As I was getting dressed this morning, I couldn't help but smile. There is something about these scuffed up cowboy boots that put the finishing touches on any outfit in my closet. I find myself wearing them at least twice a week to client meetings, church, running errands and field site checks. Perhaps most would say a pair of rugged and worn cowboy boots are not the ideal choice of shoe for an up-and-coming Interior Designer to wear to a client meeting. It's not about following the rules or caring what others may think. To me these boots tell my story and show my personality.
It was Christmas 2007, my last Christmas before graduating high school. I remember unwrapping the rather large box and jumping for a joy like a kid receiving their first bicycle. I opened the box, ran my fingers over the stiching and smelled the new leather. It was love at first site.
Those boots saw me on my first day as a college freshman at High Point University. They endured summertime country concerts at The Creek, rainy days and a transfer to Meredith College. These boots watched the first NC State football game of 2009 where we met my future husband. State won! There have been many more NC State games in the later years and a lot of loses we've endured. We've walked miles around the NC State Fair year after year, traveled out of state and shot engagment pictures. Now, these old boots are accompanying me on this journey as a business owner.
One of the first questions I get asked as a designer is, "What is your style?" I never quite know how to answer this question because I find myself drawing inspiration from so many outlets. I love modern neutral color pallets and traditional antique furniture. I go crazy for the texture of shiplap and exposed brick. Accenting with fur or cowhide is essential and pulling a rug with intense color and pattern can top off a room. My style is eclectic to say the least. The one constant is every designed space that I am drawn to is comfortable and feels like home.
Despite the scuffs, my cowboys boots are the most comfortable shoe I own, which is why I always find myself coming back to them. A room has to create a feeling so that the end user can appreciate what the room offers. I've been in a many of homes where the design is high end, yet it lacks any personality. My goal in designing a space is making sure the room is functional, comfortable for the family and their guest and tells the story of who they are and where they've been in life. It's OK for a room to be a little rough around the edges. That's what makes a house a home.
Think of old wood floors. I was in a historic home that was being used as a commercial space just this past week. The floors were original. The wide planks with the scratches, scuffs and knot holes were absolutely beautiful! I couldn't help but think about who had walked across those very floors and what life must have been like in the early 1900s. I am so glad the floors remained in this commercial space despite other renovations. Without them, the whole space would have lacked the character and charm.
For all the homeowners out there trying desperately to mimic a house that looks like something out of a magazine, make sure your own style and personality is still shining through. A few scuffs and that old leather couch that is completely worn but oh so comfortable can add so much to your space. Simple accessories, pillows and window treatments can go a long way in revamping the room.
As for me, I got my boots on and can't wait to get started on another project!