I mentioned at the end of Friday's post that part of our decoration of Jay's house included diagnosing his style, following in the footsteps of my favorite designer, Emily Henderson. Emily hosts HGTV's Secrets from a Stylist and she starts each job with a "style diagnostic", which helps her figure out her clients' styles. She creates cute little names for each of the styles, such as "Midcentury Artist", "Eclectic Cool", or "Tuscan Modern". Seeing as I am in love with every design Emily creates, I knew that we needed to start off by diagnosing Jay's style.
To do this, Jason and I thought about Jay - what he likes, where he travels, what restaurants he goes to - and even showed him a few photos of room interiors and asked what he liked and disliked about each of them. We went into it with a few ideas, but after talking with Jay, we decided that "International Country Club" was a style diagnostic that even Emily would approve of.
The first day that we were in Portland was a busy day: Jay and Jason worked on the garage (unpacking, moving things into the attic, hanging shelves, installing workspaces, etc.), while I tackled the inside of the house. Jay was incredibly flexible: I asked him if I could just start "playing" with his decor (aka, moving things around and trying things out). He said yes. I asked him if there was anything that couldn't be moved or anything that he did not want me to touch. He gave me full permission (a dream come true for a crazy like me, really) - the only thing that needed to stay was a clock on the mantel.
As soon as the boys were out of the picture I set to work. Unfortunately I forgot to take before pictures. Stupid. But, here's how the process went, for any of you looking to do some redecorating at your houses. I started off by going through cabinets, pantries, and closets (kitchen, family room, and office) looking for "treasures". By treasures I mean things of interest - cool things, fun things, functional things that were maybe being overlooked. This included vases, pitchers, books, tins, trays, statues, cigar boxes, chalices, bowls, records: anything and everything that I thought could have a visual impact. I placed all these things on the tables in the living room. Then, I just started placing items on shelves, working to create little vignettes - moments of visual interest that would appropriately fill the space.
For "International Country Club", my goal was four-fold:
1. To show Jay's international side (he has an enormous love of traveling and has spent a great deal of time traveling the world).
2. To keep things masculine, fairly traditional, and refined while still conveying a comfortable, casual tone.
3. To make it work with what he had and purchase as little as possible.
4. To keep things looking streamlined, open, and clutter-free.
Here is the result:
And a few hastily-shot close-ups of the shelves: