I found a curiosity shop style that married Victorian with cottage. Well, there are not enough adjectives to put together that does her home justice. I asked her about her beach connection and she pooh-poohed me and didn't like that term. Call me crazy, but all the sand, seashells, seaside paintings & prints and fantastic layers of aqua color, well, I will take back the "beach" term and call it "seaside estate".
She was a tough nut to crack to talk about her past and give me the history to her style. This is what she text me, "Here is the beginning....how "it" began. When I was just past 16 years old, my mother bought me the French bed I sleep in today. It's cost was $100 and she paid it out on layaway over the next coming year. It was said to be a gift for my 17th birthday. Not only was it an odd gift for 1971, and for a seventeen year old girl, but it started the oddest of all behaviors. It was then, as it is now, not unusual for me to spend hours digging thru boxes at a flea market or be the first in line at an estate sale or worse, digging through someone's trash on the curb. I can't pass an antique shop . . . the dustier the better! One of my favorite picks is the simple antique sign I scavenged from the dusty corner of a garage belonging to a retired antique dealer. Her husband was happy to pass it along to me for $1".
We did get together to discuss how this obsession morphed into more odd items and groupings. She says odd - I say fantastic. I love going into other homes to see what really makes the homeowners tick! I was amazed at every turn. I photographed starting in the living room, working my way around the house. By the time I got back to the living room again, the light had changed and everything looked more beautiful, but in a whole new light.
She grew up in Houston and, as a little girl, her family would take day trips to Galveston to enjoy the beach. If you have ever seen a photo of Galveston, or visited their shore, I would not call it a stellar beach. Nothing against Galveston, but there are some beautiful beaches all over the United States to compare it to. Anyway, she and her family would go there, she would comb the beach for seashells (very few were found), watch the foamy water wash up on the shore and play all day. Her mother being prepared for the trip back to Houston, had containers of fresh water in the trunk of the car, lift her and her siblings into the trunk, wash them all off and put fresh clothes on them for the ride home. What pleasant recollection to hold onto.
The experiences we have as children can be clouded or different than we recall. Our fond memories can mold our adult perspective of how we do things. Maybe, just maybe, those trips to the beach as a child, along with the lay-away bed from her mother, began the Eclectic, Seaside Estate Style Sharon has mastered. Oh, she has found her seashells and knows what to do with them (she loves gluing them to so many things!) Her inherited family treasures, mixed with her many found curiosities, is the perfect blend of quality & quirky.
Loving where you are in your own home is something to strive for. Allowing me to share her home with others is a great opportunity to help the rest of us be inspired. I know if I go back to her house today, many of her items will have shifted & moved to new places in her house. The quest for unique pieces does not diminish the quest for the perfect spots for them. I hope you enjoy her style as much as I do. I might have to go back and do an update this spring...I know she has been out there looking for odd, quirky and "I don't think I have ever seen that before" items!
I hope you enjoy this tour as much as I do. McKinney is an endless sea of interesting homes to reveal. I will do my best to keep finding willing participants to open their doors and style to us all.