean, that’s what my Making it Yours series is all about.

I’m curious. Have you noticed a similar shift in the way you approach your home? Is it because you moved and the space is better suited to different things, or do you think it’s a natural reflection of growing older, or a response to changing trends?

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  • jenn aka the picky girl
    January 7, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    Haha! My taste is moving the other direction. I’ve culled vintage pieces for my very vintage home since I bought it nearly five years ago. But even though many of my rooms are “finished” (NEVER!), I’m more and more drawn to mid century pieces. The mix of old and new is really attractive to me. But you’re right that your home dictates much of that. And particularly in your case, I’m really excited to watch the shift.

  • Fiona
    January 7, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    I’m with you on liking both rugs, but really not loving that second dresser. (Sorry.) But yes, I have seen a shift in my taste. I think in my case, it’s living in the Northeast instead of the South and seeing a shift to more traditional styles. However, it’s not a radical change. I do like the cottage style now, but I like some modern mixed in.

  • Kathleen
    January 7, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    I’m with you, Nicole! I’ve definitely noticed a huge shift in my taste! While I still love me some MCM furniture I’ve been electing for mixing in some more rustic + worldly pieces these days. I suppose I’m wanting more warmth and coziness in my space these days vs. minimal style.

  • michele
    January 7, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    tastes change, but needs/styles change with the house, as well. our first house was an adorable little bungalow. our second house was a 60s ranch. our forever house is a home we built in industrial/farmhouse style. what worked in one house doesn’t necessarily translate to another house. there were a number of things i bought for one home that i replaced in the next. my husband would shake his head and say, “but that’s a perfectly good table!” because he didn’t understand that the scale and style were totally wrong in the new house. not to mention, the colors and styles i bought to work with a multi-wood-toned 60s house weren’t things i necessarily LOVED, but rather the things that i knew would look good in the space. when i moved into the forever house, i wanted it filled with the things that i envisioned, the things that worked. my style has definitely evolved over the years, but i think it had as much to do with the homes changing as it did my own taste, and the ability i have now, at 40, to find and purchase my heart’s desires and the inability to do so at 25.

  • cherneeshouse
    January 7, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    Hey Nicole –

    My taste has evolved as I has gotten older and my life has changed. My first house was more about wood and clean lines, now I love more color, and comfy furniture that can handle teenagers, a dog and are functional. That is why I love more vintage pieces – they are sturdy and can be used in so many ways.

    Love seeing how you have mixed various styles in the house – gives it great character.


  • Molly
    January 7, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    I agree! 10 years ago I would’ve cringed at the idea of traditional, but I’ve definitely grown to see the appeal. And the mix of MCM & traditional or even pieces from other cultures is just so happy & appealing. It’s like the mix makes it feel more real & more lifelike.

  • Tatyana
    January 7, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    I did notice your style change with the new house. I think I even mentioned it in a comment about your bedroom.
    My taste has changed, too. I think with the years I’ve become nostalgic of the old, antique. I used to be all into modern first, then into mid-century modern, and now I find myself liking a sort of French country/rustic/folk furniture and textiles. I still love the other two, as well…but I am expanding. The trick is trying to find a balance and mixing it all for a nice eclectic home. Isn’t that what so many designers strive for? To achieve this lived-in home that has history? I think you are doing a great job so far, by the way. :)

  • Laura @ Rather Square
    January 7, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    I hear you! I think it’s okay and appropriate to let your house’s style influence the furnishings. I’ve seen spaces that pull their decor look from the house itself. And then again, I’ve seen good examples of contrasting interiors and exteriors. In our house (a Foursquare similar to your bungalow), we’re keeping modern clean lines mostly because that’s our taste and it suits the house. But we’re also influenced by the house’s history and respecting that. I think you have to find a balance and do what you like. After all, you’re the one that’s actually living there.

  • Kelly
    January 7, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    I’m glad that you’re moving in a different direction — it gets boring when bloggers do the same thing time after time! And antiques don’t get near enough love!

