WHAT'S your favourite decorating style? If it's classic coastal - we're going to get along fabulously!
I LOVE classic beach houses. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THEM.
My favourite decorating style is inspired by gorgeous beachside homes, that are not only beautiful but casual and homey.
In particular, I am besotted with simple, white timber beach houses. I think they're beautiful.
In fact, I wanted to publish this collection of articles under the banner 'White House Appreciation Society', however market research (my kids) indicates that may have created some confusion for my readers!
To be honest, I adore all sorts of classic houses - cottages, country homesteads and hilltop lodges, but beach houses with a contemporary twist are my absolute fave. There's something about the ocean meeting the sand that is so peaceful, so calming, even on a wretched, stormy day.
I love the simplicity of white houses - the limitless possibilities of a blank canvas that can be embellished as much as desired, or pared back to the bare bones - the ultimate in gracious elegance and sophistication.
Simple, classic design drawing inspiration from the Hamptons, French Provincial and British Colonial styles has influenced every renovating and decorating project I have completed.
I thought perhaps my affinity for this style of decorating may have waned in time, but it hasn’t, and I don’t think it ever will. It is after all a classic, timeless style of decorating. It will always inspire me.
I put my heart and soul into every project I complete and I do so with my own signature style, taking inspiration from current trends as well as my classic favourites.
I want to encourage you to do the same.
"Express yourself. Be courageous. Find your style."
If not, it doesn't matter. The principles of renovating apply to every style!
Everything from paint colour and flooring to soft furnishing and artwork has to speak to you in your space. It has to remind you to be grateful for what you have and for what you have to share with those you love.
"It’s your space - own it."
There is so much to learn. So much to be inspired by.
Style the way you want to, but embrace and be inspired by the fabulous world of designers, stylists, bloggers and influencers available today at your fingertips.
Take on board my decorating tips and advice - find out as much as you can about the renovating process before you even start.
"Plan, budget, prepare."
My favourite decorating style involves oodles of white.
White on white on white.
Or, more specifically - Double Alabaster - my favourite white.
I think white is the perfect canvas or backdrop for whatever style you wish to embrace. It’s just a matter of choosing your white!
Some might call my style boring, or predictable. I don’t care. I love it and I think I will continue to use white as a backdrop for all my designs.
Have the confidence to style your way. It' the only way you'll truly feel happy and satisfied with your renovating efforts.
"Sure, get advice and inspiration from others, but whatever you choose must speak to you."
I love to sprinkle my alabaster canvases with splashes of ink, beautiful indigo blues or luxurious charcoal blacks.
Throw in a few earthy neutrals in furnishing and fabrics and I’m in decorating heaven!
I love textures and gorgeous fabrics, heritage style linens - of course - and vintage designs of all descriptions.
I take much of my inspiration from the ocean - the glorious subtle colours of the ever-changing water, the sand, and the surrounding landscape.
Soft sandy neutrals, greens, blues and greys form the palate for the perfect beach house - in my opinion anyway!
I love taking photos of the oceans on in all sorts of conditions - sunny days, stormy days, dusk, twilight - the colours are magnificent and so inspiring.
Take a peek at my photo gallery and you'll see why I am so influenced by the ocean and beautiful seaside landscape.
"Make it fun. Enjoy the process. Celebrate the results."
I have created Vintage Alabaster to help, to inspire, and to share your journey, to encourage you to create your own special space to love and share.
Of course, there is another reason for undertaking a renovation - flipping a house for profit. Regardless of whether you are renovating your dream home or planning to sell your renovated masterpiece, similar principles apply.
"First and foremost, enjoy the experience. Love your creation."
Find out what works for you and use it to your advantage. The guidelines for planning and budgeting and remaining disciplined about your project remain the same.
Renovating is not for the faint-hearted.
Even creating a blissful, relaxed beach house involves setting a budget and following a well-thought out plan.
"It can be very challenging at times to create the look you hope to achieve within budgetary constraints, but if you plan carefully and remain disciplined it will soooo be worth it."
That's why much of the advice I plan to give you in my first blog posts relates to the not-so-fun parts of renovating and styling - because that's the really important part to get right.
Once you have carefully created your beautiful canvas you can unleash your creative powers to the max!
Play around with decorating aspects that are easy to change, paint colours, soft furnishings etcetera, but it's essential to first get the basics right.
Make no mistake, it will cost you to make significant changes, so plan, accurately estimate costs and maintain a disciplined approach to your project, however unexciting certain aspects of it may be.
The fun stuff will come soon enough!
Regardless of whether you're a lover of classic coastal style like me or not is irrelevant when it comes the basics of renovating - the same principles apply to every project. Follow me and I’ll inspire you in every way that I can to strategically embark on your own creative journey, be it updating your kitchen, revamping your living room or gutting and rebirthing your entire house!
Renovating with love,