How to find what you like – and what you just don’t.

22 Jul

Generally I like to keep things short, sweet and to the point. I’ve had some thoughts though, about personal style in your home. I thought I’d do a write-up and share. (Accompanied with some rad finds from Etsy.com that show my personal style.)

Reflecting your personal style can seem so simple, or like such a small concern. But without the right tools style can become really complicated and estranged. Maybe you bought an entire vintage bedroom set just because it was, say, 1950’s style! And a great deal! But.. then you realize your room no longer feels as though it belongs to you. I call this phase THE RUTS. Here’s a helpful tool to use when you start to feel lost in the sea of “stuffs.”

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Whenever I start gettin’ into ruts,  (by ruts I mean I am completely unable to fathom buying anything, everything I find I feel is garbage, and I feel stagnant in my own personal taste, and don’t know WHAT I like in this world of “vintage”) I start to look at Etsy.

And I look at Etsy like this:
Now, you can tell by all my Etsy posts how often this “ruts” feeling happens to poor me. Doing Etsy searches are a great tool for inspiration, refining your taste, and becoming aware of whats out there because there’s just so much!

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Annnnnd searching on Etsy it’s easy!

Easy because all you gotta do is type some “keywords” and voila – all your wildest dreams are right there on your monitor. It’s like walking into a bunch of really fancy stores from all over the world simultaneously, and everything around you is glistening like gold. Well, not everything. But most things are pretty alright.
So here goes a rant — er advice,  — ER TIPS, that I’d like to share with all of you Mid-Mod nerds on how to  keep the eyes peeled, ideas flowing, and your taste exceptional yet uniquely you when searching. I’ve added stuffs into this post because I know how much cha’ll like stuffs. (Also I meant nerd in the most endearingly way possible. Cha’ll got it going on don’t sweat!)

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One of the keys I realized about just constantly looking at neat stuff, is that I become more educated in what neat stuff looks like (ie, good design!!). The materials, the shape, the all in all impression something well designed gives you personally.

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When you have an idea of what’s out there it makes it a whole lot easier to shop at chaotic places like thrift stores, yard-estate sales, and antique shops. Not all Mid Century design is the same, by any means. Not all “retro” is the same.  Once you realize this, it helps minimize  “impulse buys.” You get a better feel for what your personal style is like, and what belongs in your home. Not everyone is into the tiki, or the Danish, or that avocado green – but you may never know that you don’t care for it unless you know what else is out there. Catch my drift?
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Impulse buys are still gonna happen because duh, we human! But you want to get to a place where even if you make an impulse buy, you aren’t regretting it once you get home. Maybe you spent a little too much money on a Thrift Store item, but let’s hope it makes you smile from ear to ear and you just cheesing every time you walk by your silly Danish Viking.

$69.00 So let us take this lil’ bean for example. It’s amazing!!!!
Before I saw it I would have never thought anyone could have been so witty and creative. Pieces like this are really inspiring, because they inform “un-edumuahcated” people like myself, on how design was being pushed in this era of creativity that we all love. It helps me personally understand what I like. Opposed to the bur- woodsy masculine carving board my friend would dig also from the 1960’s.
What it comes down to is finding exactly what your style is so you can love your treasures, pass them on to da grand-kiddies, and be happy in your home.

$85.00 Materials are also a big deal in vintage items. Materials can either make or break whether or not we are absolutely in love with something or completely hate it. It can also give an item exceptional value. (People are insane of teak right now, am I right?) When shopping, I am totally honed into classy glass, smooth sculpted wood, and – mmahmummm – leather that makes me swoon. I’m like a human scanner, dudes. And out thrifting my peripheral vision is working 110 percent.
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It’s good to know what are considered good, sturdy, vintage materials. It’s the difference between you knowing the worth of a solid walnut dresser on Craigslist and the seller thinking it’s old junk. That old junk has lasted 50 years, and chances are, will last another few decades.
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And I will say, that is a big one for us cheapies. Most of us can agree that some of our best finds have been from sellers that had no idea what they had, nor any use for it. So that super classy Dansk ice bucket gets thrown into hardware section for some reason, or the walnut candlesticks are thrown into the salt and pepper shaker area. Be it a thrift store, a mall, an antique shop, or Craigslist. The world is crazy, dudes. Full of crazy people with crazy idurs. “Believe dat.” *Bernie Mac voice.
$28.99 The mislabeling of items, or general lack of knowledge when it comes to the worth of things, is our gain. That’s why I seem like I got some hybrid-rabbies-bird-flu-malaria disease when I be up in that thrift store. My whole mouth is just foaming, I’m ripping into shelves with my arms flailing into the sky – periodically pounding my chest — while nobody wants to say hi to me, or get close to where I be, because they are afraid to catch whatever it is they presume I have. STRATEGIES, my mimomito friends. Strategies.
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So that’s all I got for now — OH. Wait. Fooled cha’ll!
Doing a buncha searches when you’re bored, or following a blog (THIS BLOG… THIS BLOG. j/k, ..sorta) is almost like you’re in a room full of people that enjoy the same thing as you. For me it’s pretty motivating.
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So there’s my advice to get a grasp on what your personal style looks like, so you can appreciate good design more than you ever thought you could. Chu know why? Because it will be a soft reflection of who you are as a person, and what you value. You are communicating to others through design who you are. And that is a very neat thing when it happens.
Have a great weekend dudes – jump into a river, travel somewhere, BE TOTSAMERRY.

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