  • Jaimie
    January 7, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    I think it also depends on the context. There are a lot of industrial, early 20th century pieces I like, but they would feel completely out of place in my 1960 ranch (our inherited, vintage MCM furniture looks perfect there, for obvious reasons). Our previous house was built in 1995 though, and those sort of pieces would have worked well in that house, mostly due to its complete lack of character.

  • holly
    January 7, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    I’ve had this same experience, having moved from a craftsman bungalow to a colonial style home. Some of my midcentury styled pieces just didn’t work in the colonial, while others held their own. Sadly, some of my favorite MC pieces had to find new homes via Craigslist.

    It’s a tricky balance, and I’m really trying to focus on only acquiring furniture that I will love (you know, the kind that gives you palpitations) no matter which style of house I own, rather than what suits this house specifically. An eclectic mix of old and new seems to fit most, don’t you think?

  • Kari
    January 7, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    I think so much of it has to do with the home, especially if it’s not a “blank slate” like some modern homes tend to be. The designer in me is less picky about specific style or aesthetic, but more drawn to finding the right personality of a home. It’s such a challenge to pull out the perfect personality and mood that come out of the marriage of a home owner and the home.
    At least, that’s the way I justify my changing tastes depending on my living situation.

  • Stephanie Precourt
    January 7, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    We recently moved and my tastes changed completely! I found myself having our dining table made by a local carpenter to fit the style of our new home and it isn’t something I thought I’d love before. Normally I was more shabby/disorganized hap-hazard chic but now this house is more spacious and doesn’t fit my former decor- I want things more classy and put-together. We’re also on the coast now, so I am finding I want all our furniture and colors so different than what we had when we lived in the Chicago area!


  • Stephanie
    January 7, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    I, too, am headed the opposite direction – fewer antiques and more mid-century – as a matter of taste more than anything. Plus, we live in a 1970s rancher, so the mid-century style seems to fit better. However, I do favor a mix, both because I don’t like matchy-matchy decor and prefer a more eclectic look, and because I certainly don’t have the money to change everything – or even one room – all at once. That’s my main frustration – my taste is changing faster than my pocketbook will accommodate! But I’m trying to look at it as a process, since no room is ever really done, anyway, and an adventure, as opposed to dwelling on what bothers me in any given room at any given time.

  • Katie
    January 7, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    My taste has changed a lot over the past 5 years, and is definitely still shifting. 5 years ago I was single and living in an (adorable!) 1920’s condo that I filled with vintage pieces. It had a very traditional look that I loved (and still love!).
    When I got married in 2010 I moved into my husbands industrial loft, filled with his very modern style. We blended some of our furniture and it was, quite frankly, awful. We couldn’t afford to replace much so we just lived with it and we’ve tweaked as we go.
    Now we’re still in the loft but have now added a daughter to the mix. We’ve gotten rid of a lot to clear space for her, and have added a few inexpensive decor items and lot of toys.
    I feel like we’re finally reaching a cute, eclectic look that works for the space we’re in, and my style has definitely evolved in the process.

  • jen
    January 7, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    yes! i moved from an industrial loft to a tiny craftsman to now a roomy mid century modern home so you can imagine how our home style has changed over the years!

  • Cecilia
    January 7, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    I agree with you that you house will dictate the style in some case. I thought about your Billy book case, I have seen people add decorative wood skirting? (I really dont know the Word for this, I hope you understand)to make them look more like built in shelfs. Maybe that is something you could try?

  • Emily
    January 7, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    I agree, my tastes have changed a lot over the years. Primary colors in my 80s bedroom? Yes, please. Then college = no style. Comfy in my single years – lots of plush and a giant green velvet chair I’ll never part with – think 19th century library. Now, my husband is more modern and I find myself appreciating the clean lines and lack of clutter. We’ll see what happens in our future. For now I’m loving geometric shapes, bare wood floors, and Eames-shaped furniture. :)

  • Kerry / Super Swoon
    January 7, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    We’ve lived in the same Victorian for 15 years and up until a few years ago it was pretty traditional… lately I’ve become more diverse in my tastes. I really love the way simple mid-century modern furniture looks in a Victorian with all the moldings and other elaborate details. I’m attempting to strike a balance with the two by adding more modern elements but keeping some traditional favorites, like my persian style rug, etc.

