So, as I’ve mentioned previously, I’m trying to redecorate my living space in a way that reflects what I love and value; it’s been slow going mostly because I was struggling with defining what I like.  I could look at Pinterest and home decor blogs for hours and like a million different things, but didn’t really have anything click with how I wanted my home to feel.  See, that’s what I wanted more than any specific look – I wanted a specific feeling.  I wanted my home to feel warm and comfortable and welcoming and lived-in, with cheerful handmade touches.  Basically, I wanted my house to feel like a really awesome grandmother’s house, one where the furniture is comfortable, the quilts are plentiful, and the kitchen table invites you to sit down and eat cookies.  But I just didn’t know how to translate a feeling into how I decorate my home.

And then I met this chair:

I spotted it sitting on the sidewalk outside a local resale shop, and I fell in love.  Yes, the cushions need to be recovered (though my inner grandmother loves the pastoral village scenes pictured), but the chair is so comfy and the wood is so warm…ahh.  Love.  Taller Half decided I was worth the 26 bucks, so my new love came home with us.

And it’s like something clicked for me:  I like used things that belonged to what had to be elderly people.  Would it sound better if I called it “Modern Vintage” or “Retro Vintage” or some other thing?  Probably.  But the truth is: I want to be surrounded by things that have history, that have genuine wear from being loved, that speak of a time and place, not just a big store where everything looks kind of the same.

Now that I know this, it’s making it so much easier to make progress on my redecorating efforts.  Some of my finds recently:(clockwise from top left: clawfoot table with milk glass vases, souvenir plate & tray, wood puzzle map, dog weathervane, hobnail dish for holding watch/rings while washing dishes, needlepoint footstool)

What’s amazing to me is that just these few “new” things have already altered the feel of my home.   The kitchen table, for example: our old table was dark, rectangular, and pub-height, which was great for my 6’5″ husband, but not so much for 5’5″ me.  When we had people over, nobody ever sat down at it – it just didn’t invite that.  But on Saturday night when we had my family over and the new kitchen table had officially been in our home for a matter of hours, it actually changed how our kitchen felt.  My family sat down at it, we drank coffee and talked, we played games.  It was exactly how I wanted my kitchen to feel.

I’m so excited to have found my style.  I don’t plan on turning my house into, like, a Museum of the Grandmother, but having these timeworn touches makes it feel like…well…home to me.  And that was all I ever wanted anyway.

And on a related note, Jen and I are heading to OKC this weekend for a girls’ trip that we’re calling Boomtown Sisters Fall Leadership Conference 2012 (or BSFLC’12, for those in the know), and we plan to do lots of “research” at the antique and vintage stores there.  I can’t wait to report on what we find!