How To Bring Charm To Your Interiors

I happen to love older homes and have had the pleasure of restoring and decorating three of them.  I am the only person in my circle of friends and acquaintances that has an historic home.  I fully understand why most people are not into restoration.  Many just aren't willing to get involved with a "labor or love". Since I have a love of history and collecting beautiful things, (an addiction that began in my teens), an older home has always been the perfect fit for me.  I prefer tall ceilings and individual rooms instead of all open spaces. I enjoy interesting windows and  old wavy glass with little bubbles in it. The rich patina of old hardwood, wide baseboards, lovely old doors, unique spaces and lots of mantles get my decorating juices flowing. One has to enjoy the lifestyle of living with antiques and objets d'art in order to truly appreciate living in an older home because it is just that, a lifestyle.

With that said, during the past 30 years very few people have failed to make two particular comments when visiting any of the older homes I have lived in.  Over and over I hear  “I have a new home but I really love older homes because they have so much charm.”  “You just can’t recreate that in a new home”.  My answer is always “yes they do, and yes you can”!

Webster’s defines charming as extremely pleasing or delightful, alluring, appealing, enchanting, engaging, entrancing.  The definition still does not tell us what triggers the awareness of charm when you are in its presence.  What causes a house or a room to be charming?  I believe if you examine what makes a person charming or a hostess charming you will agree it comes down to them being interesting, inviting and warm.  With the right approach to decorating your interiors will entertain and enchant your guests and give you the atmosphere you find so delightful.

I love the way Europeans bring charm into their homes by surrounding themselves with objects that have been in the family for decades.  The whole idea behind European style is that people would bring things home from their voyages so the home has a well-traveled look. It is a personal style that is a coming together of many influences from all over the world. The thing I love about English as well as French and Italian homes is that they are filled with many beautiful treasures and can be faded and run down a bit but still maintain a certain charm that is so appealing. Here in America it is hard to get that tasteful vintage elegance because we want everything new, shiny, and matchy matchy at the cost of warmth and charm.

The following pictures are examples of the elegance that is part of the more vintage European style.


Casual elegance


I just want to curl up with a good book on that couch.  A warm casually elegant room.



  A tapestry on the wall is a great way to bring texture and warmth to a room.  Even with some contemporary elements the room is still interesting, warm and charming.


              This foyer exudes charm.  It is relaxed and elegant and certainly says
"WELCOME"


A lovely classical bathroom that is relaxing and elegant.


This was Coco Chanel's apartment in Paris.  What more is there to say?


William Eubanks is an Memphis based designer who creates some of the most beautiful European style rooms in the business.


English manor style by Ralph Lauren



I love texture and this room by Juan Pablo Molyneux is so richly layered.


The right touch of leopard makes this room elegantly exotic. 



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