  • merlin513
    January 7, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    I’ve always been a junker. I was drawn to dark, rich brocades and velvets and dark finishes. I bought old furniture because it was solidly made, cheap and usually beat up which appealed to me. I also collected what is now termed ‘industrial’ items my entire life, (unfortunately a lot of my old stainless toasters, blenders, etc. burned when my dad’s shop went up) :(

    but now that i’m in my 50’s i’m seeing a shift towards lighter and brighter colors. My parents house is all 60’s pressboard wood paneling, that when I inherit it I intend to paint either white or a light grey. I’m still a fan of dark wood furniture and industrial, but have a new appreciation for some MCM pieces as well. Tastes change, otherwise one is just stagnate and we all know what a stagnate body of water smells like! Change is progress and progress is always good!

  • Kayla aka Kilo Bravo
    January 7, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    My taste has certainly changed over the years – from not understanding my tastes to finally being able to say why I like something. As a current renter, I’ve always felt stifled with the idea of buying “real” furniture – mostly because I always assumed that I would purchase furniture to fit my someday home once I finally purchased it. If you could have told me 6 years ago that I would still be in the same rental, I would’ve slapped you! But here we are, 6 years later, and as much as I tried to wait to make some purchases, I grew up and wanted things slightly better than Ikea grade/hand me downs/college furniture I had traveled with me over the years. Over the past year (yes I waited 5 years) I threw caution to the wind and stated picking up some mid-century modern furniture that I absolutely love. There is definitely a piece of me that still worries they won’t fit in with whatever home we eventually own, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I will be able to make them work. I think I will because these pieces finally feel like “me”.

  • Danielle
    January 7, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    OMG! I was just going through this at Christmas!! I did the “less is more” approach and stuck to more tradition items and less of what I usually love. Then, I started to think, “I need to redo my style because I am seeing myself change!” Now I have the itch to repaint walls, change bedding, etc. I get it, Nicole!

  • Rubina
    January 7, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    Thanks for inspiring me to reflect on my personal style! I’ve lived in Chicago for the past 5 years during which I’ve stayed in 4 different rental apartments. For the first three apartments I would decorate based on whatever colors I was into at the time….teal, gray & yellow….but with this one – maybe I’m becoming a real grown up? – I took my time to collect pieces that really tugged at the heartstrings and it’s led to a really fun, eclectic collection that does a better job of expressing who I am than any of my “trendier” choices before.

    ~ Rubina

    p.s. I recently bought a couple Billy bookshelves and did a quick makeover to make them into a custom workstation. I posted all the details on my blog!

  • Elizabeth
    January 7, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    Only the fool never changes his mind- and aesthetic evolution is healthy too. Think of how much we giggle at the old ladies whose homes look like time capsules!

    I’ve found myself gravitating to more modern, clean pieces since I started furnishing my first house. After years of living in architecturally bland little apartments, I have a decently-sized Tudor to decorate. I still love the small-scale, fanciful furniture I bought before, but I’m now mixing in simpler staples. It’s all about balance and blend.

  • Mimi
    January 7, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    My design asthetic has definitely changed over the years. I really had no clue in my 20s…but in my 30s I’ve moved from mid-century and clean lines to an obsession with vintage and antiques. I just LOVE the thrill of the hunt! And finding a piece with character that can be versatile is so much more fun than buying new. I love using old things in ways they weren’t intended to be used and I never would have done that in my 20s. We’ve lived in our first/only home, a 1920s bungalow in Milwaukee, for 7 years and I believe it’s me and not the home that’s growing up, style-wise.

  • jess
    January 7, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    Absolutely! You’re a designer… and I think it comes with the territory. :) You have the ability to appreciate and see the great parts in all different styles.

  • Shauna
    January 7, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    Definitely, much change has occurred in my style-brain. Thirty years ago I was all about country chic, gingham and lace. Now I’m craving clean lines and purity. I think the change is normal–I’ve accumulated way to much junk, and to clear my mind I need to clear my house. Easier said than done…
    By the way, I love to see how your taste is evolving. I see your current drift as quite sophisticated, layered, thoughtful. Always an inspiration.

