The journey of customizing Le Papillon, my house and home in Bend, Oregon, since September 2019 has provided much opportunity for learning both about the actual and practical purpose of home remodeling and decorating but also for self-growth. Over the past nearly four years, an abundance of experiences, discoveries, lessons and ‘wow’ moments have been collected which is why I wanted to share today’s detailed and lengthy (90 minutes) episode with listeners of The Simple Sophisticate podcast.
As I share at the beginning of today’s episode, while it has been a dream of mine to customize my own home, I never actually planned to spend the past four years doing so, but the timing and opportunity presented itself to continue moving forward once my first “must-do” project (the kitchen) was completed, and now with the installation of the front porch screen door you see a glimpse of above, the journey is complete, and I am eager to share with you 33 lessons I have learned throughout the experience, so that you can confidently and more enjoyably take part in your own customization of your sanctuary that will, when you dare to trust what you discover and learn how to do what is needed, provide priceless refuge, rejuvenation, inspiration and joy for the life that brings you deep contentment.
No doubt, the journey had its headaches, stresses and questions along the way (for example, when will the bathroom ever get done!), but I share here and in the podcast episode, without any hesitation, it was worth it, to be able to call home and live my life now in a home that works with me, nourishes me and helps me feel secure but also confident enough to try to soar and explore when I step out the door into the world.
So let’s begin! In the Show Notes below I have only included the 33 bulleted points and left the detailed conversation, examples and ideas solely in the audio section as otherwise, this post would have been very loooooong. To thank you for your patience as there was no new episode on the 1st Wednesday of this month, I have two Petit Plaisirs to share with you today, and I look forward to sharing those with you at the end of this post and episode. Now to the episode!
~Note to readers: Be sure to tune in to the audio version of this episode as I talk in detail about each of the 33 points below.
~Explore becoming a TOP Tier Member of TSLL International Community and discover the many benefits as well as read testimonials from current members so that you can begin viewing the exclusive content of all of TSLL’s home tours that will be linked below and were mentioned in the episode. (There are one-time passes available as well.)
~I mentioned throughout the episode that even more tips for my approach to decorating as well as budget ideas were shared when I was a recent guest on podcast Decorating Tips & Tricks with Anita Joyce. Here is a link to that episode.
~The link to learn more about Rita Konig’s interior decorating course offered on CreateAcademy.
Making the Best Decisions for You
1.Patience is key for knowing what will work best.
~take the Office Tour here~
2. If you aren’t sure yet, keep searching. It will pounce on you when you do.
~The foyer and entry (interior and exterior) house tour, complete with a custom wood screen door is complete! Take a tour here.
3. Choose an item (piece of furniture, window, work of art, item in your kitchen – the stove) that is the star of the room and everything else will support that.
La Cornue: Why This French Stove is the Best Fit for My Kitchen and Life (take a full tour of the kitchen as well)
4. Metal finishes don’t have to be all the same exact finish, but they need to be in the same metal family.
5. Dismiss trends. Follow what speaks to you and makes you feel at home. Design from that space and you will be happier far longer.
6. Invest in the sofa, and recover high quality hand-me-down chairs.
7. Know how you live best in your house.
8. Choose color combinations that work well in Mother Nature naturally. Stick to a few colors in each room – not too many.
Take a tour of the Dining Room and the Curtains, inspired by Provence. How to Frame a Room in an Open-Floor Plan.
Working with Others (Contractors, Designers, Subcontractors, etc.)
9. Patience is also key when working with your many subcontractors, experts and contractor.
10. Buy as many of the items directly rather than have your contractor do so. It will save you money.
11. Make sure every item arrives that you ordered immediately upon arrival. If not, call and get it sent ASAP.
12. Have pictures of exactly what you are thinking – design of tiles, placement of fixtures, style of curtains, etc.
13. Get ready to find your voice. You will need it.
14. Check each invoice to confirm correct itemization for charges for the retailer and your contractor’s percentage charged
15. Be willing to live in your house or visit it everyday if you can to ensure quality of work and correct work is done – speeds up the process.
16. Don’t take their word at face value. Come prepared. Know your house and be comfortable walking away and finding someone else.
17. Keep checking in.
18. “Man-splaining” will likely happen. Be prepared for egos to be bruised when you speak up. Do so with grace, but with strength. It’s hard, but will help you sleep better.
Skills that will Give You Options
19. How to choose and coordinate prints (wallpaper and upholstery).
Take a Tour of the first room to be remodeled and redesigned – The English-inspired Boot & Basket room.
20. Lead the eye into the next room by creating interest visually.
21. Details matter. Tend to them as you can afford.
22. Shop consignment and barter.
5 Tips I Learned during my First Brocante Visit (in France)
23. Invest in quality fabric for curtains, BUT keep in mind that you don’t need an interior designer if you know what you want. This will save you money. Find a seamstress you trust and work directly with them.
Curtains for a Reading Nook, English Cottage-inspired (living room)
24. Just because you haven’t done something before, doesn’t mean you cannot teach yourself to do it.
25. Wallpaper is powerful and immediately adds a signature to a room. Dare to do it. Start in a small room first to gather your nerve.
What Makes Le Papillon Feel Like My Forever Home
26. Don’t ask others to approve. Instead, look to those who understand design and ask how something works, then begin making decisions with this gained wisdom that speak to your taste.
27. Prioritize the entries of your home – the front (exterior and interior) and how you enter your home (from the garage, for example), if different.
28. Acknowledge where you spend most of your time. Start there.
29. Let the light in.
30. Create multiple Snug areas throughout the home (outside too).
31. Fresh flowers
32. Include details that make you smile.
33. Tech and clocks have their place, but none of them need to be glaringly obvious or obstructive.
Similar Posts/Episodes You Might Enjoy:
~Seaside Hotel (originally titled Badehotellet)
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