Fads come and go but personal taste stays more consistent throughout our lives. It might sway a bit back and forth through the decades as we grow, but overall the vibe of what we genuinely love is deeply rooted in our chosen environment and upbringing.
I've planted my life in Washington State over the past decade, so mine has developed into a seas and trees vibe, Forrest Seaside Fancy Granny Core if you will.
As a kid, my mother and I would watch Little House on the Prarie, Anne of Green Gables, and Pollyanna. I'd always admire the farmhouse of Green Gables nestled right next to the Atlantic on Prince Edward Island. I dreamt of the day I'd have my own where I can open a window and smell the sea and hear the sounds of seagulls cackling outside while four seasons come and go. I treasure our moody winters with blustering rainy days that seem to have no end until May.
I have the unsolicited urge to help others feel the same magic I felt when I watched Anne Shirley growing up-
To see life romantically and thoughfully...to slow down and take in the scenery.
I have a theory that we reflect our surroundings in many ways. What we bring into our homes to decorate, how we dress, and what we eat are highly influenced by our climate and nature that's right outside our doors.
So if I were to help someone find their personal style or home aesthetic, I'd say consider where you live. Even if you reside in the middle of nowhere, there's always something to celebrate and I hope I get to visit enough places to try to understand what that is in each city. I like to see the potential in everything.
Charleston has weeping willows and historic charming architecture.
Tahoe has enormous snow-capped mountains and a beautiful lake.
Sedona has bright orange cliffs and dry heat lightning that quietly dances in the night.
Oregon's coast has brisk ocean breezes and quaint seaside towns.
For me, it's the giant foggy pines and sea air of the Pacific Northwest- calling me like an old friend.
If you don't particularly like your surroundings, envision what you wish it was. When I was in Virginia growing up I always imagined opening my bedroom window and smelling the ocean even though it was far from us. I would close my eyes and imagine the wind going through the trees was actually waves breaking over rocks. I guess I might have manifested it.
FINDING MY STYLE
Check out my boutique to shop looks like this!
I've confessed my love for the Pacific Northwest a million times over.
Upon living here for a while, I've noticed my style has definitely adapted. I've Iearned how to cleverly layer for the weather changing five times in one day. I have a vast collection of camisoles, bodysuits, flat shoes, leggings, and weatherproof vests. I'm naturally drawn to gingham, plaid, and flannel, but still have an appreciation for ruffles, large collars, pleats, linen, and cute hats. Pollyanna goes Rainy Pacific Coast.
MY HOME AESTHETIC
My home is sort of "boho-granny". My husband and I own an early 1900's Craftsman home, one of the most common in my region. The interior is a lot of high ceilings, old windows, and original built-in cabinets. I always imagine a fisherman's family living here in 1915. Perhaps, the hall cabinet was full of doilies and linens. The built-in hutch was used for flours, grains, and canned goods. I feel like the way we decorate can't be too modern or it wouldn't coincide with the house. So we have a mix of natural textures in rugs, drapery, and leathers, and kept the original doorknobs. I change runners and pillows out seasonally.
I have a candle burning as often as I'm home which is a lot (I'm a considerable homebody). I always go for earthy woodsy scents or herbal- so lavender, sandalwood, pine, musks, etc. to bring the outdoors in. I'm also a sucker for apple-cider scented anything.
Shop for this candle shown here.
Flowers Everywhere Always
Flowers in the garden make for flowers in the vases. 🌷
Here, in Spring, bluebells offer purple pops of color whereas in the Summer I get yellow buds from my rose bush. Roses do really well in the PNW so I find they're easy to care for. Anyone can put plants and herbs in their environment. This seems obvious but it really helps set the tone in your surroundings, clearly choosing plants that work in your region and reflect the outdoors. Trader Joe's is also my go-to for weekly bouquets and learning new flowers. If I really want them to last, I go with mums and eucalyptus. Plus, eucalyptus is the chosen plant for my store's branding so after I use it in a bouquet at home, I dry it and then add it to the huge vase on my counter at the boutique. Someone could do the same for their office desk, or use the dried eucalyptus in their shower but don't throw it away! Dried flowers are incredibly expensive.
Honestly if the above were Mr. Austin wanting the tea on who I am based on my garden, he'd likely say "amateur making an effort" or "she must be busy". But it's the little things that I can take pride in, like my little roses almost peeking through the buds.
WALKING FOR INSPIRATION
If I ever feel overwhelmed, anxious, or moody I can always take a walk and change it. It's just so beautiful here it's impossible to not cheer you right up. Not every time, but I'd say 90%, I try to dress with effort when I leave the house, even for walks. Rest assured the other 10% I have no makeup, hair shoved in a hat, and sunglasses to cover half my face.
My walk gear is very important considering I go on a lot of them. We have so many various parks, beaches, and trails with impeccable views.
The key is that I have to know where we're going first to know how to dress. What are we dealing with here- dirt, mud, pine needles, sand, rocks, or pavement?
Yet, some things always remain:
My favorite sunscreen
No makeup-makeup with DIY lashes
A go-to lip balm
A good fanny pack
My favorite bodysuit with a built-in bra
Some stylish oversized sunglasses
Beanie (in the summer a short-bill cap)
And a spritz of my favorite perfume in Fig
Now let's take a guess what plants, decor, fragrances, colors, and patterns of clothes I'd be into if I moved to Hawaii? Regardless, I truly believe that everywhere we go, there's inspiration in the weather, nature, seasons, and landscape. When in doubt, get outside and take a good look around you.