  • Jen Wilhelm
    January 7, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    Oh I just love Billy bookcases – you’re actually the one who inspired me to purchase my own back in 2006 after seeing the photos of yours from your last house. ^__^ A blogger I follow online wrote a great post about customizing your Billys to make them look a little more stylish… I’ve been meaning to do it for my own Billys, I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. Maybe this method will work for the Billy in your office?

  • Nicole L
    January 7, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    My tastes have definitely changed because of the space we live in! We live in a lovely dark wood filled Edwardian now and the pieces we bought for our first apartment and even our previous house just don’t work anymore. My mid-century living room table set now blends into our floors and trim – it’s a whole lot of dark wood! My previous house didn’t care what kind of light fixtures it had, this one with all it’s brass and even copper wants something Art Deco! Really though I think I’ve finally just found the house I can truly let my style go free in – I’ve always loved Art Deco, but it didn’t belong in our 1970s cookie cutter semi. And now I’m also a lot more patient and willing to save/hunt to get the perfect piece rather than run out to Ikea for what is immediately affordable – that’s definitely an age thing!

  • Michelle | Birds of Berwick
    January 7, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    Before I had a house I was always clipping images of clean and modern and although I am still really drawn to clean and neutral, I’m much more traditional in style than I every really thought when it comes to actually putting pieces in my house. I’ve also embraced antiques in my home which I NEVER thought I would do. I truly do love the blend of styles and character they are lending. All these little differences are what’s making everything go so well together and feel like…home.

  • stevi
    January 7, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    Well, Nicole, my previous home was in a more rural setting and most of its decor was white. There was so much colour around it! Now, I live near the city centre and I instinctively gravitated towards colours. I could not stand the grey surroundings of the city, so I chose many red and deep yellow furniture and fabrics, to compensate. I recently realized why I had made these choices, which at the time seemed random.
    The fact is that the house changed me as much as I changed the house.

  • Kirstin
    January 7, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    I have been feeling a shift lately too. Since having kids, I value family heirlooms more and want a more traditional look around me. I still appreciate clean lines and function, but the sentiment is far more important to me than it used to be. It is a funny thing to notice your tastes changing right before your eyes. Just this Christmas I got rid of a bunch of modern, recently purchased decorations and dug out all the old family ornaments instead. My 4 year old thought they were great and I did too!

  • judy
    January 7, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    Gosh am I ever going through some sort of “lets buy some more prettys” I live near a small Mall with 4! four! shops that sell all the knick knack bric a brack that I ought to be avoiding like the plague but I think it has become a time filler? time waster? depending on your view point. My middle aged sons can’t get over the change from ” all that junk just needs to be dusted to “lets accumulate as many( objet de art- HA!) as possible and consider the dust as adding to their charm. I see this in so many old (cough) mature women. What the heck is it?

  • Wendy
    January 7, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    For the longest time I didn’t understand style nor did I truly care about it. My priorities were on school, on creative endeavors, on teaching, and on being frugal or financially responsible. (Though I did score an incredible antique dresser for free that was sitting alongside of a dumpster that a friend refinished as a gift for me.)

    In our first two years of marriage, my husband and I moved three time and we lived in vastly different environments: rental apartment, rental duplex, with my in-laws, and finally to our own home. Each time our style was dictated by our home and finances.

    Now that we live just under a mile from the ocean with giant pines around us on the Washington coast, our style is evolving into one of modern meets cottage. We endeavor for our home to be a comfortable get away for family and friends that is practical with young children.

    We’re also seeking to incorporate as much of the outdoors as possible. Our land is very private so we don’t have curtains. We have the pines instead which add their own texture and presence.

  • PAppel
    January 7, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    I am going in the opposite direction – from more traditionalm to mid century modern / scandinavian modern. I find as I get older I am more drawn to simple, clean lines.

