The Beautiful Holidays
Calm and simple decor (post holiday season) may sound like a far fetched dream. The truth is you probably already have what you need, you just need to give rid of most of what you have! Let’s face it, Christmas decorations can really make just about anyone crazy after 30 days of their home invasion…in my case, I go nuts after only one week. I love everything about the holiday seasons the bright colors; the pine scent that fills the room; fresh-baked cookies available on everyone’s kitchen countertop (Lord, help me); bows galore; adornments of all types hanging from places like the ceiling, fireplace, and stair railings; Santa dolls, Chestnut figurines, and twig reindeer abound, and trees…large trees (some real, some fake) sitting smack dab in your family room strewn with ornaments of all colors!
The Dreaded Chaos
This is a really exciting stuff…for about a week, and then chaos sets in! The cat has knocked down the tree at least once. The kids have removed and replaced the ornaments at least twice… a day. While the Santa dolls, chestnut figurines and twig reindeer are all blocking my vacuum path, the stair railing’s pine banner and bows are looking beat up. The cookies are all gone but, no worries, I have 144 more coming because, once again, I have chosen to host another cookie exchange. Most importantly the tree!!!!!! The giant tree that takes up half of our living space in the family room is shedding its pine needles everywhere. “Let’s go with a fake one this year, honey”, I say year-after-year, but no, “real is better”, he says. “I like the smell of fresh pine”, he says.
The Importance of the Restart Button
First of all, has it ever occurred to anyone that the reason we are all so desperate to start fresh January 1st with goals like eating healthier, keeping up on the house and eliminating chaos in our lives is because we just came from living at least 30 days in a jewel-toned and calorie indulged war zone? By January 1st we are all chanting the same the same lines, praying for internal peace, calmness within our homes, cleanliness and above all, organization and order! By NO MEANS am I suggesting we boycott Christmas, people! Sorry if I sound a little ba humbug! To clarify, I really do LOVE this time of year. However, I equally LOVE when it departs and my house gets put back together. Can I get an AMEN!
So, Calm and Simple Decor… After the Holiday Season is being brought to you with peace and love. I hope this article helps to inspire you to create a place in your home where you will rediscover your ability to breath and leave you with a heart rate lower than 160 beats per minute. I think this is where my yoga instructor would say, “namaste”.
Remove anything and everything jewel toned- red, green, blue, yellow…remove it all! We are creating peace, my friends. Let’s give our eyes a rest!
Hopefully, you now have a blank canvas in front of you. Your coffee table is cleared; kitchen countertops and table, fireplace mantle, and all other areas in your home that gather “stuff” are naked! Enjoy this short moment in time because we will soon be re-infussing this space with “stuff”. Spend a second to look around. Now, take inventory of the areas that actually look pretty nice with a little less. Yes, not every flat surface of your home needs to be filled. If you are aiming for a little peace in your life you have to allow for blank spaces. Determine what looks good standing alone and what can use a little love. By all means, PLEASE DO NOT just put things back because you once spent a pretty penny on the item in question. If you have the slightest hesitation, donate it!
At this point, you are welcoming warmth back to the spaces you have deemed “accessory worthy”. This is where we must be selective, VERY selective! Remember, simple is our goal. As we begin to add back some of our accessories consider each piece’s purpose. You are looking to make sure that your accessories provide texture, color, shape and interest. Take a look at the photo below:
Above I placed a few of our antlers sheds in a large seagrass braided bowl. I love how the smooth creamy white tips of the antler sheds transition down to the nubby brown base. They look so pretty in this heavily textured braided bowl and they compliment the white Pottery Barn Ludlow trunk just perfectly.
My coffee table sits right in front of my television which sits high above my fireplace. It is rectangular in shape and hosts an arrangement of accessories. The bowl of orchids are nice and tall, but they don’t create a wall of obstruction. The bowl itself is round and sits on a square mirrored tray from PotteryBarn (similar tray here). I was gifted the adorable glass iridescent apothecary with a brass antler top from a dear friend. I love the way the jar brings in light and adds a bit of glitz. The glass candle holders allow me to play with height and balance and the change in ambiance come nightfall, when the flicker candles automatically turn on, is magic! Books are spared of their paper jackets because I prefer to display the texture of their soft linen cloth.
Note: It’s important that the hard covers of your books match the color of your decor. It would seem obvious to most, but I have seen it all. With this being said, however, if your accent color is navy blue this would be a great place to bring in navy blue.
Add texture where you can. Take look at the picture below to see what I mean:
My sofa is somewhat very simple. It is a dark gray velvet sofa ( similar one here) and the pillows are exactly the same fabric. By layering two down pillows on each side of the sofa I have created depth and comfort. I brought in a light gray wool blanket with white fringe to lighten the space. The rectangle metal stools that sit in front of the fireplace are topped with a Mongolian faux fur lumbar pillow for the purpose of continuity toward our light and soft color scheme and for an extra play on texture. My rug is an ivory shag rug similar to this.
I have two oversized leather embossed chairs wrapped in bamboo that I love, but they aren’t available anymore (insert big sad face here). Here are a few others that I have fallen in love with here and here. What you are looking for is ‘interest’. Is the chair interesting and beautiful when placed all alone? My chairs are really dark and they work well in my space simply because my sofa is so dark. However, I had to lighten up the feel a bit by layering the back with a soft creamy wool blanket. The chevron print matches my gray and white color scheme…see what I am doing? And the pottery barn pillow is nearly the same shade of gray as my sofa. I really like how the sequins makes this space visually appealing. Notice how it also compliments the legs of the small side table! 😉
Add REAL LIFE! Okay, okay, I can hear you now saying “I kill everything green” and “I wasn’t born with a green thumb”, but please just give me a chance here. ORCHIDS! If I have worked with you in the past then chances are I have tried to talk you into bringing real orchids in all parts of your home. Orchids are super easy to keep alive, so long as they aren’t in a dark room and your home temperature is comfortably set for the average person. Additionally, orchids are fairly inexpensive and they come in various sizes. They add a beautiful pop of color and they have gorgeous green thick leaves. You can place them in almost any decorative bowl and with a little reindeer moss, you have added texture.
Decorating With Orchids
I haven’t yet sold you on orchids? Well, how about this: Orchids don’t need much to survive. In fact, many thrive on just air and water. Orchids prefer indirect light. Furthermore, I feed mine just 3 ice cubes a week. Yes- that’s right, only 3 ice cubes a week! Of course, we don’t all share the same climate conditions, but I have been very successful at keeping my orchids alive for an extended period of time. As you see, I have a large white bowl of orchids on my coffee table. I also have another large white bowl of orchids on my kitchen countertop.
Clean and simple!
At Last- Calm and Simple Decor!
Cheers to all of my friends who are looking for a little peace in your life and within the walls of your home. Surely by now your beautiful holiday decorations are in the process of being
torn taken down and carefully stored away. Finally, it is my wish that this post has inspired you to view your space as an area with great potential to bring you mental clarity. Begin with what you see, clear out the chaos and feel the transformation take place. Now get to work! Peace be with you!