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Why this habitual rule follower breaks all the design rules at home!

Updated: Jan 26, 2020

I’ve been a rule follower for as long as I can remember. Maybe it’s a birth order thing or a by-product of growing up in an environment where I wanted to avoid negative attention. For whatever reason Rules and I became friends. We went to school together and were teammates for any and all imaginable sports. We muddled through awkward adolescence side by side and Rules might even have a role, albeit small, in choosing my life partner. Rules even accompanied me into the delivery room. During labor with my second son Henry, I missed the opportunity for an epidural. Since the epidural didn’t quite work with my first delivery, I wasn’t too upset by not having one this time around. But ‘ouch!’ When it was time to push, I pushed…and screamed. Screamed and pushed. This pattern repeated itself until the doctor set a rule. ‘Focus the energy you’re using to scream into the pushing.’ So I did. I followed the rule, though I wanted to scream. Henry arrived, me screaming or not, and life went on. Rules was happily living side by side with me until I became a home decorator.

Any designer walking into my home could immediately point out any number of rules I’m breaking in my approach to home decorating. ‘The rug is too small, the picture too high, the curtains don’t pool enough or too much and what exactly is your style anyway?’ Finding and claiming a style, to me, is like setting a rule. It’s a rule for decorating a home a certain way and with specific products or brands. It can be telling us what to buy and where to shop and ultimately, how much to spend to follow that rule. AND I CAN’T STAND IT! Houses should become homes and homes should have heart and character. They should tell a story of who you are - identifiable not as a specific style, but as YOU. Who you are as a person is what your home decorating style, in my opinion, is and should be.

So…who am I and how is that reflected in my home’s style? That I can answer. The stripes on the curtains or walls would say my family is fun, while bookshelves full of family-favorite reads would show the value we place on literature and might even be a remnant of degrees previously earned. The neutral walls wouldn’t feel neutral because there is color greeting you at every turn, again saying, ‘we’re fun and like to play.’ The white fuzzy rug sitting underneath a French Provincial coffee table would let you in on a little secret – we can be classy at times, but we still like practicality. Ladies, it’s like wearing a dress with pockets! The table was thrifted (still my all time best find ever!) and the rug is washable. The farm table or the bathroom barn door could indicate that we’re farmers at heart (Greg grew up on a farm, so I guess that’s partially true), but really they say we’re creative and showcase Greg’s craftsmanship! It doesn’t hurt that we love to eat and host people while we do so, so the oversized table beckons and invites. The art on the bookshelves and walls tell their own story. Aside from a few box-store pieces, they all have a meaning greater than just being a hole filler. The list could go on and on.

What would I see if I came to your home? What story would it tell? Would it say, ‘I have a style and it’s called_________?’ Would it be in a place of discovery and transformation, trying to reflect on the walls who you are on the inside? Would it be the same as it was when you moved in years ago? If you were able to answer any of those questions, and even if you couldn’t, you’re in the right place. fig & farm (at home) is a place where you can come as you are, learning as we go. It’s a place where perfect isn’t a thing to strive for or an end to the beginning. It’s a place where I’ll tell the stories of us, my family, where I can chronicle life’s moments while sprinkling in design secrets I’ve learned along the way. The aqua door that matches no other doors in the neighborhood is how you’ll notice that you’ve arrived. Welcome!

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