  • Catherine
    January 7, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    My style has definitely changed over the years. We bought our house in 2005 when we were both working all the time and didn’t have kids. I didn’t give a lot of thought to design choices then, since we weren’t really home that often. After I had my first son and became a SAHM, I began to see things a lot differently, and things that I liked in the past didn’t seem to work as well when I was around them all the time, like my red kitchen that felt so suffocating.

    We did some major renovations to our kitchen and flooring in 2012, and it was all based on the research I’ve done (mostly by reading blogs, ha ha) and what I want for our home as our children grow. It looks so different then when we first moved in, and better, too.

    I also inherited a bunch of my grandmother’s furniture when she died, and pieces that I once thought would be temporary in my house have come to hold so much meaning for me. I think that comes from having my own children and getting older, but I have decorated with and around them, rather than thinking of them as temporary until they can be replaced.

  • HR
    January 7, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    My husband I were discussing this today. We went to Ikea (the closest one to us is 5.5 hours) and ordinarily I would grab everything and sob about how I cannot afford it, but this time around, I found some bedding and pillows that I never would have imagined I’d choose. It was interesting. I’m big into black and white with brown/cognoc leather lately. I prefer one of a kind interesting pieces that don’t seem as if they should go together but once they are in my home, they create a warmth and comfort that no Ikea piece has ever given me. We’ll see where it takes us…. Happy new year!

  • Krista
    January 7, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    I had to giggle when I saw your post – I’m working on a similar one myself where I discuss the evolution of my style. Mine has come full circle and has much to do with reconnecting with what I love. This comes after years of trying to impress others. (I’m glad I’ve figured out that is a waste of my time.) What I noticed is, while my taste in certain design eras may have changed, a particular color scheme has been constant. The very first room I was allowed to decorate myself was black, white and red. I have maintained that pallet – sometimes in big ways, sometimes in small – throughout nearly every one of my homes. And, if not in one of my homes, it pops up in my wardrobe:-). Having Pinterest boards has also helped me to explore other ways of incorporating these hues in to my life. They help to keep it feeling fresh and less like my bedroom when I was 13 years old.

  • Kat
    January 7, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    Well said!! Thanks for sharing :)

  • Sharon
    January 7, 2014 at 9:42 pm

    This is a huge struggle for me right now! Most of my house is in blues, greens and beiges. Plus, most of my house, I haven’t finished decorating. Now, I’m finding that I’m completely smitten with black and white with a pop of color. I’m trying to figure out if I want to finish the whole blue, green thing, or just scrap it all and go for the black and white. But, I’m not made of time and money so how do I reconcile this? It’s actually driving me kind of crazy!

  • Virginia (The Heartographer)
    January 8, 2014 at 1:56 am

    Awa, I wish I’d taken the time to comment and be chatty earlier in the day! In many ways, my style is shifting—I’m getting simultaneously more formal/traditional/feminine glam *and* more masculine/sleek/graphic. But there’s a lot I’ve discovered is universal for me, or at least that hasn’t changed in my adult life. I blogged about that here and here a while back.

    Because the DIY decorating train has gotten so popular, I’m really trying to pull back from whatever element I’m currently drawn to to make sure it has a long enough shelf life, you know? Saves my sanity and my budget that way.

  • erin
    January 8, 2014 at 5:52 am

    My taste has definitely changed over the past few years, though I’m still in the same house. Our home is nothing special, history-wise; it was built in 1991 and is in a pretty bog-standard Southern subdivision. I was 23 when we bought it as a foreclosure and started remodeling. I was drawn to bold colors, mid-century lines, high contrast and modern furniture. Now I am far more traditional, favoring muted colors, antique/vintage furniture, and a little more serious feel overall. I guess it was part of just growing up for me.

  • Robin
    January 8, 2014 at 6:46 am

    We just moved a month ago and I brought as little as possible, knowing I would want new things for our brand-new-construction downsized condo. The choice of this condo had to do with location more than anything else and we had to compromise on some things. But I am surprised at how limiting it is to have an open-concept floor plan. The big stainless steel appliances are on full display, and all of the door knobs, etc, are brushed nickel. When I decorated a little Christmas tree, I saw right away that all my gold ornaments looked awful. I guess it was good to learn that early in the process of decorating this new home.

