The Way We Live

via Better Homes and Gardens

In an unpretentious cottage a deep sill creates the perfect spot for a small collection.

This is how it all begins ~

Young newlyweds set up housekeeping with the mixed blessings of a few family pieces to start off with. Some are fortunate to be handed priceless family antiques & horse hair sofas. Some are handed their childhood bedroom set and Grandmothers hand painted china.

Carolina Romarea guest bedroom at the Greenbrier, by Dororthy Draper and then redecorated by Carlton Varney

Some consider this a blessing & some consider it a curse. Either way, when we bring things from the past into our homes, it's an opportunity to connect with the stories and people behind them, or in some cases, have a huge tag sale!

Thank goodness we have begun to re-evaluate the old blueprint for the "house of our dreams" which often has us equating value with square footage ~ those who have little rooms and a keen eye for mixing the old in with the new have it made. Thank goodness many channel their talents through their amazing books, blogs, websites, and magazines!

Miles Redd

We thank you!

Some have learned over time that comfort has almost nothing to do with the size of a space. It's attained, rather, by tailoring our house and it's furnishings to fit the way we really live.

Nick Olsen

Every generation has it's preferences and priorities ~

Fleur Cowles

Fleur Cowles

Mixing design styles and pushing the boundaries of tradition, allows each generation to give these "hand-me-downs" an even richer story.

Some choose to stay within traditional guidelines when making their design choices, others choose to mix it all up and celebrate their individuality.

via Quintessencevia leseuerinteriorsblog

They line the dining room walls with books, and suddenly it becomes a real room in which to work, wine, dine, live & learn.

Imagine that!

 Houzz | Emily A Clark Interiors

They believe that Aunt Martha's settee would be much more comfortable in the kitchen ~

 Caroline O'Donnel

And their mismatched lamps, tables, and chairs actually love hanging out together in the "sitting" room!

Jeffrey Bilhuber

Some hold on to the notion that there's a reason for every room. A living room, dining room, drawing room, smoking room, music room, etc. Thank goodness along with lifestyles, the names have been changed. The drawing room has become a home office, the smoking room is now a home gym, and the music room grew up and became a home theatre!

Fleur Cowles in her legendary study.

Still ~ I'm not very fond of the constraints imposed by traditional lines & conventional spaces. I like furniture that serves several purposes and a room that catches many elements of my day.

Charlotte Moss for Lonny

Southern style & the way we live ~

Even though furniture styles often suggest attitudes towards stiff posture and social hierarchy, I think it's as different and intriguing as the people and culture of the region.

Ruthie Somers

 Remember, you can't always judge a book by it's cover ~ One has only to cross the threshold of an austere townhouse with it's black shutters and solid brass door knocker to realize that…It's refreshingly filled with fine antiques paired with contemporary appointments!

David Flint Wood | Architectural Digest

Over time, the way we live gives our environment a rich patina of welcoming warmth. Inhabited by one, two, or a growing family, it's the essence that makes a house a home.

via Habitually Chic

 After all, the finest rooms are the ones in which we choose to live.

Remember, it all starts with a small collection on a deep window sill…

Photos | Pinterest | Scroll over for Designer


Pigtown*Design said...

so lovely. as always.


My Dog-Eared Pages said...

Adore this post Lisa. And, each interior example is just superb from a stellar group of decorators! Also love the flashes of Fleur Cowles. Wonderful. ox

Henhurst Interiors said...

What a great post, Lisa. So many wonderful images, (I especially love the one showing the diminutive chair with a stack of books on the seat beside the desk,) and a very good point about finding ways to use inherited antiques in the rooms of our contemporary homes. I've struggled with some family pieces, ended up feeling like I was trying too hard to include them in the current arrangement of the house - dictated by the current needs of the family, and have stored them. In my next phase I will revisit them and this idea.
Have a great weekend.

quintessence said...

I think you've captured the spirit of what's happening today in design. It's all about making it personal and it's always been and always will be about the story! Just lovely.

Renae Moore said...

Oh so true LIsa! I have been blessed with many antiquess that aren't quite my style but appreciate where they came from. They mix in with my tastes for a beautifully eclectic and warm home. Our homes truly are to be a reflection of us and meld with our lifestyles. xo

Karena Albert said...

Beautifully said Lisa!
Have a wonderful weekend...
The Arts by Karena

Coty Farquhar said...

This is such a lovely post Lisa, and so true, especially for me. We started to decorate our home (many years ago) with only a few family pieces, and a few of Andrew's pieces. Then we gathered many different things along the way. Looking back now, they were special days, our own little house to decorate our way.
Sending much love, looking forward to catching up with you soon.
xxxx Coty

Willow Decor said...

What a beautiful post. I agree that in my home my most treasured things are the ones from my family. Over the years we have moved often and sometimes they haven't fit in the space as well as they could but having them around made me feel closer to home. Loved your images. Happy New Year, my friend.
xox Gina