Hi everyone – Julia here. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m the currently pregnant blonde you see at the store and I do most of B. Whimsy’s social media, website, marketing, etc.
It’s hard to believe I’ve worked at the store for about three years now – and today is one of my last days before taking a break for maternity leave. I’ve learned a ton while working at B. Whimsy, as my personal and home decor style haves changed and developed and while picking up on some of Kari’s and Ashley’s expert tips!
So, for my last blog before baby comes, I’m sharing 5 things I’ve learned about dressing yourself or your home.
Trust your gut.
Over the last three years, I’ve talked with hundreds of you as you’ve shopped for your home, your closet, or your jewelry. Most people know what they like and what they don’t. Some just have a harder time hearing what their gut is telling them and trusting it.
But if you walk into a store and you’re drawn to something – there’s probably a reason. Even if what you’re loving is totally different than what you’d normally go for, there’s usually a way to work into your life and your existing style. So don’t be afraid to listen to yourself and be confident in your choices. I really think attitude and confidence is at least 75% of pulling something off!
For example, I walked into a store, saw this foot stool, and fell in love. It admittedly didn’t go with the colors in my living room (mustard and gray vs. greens and blues). But I loved it. So, I had B. Whimsy order it for me, and I added a few other mustard and gold touches to my living room to help tie it in. Art, accessories, pillows all can go a long way toward blending colors and styles! And, to this day, that stool that didn’t match anything in my house is one of my favorite things in my living room.
Don’t be afraid of change.
B. Whimsy’s motto is “Always Changing, Always Different.” And, if you go a month or two between visits to the store, you’ll definitely notice that that’s true! The store is constantly changing, as new and different items arrive or as Kari and Ashley feel ready for a change.
It’s so interesting to watch this process, because sometimes it’s a huge change – like rearranging all of the furniture. And other time’s it’s a simple change – like swapping out rugs. Sometimes it will even feel like a new space when we just burn a different candle. It’s amazing how new a space feels when something is just a little different.
Empowered by this philosophy – and much to my husband’s chagrin – I’ve rearranged my main living areas about a hundred times in the last three years. Between decorating for parties or showers, decorating for Christmas, or just wanting a change, things move around pretty regularly in my house. When people come over, they often ask if Kari has been here decorating again?! (And, let’s be honest, sometimes she has!) But it’s usually just that I’ve moved one or two things – the couch in a new position, a floral arrangement in a new spot, or some paintings that I’ve rotated. Sometimes things stay like that for just a few days because it wasn’t such a good change, and other times they stay for months. But whatever the change is and for however long it stays like that, it’s always feels refreshed and new.
And so on, times 100.
Invest in staples.
Last year, we did a blog series on Kari’s decorating all-stars; the items that make a room really shine. Interesting pieces of furniture, rugs, lamps, pillows, and art. (We will be re-visiting some of those all-stars on the blog in coming weeks, so stay tuned!) As I’ve seen her decorate numerous spaces and continually redecorate the store, I’ve seen just how important these staples are – and how much they deserve our investment to get exactly what we want. They are worth the time investment to get it just right, as well as the financial investment in items that stand the test of time.
In my own home, I can point to a few examples – my living room rug and these paintings, to name a few. As I’ve rearranged my living room time and time again, these items have always stayed in the same spot. They serve as the backdrop upon which I can layer the other furniture and accessories to achieve the change I want.
Save on trends.
Trendy items, whether we’re talking about clothes or home decor, are key to making us feel current. They bring an element of change, excitement, interest.
But, they’re also fleeting. Trends come and go. They are the things you see everywhere (and, admittedly, love) that in a year or two, you’ll be tired of looking at.
For me, an example of that is chevron. (My friends and family laughed at me when my nursery theme included “NO CHEVRON” – a hard rule to follow in the baby world these days!) I have a few chevron things from when it was so popular a few years ago – this book box for example – and they’re sitting in a closet now. I loved these items for the pattern they brought to my life for a few seasons – but, thankfully, I didn’t spend much on them so it’s not a travesty that they’re in a spare closet for now.
Add some color. And some sparkle.
I remember when Kari first walked into my house to help me decorate for the Christmas Tour of Homes a few years ago. I had lived in my house for only a few months – and I knew I needed help! She walked in, looked around, and said “well, I see you haven’t committed to a color scheme yet!” I still laugh about this, because I thought I was pretty solidly in the green and brown color scheme. But, she helped me find ways to add pops of color to my neutral tendencies to make the space a little more interesting and dynamic.
Likewise, working at B. Whimsy has definitely changed how I dress and accessorize. When I started working at B. Whimsy, you were most likely to find me in solid black and no jewelry. (And, pretty often, that’s still how you’ll find me!) But, B. Whimsy taught me to add in some color, some pattern, and some sparkle every now and then. It’s amazing how far it goes to add a little joy to your day.
So, put on your Mariana – even if it’s with a t-shirt and a messy bun – and conquer the day!