    Before we moved in, I thought I could change out all the fixtures to oil rubbed bronze, but I did not realize the impact the stainless steel appliances would have on the space. So, I am embracing it and choosing a lot of MCM stuff becuase I can get it in chrome and it looks great. sigh. Oh well! I thoroughly love MCM, but I didn’t know I was going to actually furnish my home with it. I have always gone with transitional /traditional stuff because that was most accessible to me at consignment shops, thrift stores, etc.

    After all these years of enjoying minimal modern, MCM, etc on my favorite blogs, it is kind of fun to look at an Eames rocker and know it would look good in my home if I want to get one (and I do :))

  • Erin
    January 8, 2014 at 7:12 am

    I definitely think that different houses lend themselves to different styles and it is less about the fact that my style is changing and more about the fact that in this house, my style is… I know I have several different styles I like and I tend to rotate through them, but I also find that some things do not change from house to house and style to style.

  • Katie
    January 8, 2014 at 7:42 am

    I totally understand the feeling. I’ve always leaned toward the clean line and graphic patterns of MCM design, but this summer I found an AMAZEBALLS dresser that’s carved, topped with white amble, that has beautiful patina that shows it’s 150 years gracefully. It changed something in my aesthetic, I’ve since become obsessed with empire style furniture – ornate dark woods, crazy decedent upholstery. I’m in the naked for a rolled arm daybed to upholster myself.
    Here’s the thing though, my house is almost completely furnished. At this point to continue with this theme I’m going to have to replace furniture and I’m just wondering if I went that route will I change my mind again in 5 years? When should your big ticket items stop evolving?

    • Katie
      January 8, 2014 at 7:49 am

      Proof read, Katie!! I meant *marble* and *in the MARKET*, not naked…

  • Sandra
    January 8, 2014 at 8:28 am

    That second rug is beautiful, I don’t know how anyone could NOT be drawn to it. Is it purchasable anywhere?

  • Katie
    January 8, 2014 at 9:26 am

    When we moved into our 1976 townhome 2.5 years ago, I was ready to paint all the dark wood white and create what I thought was a great style (all the grey and white you see on Pinterest). I slowly realized that I really liked the dark wood beams in the kitchen and the dark wood doors that led to every bedroom.

    I like the idea of embracing the details that makes your house unique. Good thing you have a lot of them!

  • Mr. and Mr. Blandings
    January 8, 2014 at 9:35 am

    I’m having the same evolution in our new home. While I’ve been moving steadily toward a love of mid-century and, in fact, we were looking for a house built then, we ended up with a Prairie style house built in 1917. The fun part is making both styles work in the space. By the way, you’re making consider using Billy bookcases as stand-in built-ins in the house!

  • Holly
    January 8, 2014 at 10:42 am

    I’ve had this happen, and it is in large part due to the house.

    My first home was an antique colonial with lots of vintage detail, from the gorgeous cherry mantel and woodwork in the living room to the beadboard and tin ceiling in the dining room. We relied on vintage pieces such as a silk camelback sofa, oak dining table with clawfoot pedestal, etc.

    Our current home is a vintage 1950s Cape, and our decor choices reflect that. Much more modern, light woods, clean lines, kooky bright colors. Thankfully for us, many of our primary furnishings were wearing out when we moved it, so it was prime time to buy new pieces more fitting to our home.

    The camelback sofa is now relegated to the porch, where I can enjoy its comfort without it clashing with the LR decor, and a genuine Persian carpet which would have been oh-so-perfect in the first house is in my bedroom aka the Land of Misfit furnishings.

  • Jo
    January 8, 2014 at 10:57 am

    Yes. When I was younger – I was all about antiques. And antiques suited my homes when I was younger. It took moving to a new, very modern house for my taste to change. A lot of my antiques didn’t really go well in the modern space. I traded the sofas for clean lined ones, the ornate rugs for simpler ones, added pops of bright colors, some classic MCM & kind of silly pieces (acrylic dining chairs). The house I’m in now – a 1950 mod – this furniture still works, & I still really like it.

