23 August 2011

Fashion and décor, full circle

One dogma I’ve heard a few times is that while art inspires fashion, fashion inspires décor. Whatever is hot on the runway today will show up in your home next year, in the form of a lamp or a rug. And on a related note, I’ve also heard the advice that if you’re unsure how to decorate a room, check your own closet for help in figuring out what styles and colors you like.

While that seems true in general, I haven't really felt like it applied to me. I put a lot of work and thought into my house, but I wear jeans almost daily (yeah graduate school!), skirts only when it’s miserably hot and only then for the simple reason that a skirt is a logical choice for the steamy weather. Pretty much every day I wear my super comfortable Merrell’s sandals – only varying brown or black – even when an outfit might call for cuter shoes. Most of the clothes I buy come from Target, and most are solid colors. Lots of black and gray. Yes, I could do worse and usually my clothes are a step up from an old t-shirt, but I don’t feel stylish, let alone inspirational. When it comes to designing for our house, I certainly don't look at my closet.

However. Recently I was pulling out some of my favorites articles of clothing, most on the slightly more stylish side, to travel to Chicago for ten days – half family visit, half scientific conference. And as I gathered the clothes to pack on my bed, I noticed something.

The colors of clothes I was packing? They basically represent all the colors in our house. I do love our house, and I've worked hard to make it cohesive and almost mix-and-match among the different rooms, so I guess it makes sense that I would subconsciously pack it up in my suitcase to take with me!

See, I’ll show you. Remember this photo of the office I showed you a few weeks ago?

Well, my love of black and gray (represented with skirts, pants, tanks, and a cardigan) along with some blue and white shirts pretty much sum up that room:

Our master bedroom is similarly toned, with gray walls and bedding and ivory curtains as I showed you before:

Plus we have these paintings over the bed with hints of ivory and blue:

That blue shirt with a gray shirt, an ivory tank, and an ivory and gray shirt definitely evokes the same idea.

Actually, I’ll confess that gray shirt has been a longtime favorite of mine and – now that I think about it – actually did inspire the wall color in the bedroom. Gray shirt with red hair, gray walls with reddish wood-toned furniture and floors? Huh. What do you know.

I can keep going, too! My love of neutrals inspired the redecoration in our guest bathroom, with stripes in shades of beige and a white shower curtain:

Well, a white button-up shirt with khaki shorts, as well as not one but two ivory shirts, definitely keep the neutrals going in my clothes, too.

And funnily enough, even when I do bring in color in my house, like in the kitchen with its high-contrast white cabinets and dark fixtures, cheerful green walls and pops of red accents...

...the same colors are “accenting” my wardrobe. Red shirt, green shirt, green necklace with white shirt, it’s all there.

Basically our entire house can be summed up with my suitcase – our red, ivory, and tan living room with hints of navy blue can be represented with those red and ivory shirts, khaki shorts and jeans.

And you’ve already seen all the pieces that can represent our green and white guest room – even the black, red, gray, and blue touches in the art and linens in the room.

This was definitely a lightbulb moment! I've got to concede that the clothes in my closet and the style in our home are undoubtedly related, but as for which inspired which? Well, the house is an ongoing project, and many of those clothes were purchased at the same time. So it’s a draw. But one thing is for sure: I’m consistent in what I like!