Monday, April 29, 2013

Cottage Gardens

Today I stepped outside of the box, as I got dressed this morning. I wore a coral colored skirt with a raspberry and orange shirt. It may not sound too daring to you, but it was a huge 'risk' for me who is more comfortable with predictable, orderly things.

My style for so long had been just that.......predictable, orderly, matching, formulated.

Example of a formal garden design.
Since I can remember I have always matched colors to the same color or neutral colors. Red skirt can go with a white/cream colored shirt, or a pink colored shirt but only if the pink colored shirt has the same shade of red in it somewhere.

In my gardens I always followed plans and guides. I would look at the way other designers laid out beds and learned their formulas and then reproduced them. I may have used different plants, but the same idea was just repeated and reused over and over.

Then, in my home, I would always pick neutral items, always wanting everything to 'flow' and 'go together'. The few pieces I owned that could be considered 'eye catching' were always only purchased when I had a blueprint of another house to inspire me. I looked at that inspirational house, figured out how to formulate/reproduce it in my own, and therefore, never created anything too daring.

That was where I felt comfortable. That was safe.

So you may find it funny that I love (have always loved)...............cottage gardens, crazy bohemian clothing styles, and eclectic style home furnishings.

Those three don't go with structure or order, and they break all the rules! Yet I love the way those things look. I love the riot of colors and textures!. They are vibrant and alive and they make my heart happy to look at them.
Colorful, yet still very formal garden design.

So when I was younger I use to try and study art like that....abstract/surreal, contemporary, modern. All those colors and textures drew me in. Things that had no order to them, and yet were beautiful. Then I would sit there and try to figure out a formula to reproduce it. Ha!

My point is, that I appreciated the beauty that comes from a lack of order/structure, but I didn't know how to live there myself.

Then I met a friend, Rachel Myers, who naturally did what I could not. Her clothing style was bohemian mixed with whatever she thought looked nice that day. Her gardens were always a menagerie of colors, varieties, and she even mixed veggies and flowers (oh, what a rule breaker, hahaha), and even her home furnishings were so free and creative, yet functional.

I looked and watched and appreciated her so much for those things. She taught me a lot about what my own limitations were. We would go flower shopping together and she would pick orange, red and yellow with pastel purples and yellow. I would say, 'no, you can't mix those colors' and she would say, 'why not', and I couldn't answer her.

Why not?

That simple question is what I ask myself all the time now. When I want to think, create, and live outside the 'box' of rules to make something new and beautiful, then I ask myself that question.
Why not?

For so long the reason 'why not' was because I was too afraid to try something new, take a risk, or let my natural instincts have a chance. Because maybe my natural instincts weren't right......

No! I chose now not to believe that now.
I am fearfully and wonderfully made......including my natural inclinations toward art, beauty, and nature.
Cottage boundaries.

So now, when I feel that thing rise up in me, that thing that says I can't do something, then that only tells me that it is something that is probably worth doing.

Like wearing whatever creative, vibrant colors I want to wear. Or planting whatever flowers I want to plant together. Or picking out that teal colored lamp for my living room that is decorated in reds and browns.

As I step out more and more, I am finding that my true style is more like the things I have always loved and admired.

Abstract. Bohemian. Eclectic. Cottage.

I was locked inside of a box made of fears. Fears of breaking 'rules', fears of taking a risk in mixing colors and textures, and fears of what other people might think about me if I were to really step out and show the way I really 'feel' through my sense of style.

I am finding that I have always been a lover of rainbows of colors, but had relegated myself to only the use of browns and grays  Here is to stepping out, taking a few style risks, and loving the real me all the more for the journey!

Step out and learn how much fun it can be to color outside the lines!

Cottage style garden....a riot of colors,
textures and forms!

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