    I will never get rid of my antique dresser though, I love it too much.

  • emily @ cabin fervor
    January 8, 2014 at 11:39 am

    I think your style SHOULD evolve at least somewhat — age, experience, financial factors, trends, etc. all have an influence over time. Sometimes it just happens more quickly when your surroundings change dramatically, as yours have. I currently live in a rustic cabin with exposed log walls and an industrial kitchen. I’ve definitely taken a different approach to furnishing and decorating this rural house than my previous home — an apartment in Miami Beach. Truly, I can love almost any decorating style in the right environment, and there’s a reason why particleboard IKEA furniture doesn’t look right in your new home. Your home was built with great care and attention to detail; it just begs for a more traditional approach with quality pieces. Of course you can juxtapose that with modern touches and colors, but I think your style was bound to “grow up” and evolve when you bought such a traditional home. I’d be sad it if didn’t!

  • J.Lee
    January 8, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    Living this also. My last home was a mid-century split. We styled it with mod/mid-c. craigslist finds mixed with a bit of IKEA too. I was very spare with decor and it looked great, was easy to maintain, very fresh. But in my new home those furnishings are too low (literally!). The high ceilings and ornate trim make a lot of what we had look strange and small. We had to pretty much start from scratch and it’s more expensive to style this way than last. I’m really interested to see what you do.

  • Kelly
    January 8, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    Can’t wait to see what you do with this house! My taste changes with each house we live in and I think it has made each house have its own personality. Plus it’s more fun to try out different styles than to always do the same. Yay for flexibility!

  • Marcee ... ILLINOIS
    January 8, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    The bookcases look better with glass fronts. I could certainly use a set for an overflowing mass of (500+) cookbooks. Simple white cases (w/glass) are best. Dusting is minimal … thank goodness. Years ago I purchased huge entire sets from C&B. They are on every floor. Pricey, but doing ok. They get a lot of daily use. Forgot what they were called/named. Something “lake.” It will be interesting to see your reading collections in the BILLY cases. Maybe come summer!

  • Julia at Home on 129 Acres
    January 8, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    My decor style has definitely evolved over time. But I think that in addition to time, another influence is setting. I never considered myself a fan of the rustic or country look, but since moving to our farm I find I’m more open to it. It’s appropriate for our house and our property. Bring on the barn board!

  • Kate
    January 9, 2014 at 8:46 am

    My tastes have definitely shifted, but I’ve learned how to combine different styles in a way that is complimentary instead of competing. I would love to use that traditional style rug you posted with a clean-lined sofa or other mid-century furniture pieces. That kind of juxtaposition is what makes a space feel homey and not like it came straight out of a catalog. I think as we expose ourselves to different spaces and decor styles, we fine-tune our design sense and start to see how variety makes a living space more interesting.

  • Jules
    January 9, 2014 at 10:29 am

    I wonder about people who never show an evolution of style or taste. And by wonder, I mean people who don’t evolve have something going on upstairs.

    Sometimes I wonder if style/taste is like figuring out who a baby will look like when they get older. Work with me here, because this is a theory best explained in person with hand motions and facial expressions. Okay, here goes.

    Have you ever noticed that when a baby is born they look like (for example) mostly dad…and then they start growing? They start looking like mom, then dad, then a little bit of both, then mom, dad, grandma, mom, both, mom, and then finally when they reach adulthood they are back to looking like mostly dad.

    I think that’s our personal style. We have it, and it’s mostly determined around the time we start figuring out what we like (for me it was around middle school-high school, and it resembles your traditional Victorianish look), but it goes through phases until it reaches adulthood and settles into what it’s meant to be. Life is about waiting for our style to grow into its nose.

    • Amy Chen
      January 9, 2014 at 6:34 pm

      I just have to say I love this comment.

  • Erin
    January 9, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    I so get this. We bought our circa 1922 home last spring. Since moving in I have felt this strong desire to go super slow on the decorating. I am a believer that houses somewhat dictate how they should look and in an older home we should go with it rather than fight against it. So now I find myself being pulled to furniture and rugs I wouldn’t have pick at all for my first house…I painted a bathroom a BM pink for heavens sake and it looks perfect.

