Friday, November 11, 2016

Stay True to YOUR Sense of Style

If you're not totally new here, you already know that I'm in the middle of a large scale redecoration, (like, EVERYTHING changed, including the place we live!). It's on the heels of lots of change for me, and it's been altogether refreshing and overwhelming at the same time.

When I lived at CDLV, I had no REAL choice in the design of the rooms. I picked furniture, lighting, accessories that fit the shell of the house - which in large part I wasn't allowed to change. Even writing that makes me mad, allowed - pfft! I'm a grown man! The first thing that I wanted to do when I moved to a place of my own was to go light, bright, white, and largely free of the clutter and dark, moody space.

The Living Room at CDLV

The First Apartment

I'd say I accomplished that, don't you? I mean, this first apartment was the exact opposite of the CDLV. Where there had once been dark woodwork and rich colored upholstery, there was now bright white walls and molding, and everything was slipcovered in white. There's no doubt in my mind that both rooms were pretty, and both certainly had my "touch" but the living room from the first apartment was certainly more me than anything I've had since. 

The Second Apartment 

When I moved the second time, it was only because I needed to be in an apartment community that allowed dogs. The space was laid out so differently that I never could figure out how to make it work well. I got rid of the two upholstered chairs (MISTAKE) and bought the French chairs, which I had slipcovered in the same white twill as the sofa. While this too, was a pretty room, I largely felt like it wasn't me

One of the things that I think is important to remember when you're working on anything for which you were inspired by someone else, is to not forget your own sense of style. I hate the word copy, it just seems like something someone knowingly does to defraud. I like the words inspired by, emboldened, challenged. Do they mean the same thing? Eh, technically I suppose you could say that they do, but the connotation is vastly different!

When you're inspired by a room, a fabric, a piece of furniture - whatever it may be, it's bound to happen: you wake up and say, hey, this is really nice, but what about these other things I love? And that's where it's really easy to sit with your head in your hands saying, "Why did I do that?!"

Progress Photo of Third Apartment, and Arlo

It's no secret that I've been impressed and beyond inspired by the published work of Mark D. Sikes, and also the talented artist, William Rankin McLure IV. A lot of the things that they use in their spaces, are things I have always used, and will continue to use. However, there are some things that I love that still need a place in this house, and I can't let my inspiration drown out my individuality.

For instance, tarnished brass. I love it! There's something earthy and magical about it's glint and patina. I don't have a lot of notable pieces, but the few pieces I do have are very special to me. They're not refined, they're not perfect, they're not even complete collections - but they are "me" and living without them feels uniquely different, not good. I had put them in storage when I moved, and I lasted 10-days in the apartment before I pulled them out and put them back to good use.

Progress Photo of Third Apartment, and Louna

Crusty old dusty antiques, too! There's something about them that I love - like my new chandelier in the dining room. New to me, that is! I don't care if they're broken, or they have pieces that are missing, or if they don't work the way they're supposed to - if they speak to me, I want to see them! I'm fine with decorative clutter! But back to my point: anyone can "copy" a room with enough money and resources, but if you stay true to YOUR unique sense of style, then you can have a room that is distinctively YOU, no matter how much it is inspired by others.



As a side note, not only have I been working hard putting together the apartment, I've also been working hard putting together the new Cross Bottle Guy studio! The first lot of beautiful bottles created at the table in the new space hit the Cross Bottle Guy site, today! Head over and take a peek!

Food for thought! Enjoy your weekend! 


  1. I always sensed you weren't really able to be your true artistic self in CDLV and that was very apparent in the way you decorated your first apartment. In retrospect to truly be happy you must be you. Well done Artie.

  2. Artie, I hope somehow your post goes viral. True words, beautifully illustrated. Job well done. Cherry Kay

  3. Channeling Billy Baldwin, who preached "the personal" !
    Yes, I agree with you, be yourself! Louna and Arlo, so adorable!

  4. My favorite is the orange and yellow in the old house. Love that. Now my favorites are the new apartment and the first apartment. I Love the first apartment decor so much. And the new one promises to be even better. !!!

  5. Professional photo captured . Like and applaud your post guy .