Lately, I’ve been thinking about my mission here at Elizabeth Andersen. What am I bringing to peoples' lives? What is the essence of my business? It finally came to me, earlier this week. After I peeled away the layers of the day-to-day, at the core of my work is the concept of Organic Style. I'll explain, and hopefully help you realize you have the power to create your own organic style.
I use the word “organic,” not in a crunchy, granola-y way, but in an original, thoughtful and intentional way. In today’s world it can be hard to create a thoughtful space. We are constantly bombarded with quick, disposable ways to achieve a style without thought and effort. TV commercials pitching “full living room sets!” or shopping the aisles of the local big-box craft store and finding rows and rows of cheap reproductions made to look like well-designed vintage, rustic and antique pieces ... or heading to the supposed market of world-found goods to find pre-printed canvas wall art.
The culture we live in these days doesn’t support waiting for the perfect piece to come available, taking the time to shop or have something created custom, or hitting the local flea-market or antique store or shopping the handmade and vintage online marketplaces. That takes too much time, too much thought and too much intention. We want our room to look like the Pinterest post we found yesterday right away, and we will happily throw away our money on meaningless items to achieve it.
What do you love? What do you collect? Matchbox cars, seashells, cigar boxes, books, antiques, family photos? Anything can be used as a place to start your design plan. If you love photos, perhaps a gallery-like concept would suit you. If it’s the cigar boxes, maybe the rich colors and designs and a shelving unit to display them is where you start.
Now, don’t just run out to the big-box store to get what you need. Shop the handmade and vintage marketplaces, the quality furniture stores and rug galleries. Take the time to get a few quotes from local trim carpenters who can build in those shelves that will be perfect and exactly what you envision. Choose art-work from a local artist or pick up pieces when you travel. All the sudden, you begin to feel in love with the space you surround yourself with.
I’m not saying an inexpensive piece like a slip-covered Ikea sofa until you can afford the slipcovered Ethan Allen sofa doesn’t work wonders in a pinch, but it’s still part of the plan. If you struggle with knowing how to start, or what to build on, hire a professional. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Many professional decorators and designers have flat fees for consultations. You’ll start to learn quickly after working with someone what to pay attention to when making choices.
So, in end, I encourage you to start giving your space thought and find your own “Organic Style.” Don’t keep throwing good money after bad on meaningless items. Have pieces made custom, work with professionals who excel in their trade. Find beautiful pieces and save your money to buy them when you can. Eventually your space will look like that catalog or Pinterest post, only yours will mean everything to you. It will be cohesive, thoughtful, interesting and therefore Organic and all your own.