  • Mona
    January 9, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    My design style constantly evolves and changes, maybe because like you, I am artistic (Graphic Designer). I flip flop from modern/rustic,to traditional to bohemian, vintage and even shabby chic! I think it’s not so much a certain style that we gravitate towards, but good DESIGN. Great design actually.

    If it’s mixed well, even an eclectic modern/victorian combo can look fabulous! I so look forward to seeing the evolution of your new home!

  • Dawn
    January 9, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    Nicole, we think you are spot on! “Mixxing” it up is what we are all about at MixxCentury and love that you featured the soulful spoon carved chest from our collection of vintage finds. Slightly primitive pieces like this just beg to be touched and add so much warmth. But juxtaposing it with modernism and throwing a 1900s Tabriz under it all, is what we call chic.

    Love your style… can’t wait to read more!

  • Emily
    January 9, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    I love both styles and always have, but have no idea how to blend them well (for example, I would love both of those dressers in my home and would never know how to choose or how to make them work together, albeit in different rooms) so I’m very interested to see how you blend.

  • whalegirlx
    January 9, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    I’m definitely drawn to more classic styles as I get older. With a quirky twist of course but for the more expensive items, I’m leaning towards traditional. When you realize how much a sofa costs, you’re like, yeah I’m getting the English roll arm sofa.

  • Weekend Links
    January 18, 2014 at 10:08 am

    […] Changing Taste Nicole talks about how since moving to a different home, she finds herself making different choices in her furniture. She captures how a house can speak to us and help guide us on what it wants inside. […]

  • Lynn
    January 18, 2014 at 11:39 am

    My tastes have changed with the times and the homes. My 1926 bungalow had a much different feel than my 1996 two story. No “country” or shabby chic here. Just doesn’t fit. The house does speak, mostly get rid of the ruffled curtains, and time for wood floors. Thanks for sharing.

  • Jessica @ Decor Adventures
    January 18, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    Hi Nicole,

    I’m glad you brought this up. I’ve often felt the same way in our 114 year old house. I’d stare at my spaces wondering why things just don’t look right against the large trim and old features. My taste changes all the time, which can be a good and bad thing. I’d say be open to what you think will work for you and try some new ideas out, could be fun!

    Glad you are figuring things out and I look forward to reading more.

  • mary
    January 27, 2014 at 9:42 am

    Love the new look, it’s good to change, keeps your current. I would say that you should store some of the good pieces your have, such as the rug and chest of drawers, you will find you might wantto use them again down the road, everything old is new again after all.

  • Michelle
    February 14, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    My problem is that I have a very rustic taste and I moved into an apt with very contemporary wall colors and accents. I know I can repaint but…ugghhh I am lazy. When I get home I just want to collapse. And I do like the colors.

    I have collected handmade brooms, wreaths and woven baskets since my early 20s. I have a LOT of handmade brooms. I love them. I want to display them. But they don’t go. In fact the main wall color is mustard yellow which really doesn’t go with the broom corn. I would need to repaint, maybe a taupe color, that would go with the red kitchen and the deep eggplant accent wall. It’s an open plan apt so the color has to flow.

    The bedroom walls are a deep sea green that I also love but can’t work with.

    I also love the color blue grey, or Yankee blue. I have SO many pieces n that color, from IKEA wicker chairs I’ve collected, display units, etc. Federal and naive art in that color. I also love deep peacock blue mixed with spring green.

    You know what color cannot work with that blue and green? MUSTARD YELLOW.

    But the yellow is very bright (basement apt) and cheerful and works perfectly with the other colors.

    So basically the brooms hang in their storage box in my bedroom (no storage elsewhere) and very little is on the walls. I’ve put a couple of favorites up, tucked around other pieces on the eggplant walls, where they look GREAT.

    No clue what to do, but I discovered I had to give away or dump all the carefully curated items in my favorite colors that I had collected over the years. I’ve kept a few that I just love…but they don’t go with this place.