Three Easy Design Questions to Ask Yourself

Apr 4, 2022 | On Design, The Parisienne Farmhouse | 10 comments

Where there is a will, there is a way.

Adapt and overcome.

Don’t take no for an answer.

A quick cozy photo I grabbed early this morning. Dirty floors and all, friends.

Though I fear I exhaust the people around me, these are the mantras that drive me each day. I don’t give them actual thought, but they are there. I can see evidence when I look back on an accomplishment or an idea come to fruition . An idea comes in and it must come ooooooooooout. I’ve carried six babies. Gained 40-50 pounds each time. My hips go out of whack. Walking is painful, sleeping is painful. Near the end, it feels as though my insides are going to fall out (TMI?) but I know the feeling of being pregnant. The joy of life and the ache of wanting it out to experience. The baby must come out, it’s only a matter of time. The same goes with an idea; be it for my garden, my kitchen, living room… goodness… even my wardrobe. I ache with it. I am heavy and pregnant with creativity. It MUST come out. Then it can be loved and nurtured into its next phase.

It’s not always that easy. Of course.

The challenge comes with the budget, time, and materials. Ideas for our Everyday Chateau are often very slow to materialize. I thought this home would be a five-year project, but there’s no way we will be done come our 5 year anniversary this December. It drives me batty, but that’s the way it is. Sometimes this delay saves me from an idea that wasn’t well formulated or from a creativity surge that was a bit more impulsive – other times this delay allows me extra time to fine-tune the idea and treasure hunt for the right pieces.

(Oh, the treasure hunting… My heart rate increases at the thought. But I’m getting sidetracked.)

I know I’m not talking to everyone here. Some of you are ‘one and done’. You style a room or invest in working with someone to style it for you — It’s finished and you’ll maybe redo it again in 10-15 years. I’ve done jobs like that for customers – we’ve gone from mauve 1980s sofas to red rooster toile and they have no PLANS of touching the space again until red rooster toile is a serious faux pas.

For those of you who like to knock it out and be done with it – Well done.

That sounds like such amazing sanity and boredom at the same time.

Know thyself. One and done is simply not me. That’s Ok – I suppose when it comes to a finished product versus ongoing creativity I’m speaking more to collectors, DIYers, and people like me who use their homes as one giant form of self-expression. Like a canvas that you’re always working on simply because it brings you pleasure. Someone once asked Monty Don why he was always making changes and adding to his garden – his response was basically. “You don’t get it.” That killed me. But I’m getting off course again…

Let’s talk about “the idea” and what it should do for you. À mon avis.

An idea for your space that’s been brought to fruition should bring you excitement, relief, and occasionally improved functionality. If you’re outsourcing your ideas, the person helping you should be able to crawl into your brain and find a look that you like, (even if you didn’t know you’d like it. ) This most likely will require look books, magazines, showrooms, samples, and more to get a feel for what floats your boat. They should also know how to push you gently in the direction of things you never thought of. But when it’s all said and done, I’d hope you were excited (about the new look of your space), relieved (that an ugly space was now beautiful) and I would hope that the functionality of the space had been improved upon (even if it’s as simple as a room getting used more ’cause everyone in the family wants to hang out there now).

What are you working on in your home? Are you saving for a project or in the middle of a room design? When it’s all said and done will you be excited to use it? (Why go through the pain of the change if it’s not going to add some fun drama to your life?) Will you be relieved that something once ugly or out of fashion is now beautiful? Will functionality be improved? These are three easy questions you can ask yourself to make sure you’re on the right track.

Excitement?

Relief?

Functionality?

I look forward to hearing what you’re doing in your own home. If you are a Society member -Please CLICK HERE to see the full version of this post and the three design challenges I’ve faced in this house and how I answered each of those three questions in each space.

I appreciate you being here!

10 Comments

  1. Rachael Boon

    I am so like you, it’s bonkers. Having a creative brain/ heart/ soul is both a curse and a blessing in equal measure, for sure. There’s always something yearned for, that’s just out of reach, isn’t that true?! Hey ho, for better or worse, this is who we are. So let’s roll up our sleeves (again)
    Sending love to you and yours my friend. Xx

    Reply
  2. Debbie Robinson

    I love the way you express things in words. It’s like you are putting into words, all the things I’m thinking and feeling when I’m creating my spaces. Nothing is ever truly finished. It’s a creative journey. I’m so very grateful that I discovered your channel.

    Reply
    • Parisienne Farmgirl

      Thank you so much. I do appreciate that feedback and am glad you enjoy.

      Reply
  3. Jacqueline Conley

    We are in the midst of a home remodel. It was very run down,a old farmhouse. We are fixing the problems and transforming it into our own french country farmhouse chateau. It’s very exciting. Lots of work. But when it is done, it will be a comfy cozy home. I enjoy your videos. Thank you.

    Reply
  4. sheila Smith

    Design for me is ongoing. I love it when a room finally comes together but I don’t believe we ever really get it finished.

    Reply
  5. Candice Maralusha

    Hi Angela!
    Thank you for all that you do!
    I’m SO looking forward to receiving my first OW magazine!
    Any who…….. I recently purchased a couple antique oil lamps……. I am a little nervous with what I’m burning for my family and my bird ( I’m a doTERRA user myself)….. I noticed yours burning in a few videos …… what type of fuel do you use?
    Sorry for the bother but I have been wracking my brain trying to find the safest cleanest oil to burn!! 🙂

    Reply
    • Parisienne Farmgirl

      Oh I don’t know. I just get stuff from the hardware store. I buy different brands til I find one that doesn’t reek.

      Reply
  6. Melinda Biddy

    Oh Angela, you are such a words smith….swoon. I am in the midst of making small changes such as throw pillows, blankets and curtains. Trying to make a more cozy space to love.

    Reply
  7. Vicky

    You are so talented! I am a mess! 43 years of chaotic hodgepodge decorating for me. Besides lack of talent, I have lack of funds and good resources. So I just dream and drool over your beautiful home!

    Reply
  8. Teresa

    Two comments–I agree re: Homegoods and other stores like that. They are necessary for many items but I choose to purchase thrifted items and collect over time. I like the idea that a look is not put together in a day but collected over time. I am now labeling where I found it, date and what I paid. I’m hoping that my family will realize that these items are valuable to me.

    Painted furniture: Too much valuable furniture is being painted in ways that will never blend in over time. Also, antique furniture is not being appreciated for what it is and damaged in ways that cannot be restored. That being said, I enjoy painting furniture and stenciling it subtly when the piece cannot be saved due to circumstances beyond my control.

    Reply

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