Since this is supposed to be a decorating blog, I always sit down to write intending to impart decorating advice. Apparently, I can't do that. Some magazines advocate taking one item from column a and one from column b, then, voila, you have a wonderful new room. You might indeed but it will be someone else's idea.
My posts are very personal and your decorating should be too.
I want you to explore your own preferences. If you still like jewel tones, then use them. Admittedly there are ways to update them and a decorator can help you with that.
Decorating is just a means to reflect your view of life at the same time creating a space for you and your family and friends to enjoy yourselves.
One of my influences is Dee Hardie who wrote a column for House Beautiful. Although she wrote for a shelter magazine, she wrote about life style, not decorating.
When I was a teenager, I attended a party at the Hardie's house in the country outside of Baltimore. My mother saved all of the invitations from that summer so I still have the invitation shown above. Directions to the house were hand written on the back. It speaks volumes in it's simplicity. While many other invitations were engraved and written in formal language, this one practically said don't even wear shoes to the party.
I remember arriving at the house where we were greeted with picnic tables covered in gingham cloths set up under shade trees. I am certain we had fried chicken for lunch. After lunch, we rode a hay wagon down to the paddock at the Grand National Race. It was a relaxed and fun party.
Interestingly, the mother of the person in whose honor the party was given was another big influence. When I was a child, I spent the night at Margot's house (nearby the Hardie's in the country). Mrs. Kidder was elegantly dressed in baggy linen pants, a big brimmed sun hat, and wellies and carried a garden trug. She went to the garden out back and picked fresh lettuces, cucumbers, and tomatoes. I'm sure it was the first time I ate a salad with home made vinegrette and soft shelled crabs. (Please realize that this was in the early sixties and we were not foodies then,) To this day, that remains one of my favorite meals.
Decorating is really about the way you live: creating the ambience that you choose to portray and conveying to your guests what you would like remembered about you. Whether it's picking and eating a meal of fried chicken and fresh lettuce served informally or a formal tea in the parlor, make sure your style reflects you. If you don't know what your preferences are, that's what a decorator or architect will spend time eliciting from you . If I sound like a skipping CD (broken record tells you how old I am), please forgive me, I'll try not to harp on this in the future.